Macro/calorie tracking, I’m sure many of you are familiar with the drill. You track all the food/drinks you consume to the gram and use an app or website such as myfitnesspal to add it all up for you. The more premium sites will break down the macronutrients into carbs, fats and proteins and allow you to set personal daily targets. Tracking macros is commonly used by bikini fitness competitors, weight lifters and can be used as a weight loss tool.
After seeing various fitness/insta friends track their macros (all for very valid reasons) I decided to do it for a few days and see what it was like. The reason I don’t track macros is that I don’t feel I need/want to restrict my diet that much – I’m not actively trying to lose/gain weight and I try to maintain a balance with my life, spontaneously eating what I want when I want. I believe that eating should be a pleasure, not a chore or hassle.
Here are my thoughts having tracked for 3 days:
- Tracking macros takes a lot of time and effort. Weighing things out into exact portions and entering them into the app isn’t a quick task….especially when you’re used to just chucking dinner in a pan and getting on with it.
- Staying under your daily sugar target is tough. Most foods with some form of carbohydrate in them contain sugar, but macro tracking makes you realise just how much. Fruit, drinks and even snack bars have surprisingly large amounts in!
- Reaching your protein goal is very hard!! When you consider that my protein target is roughly 125g and there is 6g in an egg….you see the problem.
- Snack bars are very high in sugar – even the ‘healthy’ ones.
- You start to obsess over measuring even the tiniest of things, like 10ml of milk for tea. Normally I just pour milk in my tea without faffing – this made making a simple cup of tea into a 5 minute task.
- Reaching your RDA for vitamin A and C is so easy. I snack on carrots a lot and carrots contain high levels of both these vitamins.
Personally, although I found it interesting to see the macro break down of the food, I feel it would be unecessary to do it long term – I very much prefer to be spontaneous with food and not have to worry about whether I’ve gone over or not hit my target. Most of the exercise I do is cardio based and therefore it is also far less significant to track macros.
For more info on tracking macros, check out some articles from Ben Coomber. If you decide to track macros, t’s always best to seek professional advice to help you work out what your personal ones would be otherwise you could get them incredibly wrong!!!