There are many macro tracking apps that have gained popularity with dieters. Things like MyFitnessPal and Noom are used by so many to track calories, exercise, protein and more. These apps are often used to aid in weight loss by tracking foods that were eaten throughout the day. Is counting macros really working out that great for your weight loss goals though? Here are some reasons why you may want to stop tracking your macros.
It can lead to a poor relationship with food
Oftentimes, tracking macros can lead to a poor relationship with food. If a person sees that they have gone over their allotted calorie amount, they tend to throw in the towel for the day. They already messed up their diet anyway so they might as well eat whatever they want for the rest of the day and start over again tomorrow… or even just start again on Monday.
This mindset around food and calories can be very negative, as some days your body will need more food than others and other days you might not be as hungry. It can also be addicting for some to see those numbers be as low as possible when trying to lose weight. That should not be the goal. The goal should be to eat as much as possible while losing weight in a slow and sustainable way.
It’s not sustainable
Are you really going to want to track macros when you’re 80 years old!? This is not a sustainable way to figure out how much to eat everyday. When you are on vacation, do you really want to be searching through an app, trying to find the best match possible for the foods you have eaten. What happens if you have always been counting calories and stop. This can often lead to binging on anything you didn’t allow yourself while tracking macros. Learn how to lose weight in an actually sustainable way here.
Focusing on numbers and being in the perfect range of all the macronutrients is not sustainable. You will not be able to hit the perfect balance of all of these things every single day.
It takes the focus away from the bodies hunger and fullness cues
When someone is focusing on solely hitting numbers to fulfill their caloric and nutritional needs, it usually means that they are not listening to their body. It may be hard to listen to fullness and hunger cues because of these target numbers. What if you are still hungry and you have already reached your calorie goal for the day? Oftentimes, those who have been tracking calories for a long time have learned to ignore hunger and fullness cues. If you stop tracking, it may be hard to get in tune with those and you may end up overeating or binging on food. This is another reason macro counting really sabotages weight loss.
Focusing on hunger and fullness cues are the best way to listen to your body and fulfill its nutritional needs. Listen to what your body wants to eat and when, instead of forcing yourself to follow a strict set of numbers.
Tracking may not be that accurate anyway
It’s hard to know exactly how much food an individual needs to eat. There are things like calorie or macro calculators, but many of those rely solely on a person’s height, weight, and estimated activity level. They can get you closer, but they are rarely all that accurate. Food labels are also rarely exact in their calorie amount. Companies are allowed to round to a certain degree. This means that the food itself may not even be 100 percent accurate all the time when it comes to nutritional information.
Many times, calorie estimates don’t take into account how much muscle a person has and therefore are telling them to eat way less than their body actually needs. Eating way too little for a long amount of time can mess up a person’s metabolism as well as lead to a binge later on. This is another reason that it’s better to rely on the body’s hunger signals.
Macro counting may be the cause of your weight loss goals not going as planned. It can lead to a poor relationship with food, it’s not sustainable, it teaches the body to ignore hunger and fullness cues, and it isn’t even really all that accurate. Those who lose weight using macro counting will find themselves gaining all of that weight back filled with more stress and frustration than before.
Here at Nourished Routes, we focus on weight loss without counting macros. If you are looking to:
- Lose weight in a sustainable way
- Say goodbye to dieting forever
- Feel your best, inside and out
than our 3-phased approach was designed just for you! In our unique approach, we focus in on mindset, mindfulness, and metabolism. Learn more about our approach here and apply if it resonates with you.
Click here to learn more.
Article written by Mackenzie Flug, nutrition intern. Fact checked by Allison Tallman RD.