Ohhh the world of macros, calorie counting, serving sizes…such fun [said no one ever]. However you look at it or whatever you call it, we’re digging into the world of tracking our food intake. This is a topic we have not put the focus on for the past 4 + years. “But why? You’re nutritionists.” Valid point. The answer has many facets, but ultimately we try to focus on the quality and not the quantity of food because our goal to less: dieting + do more: living. Over-restricting can sometimes lead to messy relationships with food. Less food does not always equal weight loss or better health. We still stand behind the fact that quality is paramount, but we know people want and deserve direction on quantity, and that it can make a substantial difference in health goals, so we’re diving in.
There is no ‘one diet fits all’, every body is different and that’s that. Sure, not everyone can handle dairy, but did you know not everyone can handle salads? Hand on heart. Everyone is different. But today we’re here to help you navigate what works for you. So this week we’re diving into macros, calorie counting, and serving size.
What are macros? The term ‘macros’ is short for macronutrients and is referring to carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. A lot of people in the health world are working with trainers, coaches, etc to figure out what their ‘macros’ should be – in short they determine the number of calories you should be consuming based off your age, gender, weight, height, activity level, and goals. From there they divvy up your calories into macronutrient targets. The most common split we’ve seen is 40-40-20 – aiming for 40% of your calories as protein, 40% as carbohydrates and 20% as fats.
If you’re tracking your macros you’re either weighing out all of your food and/or tracking everything you eat in an app that counts calories and grams of each of the macronutrients. So what’s the difference between counting macros and counting calories? They’re very similar, however counting macros divvies up your calories into allotted carbs, fats, and proteins.
We think there is a way to count calories and count macros – and that is by taking into account the quality, or better yet, the soul of the food. We understand that some do need parameters to how much their eating. Our hope, is that you also think about what you’re putting into your body. Let’s put it like this – maybe you find out 2,300 calories and 40-35-25 are your ideal macro %. You know what could fit in that diet? Sour gummy worms. You know what ain’t good for you? Sour gummy worms. But this goes broader and less obvious – maybe you start eating frozen meals or consuming food sensitivities because you’re so focused on how much, you stopped paying attention to how you feel after you eat certain foods. We’re looking for a marriage of both, ya dig?
So how do you figure out if counting macros, calorie counting, or taking a peek at your serving size is right for you? This is something you’re going to have to do some digging on. We touched on this in our last blog but some things to look at:
- How active are you?
- What are your goals?
- How do you feel?
- Do you feel like you are in tune with your body?
Reflect on those questions and you will get a better idea of what might be best for your body. For someone experiencing weight loss resistance who might be mindlessly eating throughout the day, it may be worth looking into tracking what you eat. For someone else who has a negative history with food or who is in tune with their body and is more intuitive with their eating, this might not be the best route for you.
We wanted to bring this all home with a real life example. One of our long term peeps, Katy, recently completed Prescribe 20 while doing Weight Watchers and has found it to be a winning combo. Our guidance on food combined with Weight Watchers guidance on portions has really worked well for Katy.
I’m so encouraged by how I’ve been feeling, I’ve decided to extend and do the protocol all over again. I’ve been so amazed by how much my cravings and hunger pangs have been curbed. Not sure if it’s the combination of all the things that PN20 eliminates, or one of them (ie. sugar, or gluten) but I’ve honestly never felt more in control of my eating – the mindset is strong, but the physical aspect of my body really working with me is so incredibly helpful. I’ve been on Weight Watchers for awhile now but have been tying the Prescribe 20 protocols into Weight Watchers. The Prescribe Nutrition guidance on food combined with the Weight Watchers guidance on portions as really been a winning combo for me.
To get home from work and not feel like I want to eat my arm – so that I have time to prepare a healthy meal. To get through the lull of a slow work afternoon with an apple and almond butter. To think ahead about meals, keeping a mental inventory of what’s in the fridge. And most of all – to see how my fridge has been transformed into a haven of whole foods. Thank you, PN team!
Just remember! It’s about balance, tuning into YOUR body and and how YOU feel. If you’d like more guidance, please join us for Prescribe 20 kicking off on February 20th!