Today marks my one month anniversary of not tracking macros and let’s just say that it’s been a little bit of a roller coaster so far. A month without macros! I can’t believe it! Some days just seem to be better than others as far as being able to control myself around food. One thing I can say for certain is that it’s not the only thing I think about anymore and that alone is progress. A month without macros and food constantly on my mind has been very freeing in more ways than one.
Like I mentioned in my previous post, I think that counting macros definitely served its purpose. I gained a ton of knowledge about food and how to read a nutrition label properly for dieting or my goals associated with losing weight at the time. I realized that just because something was labeled a certain way that it wasn’t always the best food choice for my goals. Just because something was labeled as healthy, it really didn’t mean that at all. Food, just like anything else lately, is a marketing game. Diets will always be around and companies will forever try to sell their product to anyone who will buy it.
What Was I So Afraid Of?
My biggest fear about not tracking macros anymore was that I would gain a ton of weight and be back at square one. The first couple of weeks were probably the hardest for a few reasons. The main reason was because I was still constantly hungry and never really felt full. Food was still constantly on my mind and no matter what I ate and how much of it, I just wanted more. More to the point were I was uncomfortably full. I would literally be pretty full and satiated but I would still be eating or if I had finished what was on my plate, I’d look for something else to snack on. I still felt like a bottomless pit.
Another huge factor in making it tough was that I had tracked for so long that it felt odd not to log it or track it somehow. The control I had over how much was going into my body was completely gone. I had the urge to log but wouldn’t allow myself to. I did, and probably will continue to do this, check nutrition facts on certain items that I either had no clue about or couldn’t remember the information on. There’s just something about knowing what was in it that made me feel a little better about not tracking and I’m OK with that. I did make it a point to try and make my plate look a certain way as far as what I was eating. I tried to ensure every meal had some protein, a solid carb source, and some healthy fats. As far as my snacks went, they were similar to what I normally snack on. Carrots, baby tomatoes, Popchips, protein bars, protein shakes, or sometimes a little bit of ice cream. It really depended on how much time I had and what I was craving at the time.
Guess what else I ALMOST completely stopped using? My food scale! I still have it and say almost because I did use it a few times to see what a serving size of certain things looked like for future reference. I also used it a few times when I was putting peanut butter on toast or rice cakes. Other than that is now sits in a corner, out of sight but still within reach if I really need it. I know that I will also use it for baking so I can’t completely get rid of it. It’s nice to kind of just eyeball things and be OK with it.
It also takes a lot less time in the kitchen because I’m not constantly weighing everything, logging it, and using a ton of different dishes. Everything kind of just gets thrown in one big bowl now.
Not tracking also allows for me to make one big batch of everything rather than making my own on the side and another batch for the rest of the family. This makes clean up in the kitchen much easier and less time consuming as well. The funny part is that I didn’t even tell anyone that I had stopped tracking for almost a month and no one even noticed. I guess no one really pays attention to me! L.O.L!!!
The Mind Game
Either way, I’ve felt such a weight lifted off of me mentally the last week or so. Even though the first few weeks were rather torturous and scary, everything so far has worked out. A month without macros has been pretty amazing. The stress I felt over food is slowly dissipating. I’ve eaten out more this past month than I have in the last year. I don’t avoid situations where people will question my eating habits. I’ve enjoyed more meals with my friends and family where I’m not cooking my food off to the side while everyone else eats what’s been made. I haven’t starved myself all day to be able to fit some POSSIBLY un-macro friendly meal.
Best of all, I haven’t felt the urge to eat an entire box of cereal, tub of ice cream, box of candy or anything like that lately. A month ago, I would have eaten dinner and just thought about inhaling anything in sight even if I was full. I’m grateful to finally have some peace of mind. My hopes are that a month, a year, and even further down the road, this freedom will still be getting better.
Thanks for reading and please feel free to reach out to me if you are or have experienced anything like this.
Here are a few great links to some other sites I found with more information on how and why to stop tracking your food intake.
Check out why I stopped tracking macros!