Minding my macros [and not]

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.

Macros_food

My take on the issue?

 I like carbs.

I like fat.

I like protein.

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.

Almond butter 006

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.

Vapiano

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.

Thinking-Out-Loud

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.

 

Happiness-inducing today: A very sweet mail by a blend coming in just when I needed it.
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9 thoughts on “Minding my macros [and not]

  1. Georgie says:

    Like you mentioned, if it works for you without becoming obsessive that’s one thing, but I know for so many people counting Macros adds another layer of stress and judgement and food anxiety that is so hard to undo. Counting was a hard habit to free myself of, but for my own happiness and goals I’m glad I did.

  2. Aja says:

    It’s important to find something that works for you that won’t become unhealthy. Counting calories and macros isn’t for everyone, and it also depends on your goals. But, still, eating shouldn’t be sad or terrible.

  3. Ms.J says:

    Love this! And I absolutely agree. I think for anyone coming from an eating disorder place, it would prove most freeing and beneficial to completely let go -at some point- of counting anything in regards to what we choose to eat. Now that I am really thinking about it; how can we go wrong anyway? If we just eat what we want. There’s foods with protein, carbs and fat..a mix of the macros..all of it in a meal perhaps – and that works out naturally. It goes into our bodies and plays its various roles, giving us the energy, happiness and vitality we need to be our best healthy selves 🙂 . What I find comforting is that there will always be room for experimentation/change as we go along. If we’re feeling sorta “off” for a considerable period we can switch things up and that’s fine. I like to believe it’s down to each invidual’s choices and lifestyle; the opinions of others at the end of the day are just that: simple opinions that will effect us if we so allow it.

  4. Amanda @ .running with spoons. says:

    I know a lot of people who say that counting macros is what helped them get over restrictive eating and allowed them to start eating foods they were previously afraid of… which is great and all, but it’s -still- obsessively tracking your food and consciously telling your body what it can and can’t have. Like what happens if you get to the end of the day and want a spoonful of almond butter but you’re already full on fats? No AB for you. Or what happens if you’re full on fats and carbs but need to hit your protein? It’s egg whites for you. Ugh. I get that it can be useful for professional bodybuilders and what not, but for the majority of us? It just seems like moving from one method of obsessively counting to another…

  5. fitballingrunningmom says:

    I have to admit, I was considering counting macros and then thought ‘wait that is still more work than you need to do!’

    Right now I am enjoying food and noticing how my body reacts and adjusting according to that.

  6. Marfigs says:

    I always get curious about stuff like macros or this or that because I see it often say on Reddit when scrolling down on the main page where they’ve made “fitness” one of their main standard subreddits (I’ll understand if that doesn’t make any sense!) and macros are always a question or topic there. When I finally found out what they were it seemed an interesting concept and for science (and because I also still struggle with stopping counting calories, but now more to watch myself so that I don’t get overly sick and end up in hospital again) I found that by counting macros I strangely enough ended up eating pretty much the same amount of calories that I usually do, but that might just be because I’m a creature of habit and most of my meals are the same every day (my WIAWs are testimony to my boring nature!). So anyway, I found it rather a waste of time!

    Still, for some people counting macros, esp carbs, are their way of ensuring they don’t go overboard or get enough (depending on if they’re on a “normal” eating plan or trying for high-carb low-fat etc. Also, it doesn’t help necessarily for people to eat masses of carbs but they could be anything, which is the feeling I get from those forums – aka eat burgers and stuff so long as it doesn’t exceed your desired macros. I recently read about a popular raw food blogger who was saying that maybe she was eating too many fruit carbs (eg up to 10 bananas in a smoothie) and that she now wanted to convert those carbs to something more balanced, but as I say – what a bunch of work! :p

  7. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets says:

    Well said. I find all of this stuff, calorie counting, macro balancing, just another means to track each and every morsel. Just eat, lots of nutrient dense foods and some of the emotional feel good stuff too. Eat to enjoy it, not to hit some arbitrary number. 🙂

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