Is Counting Macros Really the Best Way to Go?

Left: visible abs, weighing and counting every single thing I ate or drank, obsessing, skipping social outings, still finding places on my body to pinch and complain about, feeling so weak I could barely walk a flight of steps.
Right: 23 lbs heavier, feeling stronger and more in shape than ever before, not tracking a single thing, eating mostly healthy but also not obsessing over the times I don’t, acknowledging that my body isn’t perfect but also truly being able to appreciate it and love it fully.

Anyone who has been following my journey for any length of time knows that I used to be a very diligent macro counter. However, I have not tracked a single thing I’ve had to eat or drink in the last two years and it has been the most liberating and healthy thing I could have ever done.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe that counting macros absolutely has a place. It taught me a TON about what’s in the food I’m eating. It helped me learn portion sizes. It helped me understand how much more I was previously eating than I had thought.

I believe that counting macros is a very valuable learning tool and can be great for helping you reach certain goals.

The problem comes in when people start to use it as a lifestyle.

Now there may be a small population of people who can track and weigh everything they eat every day, all the time, and not be psychologically affected by it. However, those people are NOT the majority.

We were created with an intuition about what we need to eat. Our bodies are smart and we don’t give them enough credit. The thing that tends to get in the way of that is the years of warped ideas surrounding food and our bodies, which make it hard to distinguish our intuition from other impulses that we’ve picked up along the way.

So, despite the fact that we were created with this intuition, intuitive eating is something that most of us actually have to take the time to re-learn.

It took several months of me not tracking and learning my body’s signals to actually be able to trust my intuition again. I lost control several times over those months and that was HARD. If I had given into self-deprecation at those moments rather than admitting I struggled and that I could move on and learn from it, I would have ended up right back in the same cycle I was trying so desperately to get out of. You HAVE to learn to sit in the discomfort and the pain or you will never grow and you will never break free.

To make things clear, I will never be competition lean through intuitive eating and I’m okay with that. That level of leanness is unhealthy and not a place my body wants to be. However, I WILL be (and am) at a healthy sustainable weight for ME where I can feel good about myself (after coming to terms with how delusional my previous expectations were) AND still enjoy my life to the fullest without a fear of the scale or of any food. Weight is just a number and food is just food. Neither have any moral value and neither define who I am.

This is the way everyone deserves to live.

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