Tracking Macros vs. Meal Plans — The Pros and Cons

Tracking Macros vs. Meal Plans — The Pros and Cons

Look at this epic salad we got – YUM!!! * tracking macros *

One of the reasons I love tracking macros is the fact that you can make your own food choices. It means if a spontaneous dinner arises, I can swing it, want to have a night out at the movies and enjoy an ice cream, heck yes, I can. If I’m out and about like yesterday and need lunch on the run then, no problem!

Often when on a rigid meal plan, this isn’t the case! If you can’t prep every meal then you’re screwed. This is where the “all or nothing” mindset can set in. If you can’t control each meal then the whole day is a write-off!

Not only this, but meal plans IMO often promote a “good vs. bad” relationship with food and whilst chicken and broccoli can get you results, what is life if you can’t ever have food you enjoy or eat without guilt?

Macro tracking isn’t easy, it takes some prep, making wise choices to have you feeling your best and accountability to entering in food but I find this a method that works well for myself and many clients. In a lifestyle phase or now pregnant, do I track rigidly every day? NO! When eating out, you can only estimate and do your best. If on occasions you can’t hit macros, aim for overall calories, in a lifestyle phase, a day off a week can be a healthy approach. Work with a coach to find what works for YOU!

For me, tracking ensures I am eating ENOUGH whilst my appetite has been quite off due to sickness and for clients tracking provides some of the following benefits:

  • Consistency and macro goals to hit daily can aid those who struggle with overeating or undereating
  • Less restriction can aid binge eating tendencies and good vs. bad relationship with food
  • Flexibility around travel, social and general lifestyle which can improve relationships and happiness!
  • Improved macro distribution can aid training, body composition, digestion and energy
  • Having data can aid digestion, satiety issues, even hormonal improvement e.g. assessing fibre, variety in fat sources, etc. Also, an overview of food consumed can help identify deficiencies which a coach can then address

I enjoy my few days off tracking but also find it a valuable tool, what’s your approach?

Coach Jess

June 23rd, 2020