If you have begun your quest to make 2017 your healthiest year yet but have not yet seen desired progress on the scale or in the mirror, fear not. Some may see a lack of immediate results as being an indication that the healthy lifestyle is simply not for them, but it may mean that just a little extra focus is required.
If you are trying to lose weight, gain good muscle mass or even cut fat while adding muscle, you should be tracking calories and macronutrients on a daily basis. If you are not, here are a few reasons why you should
It is so easy
One of the biggest issues with getting into a good habit is the very process of establishing a rhythm. Counting calories at every meal can seem redundant if you pen everything into a journal or notebook, but with the ubiquitous presence of smartphones, it has never been easier. Calorie-tracking apps like MyFitnessPal, SparkPeople and MyNetDiary Calorie Counter are all apps that allow for easy tracking of calories and macronutrients; offer profound databases of ingredients, food items, complete meals and even restaurant menus; and are compatible with wearable fitness devices and smart scales.
Flexible to fit your goals
By tracking the calories you consume and the percentage of those calories made up by fat, protein and carbohydrates, you have a readily-accessible means for measuring your success. If your calorie intake and macronutrient targets have helped facilitate weight loss, you can choose whether to hold fast and continue on the same pace or up your intake slightly to prevent losing too much weight. If you are not seeing results, you can reconfigure your numbers until you find a formula that allows you to meet your goals healthily. According to MyFitnessPal.com, over- and underestimation of one’s daily nutritional needs are common problems that can hinder meeting goals, but the process is malleable enough that enough tinkering should help get you where you need to be.
Flexible to fit your desires
One of the most significant benefits of tracking your macros is that it makes the occasional indulgence permissible. Per ShapeScale.com, tracking daily intake based on macros means hitting your numbers as far as carbohydrates, protein and fat by any means necessary. If your numbers between leaner meals allow for a cookie, slice of pizza or handful of candy, it will not negatively impact your goals so long as it fits your macros. Eating clean on a daily basis is by no means a negative, but for those who might have difficulty adapting to a life of chicken, rice and steamed broccoli, the wiggle room provided by being fastidious about macros can be a boon.
Perhaps the most important benefit of counting calories and macronutrients: it works. According to members of National Weight Control Registry who spoke with USA Today, calorie counting and intake tracking were key in their own instances of weight loss. If your goal is to shed a few pounds or put on some extra muscle, consider using calorie and macro counting to your advantage.
This article is presented by CitySide Subaru in Belmont, Massachusetts.