So, I’ve spent the last 7 out of 8 days weighing, measuring, and tracking my macros. I’ve also spent the better part of the week talking to anyone who is willing to listen about weighing, measuring, and tracking my macros.
I think I can safely say that 100% of the people that I’ve spoken to who have done the same all agree on this: when they started, they were SHOCKED at how far above they were on their fat goals, and how far below they were on their carbohydrate goals.
We were all thinking that we weren’t getting enough fat, but also thinking we were eating too many carbs.
Man, were we all wrong.
Turns out it’s easy to overlook all of the fat that we use to prepare food, and assume we need to make it up with adding things to our meals like avocado, EVOO, nuts and nut products, butter, bacon, etc. I will be the first one to admit that I may have been overlooking it all on purpose because those things all make the food we eat taste so darn good, but in the back of my head I think I’ve always thought it may be too much.
It’s easy to rationalize in your head, though, when you’re eating broccoli, wild caught salmon, vegetable medleys, kale, and green smoothies. On top of all of those good choices you’re making, you’re thinking that since you’re choosing healthy fats that you must be doing it all right.
But, when you take into account the fact that you’re sautéing your broccoli in a bunch of coconut oil, roasting your vegetables in bacon fat, and pouring EVOO all over your salad for dressing, you don’t realize how high your fat intake can get without you even adding avocados to that salad.
On top of that, if you’re psychotic enough to engage in the whole endless numbers game revolving around every bite of food that goes in your mouth, you’re likely not a candidate for someone who eats too many carbohydrates. If you’re as wrapped around the axle about nutrition as Ben and I are, it’s not like you’re the kind of person who’s crushing potato chips and cookies all day. It takes a certain personality type to even entertain the idea of tracking your macros, and that’s not the personality who tends to be high in carbohydrate intake.
So, all of that ends up with a bunch of us freak shows eating too much fat and too little carbs and thinking we’re in a totally different place than we really are.
Maybe it’s just me, but after a few days of this I found myself spending most of the day thinking that I was way off my percentage goals and my total nutrient goals. But, after the few days of realizing what you have to do to puzzle piece things together, I started surprising myself.
I would check in sometime mid-afternoon, and was shocked to consistently see that I was right on track. I still don’t totally trust myself, but here’s what it comes down to: eat tons of plain vegetables, eat a moderate amount of good protein with each meal, eat some fruit, eat small amounts of starchy carbs (sweet potatoes, oatmeal, rice), add little to no fat to the meals your eating (including bacon), and totally cut out “snacks” (like chips, for example).
To be totally honest with you, I have 1 glass of wine most days, but I just don’t bother with adding it to the whole grid because I think it complicates things so much that it’s just not worth it. I’ve had people talk me through how they recalculate their carbs for the day, add or subtract overall calories, and even redo their fat every time they have a drink. But, if you’re being honest with yourself about it truly being 1 glass, I think it’s a little excessive to feel the need to obsess over the number thing when you’re being so dialed in with the entire rest of your nutrition every day.
Shoot me. I’m not bothering with it. Maybe I’ll put my big girl panties on at some point and deal with it like a responsible adult, but I’m not ready for that right now.
But, my whole take on how to “eat right” sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
On www.CrossFit.com you’ll find on their main page, their definition of “World-Class Fitness in 100 Words” as, “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise, but not body fat…”
I know it sounds like I plagiarized what I wrote earlier or that I was heavily influenced by that very statement, but honest to God, it’s really what this whole thing has come down to for me so far.
If I were to guess, I’ll probably stick with tracking this religiously every day (with some random cheat days/afternoons) for about a month. After that, I’ll probably cut down to weighing, measuring and tracking a few days a week, assuming that I’ll eyeball it the rest of the week.
I like it. I like knowing exactly where I’m at, where I should be, and having something to be accountable to every day…even if it is just a silly app on my phone.
Then again, you know how I am with “phases”…