I Counted Macros for 2 Weeks + Here's What Happened
Before we begin, I want to say that this is my own personal experience and in no way reflects macro counting as a whole. Some people see success with it and that’s great! Health is extremely personal and varies from person to person. Please understand this is just my experience that I wanted to share with you.
I kept seeing talk about macros on Instagram and I was always so curious about it. So many people have seen results with it and I thought it would be just the thing to help me get over the hump in terms of my fitness goals. I found a program on Instagram and just knew I had to join. The program came with customized macros, online trainings and a Facebook support group. I was so excited and anxiously waited until I got my macros back to start.
I loved the online trainings because I found it so interesting to learn about nutrition and how food impacts our bodies. I guess I should pause to explain macros for those who don’t know what it is - macro counting is based on the principle that we need three categories of food to fuel our bodies: protein, fats and carbs. Macro counting is specific in learning how many grams of each of those macronutrients you need per day to properly fuel your body. Macros are highly highly individualized, as in my macros will never look the same as anyone else. Another principle of macros is that no food is off limits or labeled bad. Apples and cake are both carbs and it’s up to you to figure out how to eat your favorite foods and have them work with your macros. For more info on macro counting I suggest hitting up @juliealedbetter on Instagram. She has some great information on it.
Anyway, I watched all the videos, downloaded the grocery list and got to work on crafting my first week of macro counting meals. I also joined the Facebook group and found such a sense of community. I loved interacting with these girls - people who had the same goals as me and were ready for a change. It was exciting. Everyone was sharing tips, goals and meal ideas. I got my macros back and was ready to go.
Now, this sounds all good and dandy right? And honestly at first it was. I was able to have mac & cheese and ice cream in my macros. I found a love for cooking again and really loved learning more about nutrition. But after two weeks, I was not feeling great about the program. For one thing, my macros had me eating more food than I have ever. I was really struggling to meet the requirements and felt so extremely full. For another, the program had me drinking 119 oz of water per day, with 10 oz added per 30 mins of exercise. I felt like I was drowning. I couldn’t keep up. I would hit 100 oz and feel like I was a wallowed fish in the sea, quite honestly. Within the first two weeks, I gain nearly 10 pounds and was feeling so sick, full and heavy. I was crushed. This was supposed to help my goals and instead I lost all the progress I had made. More than that, I lost the freedom I had built into my life. While I could have mac & cheese again, I felt so stressed about finding foods that fit my macros. I couldn’t eat anything without thinking about the protein to fat ratio. I couldn’t hit my macros any day, I hated having to weigh my food before eating and eating out was near impossible for me. I also worked so hard to cut sugar cravings and with the “freedom” macros gave me, I started to develop an addiction again, which has taken me weeks to cut again.
As you can probably guess, I stopped the macro program after about three weeks. I was so unhappy and nothing is worth my happiness. I share this because I was fooled into thinking that macro counting was my saving grace and the secret to health. That’s so not true. I see more results in what I was doing already. I was happier with my version of health and that’s what I’m back to now. I’m almost back to the weight I was before starting macro counting and I’ve never felt better in my body than I do now. Don’t always follow what people are doing on Instagram - it’s okay to try out things, but watch how you feel and adjust accordingly. Find what healthy means to you and what it looks like. That’s when you will see results.