Like many people, I once associated health with weight and thus thought less calories = less weight = awesome. Wrong. This mindset and behavior certainly does not change overnight but it can change. Counting calories is flawed. Weighing yourself is flawed. I don’t recommend it to many of my clients. It can lead to negative thoughts, obsessive behaviors or worse.
But I do believe that counting, weighing and measuring has a time and a place. When I was starting Honey Bee Meals, I struggled with tailoring meal sizes. How can you offer one size meal?! A 200lb weightlifter has much different needs than a 130lb sedentary person. The amount of food in Honey Bee Meals is broken down by “macronutrients”(more on macronutrients here): we weigh/measure the food to result in certain amounts (grams) of carbohydrate, protein and fat per meal.
Breakfast: 1/2 cup gluten free oats with 2 bananas (sliced), 2 egg whites, 1/2 cup water, cinnamon (made in microwave – 1 minute, stir, 30 secs, stir, 30 secs done)
+ 2 hard boiled eggs
Understanding portion sizes is important for everyone but that certainly does not mean we need to be carrying food scales with us everywhere. That’s a bit excessive (although people do it). The concept of macro counting (“if it fits your macros” = #iifym) is all over social media. There are plenty of online/in-person food coaching services that tell you (correctly or incorrectly, some services/people have no background in nutrition!) how many carbs, protein and fat you should eat in a day. If a food “fits” these numbers then it’s fair game. Oh my. Eating isn’t math. Eating is for health, performance and enjoyment.
Lunch: 1 can of wild tuna, 1 avocado, cucumber, cherry tomatoes & 1/2 a box of raspberries
I was feeling a little off awhile ago. Lower energy, sleeping poorly, meh workouts. So I have been experimenting and slightly manipulating my nutrition to check in and see where I was at and what might have been going on. I hadn’t counted or measured anything in over two years but knew a lot more about myself and food than I did two years ago.
So I “checked in” and roughly began figuring out what I was putting in my body. I noticed I was eating a lot of fat but not as much protein and carbs as I think my body needed/wanted. High fat is great for some people, but maybe I wasn’t one of them? I just needed to check-in with myself, my body and assess what was going on.
I switched up my breakfast, paid a bit more attention to how many handfuls of nuts I was having… and I am glad that it has been helping: I’ve felt more awake, had some PRs at the gym and overall better.
Post-meeting/pre-workout snack: dairy free pina colada gelato (from Death in Venice)
14 minute AMRAP:
40 Double Unders, 20 Alternating Lunge (One Arm DB OH 25/35), 10 Toe to Bar
Me = 6 rounds (20# DB)
Nutrition is a set of principles. Counting, tracking or “checking in” with macros should be a guide, for most people, to ensure you are eating enough of the best things for you and your body. Not a constant algebraic equation or need to input food into a diary or tracker. Did I know the macros of gelato? Like, not really. But I was offered it, it made me feel fine, it was delicious and the rest of my day was filled with nutritious foods. Consistency, not perfection.
There are so many ways to attain consistency. Maybe for you it’s going grocery shopping once a week and cooking half of your meals at home. That is great! Maybe you want to try making breakfast all week. Or bringing almonds for a snack instead of going to the vending machine. Or walking to work. Or joining a run club. Or parking your car in the furthest spot from the entrance. Or going to bed 20 mins early. Or going to yoga once a week.
Dinner/post-workout: 5oz grilled chicken breast, zucchini, spaghetti squash + an apple
The options are seemingly endless.
No option is better than the other it really comes down to how it can fit into your life and ultimately how it makes you feel. And it shouldn’t be anything less than awesome.
This blog post style was inspired by Robyn at the Real Life RD!
What are your thoughts on macros? Do you count them?