Now lets talk about keeping track of macro nutrients (macros). How important is it how do you do it? Tracking macro-nutrients is just keeping track of how much of each Keto food you put in and in the Keto way of life we try to stick to low carb, high (good) fats and moderate protein. When you first start the Keto lifestyle I think it’s very important to track what you’re putting because this is a new way of life and a new way of thinking. For years we’ve been steered away from high fat and now with the new research that’s being done we’re finding out that foods that high in good fat are actually good for us. Our bodies actually need a certain amount of fat to function properly and it can not make it on its own. In my article “fat does not make you fat” I do into further detail with this.
To macro track
Depending upon the type of person you are, keeping track of your macros may be vital for longevity of this lifestyle. If you are a highly organized individual that really doesn’t like surprises and your not a spontaneous person this route may be for you. Also if you’re eating the Keto way and still not seeing any results it could be that there are some “creepy carbs” and “sneaky sugars”as my friend the Countess of low Carb would refer to those as. There are many foods that have carbs and sugars that you may not be unaware of, and in this case it is a good idea to track everything going in.
To macro track these days all you need is a cell phone, an iPad, or any electronic device. You can get apps to macro track and not have to do it the old-fashioned way with paper and pencil. Not that its hard to track the old fashioned way, my friend Steve Gonzo is a firm believer in tracking only total carbs and not even including net carbs and I tend to agree with him. In my opinion a carb is a carb and there are those of us that are more sensitive to carbohydrate than others, so if you’re one of those people I highly suggest calculating only total carbs.
Net carbs are just total grams of carbs minus the total grams of fiber in any product. The theory behind subtracting fiber is because the fiber that our bodies can not digest and in turn does not raise your blood sugar levels.
Not to macro track (Lazy Keto)
Again this totally depends on the type of person you are and how you react to different scenarios. If you choose not to track your macros this is referred to “Lazy Keto” in the Keto world, this does not mean however that you’re a lazy individual so don’t take offense. I have written an article called “Clean, Dirty or Lazy” for more clarification on Keto terms, as this lifestyle seems to have a dictionary all of its own.
If you’re a laid back kind of person who doesn’t mind making quick decisions or “eye balling” your ingredients this may be the route you should take. Some people get caught up in the numbers so much that they stress out about it more than concentrating on their goal or end result. If you can be happy with Dr. Eric Westmans advice and judge by handfuls, then that is what you should do.
I for one have done both and now I am finding because I have fallen off the wagon and been back on I might start tracking again just to refresh my knowledge of how much I can safely eat without going over. It really amazes me when you go into the grocery store and start reading labels and ingredient lists, there is sugar in everything these days and when you see “sugar free” don’t take this as truth because in most cases it is not. I included an article on sugars called “Poison By Sugar” that explains what to look for and what to stay far away from.
In my experience
Now I’m the first person to admit I am far from perfect and quite complicated as are most of us even if we don’t want to own up to it. I have jumped on and off the keto wagon several times, which is not healthy and could set you back further than when you started, so if it can be helped and you’re determined to live this way try to stay strict about it. The first attempt I was all by the book and tracked to every gram, I watched videos and researched until my head felt like it might explode with information. I lost almost 30 pounds in no time at all, it seemed like I was losing almost a pound per day.
Just like in life though there are plateaus so if this happens just keep going and know that the scale does not always show your progression as I learned. I thought I wasn’t getting anywhere for the longest time until I started measuring myself and realized I was getting smaller just not according to the scale, so don’t get caught up on that number the scale is showing you.
Myself I found that tracking did more harm to me than good, it took up too much of my time and with three small children I don’t have much of that. I do judge by handfuls and I eye ball ingredients, this works for me. You may need to try both ways and see what works best for you, either way don’t let the stress of it take over. Health is both physical and mental, we all need to be mindful of both. Experiment and do what works for you, we are complex beings and what works for me or someone else may not be beneficial for you. Please let me know if you need any help a long your journey I would love to assist you.
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