Tracking Macros or Intuitive Eating – Which should you choose?
Intuitive eating and tracking macros are two distinct approaches to health and nutrition that have both been gaining traction in recent years.
Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks, and knowing which might be better for you or when to use which can be a challenge. In this blog post, we’ll dig a little deeper into the pros and cons of each method and explore when to use an intuitive eating versus macro counting.
Intuitive Eating is about developing an overall healthy relationship with food. This method is an approach to eating that focuses on listening to internal cues to decide when, what, and how much to eat. This is in contrast to following external dieting rules that dictate what and when to eat.
This method also involves recognizing and rejecting the diet mentality and instead accepting and celebrating body diversity. Intuitive eating can be beneficial for those looking to improve their overall relationship with food and focus on health, rather than body weight or appearance.
Here are three benefits of intuitive eating:
1. Increased satisfaction: Intuitive eating encourages people to prioritize satisfaction and pleasure when it comes to food. This doesn’t mean go eat that pan of brownies or that pint of ice cream because it makes you feel better (I promise it doesn’t, especially long term), it means eating quality food and having quality meal experiences. Slowing down and being more present with intuitive eating can help people to feel more connected to their food choices and create a more enjoyable and sustainable relationship with food.
2. Improved physical and mental health: Intuitive eating can help to reduce stress and anxiety about food and body image. Dieting can be stressful especially if it has led you into binge eating mishaps and failures in the past. Some of us have a diet PTSD. Eating intuitively with a longer term lifestyle goal, while ditching the rigid diet rules, can lead to improved physical and mental health and well-being.
3. Fewer diet-related restrictions: Intuitive eating does not rely on diet rules or restrictions, which can help people to break free from the cycle of yo-yo dieting and guilt associated with eating certain foods. It’s that old reverse psychology play with dieting that sometimes traps us. As soon as somebody says, don’t eat that brownie, it’s the first thing you want to do. Our brains can’t seem to want to focus on anything else other than eating that brownie. Removing the ‘Don’ts’, ‘Can’ts’ and ‘Shouldn’ts takes the anxiety out of the equation and along with it, many times the desire and the cravings go to.
Tracking Macros or Macro counting is a nutrition program that tracks and counts the macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat) that make up the food that you eat. It involves tracking the amount of each macronutrient in the foods that you eat, so that you are aware of how much of each nutrient you are consuming each day. It allows you to have control over the types and amounts of nutrients that you put into your body and can be used to reach any health or fitness goals you may have. Tracking macros can help you to make smarter food choices, achieve your goals more quickly, and improve your overall health. The goal of macro counting is to reach a macronutrient balance that is optimal for health, performance, and body composition.
This approach is popular among athletes, runners and bodybuilders who are looking to maximize their performance and physique but can additionally be used for weight loss methods.
Here are three benefits of macro counting:
1. Increased energy: Proper macro counting can ensure that one is getting the right amount of macronutrients to fuel the body and maximize energy. Many people are unaware of the total amounts of carbohydrates, energy or fats they are getting in each day, let alone what their target macros might be based on their needs and goals. Those that switch to macro counting may experience what having a balanced diet truly feels like, ditch those energy roller coasters throughout the day and experience an increase of sustainable energy throughout the day.
2. Improved performance: Tracking macronutrients can help athletes to ensure they are getting enough of the right nutrients to support their performance goals. Additionally, those who don’t consider themselves athletes but still want to focus on workout performance in order to achieve their goals through the combination of diet and exercise can be supported by adequate macros to achieve specific body composition goals.
3. Easier meal planning: Macro counting can make meal planning easier, as one can plan meals that provide the right balance of macronutrients. Macro counting brings a little structure into your meals. Once you know your target macros, meal planning becomes easier and even a fun and enjoyable process of… dare I say… self care. I said it! Planning and being organized for eating a well balanced nutritional diet is very much an act of self care.
So, which is better? Here’s the Scoop:
When it comes to deciding between an intuitive eating method and a macro counting method, it’s important to consider your individual needs and goals. Intuitive eating can be beneficial for those looking to improve their overall relationship with food and focus on health, rather than body weight or appearance. Macro counting can be beneficial for those looking to ensure balanced nutrition and workout performance are included in their process. athletes, runners and bodybuilders who are looking to maximize their performance and physique. There is no wrong or right method here.
Ultimately, the best approach will depend on your individual needs and goals.