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My transition from Macros to Intuitive Eating

My transition from Macros to Intuitive Eating

It’s been 2 months since we’ve been back from Italy, so technically almost 3 months of not counting macros. Obviously I wasn’t counting during our trip, and then when I got back I still wasn’t counting but obviously just not eating pizza and pasta everyday LOL.

I’ll be honest, making the transition was easier than I thought it would be. In the past few years there have been a couple times where I decided to step away from macros briefly, and it wasn’t the easiest. I’d always be thinking about my scale, thinking about the numbers, and inevitably go back to macros. This time though, I was stopping macros with a totally different mindset. Being in Italy made me really re-evaluate things when it came to how I wanted to live my life on a daily basis (more on that in this blog post), and that in itself was really powerful. That being said, I wholeheartedly wanted to move on from counting macros so it made the transition easier.

I’m not going to lie and say it was so easy. In the beginning, there were moments where I would think, “okay this has X amount of fat, so I shouldn’t eat PB later in the day.” Or, “this doesn’t have protein so I need to have protein for dinner with less carbs” So even though I wasn’t weighing anything, or entering food into MFP, since I counted macros for so long, I just knew automatically what the breakdown of macronutrients was for food. And while I’m glad that I have this foundation and knowledge, I didn’t want it to still consume my thoughts when making food choices. I just wanted to focus on foods that made me feel good, and that were part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle versus just focusing on numbers.

One thing I found when I started eating intuitively is that I was eating a lot more whole and fresh foods versus packaged foods–which was great! However, I also noticed that it was so easy for me to eat a lot of carbs and fats during the day and pretty minimal protein. Granted, the carbs and fats I was eating were from “healthy” sources but I also knew I was neglecting my protein. And even though I wasn’t counting macros, I still wanted to eat an overall balanced diet so I made 3 little “guidelines” for me to follow each day to help find that balance. The first being to incorporate a protein source at every meal and the other was to eat 3 servings of veggies a day. I’ve found that using this as a guidelines helps me feel like I’m still eating a well-rounded diet without thinking of the numbers associated with counting macros. Of course this doesn’t happen every single day but it’s a good general rule. And technically the third guideline is just to keep up with my water intake of 2L a day.

As far as aesthetics go, I honestly haven’t noticed a change in my body. Maybe if I took photos (before & afters) and compared them side by side I would notice some changes, but I honestly can’t say if the changes would be for the “better” or for “worse.” My point being is, the differences aren’t noticeable one way or the other, and I feel great so I’m not going to take the time to compare photos. If you FEEL good then that is all that matters IMO. Right now, I feel comfortable and confident in my own skin (of course not every second of every day but I didn’t feel that way when I counted macros either), and I love that I’m not spending all this time and energy focusing on food, the scale and my app. It’s been so nice to put energy into other areas of my life that really bring me joy instead of always thinking about what I need to eat to hit my macros.

It’s funny though. When I counted macros, it seemed so second nature. I didn’t ever feel like it was taking up a lot of mental head space, time or energy. And it probably didn’t because my attitude towards it was so different. It was something that was working for me and my life for the last few years. But then once I had the change of heart in Italy, all of the sudden counting seemed like such a burden to me. I didn’t want to spend my day thinking about food in that way.

So my point is, everything is relative–different approaches work at different times depending on what your interests and goals are at any given point. Always remember that nothing has be to be permanent. You can count macros forever, you can start you can stop, you can start, stop and start again. You get what I’m saying. I think so often we (myself included) get nervous to change things up because we think “but what if I look or feel worse?!” Well if you do, you can always go back to what you were doing before! That being said, for the foreseeable future I’ll be continuing with intuitive eating but that doesn’t mean I’ll have this approach forever. Right now though, I love how I feel and it’s working for my lifestyle!

Any thoughts on this blog post, can you relate at all? Would love to hear your thoughts or what you’ve been going through! xx C

 

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10 Comments

  1. July 25, 2019 / 2:17 pm

    I’m at the point where I mostly track macros when it’s convenient: aka regular day to day life when it takes me like 5 minutes to plan my meals and snacks to hit my macros. I never count on the weekends any more though – I never want to be so tied to a food scale that I can’t live my life! So far this balance has worked for me. Glad you have found a good new balance with intuitive eating!

    • Claire Guentz
      Author
      August 8, 2019 / 5:14 pm

      i think that approach is perfect. when you’re home and it’s easy then why not?! but otherwise just going with the flow and not stressing about living your life around the scale!

  2. Claire Groff Rooney
    July 25, 2019 / 3:45 pm

    This is a great post! I have been counting macros for about 2.5 years and feel the same as you. It doesn’t feel like it takes a lot of extra time or energy, but I know it does consume me more than it should. I feel like I use macros as a crutch. For me, it’s (ironically) easier to have the macros plan because I don’t have to worry about myself and what I am eating. Every time I stopped counting macros, I used it as an excuse to eat differently (more sweets, treats, “free meals,” etc.) which inevitably led to a change in my body and I would revert back to the “safety” of macros.

    I’m thinking about really giving intuitive eating a fair shot at the end of the summer. One question I have though – do you still weigh yourself? I know you aren’t comparing photos but does the scale help clue you into whether you are on the right track or not with your intuitive eating?

    • Claire Guentz
      Author
      August 8, 2019 / 5:13 pm

      I totally know what you mean, and that’s why I aim for 3 servings of veggies a day, and to have some protein with each each meal because it helps me achieve a better balance without having to obsess over the numbers. In general though, I don’t weigh myself. I typically just go off how I’m feeling/looking. hope this helps!

  3. Brittany
    July 27, 2019 / 6:59 pm

    I got back from Sicily on Sunday and feel the EXACT same way. Being over there fundamentally changed me as a person. It was the first time in three years that I went more than two days without tracking. Every meal included bread. Every meal included a good bit of olive oil. Every meal included wine. I came back looking the same (no weight gained) but I felt so much better. I ate a bag of quest protein chips upon my return and immediately felt sick. Things I used to eat because they fit my macros, simply don’t appeal to me anymore. I’m at the point where I know that tracking is there if I need it, but right now I’m enjoying simply living. It was so refreshing seeing women walking around full of confidence; eating when they pleased, not sitting on their phones inputting every single macro before enjoying a meal. I feel like every person that struggles with disordered eating (or in my case, an eating disorder) should spend a week in Italy. It’s a life-changing experience and such a breath of fresh air.

    • Claire Guentz
      Author
      August 8, 2019 / 5:11 pm

      I couldn’t agree more. So well said, this is exactly how I feel too. Being over there totally changes your perspective and it feels so freeing. thanks for sharing!

  4. July 30, 2019 / 10:45 pm

    I am a mother and I really needed this info thanks!

    • Claire Guentz
      Author
      August 8, 2019 / 5:09 pm

      happy to help! xx

  5. August 6, 2019 / 7:21 pm

    Like!! I blog frequently and I really thank you for your content. The article has truly peaked my interest.

  6. August 12, 2019 / 11:37 pm

    Thanks I needed this

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