While macros can be all fun and great when you start seeing results from following them, there is definitely a dark side to it all. At least at the beginning of tracking. I don’t say this to scare you away or discourage you from starting to count and track macros if you want–I just want to give a little warning of some of the frustrations and hassle you may feel at first. All this information is coming first hand from me and my experience, and although each person is different, I have read similar stories from other people about this too. So, the information seems pretty similar across the board for those just starting to track.
If you truly want to be accurate when tracking, the first thing it comes down to is weighing and measuring everything. If you don’t have a food scale already, investing in a good one is going to be very important. Oftentimes, food will have serving sizes in terms of measuring cups (like 1/2 cup or 2 tbsp.) which is fine for some things such as maybe peanut butter; however, those measurements don’t always take into account things like air space so a scale is going to be much more accurate.For example, my walnuts box says a serving is 1/4 cup or about 28 g. Whenever I used to measure 1/8 a cup (half serving) I would get 2-3 walnuts, but when I measured out 14 g I would get about 4-5 walnuts depending on size. You can see there is a difference and when you want to be accurate, the scale is going to be the better place to go.
For those of you saying, do I really need to be accurate, that depends. If you’re just wearily counting macros then accuracy isn’t the biggest concern. But, if you want to count macros, and track them and reach them every day, then accuracy is ver important, especially in the beginning. Do not eye-ball or rough estimate things because our perception of measurements and amounts can be way off. I’ve heard that once you’ve been tracking for a few months, you get used to the right amounts and how much your body needs so strictly measuring isn’t as important…but it still is important for tracking macros.
To be honest, this is where the annoyance and frustrations come in: measuring and weighing everything There are times where I feel like it takes more time for me to measure my oatmeal, protein powder, banana, walnuts, blueberries, and almond butter than it does to actually eat my breakfast. (Probably slight exaggeration, but it seems like it sometimes). A good thing to remember here is that it is important and helping you reach your goals and your macros. After a few days, for me, it seems almost satisfying to know exactly how much is going into my body because I know I am helping it by doing this. I’ve been at it about 2.5 weeks now and it is still annoying and timely at times, but I just keep working at it and doing so because I know the benefits of it. Now, even then I’m not perfect every time. Sometimes I forget to measure before I throw the banana in my protein shake or I measure out my oatmeal with a cup rather than weighing it, but even when I do forget to, I don’t give it up completely. I just start back on track with my next meal.
Hopefully, this information has helped prepare you if you want to start tracking. Don’t be intimated by counting and tracking macros or all the time and “frustrations” that may seem to come with it. It’s just like starting anything new, it will be difficult at first, but within time you will get the hang of it–meanwhile reaping the many benefits of doing so. I would encourage people who have a fitness goal and are very serious about reaching it (especially for muscle gain or fat loss), to get your macros calculated if possible and start tracking your food. There are even great apps online (such as My Fitness Pal or Myplate) that help you! It may not seem like much, but slowly and surely you will see and feel the difference it will make. And that is the best part of it all!
What are your thoughts? Do you have an ideas on tracking and counting?