Will I have to do this forever? This is A common question for someone interested in tracking macros. Or currently tracking them.
That's okay. It's not actually for everyone...But the need to eat for your goals and current status IS for everyone.
Not eating enough can lead to hormonal deficiencies, losing muscle and inability to loose weight. It also can lead to afternoon slumps, being hungry all the time, workouts are a struggle, irregular bowel movements and low lobedo. As you can see there are a lot of reasons why it's important to eat the right amount for your body. Tracking macros helps you do that.
A huge factor a lot of people miss when dieting is that eating less and less can only bring you so far. If you don't eat enough you could harm yourself.You could lose muscle rather than fat also. So there is a fine line of eating less but not too much less when dieting.
Tracking macros can show you how to eat less but the right amount of less.
Also, when wanting to build muscle or lose weight you need to eat the right amounts of carbs, fat and protein for you. I should not be eating the same amount as a 6 foot male who doesn't workout. I also shouldn't be eating the same at a 120 pound woman who works out 7 days a week. We all start from different places and may be headed in different directions. When you track macros it is a specific calculation for specific results. It you want generic results track your calories 😜
Tracking helps you see where you lack or where you're going over. A Lot of people tend to be under in protein and over in fat. These can lead to a lack of muscle and affected hormone levels. So tracking your macros for a time can help you bring balance to these levels. Yes, I said you can track macros for a time.
Tracking can teach you how to become more intuitive with your eating. Because eating in a guided way for a time will allow you to transition to eating more or eating more balanced.
It will help you to see how you should be eating.
For example I have been tracking my macros for several years. I go through phases where I am tracking everything everyday. I'll do this if I’m noticing some bad habits creeping in and I need to reign it in a bit. Or if I'm doing a challenge or have more specific goals. I will also go through phases where I'm not tracking as much because I trust my intuition. I've done it for a long enough time where I can trust my gut. If my body isn't seeing negative side effects and I feel mentally and physically the same. Then go me, I'm spot on. If I find that my energy level is low or my workouts aren't going as well. Maybe my intuition is a little off and I need to shape things up. So that's when I can go back to tracking.
Our bodies are amazing. They do give us signs of what we need. But we may not be able to interpret it well, at first.
For example, craving sugar. That could be happening because you're not getting enough protein in. You would only know that from taking time to track and understand what your body needs. Or you may go through phases of being hungry so you mindlessly keep on eating. What if you needed more carbs or were under eating and should have guided yourself in eating more.
Tracking macros can help you do that. And you don't have to do it forever.
Should you go right into intuitive eating? Not at all. Like anything it doesn't hurt to educate yourself and work at getting better at it.
And you may be thinking well I grew up eating it can't be that hard. Well you grow up mimicking what your parents did. They often are mimicking a lot of what their parents did. I'm not judging anyone's parents or saying you were raised wrong. But maybe you didn't get enough protein growing up or all my Italians with the heavy cheese, sauce and oils. Because we did it growing up doesn't mean that is best for us.
I have a client and together we've realized she's been under eating pretty much her entire life. We have had to do a lot of assessing her symptoms and acknowledging she has some recovery to walk through. Her body is very depleted and needs to take time fueling herself correctly. So her body can function the way it needs too. Her parents loved her and she loves them just as much. But that doesn't mean they were fully educated in what was best for her. They did their best, that's all we can do right? So it's important for us to take our health into our own hands. To seek out what is the best way for your body to be fueled and treated.
To me it's fueling yourself correctly with the right amounts of food. Then taking steps to step away from tracking for a time and trusting your intuition. Some people like the routine of tracking, I relate to that. So then keep at it. But tracking macros is a tool. You can use it at the times you feel you need it. Use it to serve you best in living the life you want.
If you want to use it for a time and then eat based on intuition, awesome. If you see yourself tracking macros long term, awesome. Do what serves you best but also consider what your body needs. Consider taking time to fuel yourself appropriately and discovering how to fuel your body best.
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