What is tracking macros?
Tracking macros is what most people refer to as flexible dieting. This gives people the freedom to be able to go out with friends and eat the foods they want, while holding themselves accountable to logging everything they eat.
Most people argue against this method because it "takes over your life", "takes too much time to log", or "forces you to miss out on social situations because it doesn't fit your macros". There are many more that I am sure you have also heard.
What is intuitive eating?
Intuitive eating is all about seeing how your body feels and then eating appropriately. It does not hold you to tracking and logging everything you eat.
Many people support this method because they do not want to track food. Excuses for tracking and logging include "I don't have time", "I don't know how", "I don't want to weigh food", or "I already understand my body".
In my opinion, intuitive eating is the goal. I would like each of my clients to be able to get to the point somewhere down the road where they can listen to their bodies and intuitively eat. How do you start to do this? Tracking macros.
Let me ask you a couple of questions: If I gave you a big pile of meat, would you be able to tell me the fat content and about how much 6oz is? How about how much protein is in 4 oz? How much is 400g of veggies and what is the main macro in them?
All of these things are important to understand when eating intuitively so that you understand what you are putting into your body. How can you gage how much you should be eating if you have no clue what you are eating?
Intuitively eating does not give you as much freedom to enjoy treats like counting macros does. You are more likely to over indulge on the less healthy foods and under eat the healthy foods. Tracking macros gives you that balance of healthy to unhealthy foods. It's okay to have a treat here and there but make sure to stay in your macros.
Last questions: Do you ever have the thoughts "Wow! I had a really long day and I dont feel like making dinner. I will just stop and get a pizza/take-out/etc. This is okay because as long as I eat in moderation, it won't be that bad!" or "I haven't had a treat like this in a long time, once in a while won't kill me!" Did you know that one pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream is a little over 1000 calories depending on which you choose (and this is on the lower end). One small pizza from dominos with cheese and 1 topping is around 1400 calories and yes, thats before the bread sticks! What if you did this only once a week? Have you considered any alcohol you drink? Or how about fancy coffee drinks? This would account for close to an extra day's worth of calories every week. This is considerable!
Learning what you're taking in is important before being able to estimate what you're taking in.