Hey Angels and Alphas,
When you’re on a journey to lose weight, managing your diet is everything. But between counting your calories and counting your macros, mindful eating, portion control, and other food-tracking tactics, tracking your macros remains the most effective and accurate method of tracking what you’re putting inside your body.
But the most important factor to consider when choosing a food-tracking method is what will work for you in the long term. The method you choose has to be one that you will implement for a while and stick with it, not something you will instantly jump out of when it feels convenient, or worse, go into a yo-yo dieting cycle.
If you want to find out what’s sustainable for you and what supports your individual weight-loss journey, we’re here to talk about the pros and cons of tracking your calories and macros so you can make the right decision if this is something you can (and will) stick with.
Let’s get right into it.
TRACKING YOUR MACROS AND CALORIES means…
Logging everything you eat inside a journal or app.
While it is possible to count your calories without tracking your macros, it’s much more productive if you desired to factor in the certain number of calories per gram for protein, carbs, and fat you eat. You sort of automatically count your calories when you decide to count your macros.
Only counting your calories would mean you don’t get an adequate balance of protein, carbs, and fat in your system, which is a vital part of your weight-loss diet. Many people who implement this habit go as far as to measure their food as precisely as possible just so they can get their macro and calorie counts right. As they should!
The pros of counting macros:
- It shows you what you need to do better.
People are usually surprised when they start logging their food. Either because they realize they’ve been eating too much or too little. You might be shocked at the impact one food will make on your overall calorie total. Just removing certain habit foods from your life will help you drop pounds like crazy. Not to mention…
- It shows you patterns and trends in your behavior.
When journaling, you have the ability to go back and get a bird’s eye view of your habits and macro counts. This can be extremely valuable information especially when dealing with sugar cravings and blood sugar drops as it will allow you to spot the times of day you should be consuming food for the best result.
- You’ll hold yourself accountable.
When you lay out your raw, objective data about yourself in front of you, it opens your eyes. Looking at what you eat, and doing so with curiosity, will help you develop a love for eating healthy and fueling your body appropriately for every goal. Ultimately, it’s not just about weight management. Knowing that you’re eating a balanced diet is important for your mental health, too! If you focus on nutrient-dense, high-quality foods from different food groups, you’ll eat a rich and vibrant diet and your body will thank you for it.
- It’s the most accurate method out there.
There’s no way to track food 100 percent accurately… at least outside a lab. But if you don’t have your lab coat on right now, weighing and measuring foods will remain the best way of gauging the amount of food you buy and consume. This will make it much, much easier to lose weight.
The cons of tracking macros:
A lot of people have a very difficult and stressful time transitioning away from macros and calories. When you start doing it and it becomes a habit, you hardly want to try any other food tracking methods. You might feel like you can’t stop tracking or counting your macros if you want to progress.
And it’s not right for everyone. If you have a history of eating disorders, body dysmorphia, obsessing over caloric consumption, or calorie restriction, this might not be a good practice for you as it can make your restrictions and bad relationship with food worse.
And lastly, you still have to remember you have internal cues, and they work wonders. Tracking your macros and calories will lead you to focus too much on actual numbers… and not enough on your body’s fullness and hunger cues… or your energy levels.