Calorie Counting Doesn’t Work If…
I think the concept of tracking calories and macros is so compelling because it makes so much sense. It’s easy to grasp. Simply create an energy deficit and weight goes down. Tweak the nutrients that are delivering said energy, and optimize where that weight comes from.
The industry focuses so much time and attention on these basic concepts. And make no mistake, there are a lot of intricacies involved with calories and macros. But still… they’re very graspable concepts. They’re the kind of things you read on paper and think to yourself, “Now that makes sense.”
While the concepts relate to humans, though, they’re not human concepts. By that I mean… there’s a human element to all of this that’s typically glossed right over in the fitness industry. You’re not a computer or a math equation. The device you’re using to read this post is incredible. It’s a technological miracle that has literally changed the very world as we know it. But it still isn’t advanced enough to FEEL.
You’re a person. And people have problems. People have challenges. People have habits and lifestyle patterns. People have trauma. People have commitments. People have emotions.
You are complex. Simple formulas like “10 x Body Weight = Target Calories” or “1g Protein x Pounds at Goal Weight = Target Protein” can’t factor in all of the background noise in your life. And a lot of this background noise detracts from executing the simple formulas. Background noise is also part of the human experience. We all have it. We all either deal with it or we don’t. And therefore, we either leverage it or allow it to manipulate us.
Whether you’re a tracker or you’re not, if you’re struggling to execute, you’re not alone. The vast majority of folks who dabble in fitness struggle. With commitment, momentum, expectations, etc. You’re being told to fix yourself using basic maths. Again, you’re not an equation. You’re not a computer.
When you notice dissonance between behavior and goals, don’t jump to frustration. You’re not flawed. You’re not broken. You’re not weak. You don’t lack motivation. You’re not unworthy. You’re human.
And to change at the human level, you need to dive deeper than simple formulas, diets, and programs. You don’t see an airplane, think “Gee, that’s really cool… I’m going to try that,” strap some fake wings to your body, and jump off your roof. Flight requires an immense knowledge of aerodynamics, engineering, navigation, and probably a bunch of other things I’m too ignorant to know.
Yet, that’s what many of you expect. You’ve been programmed by our culture to expect perfection. Perfection in regards to physique. Perfection in regards to execution and compliance. See it. Do it. Only doing it… actually executing against your fitness goals on the regular, requires an immense knowledge regarding self. What makes you tick? What emotions do you feel? How do you typically address them? What hurdles are present in your life? How much time do you have to allocate to fitness? Where’s the most sensible place to start relative to where you’re currently at? What expectations should you have relative to the expectations you’ve unconsciously adopted? What skills comprise the gap between who you are today and who you want to be in the future?
It’s this deep work that ultimately shapes lifestyle reformation. Not calories and macros. Calories and macros are merely tools that humans can choose to use to elicit change in their physiques. But in order to consistently do that, you need to familiarize, accept, and nurture thy self.
Don’t jump from your roof wearing silly, fake wings. You’re going to go splat. Every. Single. Time. If you really want this. Like you know, deep down, what this means to you and how it’ll positively impact all the amazing stuff you care about in your life. Then do it the service it deserves and tie it to who you actually are rather than who our culture tells you you should be.