As the keto diet is becoming more popular, I get tons of questions about Why I Don’t Track Keto Macros. Below you will learn about my keto journey and why this is a good choice for me and many on a low carb diet.
Why I Don’t Track Keto Macros
Over the years, I’ve been all sorts of sizes and have tried many different diets and lifestyle changes. I’ve struggled with being too heavy, and I’ve even been too thin. However, last year as I was struggling to get off the baby weight, I saw a before and after picture of a friend of mine on Facebook who was following a keto diet and became very interested in hearing more. I watched one of her Facebook videos that explained keto and how she was choosing to support the lifestyle. Although her before and after picture initially got my attention because at the time all I cared about was losing weight, I became very intrigued as she began to share about food freedom, feeling satiated for hours, and intermittent fasting.
Food was always on the mind
You see, no matter my weight and whether I was eating too much or too little food seemed to always be on my mind. I’m the girl who has always thought brunch was a terrible idea because that meant I missed out on either breakfast or lunch. I could make myself go without food, but I felt miserable. The thought of not even thinking about food for hours and feeling satiated sounded like a dream. You see, I had spent the last several years thinking I had to eat every two and a half hours, which meant lots of meal and snack planning. Even though, for the most part, I kept my weight under control, I got tired of all the food prep and snacks because frankly, it felt like no matter how often I ate I was hungry often and always thinking about food.
My Keto Introduction
So, when I was introduced to Keto, the part that really drew me in was food freedom. I didn’t want to think about food all the time or have to write down or track every crumb that went in my mouth. In fact, the keto diet wasn’t new to me, I had heard about it, but it seemed too hard and intense for my life to be tied to an app. I began to look at following a keto lifestyle differently and instead of it being a means to an end with a beginning and an end with one goal I shifted my mentality. I began to consider what I could stick to long-term with health being at the forefront of my mind. In the end, although I have been tempted at times to start tracking to speed up weight loss or break a stall, I knew I had to choose what would work for me long term. Here are five reasons why I personally choose not to track macros:
1. I don’t need more stress in my life
I have four kids (ages 14, 11, 3, and 1). I homeschool my older two and I run a business at home. I have a full plate of life and don’t want any added stress in my life. The list of things I need to do each day already feels longer than what I am capable of accomplishing so choosing not to track macros means one less thing added to my list. For me, I know that tracking macros would feel like a heavyweight and I’m confident I would forget too often, which would add frustration to my day.
2. I am not a highly regimented or “list maker” kind of person
I could probably be a poster adult for ADHD. I get easily distracted and I have a short attention span, which means I get easily excited at the beginning of something new, but I struggle in the follow through. Because I know this about my personality, making choices that are outside of my natural giftings often leave me feeling like a failure. Also, as a free spirit, regimented lists make me feel caged in and take the joy out of my life. I thrive when I have choices and options that aren’t inside a checkbox. If I am going to stick to anything long term and enjoy it, I have to consider my personality and love myself enough not to set myself up to fail.
3. I want to focus on the health benefits of Keto and not just the weight loss
For the first time in my life, I have completely shifted my focus from losing weight to a healthy lifestyle. That means when the scale doesn’t move like I think it should it doesn’t cause me to quit or look for the next “diet.” Instead, I focus on nonscale victories. I don’t want to track keto macros. I want to enjoy health.
Having had my last two babies in my forties, I want to do everything I can to live a long and healthy life for my family instead of focusing on my weight. Tracking macros would cause me to hyper-focus on weight loss. Since I am close to my goal weight, it is healthier for me to maintain and focus on a healthy lifestyle.
4. I don’t want to have to focus on calories, fats, protein, and carbs all day long
I enjoyed my first taste of food freedom the very first week I started keto. Although it took at least six weeks to become fat adapted, I remember feeling full after meals and staying satisfied for hours, which was such a change from what I was used to feeling.
Tracking macros would cause me to focus on meeting my percentages all day long instead of enjoying the freedom of becoming a fat burner and not experiencing hunger as often. I know me well enough to know that instead of enjoying food freedom, I would become completely overwhelmed. When I feel overwhelmed it almost paralyzes me, and I quit because it feels too hard.
5. I have three girls watching me
I don’t want my girls to look back over their life with memories of their mom obsessing over macros. I want them to grow up with a healthy body image. Instead of obsessing over the scale or calories I want them to know what it is like to eat when they are hungry, stop when they are satisfied, and not obsess about food again until they are hungry.
Navigating girls, especially, in this “thinner is better” world is not easy, and it weighs heavy on my heart. I know that many people can be very successful tracking macros without it having any kind of adverse effects, but for me, I know it would cause me to obsess about my weight and every bite of food that went in my mouth. As a result, my girls would notice. I want them to see a mom who is not tied to a scale, an app, or who has no control when it comes to food. I want them to see a mom who is free.
Evaluate What Works for You
Now, I am not saying that tracking macros is wrong in any way shape or form. I am merely stating my personal reasons for choosing to only count net carbs in my head. Many many people count macros very successfully and would probably feel very uncomfortable not being as regimented. My point is that you have to figure out what works for you. After a year of following a ketogenic lifestyle, I have found what works for me and makes this way of life simple. In this season of my life, I know that simple is the most significant indicator of long-term success, at least for me. Also, I know myself well enough to know that I would judge the success of my day by how well I hit my macro goals. If I hit them, the day would be a success, and if I didn’t, I would vow “to do better the next day.” There is so much more to me than the foods I put in my mouth. My greater callings in life are a wife and a mother and how I treat my family and others. Food has no bearing on who I am; it is merely something I need to fuel my body: therefore, I won’t give it power over my heart or mind.
Why I Love Food Freedom
It has taken much trial and error for me over the past year, but I love the fact that food is not the boss of me. When I wake up in the morning, food rarely crosses my mind. I can feed my kids breakfast without eating a single bite if my body is not calling for food. I don’t think about snacking unless I get hungry, and when faced with a situation where I can’t eat for a while, I am not phased. Food no longer controls my mind or my day. I am not seduced into submission by sugar or feel out of control when faced with foods outside of my lifestyle choice. I know I can go on vacation, or even enjoy a day outside of plan now and then and still go right back to a ketogenic lifestyle. I’ve experienced the scale move, my body composition change, better sleep, and many many other health benefits that I’m excited about the past year, but my greatest accomplishment has been experiencing freedom and breaking the guilt/shame cycle with food.
In conclusion, find what works for you! Don’t judge yourself by someone else’s lense or accomplishments. Consider nonscale victories, focus on long-term health choices, and the weight will come off. Whether you choose to count macros or not, remember, your weight is not who you are! Your value is not determined by a scale, or a particular size all of those things are subject to change. Separate your who from your do and make the best choices that will bring you long-term success.
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