I think we can agree that macro tracking is a commitment. It’s not a small one. It removes the freedom of reaching into the fridge for an apple, or squirting a dollop of mayo on a sandwich. It takes some spontaneity out of the equation for sure. But I also think it’s fair to say that most of us glean results from taking that extra time to account for the nutrients we consume daily—when we are consistent and put in the exercise to maximize our efforts in the kitchen. But is it worth the work?
I can’t answer that directly. I do know that because fat loss comes down to science (calories in vs. calories out) it is certainly a system that works. It does not work on a sometimes basis—four good days on, 3 off…It doesn’t work when we’re over by 15 carbs one day, and short 25 the next. Our bodies are like greenhouses. They come to depend on the consistent consumption and subsequent burning of energy and, as many of us New Englanders experience every year, one 60-degree day with -2 tomorrow is going to wreak havoc on our lawns, not to mention our immune systems. The effect just isn’t pretty.
Motivation comes from a lot of places. It comes from social contagion which I’ve addressed in earlier blogs. Is your neighbor taking a jog or drinking cocktails on the patio? Whether we’re immediately aware of it or not, the message is, “Well, I could be doing that….” And it plants a seed, for better or worse.
Motivation comes from family and spouses who support our healthy prep rather than schedule frequent dinners out, or come home with surprise take-out from your favorite joint.
It comes from fellow Private Facebook Shredders who holler for a reboot, “Who’s In?!” Because there is Power in Numbers.
But you are the one doing your own prep, your own weighing and measuring. You are the one getting in the car for those frequent workouts. You are the one declining the invitation for drinks.
We can easily talk ourselves into one more off week, or one more weekend of freedom. It’s very tempting.
But spring is here! And those tomorrows can stretch out indefinitely until our goal of summer-readiness, or fitting into those jeans, or just feeling lighter and leaner remains a fantasy.
Science tells us that it doesn’t have to be. Former and current clients are proof that it’s actually just a commitment, a short-term sacrifice until we earn a little more wiggle room without resting on laurels. It’s that easy. It’s that hard.
So although I can’t decide for you if it’s all worth the work, I can say that—for me—motivation stems from success. I am driven by the little improvements I see and feel every day as a result of my efforts, and these propel me forward. They make me want to continue into the next day, and then the next, and then they stretch out into weeks that ultimately translate into Before and After. And as many of you can attest, there is nothing quite like the feeling of reaching that goal. All. On. Your. Own.
Turn it into a hypothetical:
Would you rather stay where you are physically and eat whatever you want whenever you want? Or would you rather sacrifice a few months of absolute spontaneity while weighing foods that still drive you, and reach your goal body weight and composition?
Hypotheticals are so black and white, aren’t they? So is science.