As most of you guys know, I count macros as far as my “diet” goes–no big surprise there! While I didn’t always count macros there is a reason that I’ve continued to track for almost 2 years now. But first, a little back story…
When I first started making working out a priority, I was doing BBG (Bikini Body Guide) and I was following that recommended meal plan. Basically, it broke down how many servings of each food group you should have each day–and then it allowed 1 cheat meal per week. In the beginning this worked for me because it gave me some sort of guideline to follow on what I should eat. I mean, if you’re trying to reach a specific fitness or weight loss goal, you can’t really say “just eat healthy!” This could result in eating any number of calories, and at the end of the day weight loss equals calories in vs. calories out. So anyway, the BBG meal plan gave me what I needed in the beginning.
As time went on though (maybe around a year?) I was starting to feel pretty restricted. Anytime I wanted to go out to eat with friends it became my one cheat meal for the week and I felt like I was planning my entire week around this cheat meal/outing. On top of that, I didn’t feel like I was seeing the best results. Sure, I had gotten in better shape and did look better than prior to BBG but I felt like I was busting my ass and not seeing nearly as many results as I should. That’s when I considered counting macros.
So those are the initial reasons I started counting macros and stopped “just eating clean.” I guess you could say that with the BBG meal plan I wasn’t necessarily eating intuitively because there were certain guidelines to follow. But while I won’t ever just eat clean again because I felt too restricted, I also don’t really see myself eating intuitively either and here’s why…
Guys, I have never been the best with portion control. Like, I can eat A TON. Lol, I mean that’s just the best way to put it, and if given the opportunity I’ll do it. With that said, I am not the best judge at what is “enough” food. If I ate intuitively, I honestly don’t know if I’d be able to stop when I’m full–which is what eating intuitively is. Now, I’m not trying to say that I had binges, because I know that is definitely a thing people struggle with so I’m not trying to be nonchalant about it. But at the same time, I’m not good at knowing my limits and there’s definitely been times before I counted macros where I was like, “Okay, you just went overboard.” Looking back I realize that there were plenty of times I probably ate my entire amount of fats for the day in one sitting–PB IS NOT YOUR FRIEND 😉 But in all seriousness, this isn’t the best especially if you’re trying to attain a certain look/physique. With macros, I have boundaries and limits but I have flexibility within them. I know that I am eating the exact right amount of food for my body type and my fitness goals, which gives me peace of mind that I won’t wake up 2 months down the line and be like WOAH what happened to my body–wasn’t expecting those changes! LOL. Like, it lets me know that I am on the right track for what I want to accomplish but I don’t feel like I’m on a diet of any sort since I am able to eat all types of food.
I know plenty of people who are great at portion control and can truly stop when they are full…I don’t feel like I’m one of those people. Don’t get me wrong, I can be very disciplined when I’m doing a cut or something along those lines, but I need some sort of guidelines (macros) to adhere too to know that I am doing it the right way.
At the end of the day, it really just depends on what works for your lifestyle. For me, I know eating clean didn’t make me happy mentally nor did it give me the look I wanted physically. And as far as intuitive eating goes, if you want to look a certain way or make sure your body is getting the exact amount of each macronutrient that it needs then I just don’t think it’s the best approach.
Before I end this post, I will say this. You may have seen some fitness professionals say they are no longer counting macros and they are now just eating intuitively. While this may be true, keep in my mind that many of them know the rough estimate of what they need to be eating since they’ve counted macros for so long. So while they may not be strictly counting anymore, their intuitive eating is still more “precise” than someone who has never counted before. Does that make sense?! I personally think everyone who has stricter fitness goals should count macros for at least a month or two so they know a rough estimate of what they should be eating to see the results they want. Like, if you want to lose weight, no matter how many clean foods you eat–if you’re eating too much then you’re not going to see results.
Anyway, those are just my personal reasons for choosing the “diet” approach that I have. Just remember that you shouldn’t adhere to any diet or workout plan that doesn’t make you happy and work for you personally. I’ve been there before and it’s not an effective plain for the long run–so just do what works for you and don’t worry about anyone else 😉
*This workout set is from Goldsheep’s Holiday collection–it can be found here 🙂