Why Tracking Macros is Important
Have you ever tried food journaling? Tracking what you eat and when. Sometimes people do this as a useful way pin down food sensitivities they might be experiencing and discover patterns. Most often people do it to stay accountable with what they eat in order to achieve weight loss.
Accountability is so important. I have been tracking my food using My Fitness Pal for years. It helps me to think before I eat, knowing I’m going to record it someplace. I have to be accountable for my actions. If you really want a clear picture of what you are eating take the time to log each meal. Don’t forget the sneaky things likes butter, toppings, spreads, oils and sauces. I try not to get so picky about it that keeping track becomes time prohibitive and an exercise in frustration, but I try to be honest enough that I can see where carbs, proteins or fats are getting out of whack.
Balance. I try to keep things in a healthy balance. This is probably the single most important principal that working with my coach at Eat to Perform has taught me to embrace. Balance. For so many years I tried all the diets that have you alter the balance to achieve results. I still cringe remembering the painful phases of no Carbs, or starving counting calories and eating all the tasteless low fat food. I’m now trying to nourish my body with a better balance of all the macros. The results are undeniable on my mood and energy and we are steadily working away at my healthy weight goals. Never again will I spend a Hangry carb free day in my life. Carbs are fantastic!
So why is the tracking important? Staying accountable and in that balance. It is unbelievably easy to graze without purpose and to end up with a nutritionally unbalanced week. And I will say week because one day of pizza of beer now and then is good for everyone, so look at your overall numbers across a week, not a day. One ‘bad’ day won’t kill you. Several might. Tracking macros and using the visual charts most tracking applications offer really helps you see that things are in check with your personal goals. I love the ETP app, it shows me my macros each day as a separate ‘dial’ that starts the day empty, gets yellow as I start to fill up and hits green when I’m good. Red means you are over your targets. I have gained so much awareness of what balance looks like for me. On the website I can see the broader scope. Tracking keeps tabs on those sneaky things that hurt your progress, Like Sodium! I had no idea I was eating so much. Tracking and using visual cues has helped me to be aware and make healthy adjustments. Less sodium, more protein. Eating cleaner, fueling better.
What really helps you stay on track is meal planning and ‘pre-loading’. Since I routinely meal prep on Sundays and make lunches and dinners ahead of time, I pre-log my days and I can see where I’m low or high and adjust BEFORE I’m in a bad situation. I try not to leave myself in spaces where bad decisions about food are the only decision. If I know I’m planning a night out with the girls or a special dinner with my husband I can account for that in advance and plan meals around it that support my life. I don’t say no to the dinner, I choose a healthy option on the menu and pre-plan a good breakfast and snacks to balance it.
Accountability and balance.That’s it, two little words, accountability and balance.Tracking Macros is ultimately about those two things.