Why Macro Counting Doesn’t Work

What is Macro Counting?

“Macro” is a short term for macronutrient (which is the three main nutrients in most of our food- protein, carbohydrates and fats). Macro counting refers to counting or tracking the grams of protein, carbs or fat that you are consuming in your meals and snacks in an attempt to hit a certain “goal” each day.

Commonly a term used by fitness professionals or enthusiasts, you may be convinced that calorie counting is out and “macro counting” is in, and is the best way to track what you are eating and achieve your desired weight. 

Does it Work? Perhaps in the short term, macro-counting can help individuals lose some weight – but it’s not necessarily the best way to achieve long-term results. Here are some reasons why:

Your diet is still unhealthy. Counting macros emphasizes the quantity of protein, carbs and fat intake without considering actually how nutritious those foods are. This ends up neglecting all of the important micronutrients or vitamins and minerals that are also SO important to our overall health! (Think fiber, and Vitamins A & C!). Taking the focus off of overall nutrition, and just hitting those target protein and carb intakes can also stave your body of real, proper nutrition! Remember, quality > quantity. 

Macro Counting comes with a lot of stress. Macro counting requires you to track everything you eat and relies heavily on using a scale to weigh your food! How often do you want to carry a scale to a friend’s house for dinner or to a restaurant with your family? Macro counting can be difficult when eating out or spending time with family because it doesn’t allow for flexibility (which also makes you much less likely to stick to it long term). Even if you use a food-tracking app, these practices tend to become obsessive and trigger anxiety around food choices. Imagine being so preoccupied with knowing what is in each dish, rather than spending time with your loved ones! And – this kind of chronic stress around food triggers increased cortisol levels which can cause weight gain, increased blood pressure, anxiety and GI issues. 

Macro Counting won’t lead to long-term weight loss. It is virtually impossible to evaluate our food intake exactly, especially when eating out or at events – and something as simple as being 5 grams off could be the difference in weight fluctuation over a years span. In addition, each person has specific macronutrient goals – and if that is calculated wrong – you could actually be overeating or undereating!

You’re working against, not with, your body. When you eat exactly what a formula tells you versus what you want – you risk missing your body’s natural hunger and fullness cues. By noticing and honoring these cues, as well as other mindful eating habits, we are honoring what our body naturally needs and wants and actually learning to trust our bodies! Doesn’t that sound so much better than feeling like we HAVE to eat a specific thing to hit our macro goal for the day even if we aren’t hungry? I promise you, your body knows what it needs! 

If you’re caught up in the stress of knowing what to eat for your body and want to learn how to make balanced meals that ACTUALLY get you the sustainable results that you want, our team would love to support you!

To learn more about Nourished Routes and how we can help you reach your nutrition goals, schedule a FREE (no commitment) Discovery Call with Alli!

In this call, we’ll discuss your health goals, identify what’s not working, and create a plan for you to move forward.

Posted in