Counting your macros (macronutrients) is like the older, more mature version of just counting calories.
When you’re counting macros, you’re tracking your 3 different variables (proteins, carbs, fats) and told to hit a specific amount based on whatever formula you’re using.
A lot of people like to call this IIFYM (if it fits your macros) or flexible dieting.
On the other hand, when you just count calories, you’re only tracking 1 variable (the overall amount of calories).
But tracking macros is highly recommended over only tracking calories since you could make your entire daily calorie intake consist of Cool Ranch Doritos, and while you could technically lose weight doing this, it’s a pretty stupid thing to do.
Hopefully I don’t need to explain why.
But when you track macros, you might to be told (for example) to get:
- 180 grams of protein
- 300 grams of carbs
- 50 grams of fat
So in theory, as long as you “hit your macros,” you’re good to go and on your way to looking like a shredded motherfucker.
You even get to fit in more “fun” foods like cake and ice cream as long as you account for them in your macros.
So all you need to do is hit my macros and I still get to eat and enjoy my favorite foods.
It sounds like a pipe dream, right?
Yeah…not so fast.
The “dark side” of tracking macros that no one talks about
Tracking macros is great. It’s one of the hottest trends in fitness.
But I find very few people talk about the hidden, “dark side” of macro tracking.
All these guys talk about IIFYM like it’s the greatest thing in the world and how they’re able to eat foods like cookies and pop-tarts on a daily basis…
But if you take a deeper look into how they actually live their lives, it gets pretty crazy.
Obsession & the lack of flexibility
A few years ago, I was obsessed with video games.
Call of Duty, Halo, Skyrim, Assassins Creed….
I played the shit out of those games. Every waking moment of my life was spent playing my Xbox.
Don’t get me wrong, I still play games, just not as much and it’s not something I think about every waking moment of my life.
But this is how I feel a lot of “if it fits your macros” guys are with their diet – obsessed.
They’re obsessed with hitting their macros exactly “on the dot.”
They bring food scales to restaurants so they can make sure they’re getting exactly 300 grams of chicken breast.
They turn down social events because they don’t want to go over their macros.
Is this really a good way to live?
Sure you might not be eating brown rice and chicken 6x per day, and sure, maybe you can fit in a cookie every now and then.
But at what price?
Is the obsessive compulsive nature of tracking macros down to the exact gram really a way of living?
Introducing Macro FLEX Tracking – The (even more) flexible approach to tracking your diet and macros that you’ll actually enjoy
Macro FLEX tracking (MFT) takes the underlying concept of IIFYM, strips it down to its core essentials, while maintaining its overall effectiveness.
It’s incredibly flexible (yes I know people say tracking macros is flexible, but this is even more flexible).
It doesn’t require you to bring food scales to restaurants and look like a freak.
It actually lets you live like a normal human being and enjoy your life like I teach with the non-fitness lifestyle.
MFT tracks overall calories and protein
With MFT, the only 2 numbers you’ll be actually be tracking are your overall calorie and protein intake.
This is 100x easier and more flexible than trying to track protein, carbs, and fats and trying to make sure all those 3 numbers line up at the end of the day.
I put the emphasis on protein because it’s one of the main factors that determine whether someone maintains or gain muscle. Aim for a minimum of 0.8 grams per pound of bodyweight.
MFT ballparks your carb and fat intake
Yes I know the term “ballpark” is incredibly vague and subjective but hear me out.
When it comes to macronutrient ratios, I always recommend a balance of protein, carbs, and fats. If you go too high or too low in any one the macros, you’ll definitely experience some sort of backlash.
Go too low in protein? You lose muscle.
Go too low in carbs? You feel like crap and workout performance will suffer
Go too low in fats? Testosterone levels drop.
But what I find to be incredibly true for people who have used the MFT system, is that when you focus on hitting your protein numbers and just ballpark/eyeball the rest of your calories to include a healthy balance of carbs and fats, you end up doing just fine.
If you struggle with tracking all 3 macros, I definitely suggest giving MFT a shot.
MFT still places an emphasis on whole, nutritious foods
MFT is not a “eat whatever the fuck you want” buffet.
You still need to be mindful of what you’re eating and try your best to eat mostly whole, nutritious foods.
And no, this isn’t the little hippie inside of me saying you need to eat clean and all that bullshit.
Point is, if you want to maintain optimal performance (both mentally and physically), and just be healthy human being, then you should be eating a lot of whole foods like potatoes, fruits, veggies, nuts, and lean meats.
I’ve tried MFT while just eating Burger King, Sour Patch Kids, and chugged protein shakes to get my protein. It works but I feel like crap EVERY SINGLE TIME.
MFT lets you enjoy life again
I always like to come back to the concept of enjoying life.
This is something I feel a lot of people have “lost” as they enter this whole fitness journey thingy.
We become obsessed with the gym.
We become obsessed with our diets, eating healthy, and tracking macros.
But what’s the point of all this crap if it takes over our lives.
My goal with MFT, the non-fitness lifestyle, and my course Superhero Shredding is to change that, to let people know that it’s okay to relax a bit and that it’s absolutely possible to get a great body without being obsessed with tracking your diet.
Do you track macros? What do you think about IIFYM vs MFT? Let me know in the comments below.