By: Matt Weik
I often hear people tell me that they are “eating clean” yet they aren’t seeing results. I first ask them what their goals are – which they reply either to lose body fat or to gain lean muscle mass. My follow up question is then asking them how many calories they are taking in each day and what their current macro breakdown is. I then get a deer in the headlights look. You do know how much you’re eating and are counting macros, right? Nope.
If you truly want to speed up your progress and get the results you desire, you’re going to want to start counting macros. I get it, it’s not fun and it takes an effort. Then don’t do it and limit your results. Or, if you want to see the results from your efforts, get a pad of paper and pen or use an app like MyFitnessPal to start tracking and counting macros.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
Regardless of your goals, you’re limiting your progress if you aren’t paying attention to your nutrition. The old “eyeballing it” doesn’t work if you first don’t understand portion control and how much of a certain macro should look like on your plate. “Close enough” only works in horseshoes and hand grenades. Everything else, you better be pretty darn accurate.
If you’ve followed any of my work over the years, you’d know I’m a huge fan of MyFitnessPal. In fact, I recommend them so much I should be getting paid by them at this point. But, the truth is that MyFitnessPal works and thousands if not millions of people are using the free app on their smartphone.
By using the app, you can enter in all of your personal information, your goals, and in turn, it will spit out your recommended daily intake for calories as well as protein, carbohydrates, and fats. You can go one step further by changing your macro ratios to whatever nutrition program you are following (low carb, keto, IIFYM, 40/30/30 plan, whatever).
The app allows you to go through the day counting macros and seeing how close you are to hitting your ratios for the day. You then have the ability to make changes to meals and snacks during the rest of the day so you stay within your allotted numbers. MyFitnessPal has just about every food in their database that you could think of (including Brotein Candy Fitness Jerky).
Nutrition Will Make or Break You and Counting Macros is a Smart Strategy
At the end of the day, you can be in a caloric surplus, caloric deficit, or hit your maintenance calories. Surplus can cause you to gain weight. Deficit can have you lose weight. And maintenance can maintain your current weight.
Look at your current goals. If you are trying to lose weight, it would be good to know if you’ve been in a surplus this entire time and that’s why you aren’t losing weight, right? That’s why it’s so important for you to be counting macros. You get to see actual numbers and track them to improve your results. If you’ve never tried counting macros and you feel you’ve hit a plateau or are even going in the other direction, your best bet is to give this a try and put yourself in a position to win and reach your goals. You, unfortunately, can’t outwork a poor diet.
Once your nutrition is right, you will start to see the stars aligning and achievement in sight. But, remember, if you cheat on your nutrition, you’re only hurting yourself.