I’ve always been someone that has struggled with my weight, so when it comes to dieting I feel like I’ve tried a lot of different things. One of the methods of weight loss that I’ve tried was the IIFYM or Counting Macros method.
I’m no expert at any of the methods I’ll be mentioning in this blog post, but basically, IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) is a way of tracking your daily macronutrients (carbs, protein and fat) and you adjust these macronutrients based on whether you want to lean out and lose fat or bulk up and gain muscle.
For a while this method was working pretty well for me. It was similar to counting calories, but a little less tedious. It helped me become more aware of what I was eating and helped me consume more vegetables and protein to accelerate my fat loss. Thing is, the reason this method didn’t end up working out for me was because it did end up getting a bit too tedious. I ended up buying a small kitchen scale and measured everything I ate and eating my mom’s home cooked meals stressed me out a bit because if I couldn’t find it on MyFitnessPal, I would have to just guesstimate and those meals would always end up taking me over my macros.
I always ended up eating over my carbs or “messing up” somehow and beating myself up about it because I just didn’t get how people could hit their macros and not go over by a ton. If I felt hungry I would end up stressing about what I could eat if I only had 12 grams of carbs left and 2 grams of fat. It felt flexible and restrictive at the same time. At times I would get obsessive about it and other times I would completely drop tracking my macros for a few days, just to pick it up again. I’ve realized recently that I no longer want to follow some sort of “system” and that I need something that can last.
Now, I’ve started paying more attention to mindful eating. Although tracking calories or macros and the whole counting and measuring thing worked for me a bit in the past, I feel like right now I’m back to square one. Everyone is different and everyone has a different mindset towards eating, so for me personally, I think mindful eating is the best option. The number one thing this method does is make me listen to my body. If I’m craving something sweet, I’ll listen to my body and have some fruits and if it’s really chocolate that I want, I’ll either have a few pieces of some dark chocolate or blend up a chocolate smoothie with some raw cocoa, banana and almond milk. I’ll make sure to eat as healthy as possible everyday and with every meal and let’s be real, if I want some junk food I’ll allow myself to have some- in moderation, of course. In all honesty, I can’t claim any results by following this method, I’ve only just started to switch my food mindset, but I know that this is the healthiest way of living for me.
I owe a lot of this to watching Australian fitness YouTuber – Sarah’s Day. Her body is amazing, her motto is “listen to your body” and her energy is so positive and bubbly. I’ll admit that I’ve actually dropped watching other fitness YouTubers to only watching her and looking up to healthy lifestyle. Going paleo-based like her is not entirely my goal but watching her channel has definitely influenced the way I think about food and exercise.
My idea of a healthy lifestyle now is to pay attention to how my body is reacting to the foods I eat, how I feel when I eat certain foods and finding healthy alternatives to things I typically crave- especially finding alternatives to sweets! To me, changing the way I think about food is the most sustainable approach to a healthier lifestyle and also a great way for me to pay attention to nutritional deficiencies and how a nutrient-dense diet affects not only my fat loss and muscle, but how it will improve my skin, hair, nails, energy and mood.
Overall, I’m making the switch to making conscious food decisions, listening to my body, finding healthy alternatives and finding other ways to deal with any emotional eating or stress eating.
What do you think about mindful eating? What has worked for you and your goals? I’d love to know in the comments!
Cheers to your health!