What we measure we can manage.
If you don’t have clear data about what is going on, you can’t make accurate changes.
Tracking provides us that data.
However our data is…well…only as good as our data collection methods.
So if tracking isn’t working? You need to take a look at how you’re collecting data as one of these 4 things may be going on…
And note…I’m not saying we are trying to intentional do things wrong, but I also believe that with hard changes there are easy ways to make excuses or unintentionally lie to ourselves about how “consistent” we are being!
#1: You’re Not Measuring Correctly
There is definitely a learning curve to tracking.
And if we aren’t entering ingredients that match what we’re actually consuming, we may not be giving ourselves an accurate picture.
If you weigh an ingredient raw? You have to enter that ingredient raw.
If you weigh it cooked, make sure to select a COOKED ingredient or item in your tracker as the macro breakdown will be different and you may be underestimating what you’re eating.
Most food shrinks when cooked!
Also, make sure you’re giving yourself reliable and consistent forms of measurement.
While I know we all think we can eyeball portions sizes well…well most of us can’t.
And it’s not always that we overestimate things either.
Sometimes out of fear we give ourselves LESS!
And both can hinder our progress and prevent us from learning about what actually works.
We have to remember that the more consistent and accurate we can be, the more we can truly learn what works for us so we understand the portions we need and don’t have to log forever.
I also get that we often GIVE UP when the tracking seems difficult.
We pick a food that seems similar. But picking a Cobb Salad doesn’t mean that the macros in that salad were the same as the one you got.
This could throw off what you’re actually hitting on average.
Same thing when it comes to recipes. We make a casserole, and even weigh each ingredient to create the recipe, but then we eyeball the portion size instead of weighing it out.
While there is an amount of “deviation” or “error” we need to accept, we need to control what we can control to be consistent in the data we are giving ourselves.
#2: Not Using The “Right” Ratio
The simple fact is, one size doesn’t fit all.Tracking macros doesn’t mean hitting one specific number. It’s why in my Macro Hacks, I not only lay our ratio options for different goals that you cycle to slightly even test out what works best for you but even give RANGES for each macro based on those goals.
We have to remember it isn’t just our goal or workout routine that dictates our needs. It’s our genetics, previous dieting history, even our sleep and age and simply what we ENJOY eating all come into play.
And then we need to constantly adjust as our needs and goals change because what once may have worked, may not any longer.
Whether it’s because we’re going through menopause. Less active with a desk job. Or even simply sleeping less and more stressed.
We need to adjust.
So don’t blame the tracking. Realize that the tracking is why you can accurate tell if something is or isn’t working!
#3: Not Logging Everything
Let’s be honest here…we’ve all not logged something.
Whether it’s because we didn’t want to remember we ate it, we forgot we ate it or it just seemed like so little more we didn’t bother, those missed foods can add up.
You’d be surprised by how not counting in 30 calories of sauce can make a difference when it’s done OVER and OVER and OVER again.
We have to remember that these things change not only the actual ratio we are hitting but also the calorie deficit we create over the week.
A bite here or there as you taste meals or pick food leftovers off your kids plate…well those bites add up more than we’d like them too!
So especially to start, or if you’re feeling like nothing is working, get really precise.
I know it’s tedious and annoying BUT saying you have to weigh those bites before you take them may A. Keep you from mindlessly snacking and help in and of itself but B. Also allow you to truly know what you need!
And don’t skip those cheat days.
I know it can be hard to log those accurate, but so often we forget how those add up. Even though it seems like we’re being consistent – hitting our numbers 5 or 6 days out of 7, you’d be surprised by how those calories and off ratios on even ONE DAY can impact the small deficit you’re creating over the week.
That one day may be the culprit of your issues. BUT you’ll only know if you log even if it’s a guesstimate. And simply the accountability? Well that may be enough to start creating change!
Remember logging and tracking EVERYTHING is how we learn. And then we can move forward with a better understanding of what our body needs.
Tracking is a teaching tool.
Honestly I think one of the biggest reasons tracking doesn’t work is our mindset about it.
We hold ourselves back from actually committing to it and seeing it as a learning tool.
And anything we don’t embrace and commit to, we don’t really seek to improve at.Starting out you may struggle to log everything. You may struggle to hit your ratios.
But change requires change. And we need to embrace that and know we can at least accurately make tweaks to what we are currently doing by tracking.
But if we don’t track? Well we can’t know what needs to truly change.
Small tweaks add up.
So if you’re going to track, embrace it.
See it as that learning tool.
But truly do it. Don’t write it off before actually implementing and testing the habits.
Just remember, what we measure we can manage. In ANY aspect of life.
If you want to improve, it’s key you can truly assess what you are doing and what needs to change!
If you enjoyed this episode of the Fitness Hacks Podcast, please leave a review on iTunes and comment below if you have any questions!
And if you’re looking for help to dial in those macros and get fabulous results, join my Macro Hacks Coaching TODAY!
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