So at the beginning of this year, David and I ended our experiment on ourselves counting macros. We had spent a little under a year focusing on our nutrition and our performance and had learnt a heck of a lot about ourselves, our bodies and what it needed to function, train and thrive.
At the end of the experiment, I wrote 2 articles about my experience titled ‘The Good’ and ‘The Bad and the Ugly’. (If you haven’t read these two I would recommend doing so first to get the full picture).
So as you can tell from those posts, the entire experience had its ups and downs, as does anything in life. But what about now 6 months on? Where am I at with my nutrition and was I actually able to put into place the lessons I had learnt to lead a comfortable life with regards food and what I need?
I know what I need for my body
My body knows what demands I put on it. We train 4 times per week and I know how it feels to be at a point where my body has everything it needs to recover and restore. When we stopped counting I knew I didn’t want to loose that feeling so we basically carried on where we left off. With tweaks. I always kept in mind what I knew I needed and built my meals around that. I am a terrible decision maker, especially when it comes to food, so knowing I needed to make sure my meals included x,y and z makes life a lot easier. And we still use it. But sometimes ice cream, chocolate and a glass of wine is exactly what I know I need too.
I know that if David has rice with lunch or potatoes he needed x amount of grams. I know that a good portion size of oats for brekkie is x amount. After a year of weighing and measuring, you know what those amounts look like. I still use my scale all the time, but at the same time when I am away and don’t have access to scales I don’t sweat it. Some times you will be surprised by how much of something you actually do need!
But at the same time, if I’m not hungry, I don’t eat as much. There is no pressure to eat when I don’t want to or as often. Everything is more relaxed and we can do things like go out for lunch or dinner and not think twice about it! Yay! By the end of our experiment, the stress around food was small but that was because we were eating the same things day in and out. Now the excitement is back in food!
How is the training going?
I definitely felt that macro counting, in the beginning, lead to big gains at the gym. I became faster and stronger and it was such a great feeling. But I put this down to actually fuelling my workouts and recovery properly – aka eating enough food! After about 6 months the gains slowed down and became smaller – still progressing but at a smaller rate. As you would expect. All the progress I made still stands today, proving that fuelling right = reward.
And bear in mind…
So I have taken those lessons and implemented them into my everyday life. It has been quite an easy road for us and I am glad to see our bodies have responded positively, without needing to be so strict. However, I must mention that I am not one to crave or binge on food. I can eat a couple of squares of chocolate or a 25g portion of chips without going nuts on the rest of the bag. So being able to now choose what I want, when I want it, isn’t so much of a big deal. We also gravitate to real whole food and this makes up the majority of our diet.
Once again, like with my other posts on macro counting, I want to point out that I did this as an experiment on my nutrition with regards my training. It was not for weight loss and we went through an individualised programme. It was never intended to be for a significant period of time. If you have any questions please either comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
In next weeks episode of the podcast (episode 36) David and I get chatting all about our macro experience, both during and after. Find out how we differed throughout our journey, what advice we would give and just have a good old chat about the process! Don’t forget to tune in!
Have you ever done something where you have been able to put into place the lessons you learnt?
Does food choice make you stressed?
Do you like to reflect back on food choices?