Daily intake. IIFYM. Food scales. Grams. Ounces. Macro Cap. Micros.
What do these all these words entail? Macro counting.
And what is macro counting? Well, essentially, it’s finding and tracking the correct breakdown of fats, protein, and carbs your body needs in a given day to help you reach your specific fitness goals.
For many, it can be a reliable, methodical method for attaining your goals, whether that be gaining muscle, maintaining your physique, or cutting fat. Used by the competitor and the fitness lover alike, it can allow for a flexible, yet systemized meal plan that may just be the key ingredient to helping you stay on track!
But…what happens when macro counting becomes more of a burden than a benefit? Well, then it may be time to make the switch to intuitive eating.
And what is intuitive eating?
It’s listening to your body. Visually portioning out your food, and leaving the food scale behind. Eating until you’re satisfied, without thinking about how many ounces of chicken breast you’re having or how many grams of nut butter you are going to spread out on your toast.
However, sometimes making the switch from counting to not counting can be a time of confusion and stress. Am I getting enough protein in? Am I going over my macros? Should I just go back to tracking?
It can be a little bit of trial and error at first. But, when it comes down to it, if macro counting has become more of a burden than a benefit, switching to intuitive eating may be the healthy choice to make—mentally and physically. So, here are some tips for how to make the transition as smooth as possible!
- Aim to get some protein, fat, and carbs in every meal! That’s not to say you need to have the exact breakdown down to the very gram every time you want to munch on something. But, if you approach each meal with the intention of getting your three main food groups in, by the end of the day you should feel satisfied that you’ve properly fueled your body!
- Don’t neglect your micronutrients! Now that you’re not tracking, you may forget about hitting your micronutrients. But, it’s so important to provide your body with the vitamins and nutrients it needs, so keep in mind that it’s never a bad thing to add some greens to your meals!
- Portion out your meals ahead of time! One of the tricky parts about intuitive eating can be questioning exactly how much you need to eat. Preparing your plate ahead of time—that is portioning out your protein source, carbs, and fats—will allow you to visualize what you’re about to eat. And then, once you’re finished, take a moment to listen to your body and see if you feel properly satiated. If not, go back for more!
And remember, it’s all about trial and error! Like most things in life, this process might be a little bumpy! But, we’re only human, and mistakes are to be expected. The first few days you may eat more than you’re used to, less, or just the right amount. Slowly learning to understand cues from your body and taking progress photos along the way may be just the thing you need to complete your transition!
So, with these tips, hopefully you can go forward, making the right change for you and your body---no food scale necessary!