Achieving health and fitness goals requires a delicate balance of effort, dedication, and informed decision-making.
One aspect might be macro tracking — tracking the intake of protein, carbohydrates (carbs) and fat. Macronutrients play a role on muscle gain, fat loss, improved athletic performance, and health and the precision at which you track can significantly impact your results. The differences between guessing at your macros and weighing your food can be significant so choosing the right method can make all the difference.
When learning to track macros, you have two choices… weighing food and guess portion sizes. While it may not seem like a big factor, picking the right method can mean achieving your fitness goals.
Macros are the building blocks of nutrition that impact fat and muscle.
While the allure of estimating portion sizes may seem convenient, it has several pitfalls. Most people cannot guess portion sizes due to variety in food densities and misleading labels. The psychology of guessing portions can sabotage dedicated efforts of tracking food.
Weighing food is scientifically backed for accurate macro tracking.
Weighing food using scales neutralizes the impact of food variations which gets us closer to the precise measurement of calories and macros. By weighing your food, you will gain a deeper understanding of nutritional choices which will pave the way for a healthier and more informed relationship with food.
Estimating portions may seem convenient, but can open the door to inaccuracies that may compromise progress.
Peanut butter is a good example. Most people will underestimate the amount of peanut butter they are consuming sometimes upwards of 500 calories. This scenario showcases the inaccuracies involved with guessing macronutrients. 500 calories a day is enough to stall fat loss or to gain weight.
Our minds love playing tricks on us, particularly when it comes to estimating portion sizes.
Portion distortion is defined as the mind’s tendency to misjudge the visual appears of a serving size causing us to believe we are eating fewer calories than we actually are.
It’s why small bags of chips can disappear in minutes. Portion distortion is caused by a variety of factors like the size and shape of plates/bowls, the presentation of food and even where we eat. Research shows that larger plates cause us to overeat.
Self-deception is defined as the subtle art of rationalizing our choices in ways that often downplay the impact on our nutritional goals. A good example of self-deception is eating an extra slice of pizza because you had a salad earlier in the day.
When we rely on guessing portions, self-deception, and portion distortion are too prominent.
Without measurements, our minds can make up any narrative it wants. This enticing mental trap convinces us that our guesses are accurate because we overlook the extra dressing or scoop of ice cream. These phenomena can stall progress by creating a false sense of achievement.
Weighing your food can be more tedious. However, this level of precision can eliminate inaccuracies. Kitchen scales are reliable and consistent providing accurate measurements to get close to precision nutrition. When you put your food on a food scale, you eliminate the impact of variations in food density which ensures a more accurate representation of calories and macronutrient content. Weighing your food can lead to greater weight loss and more confidence in good.
In the grand scheme of your health and fitness, the choice between approximate and precision macro-tracking becomes important. When chosen wisely, you will have unwavering progress.
Understand that precision in macro-tracking isn’t a method, it’s the compass that steers you closer to your goals.