I felt like such a nerd the first time I brought my fitness journal to the gym.
It was the just the beginning of the start of this newfound hobby, but in a noticeable pattern for anything I start, I became compulsive about it. From bodybuilding.com articles, to studying which supplements could speed up my recovery times, I devoured everything that had anything to do with fitness. One such article was one that talked about the benefits of recording and tracking your exercises, repetitions, and sets. There were compelling arguments made about the legitimacy of physical improvements being compounded when you logged and planned your movements.
It was so simple, yet so profound. I agreed in the principle of it, bought a journal, and brought it in the day after I got it.
I couldn’t help feeling a little sheepish bringing it in with a pen, but I did notice it helped fill the gap of time in between sets. I was resting, recording, maybe taking a drink, and then back at it again. I became laser-focused. The benefits were already apparent, but I felt better after realizing that multiple guys had journals and were doing the same thing. Funnily enough, they all seemed to be in this zen-like, focused state as well. You could argue that we were the most dedicated ones in there.
I wouldn’t necessarily call it “fun”, but it was cathartic, and relaxing. It was noticeably beneficial.
Why then do others consider counting macros like drudgery when they first start out? It is absolutely without a doubt more beneficial than logging your exercises, and yet it’s chalked up as work to most people. Can it be fun, or made fun? Absolutely.
Whenever we start on a new fitness or diet regimen, we place a subconscious pause on previous dopamine triggers (like pizza, beer, and donuts).
The problem is that, the longer we hold off in partaking from these triggers, the greater the desire grows. Especially if we didn’t fill the void
with something equally as pleasurable.
The neurotransmitter dopamine is responsible for feelings of achievement and satisfaction. It’s our “pleasure seeking” neurotransmitter that enables us to recognize rewards and take action towards them. When a project (big or small) is accomplished and crossed off our “to do list”, it triggers a small dopamine release. This process becomes circular in nature: completing it triggers dopamine which gives us motivation to do it again or more of it to feel the pleasure of the release.
Enter Macro Tracking. I LOVE macro tracking because not only does it give me a clear way forward, it replaces the old dopamine triggers with a new one. It also works even better if you absolutely hate tracking your macros and calorie numbers. Why?
Because any task you hate doing becomes more monumental in your mind. Therefore, when you complete the task, it triggers a greater dopamine dump than if you
actually enjoyed the process. But then you get addicted to that dopamine release and do it again – and of course, the more you complete a task or ability,
the easier and more habitual it comes. In this way, you can make dopamine work for you.
At the higher levels, the dopamine release you get from macro tracking and keeping to your macro levels is greater than what you would get from the
sugar or fats that used to previously trigger you. It makes it like a game, a game that pays huge dividends the longer your play it.
Make dopamine work for you today. There are 7 steps you can take to get started with macro tracking right now! If you want to ease into it and have a nutrition coach help you transition into a lifestyle of transformation, you found your guy. Visit our nutrition coaching page for more details!