If you’ve been in the fitness space for a while, you’ve probably heard “macro tracking is a tool” hundreds of times.
For my friends out there who are brand new to this world, tracking macros is like an upgraded version of calorie tracking that requires you to hit a certain amount of protein, carbs, and fats (aka macronutrients) each day (and p.s. here’s a free macro quickstart guide for you!).
Those macros add up to your total calorie intake, and you track them to ensure you stay consistent with your diet in various phases of your fitness journey.
And before you start to worry, no, you will not have to track macros forever.
What Are Macros?
Macronutrients or macros are the essential nutrients your body needs in large amounts to function properly. These nutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for your body.
Examples of carbohydrates include fruits, vegetables, bread, rice, pasta, and sugars.
No matter what some influencer on social media tells you, you do not need to cut carbs to achieve your fitness goals.
Proteins are essential for the growth and repair of body tissues (such as muscles), and they play a role in maintaining proper immune function, hormone balance, and enzyme production.
Examples of protein sources include meat, fish, eggs, legumes, and tofu.
Fats are important for providing your body with energy, optimal hormone function, and helping you absorb vitamins and minerals.
Examples of fat sources include nuts, seeds, avocados, oils, and fatty fish like salmon.
When people talk about tracking macros, they are referring to tracking these food groups to optimize health and well-being.
Macro Tracking as a Tool
Macro tracking can be a tool to teach you about the composition of your food and what feels best for you, and it can help you reach your fitness goals.
This is a tool that has helped me tremendously over the past 10 years.
But I didn’t always use this tool wisely.
Passive macro tracking
I used to be a “passive macro tracker” and saw food as nothing but grams of P, F, and C.
I would scan the barcode on my food, use zero cognitive effort, and chow down.
Tracking macros can be like a game of Tetris where you’re just trying to plug in different numbers to see what fits.
But taking this passive approach to tracking your macros can make it much harder to learn and really reap the benefits of tracking your food.
Active macro tracking
Eventually, I became much more ACTIVE in my macro tracking, and now I encourage our clients at KJO Coaching to do the same.
Instead of seeing food as just numbers, I recommend you try to better understand how a certain amount of protein, carbs, or fats in a meal makes you feel.
Do you have a 50 g carb limit before you feel sleepy after eating?
Does having at least 10 g of fat in your meals make you feel more satisfied?
Build awareness around the feelings that come with the numbers.
Being an active macro tracker means learning portion sizes, not just “what fits.”
Don’t just weigh your food, plug in the numbers, and move on.
Pay attention to the food!
Learn what 4 oz of chicken breast looks like compared to 8 oz.
Being an active macro tracker right now will allow you to be more confident that you’re consuming adequate protein and a healthy amount of calories, even when you’re not tracking.
Start Tracking Macros
There are other aspects of ensuring macro tacking is a truly healthy tool for you to use, especially from a psychological perspective, but I don’t have the space to get into that here.
What I will say is that the more objective you can get and not tie emotions to those numbers, the better off you will be.
If you want to learn how to track macros, check out this FREE macro tracking quickstart guide.
You’ll learn more about macros, how you can track them, and how you can use macro tracking as a tool to help you achieve your fitness goals without restriction or cutting out food groups.
Get your free guide here.
Check out the original post here.
Connect with us!