SPOILER ALERT : Unpopular opinion coming your way!
Counting calories and macros is NOT a sustainable lifestyle.
There is a time and place when you should be counting calories, tracking, and manipulating your intake (ex: fitness competitions), but it’s not sustainable as a long term lifestyle.
Counting macros focuses on macronutrients which are carbs, fats, and protein and doesn’t take into account micronutrients or the quality of the food you’re consuming! What good is it to hit your macro counts, if you’re deficient in essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and pre/probiotics?
Oh! That salad dressing is calorie free?!
It fits your macros!?
But whats on the ingredient list?
Chemicals. Artificial sweeteners. Food dye. AKA.. Garbage.
I’m sorry to break it to you, but NOT ALL FOOD SOURCES AND CALORIES ARE CREATED EQUAL!
Even if you were making a conscious effort to eat a variety of high quality food sources, keeping close tabs on your calorie counts is less than ideal for your mental health. Life is not that serious. For the average human, you don’t need to be counting down to the last gram of carb, fat, and protein you ate. If you are a fitness competitor of some sort, I can understand. You have very specific goals and there’s truly a science to building up and leaning out. But for the average person who is just trying to maintain a balanced, healthy lifestyle, I don’t suggest it. Constantly counting your intake leads to obsessions and food anxiety. I know because I lived it.
I was constantly on my phone putting in EVERYTHING I ate. I was obsessed with the numbers and I would feel awful if I went over my carb or fat limit! I know I’m not the only one who struggled with this. Several different fitness models and athletes have opened up about the downfalls about strictly counting calories/macros and how it can impede their performance both mentally and physically.
In my About Page I talk about how hard it was for me to find balance, and the anxiety I developed after competing in a fitness competition. It took almost a year and a half for me to find balance and I’ll admit it… I still struggle every now and then.
But this is my “new” perspective on healthy eating. Hopefully, it will make sense to the few people who actually read my blog, and maybe you guys can share it with someone who struggles with the same thing.
I believe in eating intuitively, and learning to make consistent, conscious decisions
Be deliberate & Be intentional
Learn to make healthy choices. Fill up on vegetables that are high in fiber and nutrients, quality proteins, and healthy fats.
Cut out the refined sugars and heavily processed foods, and learn to listen to your body.
When you start listening to your body, you can figure out what foods do and don’t sit well with you. At that point, you’re making deliberate and intentional decisions, which is ‘Step 1’ to eating intuitively.
What Intuitive Eating Looks Like For Me
As a rule of thumb, I make sure I’m eating some sort of carb, protein, and fat with just about every meal. Nowadays, most of my carb intake comes solely from fruits, vegetables, and occasionally (almost rarely) grains and legumes. I have an UNDENIABLE sweet tooth, so I know how tempting it can be to indulge in sugar. But I reserve some of my carbs for fruits like strawberries and frozen blueberries. I make it a point to consume natural sugar from fruits instead of refined sugar to satisfy my sweet tooth. This is me making conscious decisions about the food I eat.
However, that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally sneak some Haribo Gummy Bears (my fav), eat dessert when I go out to dinner, or grab drinks on a Friday night with my friends! I allow myself to indulge occasionally in those things because I know that 90% of the time… I’m deliberate and intentional with what I eat.
And if I hold on to 5 extra pounds because of that 10% indulgence… so be it. Those 5 extra pounds are proof that I enjoy a happy, balanced life with my friends and family.
So in summary, ditch the food scale and calorie counting apps, and focus on consuming lots vegetables, healthy fats, and good quality proteins. When you do this… the weight will come off, you’re self confidence will improve, and things will naturally balance out…
Life isn’t that serious.