Back in 2016 I was introduced to the world of macro counting. It's allure of omitting the need for calorie counting and restricting food groups was an appealing tool at that point in my journey as a nutrition coach.
So I implemented it into my group coaching Academy.
Often times we search for a system of control when it comes to changing our habits. If we can just follow a system, *then* maybe we can finally stick to the plan.
But that's not what I have found to be the true motivator for change, even with the ever-so popular macro counting that everyone and their mutha has adopted.
Purpose is the catalyst for change.
The longer I worked with this system as a coach (and individual), the more burned out I became on healthy eating in general.
It stole from me the beauty of what I teach and inspire through my health coaching practice: adventure.
Here are 5 reasons I stopped using macro counting in my programs:
1. It automatically shifts the focus away from health to body image and numbers.
The premise of macro counting is that it helps you burn fat and get lean.
Every woman I've ever met who logs macros is doing it primarily for the purpose of changing her body.
The disordered behavior it can lead to is often veiled by the idea of it being a way for people to "ditch calorie counting and restrictive eating and find a lifestyle change"....but once you pull back the curtain, you see that it's just another system that makes us believe we need to change the way our bodies look rather than just adopt healthy habits.
Upon adopting macro counting, my clients started asking me questions like:
"How can I adjust my carbs so I burn fat faster around my stomach?"
"Is it okay to eat a banana before bed if I've already gone over in carbs for the day?"
"Will I lose fat faster if fast before my workouts?"
"I'm so stuffed of protein but I'm under for the day. Should I just force myself to eat it?"
Just typing out those questions make me physically ill.
I quickly became repulsed by the entire premise of counting anything and leading women down that road as well.
Questions I get now in my group:
"What kind of exercises should I do to improve my leg strength for my upcoming 5k?"
"Can you tell me some ways to cook kabocha squash?"
"What can I change on my breakfast plate to increase my energy levels during the morning?"
Can you see that huge shift?
Instead of sitting around worried about how you screwed your macros up for the day you are planning out your next hike or trip to the farmers' market or perusing through cookbooks for recipes for the new foods you purchase at the store.
2. It doesn't account for the hormonal cycles of the female body and our nutritional needs.
Our fitness and dieting system is based on a masculine body type. One that doesn't have changes in hormones throughout the month.
If you tell a female to eat the same throughout the month, you set her up for failure for the week or two she needs more complex carbohydrates to support the hormones.
If you tell a female to do HIIT workouts (a common workout type that goes along with macro counting) every week, you set her up for adrenal fatigue issues.
The female body does not work like the male, yet we approach macros the same--and for the same purpose of burning fat, leaning out and getting better abs.
Through the education they receive, my clients know when to change their workouts up for the week or shift their nutrition. And they understand how it's serving their overall health rather than feeling guilty about not hitting their HIIT workout or macros for the day.
I love giving them the control back to take charge of their best health without feeling like they need to force unrealistic changes in their body.
3. It's not sustainable.
Lunch with girlfriends. Camping trip. Sick week. Vacation. Dinner party at work. Bad day.
Are you thinking about macros the whole time? Wondering how you are going to track them adequately or if you are going to miss something?
At the end of everyday, I would have clients so stressed out not getting their macros "right." They would skip eating something healthy and opt for a less healthy food just so they could "hit their macros."
Nothing is right or sustainable about that picture.
There are much more sustainable ways to optimally fill your plate without using numbers to do so.
4. Assigning a number to food takes the pleasure and adventure out of eating.
I'm in the business of empowering women to "stop starting over" when it comes to healthy living. Getting off the "hamster wheel" if you will.
I want to be the last health coach they ever hire because they get so educated and empowered that they never again have to be dependent upon another diet to "give them answers" for how to eat, move and live well.
You don't empower women to take charge of their own health by teaching them that food is just a numbers game. You empower them by reminding them that *they* have the power to change their own life without some magical macro system they need to hire a trainer to teach them about.
So girl, go peruse your farmers' market for the best food you can find, bake that sourdough bread, eat that creamy squash, enjoy the meal your friends made for you and live your healthiest life without being bound by a man-made system.
5. You can achieve the same "results" without wasting your time counting macros.
I've transitioned my clients to eating intuitively around my 6 Power Foods System™, and not only are they stronger, more confident and experiencing the energy levels of their toddlers, they feel free *and* in control without being tied to counting nutrients in their food.
We call it "the Lifestyle that goes anywhere."
Whether they are on vacation, sick, visiting their grandma, backpacking for a week....they are confident in how to eat for their best health without ever having to stress out about how many carbs they ate.
We learn about how the average plate should look like for optimal energy, digestion, immunity, hormones and more. That empowers them to choose what they put on their plate with the education they've received.
I'll end with this.
You have the power to change your own health. You may indeed need support and a plan to get there, but there's no magic macro or other formula out their hiding from you that you have to find in order to achieve your best health.
You don't need perfect abs to be healthy.
You don't need a new body to be happy.
You need a life and purpose that lights your soul up and reminds you to live out the child-like adventures inside of you. Purpose creates lasting change.
P.S..If you're looking for an adventurous community of women that doesn't shove macros, keto and better abs down your throat, click here to join my free tribe on Facebook.