Part 1 of this blog gave you some background on what macros are and what they do for your body. Now you're ready to learn more about what the macro diet is, along with its pros and cons. By the end of this blog, I hope you'll have a better understanding of whether it's best for you.
Before we go any further, please know that my goal here is not to tell you that you are a terrible person if you do track your macros, and at the same time, my goal is also not to tell you that macros is the best idea ever or that you should jump on the macro train. Every person is different with a unique background and physiology.
First, let's take a quick look at some background on the Macro Diet. The macro diet takes calorie counting a step further and it requires you to track not only calories, but the breakdown of those calories and count every gram of carb, protein, and fat that you eat. Typically a gym health coach will prescribe you to a certain gram range of each macronutrient that you are to track and achieve per day for your desired nutritional goal. If you are a “true macroer” (yeah I just made that term up), you weigh every bite of food on a food scale to get the most accurate measurement of the exact number of grams of each macronutrient you are consuming. After you weigh every portion of your food, you insert it into a tracking system, typically an app like MyFitness Pal.
Pros of Macros:
-Unlike other diets, no foods are off limits. You simply adjust your day to fit into your macros.
-You learn a basic level of food composition
-You will likely eat more than what you previously were eating
-You will likely feel increased level of fullness
Cons of tracking:
-You put yourself at risk for obsessing over your food and increasing your anxiety around food
-Not conducive to an active busy lifestyle
-Increased amount of guilt when you veer from your macros
-Excuse to fall back into disordered eating behaviors
-Disconnects you with your body’s cues
So there you have it. The pros and cons of macros. For me personally, counting my macros would trigger me into disordered thinking. It causes me to put too much focus on what I am eating and it doesn’t allow me to ask my body what it feels like eating.
I have also had more than one person come to my office, completely fatigued from tracking and feeling frustrated because they still do not know how to eat on the fly or choose foods that make them feel satisfied. I have also seen people use it as a crutch to fuel their disordered eating. That being said, if you have a history of an eating disorder, I would not recommend this diet for you.
Interested in watching the video version of this email? Click the youtube link below to watch this topic via video!
Wanting help to know what macros to eat, but also wanting to learn how to let your body lead the way? Check out my FREE guide "Walking in Food Freedom” via the link below!
Bye for now,
Mikyah RDN, LD, CD