It is no secret that food, and overall health & fitness in general, is a very personal subject for most people. So much so that there are billion dollar industries built around the idea of either helping people lose weight or feel better about it. Ask anyone what their idea of healthy is, what the best workout is, or the best “diet” to lose weight, and you’ll have as many different answers as you can find people. You’ll also find many excuses that try to protect their ego and self-image:
- “I eat pretty healthy, but I’m still overweight.”
- “I eat pretty healthy, but I have diabetes and high cholesterol.”
- “I have a pretty clean diet, but I’m tired and don’t have a lot of energy.”
Sometimes we think we have it altogether, but if our health and bodies don’t align with what we say, we either have a good plan that hasn’t been followed properly or we don’t have a good plan at all. One of the biggest culprits to good nutrition is the fact that people have no idea what they’re consuming or how much. What you may think is healthy is not the same as the reality of what your food labels are saying when you add them all up in a day. The Publication of the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion showed a research study in which researchers compared how many servings of each major food group the study participants had thought they had eaten. In every single case the study participants under-reported what they had eaten.
We do not do a good job visually estimating how much of what we eat.
In that study, the participants ate more carbohydrates, fats, and junk while consuming less fruit, vegetables, and meat than they had realized. What does that say about your ability to estimate or mine? If you’re not tracking what you eat, how can you be certain of how much you’re consuming? How do you know how much energy in a day you need versus how much you actually consume? The fact is you don’t. Not unless you’re willing to track what you eat. Until you do, success cannot happen. Even if you manipulate your calorie intake and stop eating, your body will metabolically adapt and hold onto fat and your hormones will be damaged.
Good Nutrition Defined
Good nutrition is both honest and outcome-based. Whether you’re trying to improve body composition, improve health, or improve performance, there must be some objective way to measure long-term success. Anyone can achieve short-term success on 500 calories eating from the Keto, Carnivore, or Paleo diet system (please don’t do this!) and lose weight. But that’s not sustainable long-term, and it has the real possibility of metabolic and hormonal damage.
I call these crash diets, and they’re terrible for you. But the reason they provide that short-term success initially is because they force someone to control their energy balance. Energy intake, or calories in versus calories out, is the very foundation of successful nutrition understanding. And these diets manipulate this aspect in order to achieve initial success.
Good Nutrition Applied
What makes macro counting superior to other methods is that it doesn’t stop at one half of the nutrition equation with counting calories or restricting energy intake. It combines controlling energy intake + controlling nutrient density (the ratio of macronutrients & micronutrients relative to the total calorie content in food). If you control how much you eat AND provide for all your needed protein, fats, carbs, fiber, and vitamins in your total intake you will find sustainable, long-term, and powerful success.
Are you tracking your energy intake? Do you have the macro numbers you need to hit your goals? If you’re not, now is the time! Read more on Why Your Diet Isn’t Working and begin the easy process of tracking what you eat. If you need more help or want some coaching in the right direction, take a look at my premium coaching and see if it’s right for you!