I’ve addressed this a bit, but I haven’t updated my stance in a little while! I’ve been focusing on other things, but health and fitness is always a priority!
I have lots of previous posts about flexible dieting and macros. I LOVED having flexibility and choosing what I ate while I was in competition prep last June. And when you have a specific fitness goal with a deadline and a NEED to be really lean, you’ve got to be meticulous and consistent. Calorie and macro counting is a must in these situations, unless you’re following a very clear and strict meal plan which is essentially a pre-calculated calorie count that you follow without variance.
I’ve followed a bunch of competitors and coaches on social media that are the model of good flexible dieting. But I remember an instance where a coach I used to follow put up a post saying she was sick, and “don’t to forget to log in your NyQuil, because that has x amount of carbs.” Counting and hitting macros while you’re sick. Instead of listening to your body and taking a break.
I also know SEVERAL people who weigh their Quest bar before eating it, because “the labeling could be off a few grams for the weight, so you might not be eating the EXACT amount you think you are.” Or eating 0.345 of a cookie because that’s all that “fits.”
These examples are mostly of those who are in the midst of bodybuilding, and I get it. Been there. But it can turn obsessive.
But for me, I will not weigh my food ever again. I will stop feeling anxiety over eating out and so much pre-planning, and getting my protein in to the GRAM. In fact, I haven’t even accessed My Fitness Pal in months, and when I do, it’s only to assess current clients’ needs.
Macronutrients ARE important. But I will not be a slave to a calorie counting app and food scale my whole life. Our bodies inherently know what we need- and when we are overriding it everyday by eating egg whites when we crave an apple (but are out of carbs for the day), it will be very hard to regulate once we want to be more intuitive.
I admit that I have done some kind of food tracking off and on for probably a decade. I quit for good now, and while it was REALLY scary because I didn’t trust myself, it has been SO FREEING. I may be up a few pounds, and wish I was leaner. But I didn’t spiral out of control. I’m relearning to just trust portion sizes, be a more aware eater and actually ENJOY food without the anxiety.
I utilize an amazing nutrition system- which has been a godsend! I do it loosely, based on what I feel like, and to treat my body well. I’m SO much more aware of feeling GOOD and energetic, that I crave those things that make me feel that way! There is no “macro cap” so I don’t feel the need to eat sugar or junk if I really don’t feel like it. I eat what I want, and try to be moderate and mindful. Whether it’s pizza, salad, a shake, or all the above =)
This is freedom you guys. I don’t diet, I don’t stress. I eat for LIFE, for WELLNESS. And also for ENJOYMENT! And I can promise you, it’s a pretty amazing place to be!
(Update: I do still utilize macros for some clients, and know the value and purpose it can serve. I’ll always encourage awareness and knowledge of proper nutrition especially with specific fitness goals. I just know it can be a slippery slope for OCD personality types, even though it’s “flexible dieting.” I would just advise anyone to proceed with caution. If you struggle with your weight, nutrition or disordered eating in any way, I am happy to pass on what I know and am still learning. Feel free to reach out!)