Our Health Coach, Trisha LeCompte, writes a blog post on fermented foods and why it should be a part of your daily diet.
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What is macro tracking and should I be doing it?
By Trisha LeCompte
No doubt you've been hearing some buzz about macronutrients and you may be wondering if you should be tracking yours.
FIrst, I'll explain what a macro program is all about and then we'll jump into some of the pros and cons of macro tracking.
"Macro" is short for macronutrients which are proteins, carbohydrates and fats. All foods are made up of some combination of macronutrients. By tracking and targeting an individualized daily macro goal, you will be eating adequate amounts of food to help you perform better in the gym, build muscle and achieve your fat loss goals at the same time.
If you are thinking about about getting started on a macro program, here are some of the pros and potential cons for you to consider.
Awareness about your daily intake - if you've never been one to track your food, you might find yourself surprised at how much food you actually eat in a day's time. Or, you may find that your new macro goals have you eating more food that you normally do and that you were actually under-eating. By tracking your macros and hitting your targets on a consistent basis, you will gain so much awareness about the foods that don't have a place in your daily life and what foods you over-consume or under-consume. This is valuable information and can help you build a sustainable plan that will keep you feeling good during your WOD's and loving your new athletic look.
Increased performance - having more energy for your WODs means you will be able to push yourself harder. If you are under-eating the right type of carbs, you may not have the "ready" energy you need to really hit it hard during your WOD's. Inadequate protein intake could be keeping you from building more muscle so you can lift more.
Quicker recovery - By taking in some quick carbs and protein immediately after your workouts, you can help minimize soreness so you can get back into the gym feeling fresh and ready to do it all again.
Body recomposition - Body builders and physique competitors have mastered this macro stuff for the sole purpose of showing off all of those hard earned muscles. I think most of us long to look like we work out, right? By eating the proper combination of protein, fat and carbs, you can change your body composition and it doesn't have to mean depriving yourself of your favorite foods or creating a massive caloric deficit that is unsustainable. If fat loss is one of your goals, then a macro program is a great tool to help you get there.
Tracking your food - I know, this sounds a lot like the first bullet point in the cons section and you're right, it is. While tracking creates awareness of what you are eating, it can also be very burdensome. A macro program will not work if you are not willing to commit to diligently tracking your food. There are tools and methods out there that can help you do this fairly easily but it will still require some discipline on your part.
Food neurosis - If you are someone who has had an unhelathy relationship with food in the past, weighing and measuring food could trigger some of those old unhealthy tendencies.
You're just getting started - If you are just getting started on your health and wellness journey and are coming from a mostly sedentary background and your idea of a healthy meal is having lettuce and tomatoes in your Del Taco burrito, then you are probably not ready to jump into the world of tracking macros.
I hope this gives you some good information to decide whether or not a macro program is right for you. If you would like to learn more about a macro program that best fits your needs, feel free to contact me or Coach Martin as we have both been working with athletes here at the Forest.
Over the past few years, I have done several Whole30's. Each time I completed a Whole30 I was able to understand a bit more about how certain foods affect me and more importantly, how I "use" certain foods as a reward or for stress relief. This was all learned by trial and error and hopefully some of what I am about to share will help you get to the benefits of Whole30 faster.