Lil Miss Fitness Freak

"And though she be but little, she is fierce"

Video: Macro Counting


Hey Friends!

It’s almost turkey day, who’s excited? What are you all doing?

I headed home today and will be heading to my Aunt’s house tomorrow for the dinnah with my parents, Maggie and my Nana and Papa all stowed in the car. Should be fun times. FamJam Partay Bus!

National Lampoons reference anyone?

Anywho, this short lil post will just introduce a video I posted up on my still naked YouTube channel. I have gotten quite a few questions regarding macros and macro counting and I really wanted to get a video out it up on the topic plus a lil blurb on IIFYM. Sorry it took me like a year to do so, but here she is.

Just clicky on the screencap for the linkup to my channel.

Screen shot 2014-10-11 at 9.55.27 PMI’m sorry if this video is a lil bit scattered. I’m really bad at staying on topic…as you probably are aware of with my 400000000+++ word posts…Like I mentioned in the video, if you have any further questions post them in the comments and I will get back to ya with video part 2. 🙂

Here are a few links that might be handy to check out if you’re interested.

Layne Norton’s take on IIFYM

IIFYM Calculator and information regarding macros and counting

You guys are awesome.

One thing I’m thankful for every day is my support system in life, which includes all of you. Many thanks and much love. ❤




45 thoughts on “Video: Macro Counting

  1. After learning to eat what my body enjoys/craves, it makes me sad to see plans that turn eating, a joyous and social event, into a math project. Food should be fun, and if you find yourself cramming numbers or eating egg whites at night to meet your macros, I don’t see it as a lifestyle that can be enjoyable sustained for the long term. This is in no way a attack on you- in fact, you covered the video very very well. This is just my thoughts on the whole IIFYM trend

  2. I do not count calories or macros – for my daily eating I try to get a good mix of healthy fats, proteins and good carb sources. I 100% agree with you here – it is great that nothing is off limits, but it takes the enjoyment out of eating. Plus, why should I not eat the sweet potato so I can have cake? Makes no sense really.

  3. ❤ ❤ thank you for this! I have a friend who sort of alternates among different forms of orthorexia, and when she was counting macros she actually kept a color-coded spreadsheet. It sounded exhausting. A calorie may be a calorie in terms of energy measurements, but some calories come along with nutrients that your body can use, and others don't. Seems to follow that it should matter whether it's a bag of chips or veggies with hummus. Any diet plan that requires stupid amounts of time, energy, and attention feels too much like my eating disorder to feel good to me.

  4. The first thing I thought of when I went on that calculator website was the fat % seemed way too low. But I’m a huge fan of fats from nuts and avocados so I could never maintain something that low.

    It seems the same as calorie counting to me and what I’ve learned is calorie counting drives me (personally) insane. I do think it is helpful, at first, if you are really trying to change your eating habits. Seeing that piece of cake is half your day’s calories really hits home it should be a sometimes treat. But after a while, I ended up with my stomach rumbling at 10:30, even after a good breakfast and realize I need to listen to my body, not a calorie counter. Those times I was starving by 10:30 were the mornings after a really tough CrossFit workout. And a calorie is not a calorie if you don’t want to be hungry all the time. Eating cereal for breakfast might fit into calories for the day but I am always super hungry about 2 hours after I eat it.

    But like everything, to each their own. If it helps someone maintain a healthy lifestyle, then that works!

  5. I really like that you took the time to break this down for us! Super helpful and a great analysis!

  6. AGREED on every single note. I couldn’t have said it better myself and I think we view eating/food/nutrition very similarly. Great post! I am also so thankful for your blog. It is my number one source for all fitness/health/nutrition/weightloss/muscle-building etc etc etc info.

  7. I used to be a calorie counting maniac and it completely took the joy out of eating. To this day, I know the calories in almost everything I eat just because it seems to be permanently scorched into my brain. For someone striving to lose weight, YES, I think it may be necessary to count and keep track of calories (and maybe even macros). It can definitely make weight loss seem more attainable and helps some people to stay focused and on track, but otherwise, I find it unnecessary.

  8. I counted calories in high school. It got obsessive, and I got “soft” from not being able to keep/build enough muscle. These days, I eat what I want and make an effort to get plenty of good-quality protein at each meal. And dark chocolate. That happens daily.

  9. Thank you so much for always providing us with real, proven information and not just fads anything based off of air. I love the way you wrote this. This is my personal thoughts on IIFYM and not on you-This sounds incredibly confusing! Trying to lose weight is challenging and confusing enough when you first start out…having to calculate these numbers along with figuring out what workouts work for you is enough to send an already insecure person right out of the gym.

    What I’ve learned (from you!) is that I am going to feel and even look better if I fuel my body with foods that are substantial, delicious, and healthy. I’m actually excited that today I’m going to eat my homemade butternut squash soup (all veggies, no cream!) and a salad for lunch, and fuel for tonight’s Zumba class with a Larabar and veggies later this afternoon. I think this kind of “diet” can really put a weight loss/nutrition novice on the wrong track by telling them it’s OK to eat junk as long as they workout. I could never see keeping it up in the long term.

  10. I used to be an avid calorie counter (True Life: I could probably tell you the # of calories in every food) but it was limiting and no way to live. I’ve switch to intuitive eating and I try to eat as clean and whole as possible, but occasional treats and goodies here and there are certainly allowed. I now enjoy food and use it as fuel. I also used to want to be “skinny” but now I just want to healthy. Personally, I don’t like counting macros because it’s a quality of life type of thing, but I know everyone has to find what works for them on their own =). And if I hadn’t gone through my cray calorie counting stage, I may not be in the healthy place I am today.

  11. I have never heard of IIFYM…but have heard of macros. Interesting. Thanks for distinguishing between calorie counting and food quality. I just try (and tell me nutrition clients too) to make sure every meal or snack has a carb, protein, and healthy fat. I don’t count how much of each though. Thanks for an informative post!

  12. Thank you for this post!!! I have a friend that is doing bikini competitions and this is what she is all about. All of her facebook posts and instagram pictures are all about the marcos and it’s driving me crazy. She’s saying that she will be doing this for the rest of her life. I don’t see how someone can do that. She can’t even go out and enjoy dinner with her husband because of her marcos. I’m really working on intuitive eating right now and I am feeling better than ever. Between limiting my sugar intake and doing T25 my body is reacting in great ways. I’m hoping to visit my specialist in December and be taken off my meds.

  13. I absolutely love your videos! I do like the concept if IIFYM, but it takes a lot of time tracking rverything and i make a lot of home cooked things so measuring everything out isn’t fun.

  14. I could see someone doing this for a short-term reason, like preparing for a fitness competition or getting a read on their “normal” habits. Sometimes I log a day’s worth of food just so see where my baseline is. But I don’t think it is or is meant to be sustainable, and encourages obsessive number-crunching. Food is nourishment, so if you’re not feeling nourished and satisfied, something is wrong.

  15. I really loved this video. I first started counting macros when I started reading your blog since that is what you said you did. IIFYM changed my life. It really helped repair my relationship with food and start to see food as fuel, not good and bad. I eat more intuitively now, but counting macros certainly helped me transition to this stage !

  16. For a short period of time recently I was using MyFitnessPal to check in on my macros, but I found it a bit stifling. Now I go off of portion size and knowing that I need to get protein in every meal and snack. I also had a gym trainer tell me what my macros would be, and there’s no way I could stay under the calorie limit they gave. I like food too much, and I need a lot of it. Good post!

  17. Great post! I want to comment with my experience because I have been on both sides of the macro-tracking spectrum.

    I am currently tracking my macros, but the trainer I am working with has divided by percentages a little differently: roughly equal parts carbs, protein, and fats (about 34% each for total calorie intake).

    Part of my agreement with this new trainer is that I will at least *try* everything that I’m told and then assess how it’s working for me – and after trying it for 3 weeks now, I have to admit I am surprised to see I have had 0 problems with calorie intake/energy on my workout days. Yes, I had to change up my meals a little bit to fit the recommendations and make sure I’m reaching my goals each day, but I think I’ve reached a sweet spot where I am eating things I enjoy eating – including indulgences here and there – and staying within my goals. I don’t think I’ll eat like this for the rest of my life, but for my fitness goals at the moment, I’ve learned a lot about macro-tracking and how it can work with my lifestyle.

  18. Thank you for this informative post! I’ve always been curious about the pros and cons of macro counting.

  19. I have only recently learned about this and I was in a FB group of all flexible dieters (had to leave because it was too crazy). For me, I found it a weird contradiction. You can eat what you want, which is why people say it’s freeing. But what is freeing about tracking every little macro in your foods? I think it’s a great way to balance what you eat, but I found the calories too low for my life (the ones I found did have a % of fat than you found, but still). Thanks for writing about this, though!

  20. Interesting post! I do like that IIFYM doesn’t deem any foods off limits, but all that math, damn, who has the time??

    I personally think it’s easier to focus on the actual food choices versus counting every little number. I mean, maybe I’d be leaner if I counted everything, but for me that takes the joy out of food prep and eating. Typically if I have a fat and/or carb heavy meal, I naturally crave lean protein and vegetables at the next meal, so I think I intuitively eat a well balanced diet most of the time if I go by how I feel…does that make sense?

  21. Great post! I really love the way you do videos because it is like I am having a sit down conversation with a friend. I do not count macros or calories anymore. Back in the day, thank goodness it was only a short stint of about 6 months of ao, but I would weigh my good or measure out all of my portions with measuring cups because that’s what my trainer said I had to do to lose weight and hit my goals. It totally sucked the fun out of food, made it tedious and make me crave those ‘off-limit’ foods like none other. Once I came to my senses and ditched the measuring/weighing and started to eat everything in moderation, I was a much happier person. I’m sure those around me thought so too

    • Thank you and yes, it’s very tedious and makes some people hate their lives so that’s why I don’t recommend it. It’s not required to hit goals unless you are really wanting to zone in on little details and don’t know how your body works yet. For the later, it can be useful to see how your body responds to changes in certain increases. I’m glad you found out what works for you!

  22. Thank you so much for doing this video. Everytime you make a video, I grab a mug of tea or coffee, and just snuggle down. Sometimes I even take notes. So my take away is IFFYM can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on who it’s for and what the recommended ratios/amounts you follow actually are.

  23. This is not my thing at all but was very interesting to read and learn about! Thanks for sharing!

  24. Thanks for the info! I think calorie counting is very valuable for people who are over weight and struggle with eating the right portions & serving sizes. I agree with you on the macros. I do best on high protein & healthy fat diets. Some people need more carbs. I don’t and neither does my bee….hind. But everyone is different.

  25. Finally someone breaking down this whole Macro thing in terms I understand! If you are a body builder and need to follow certain macros to achieve your goals, I think this is great. But for average-Jane, intuitive eating is a much better way to go!! Counting calories, let alone macros, is no way to live your life.HOWEVER, always better to teach people to eat intuitively for balance (unless of course someone is training for a specific physique goal mentioned above).

    Great post, Chelsea!!!

  26. Thank you sooooooo much for this!!!!!! I like the idea of being *aware* of macronutrients– I am definitely more aware of my fat/protein intake now (as in, I make sure I am getting enough!) than I used to be, but at the same time, if I want a cupcake, or a piece of chocolate… I’m not going to skip it because of the carbs. I think any kind of too restrictive/stressful diet is not what we need. Stressing over every piece of food that goes into our mouth leads to more unhealthy behaviors and can ultimately prevent us from healthy eating! Love this post by the way.

  27. Awesome post… Can’t wait for ur book, tv show, practice one day 😉 !!

  28. ’m so glad I didn’t know about macro counting years ago when I was obsessive about counting calories…I probably would have tried it and gone even more crazy haha I think it’s way too extreme and , not sustainable long term if you want to enjoy life. At least for me, but to each her own!

  29. Thank u so much for this. I’m on a weight loss journey & struggling mightily & going through a plateau & have been thinking about doing IIFYM but keep thinking what ur saying here as why I don’t want to. I, admittedly & regretfully have some issues with food & I am positive doing this will make it worse. I like the idea of intuitive/mindfulness better with eating bc it’s important to know why u eat what u eat & all that. Again thanks Chelsea this was so helpful to me 🙂

  30. There is no way I could track all my macros and not become completely obsessed about food. To me it is way too time consuming. It is also too restricting. Somedays I might want to eat a lot of fats and other days my body might need more carbs. IIFYM just seems like another diet that will ultimately control and consume you (or at least it would me! ) thanks for the great post!

  31. Interesting post! I count my macros and paid someone to do them, but I love my macros way more than yours (haha). I love IIFYM because it curbs my bingeing and “secret eating”. To each her own 🙂 –Always love coming to see what Lil Miss Fitness Freak says!!

  32. I do IIFYM and I like it – though my coach gives me way more food than what you listed 🙂
    I like to have a little guidance, cause I tend to forget to eat when I am busy and I am 90% of my time busy.
    It doesn’t keep me from having nights out without counting anything and just enjoying good food, good wine and good company.

  33. Personally, not a fan of the iifym concept. I agree with your points on the pros and cons. The thing that bugs me about our obsession with counting calories is that it’s just one small part of the overall equation. Nutrition is so much more than calories…it’s fat, protein, sugars…all of that makes a difference in how our bodies look and feel, but so many only look at the calorie count on nutrition facts and forget the rest.

  34. Thank you for doing this focus post!!!! I needed someone to explain it in these terms for me!

  35. Oh my gawwddd I appreciate this.

  36. Glad you did though, because I think it’s an interesting topic.

    I see so many people talk about this on Instagram, and with anything, there’s always the good and the bad. I agree that some people simply love to brag about all of the junk food they can fit into their macros, but for me personally, junk food just makes me feel terrible. Sure, I love dessert and burgers every once and a while, but it’s a different kind of balance for me. I also think tracking food to the literal gram can definitely become obsessive, though I’m not speaking for everyone who follows IIFYM.

    I will say though, for the right type of person, IIFYM can be a great balanced approach to eating, as long as it’s not abused to simply eat all of the junk food in the world haha. I’ve seen people who follow the 80% healthy/20% not-so-healthy rule with IIFYM, and generally, they seem the most successful.

    It’s definitely an interesting topic though! I love reading about new trends and what the fitness community is doing.

    • It’s definitely a big topic of debate right now! I enjoyed reading your take and I agree it can taken too far whether that be eating junk all the time or being crazy with not having a social ode because they can’t track it properly. I always feel like crap after eating not so healthy foods, so I keep those to social events but I will enjoy them

  37. GIRL i just fell in love with you even more and i didn’t think that was possible 😉 HA!!!!!!!!!!! seriously, though. that is AWESOME ytaht you made this video!!!!!!!!! AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! applause!

  38. I am one of those iifym feins. However, I do things a little differently. I make sure all my macros come from good places unless I’m treating myself. However, I do agree with you on a lot of your points. I always find myself eating at times I don’t want to. Or stressing out to figure out how my macros fit into my day and intake enough protein. I also believe I’m undereating. Recently, I have decided against this type of meal plan and have chosen to focus on listening to my body.

    • The important distinction is that you are getting your micros, new IIFYM peeps have kinda lost that and that’s where I have issues with it because now your just eating junk which doesn’t help your body. The point is moderation so it’s more of a lifestyle and not a diet. I can understand where you’re coming from though and if you’re working better listening to your body then continue on with that! Your body knows best

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