Should You Track Your Food Intake?
There seems to be a constant debate in the fitness industry about whether you should track your food intake.
On the one hand, you have the people who say if you track macros, you’re too obsessive.
But on the other hand, people say if you don’t track macros, you’re not disciplined.
Clients often come to us at KJO Coaching feeling confused and not knowing if they should be tracking their macros.
Why You Should Track Macros
Here are my two cents on why you should track your macros. At least for a little bit.
Tracking your food intake is a great tool to learn what the heck your food is made up of, so even if you aren’t tracking (because you won’t be tracking forever), you still have a basic understanding of the nutritional composition of your food choices.
Like that a grande Starbucks Frappuccino will set you back 55 g of carbs and 15 g of fat.
Or that some of the salads at Cheesecake Factory are MORE calories/macros than the cheesecake.
I’ve previously asked my audience about their experience with tracking food vs. not, and for the most part, “IIFYM” provided food freedom but often also required folks to dial back the “eat whatever tf I want” mindset.
Why I Track My Macros
I’ve been tracking macros for the majority of my days since 2011.
Not every day is perfect,
I’ve taken weeks off,
I’ve had lots of untracked meals,
I guesstimate plenty,
and most of all—I’m not tied to it emotionally.
It’s mindless and habitual. I see tracking macros as a means to an end.
I know that tracking my food intake will help me reach my goals, but I still have a little chocolate every day (yes, every day).
I don’t need to track my food to feel in control.
And when I choose not to track, it doesn’t make me feel anxious.
I can confidently say that I’ve helped many others feel the same, which is something I’m so proud of.
But for me, it wasn’t always that way.
Thanks to a lot of education, intentional time, hiring GOOD coaches, plenty of “inner work,” and a Ph.D. in Psychology focusing on mindset and health behavior change, my progress, my identity, and my worth don’t hinge on protein, carbs, and fats.
Some might read this and think, “Of course, it doesn’t. I don’t get it?”
But others will think, “I wish that were me.”
It’s impossible to completely detach emotion from food.
Food is how we celebrate, mourn, help, and share.
But numbers don’t have to be emotional.
Different Ways to Make Progress
You can track macros and not be obsessive or disorderly.
You can NOT track macros and still have health and fitness goals.
This is person dependent, but I believe 97% of people would benefit from tracking their intake at least for a bit of time.
And a little tip: order the salad with dressing on the side and ditch the crispy fried onion strings to save yourself 1,000+ calories.
If you’re curious about tracking macros and don’t know where to start, check out this FREE macro tracking quickstart guide.
You’ll learn all the basics about macros, along with why and how to track them so you can make progress in your fitness journey without restricting yourself.
Get access here.
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