To track or not to track?
Which diet should I go for?
Some debates have been around for so long that we tend to forget what it was about in the first place – such as the macros vs. calories or the tracking vs. mindful eating ones. There are so many answers to the question “what is the best diet?” that the best one probably is “it depends”. As it often is when we discuss health and fitness…
The first question to ask yourself before starting any nutritional journey is the one of your relationship with food. So much is related to finding the balance between healthy food choices, healthy portions and healthy behaviors (which do include socializing and enjoying life without any guilt or pressure)…
Hence, the right diet is the one leading to balance and results based on your specific goals.
Then, why should we lose time counting macros, calories or tracking in any way? Simply because on the path towards balance is understanding and awareness:
- What are my goals and what does it take to get there?
- How will I assess the results along the way?
- How can I be accountable to myself and track progress?
- Do I feel pressure when on a diet? Do I have a balanced relationship to nutrition?
- What quantity do I really need to sustain my goals?
- How nutritionally dense are the food items that I pick? Do I choose the right portions?
One key element is to understand that the more specific and high levels your goals are, the more precise you’ll have to be to get (and stay) there. Most of us tend to overeat and lose track of portion sizes – or to undereat avoiding a healthy body functioning and development. Counting calories, as much as tracking macros, are here the most accurate ways to gain knowledge about your real needs. This should be done without moralizing the act of eating: there is no failure where there is pleasure as long as the big picture looks healthy. Once again, this is all about balance!
The way you track is up to you. Yet, we prefer focusing on macros (grams of fats, proteins and carbs) as focusing on quality should be part of the process. Calories counting tend to be limiting as it only takes into account overall quantity (even though it does work if done properly!).
Once you’ll have gained a good understanding about what you need and how to get it from optimized food choices, you’ll be able to choose wisely what works best for you. You can keep tracking or not, do it over short periods of time or make it a lifestyle (especially for those having specific body composition objectives)… as long as you feel good!
We strongly believe that with knowledge and education about nutrition, we can create a framework within which we can slowly transition to intuitive and mindful eating while still achieving results. Especially as, at the end of the day, consistency and balance remain what’s most important and nutrition is actually never the only feature that matters in the long run. Movement, recovery, mobility, mindset should be fully included within a balanced diet.
Working with a coach on how to approach this overall is a perfect way to get started and avoid unhealthy behaviors. Why not giving it a try?