Counting [solely] calories is so 2010. If there‘s one thing possibly even more popular among bloggers, on Instagram or anywhere else online [I personally haven’t experienced it much offline yet] it’s macros. There’s a whole industry thriving on the concept [food scales that tell you the macro count of an ingredient? In-sa-ni-ty!]. Tracking fat, carbs and protein and ‘balancing’ your diet seems like the next cool thing to do – or not? Just like counting calories can be helpful for some people as long as it doesn’t get out of control and turn into an obsession the same can be said about monitoring macros.
My take on the issue?
What I don’t like is putting any macro on a pedestal or shaming another. All macros are created equal [yes, I know this is scientifically wrong but you get my gist]. I’m all about balance and finding what works for you. That will – if you’ve let media influence you – take some experimentation. Convinced by a million blog posts and articles telling me I should opt for a protein-laden first meal I once (!) tried cottage cheese with nut butter for breakfast. Worst idea ever. For me at least. Everybody is different and that’s the beauty of it all. As long as we can agree almond butter is amazing we can be friends. Kidding. Maybe.
Back to my original topic, though: macros. Food looses its appeal and the fun it can provide to our lives when a meal isn’t seen as just that but a number. Like a number on a scale doesn’t say anything about your worth the calorie count of an ingredient or a dish can’t measure its taste. Nutrients. The way it makes you feel. The setting you enjoyed it in. Focusing on calories [and I’ll be honest and say this is a habit dying hard and still sticking with me] or macros takes from the experience.
At the end of the day, I wouldn’t be able to tell you how I’m faring macro-wise – because I have no clue. Was it a day of many carbs? Did I get in enough protein? It doesn’t matter to me because I’m [getting closer to be*] able to trust my intuition leading me where I need to be. A little story time here: During my first night at my cousin’s I wasn’t able to sleep well. Luckily, I’d packed a few snacks and after several unsuccessful trials of falling back asleep I got up and – ate. Not something I usually do or would have felt comfortable doing a year or just a few months ago but I’m not ignoring my body’s cues anymore.
** not because I was trying to monitor my intake but some days in recovery are just plain frustrating with me unable to know what I’m craving or get satisfied.
Think about it: When you were a child did you claim being ‘low in protein’ when hungry? I’ll dare to say: no. You simply decided on eating what you craved and that meant connecting with your intuition and following suit. No planning. No considering your previous meals’ macro balance. No cutting carbs whenever possible. Eating is so simple if we allow it to be.