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Elliotandsandra

Macronutrient counting vs “eating healthy”

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My partner and I are both early 30s exercise regularly (weights at home 3x per week and long walks/hiking).

 

By most peoples standards we eat healthy. People at work often comment we are such healthy eaters.

 

We eat oats, berries, yogurt and boiled eggs for breakfast. A big salad with animal meat for lunch, nuts and fruit for snacks and dinner is lots of vegetables, some carb source (sweet potato, potato, quinoa, rice) and animal meat.

 

We are putting on weight irrespective of this and feel stuck. Portion size we feel might be a leading cause. Do we therefore count macronutrients each day and measure as the only way to go forward and get a bit of weight off?

 

We are health and fitness lovers but feel such a fraud now we have put a bit of weight on each and we have lost confidence at the beach or pool.

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Who you are is not how much you weigh. If you are putting on weight, do you know if it's muscle or fat? You may be building muscle mass. Are your clothes tighter? That's a more likely indicator of fat gain. You are not a number on the scale. 

 

Also, how much has the scale gone up over how long a period of time? It could just be some water weight from too much sodium.

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I've always preferred calorie counting to macro tracking. Count calories for a week or two and you'll get an idea of where you are. A lot of people under- or overestimate their caloric intake.
As Tanktimus said though, it's important to differentiate between weight gain and fat gain. Weight gain is great if it's muscle.

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21 hours ago, calanthrophy said:

I've always preferred calorie counting to macro tracking. Count calories for a week or two and you'll get an idea of where you are. A lot of people under- or overestimate their caloric intake.
As Tanktimus said though, it's important to differentiate between weight gain and fat gain. Weight gain is great if it's muscle.

 

+1 to all this.

 

Weight LOSS is all about calorie counts, not macro counts. I mean, they correlate with one another, but it doesn't matter what the macros are - if you're over eating, you're over eating.  Protein is king for loss just because it helps retain muscle during a deficit.  Fats are good for satiation effect and feeling full.  And Carbs are good for relatively rapid energy input for imminent work.  Different people react differently to the same macro profile, so after you have your calorie count where you want it, it just takes a bit of playing with macros if you want to try seeing how they effect you differently.  (For example, I usually feel the best when I'm a fairly even split of the three, but I know people who feel ill eating that many carbs, so they load up more on fats - even if our calorie counts to lose weight are roughly similar.)

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You are not frauds. I get that feeling, because I've had it. You are on a journey. You are trying to be healthy, and you are learning as you go. You may make some mistakes, and correct some things that doesn't make you a fraud. You've noticed that you are gaining weight, and are seeking to change that. I think you've been given some good advice. The only thing I would add is that you don't have to feel like you need to calorie count forever, just do it until you have a good idea of portion size

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2 hours ago, Elliotandsandra said:

So how do I know how many calories I should be eating in total each day?

 

Is there a guideline where you input height, weight, daily exercise, etc?

 

Do a Google search for "TDEE calculator" and you'll find quite a few. I use the MyFitnessPal app on my phone; it's a pretty good way to track calories IMO.
None of them will be 100% accurate as everyone's body is different but they'll give you a good place to start. If you find yourself starving to death or failing to lose weight you'll want to lower or raise the baseline.

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On 1/11/2018 at 3:07 PM, calanthrophy said:

 

Do a Google search for "TDEE calculator" and you'll find quite a few. I use the MyFitnessPal app on my phone; it's a pretty good way to track calories IMO.
None of them will be 100% accurate as everyone's body is different but they'll give you a good place to start. If you find yourself starving to death or failing to lose weight you'll want to lower or raise the baseline.

+1 to this ^^^^

 

Myfitnesspal is pretty easy and straight forward (I've been using it for about 4-5 years). Gives good estimates.

 

Portion control was my biggest problem for a long time...did you ever realize a pint of ice cream is 4 f-ing servings! Whoops.

 

I know the best way to measure is via weight, but I tend to go by rough estimates of servings per container or measuring cups. Anyway that you can know how much to put in your food logger (e.g. when I was re-training my brain, I measured 1 actual cup of yogurt/cereal; when working with meat products divide the purchase weight by the servings you create).

 

 

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