Last Monday, the MyFitnessPal’s server went down and we had a slew of clients lose their sh*t. Somewhere between 80-100 comments on our “MyFitnessPal Apocalypse” thread ranging from utter panic and devastation to witty banter, comedy, and relief. My first thoughts were actually,
“I’m really glad MyFitnessPal can’t see this thread because if they knew how valuable their app was they’d probably double their prices.”
Coach Amy went on quick to address the masses and wrote,
“Ok ya’ll up in arms about MFP today. Take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay. You get an intuitive eating pass for the rest of the day. You know how to balance and eat a meal! You will be close and life will go on!”
We have worked really hard to build an effective nutritional coaching program for fat loss through Stay Fit Mom and there’s NO question that it produces results. We’ve posted transformation after transformation on our social media platforms and we have many clients that have successfully implemented and have been able to sustain our program for years. That being said macros CAN also be used as an effective tool to reach a “goal.” It can be used as a means to an end. Our goal as coaches is to get our clients to a point where they feel confident in their own skin, are able to loosen the reigns, and switch gears from cut to maintenance.
HOWEVER, I want to make it clear to EVERY single client that maintenance is NOT a free for all.
Two years ago my husband and I went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Stick with me here, I know that this sounds like a tangent, but it’s NOT.
The program radically changed our lives (you can learn more about that here). We had a massive amount of student loan debt and we (and by “we” I really mean “I”) went from spending money however I wanted to a STRICTER than STRICT budget. It was INTENSE and every single month was a struggle. But we did it. We paid off his student loan and learned a TON about living life on a budget in the process. It was incredible to see how being intentional about our finances yielded us SERIOUS results. Food is NO different. When people are unintentional about their eating habits they can expect their pants to get tighter and tighter.
Once Chris and I paid off our student loan debt, we did NOT go back to spending money on all the things, because we knew that doing so would lead us right back to where we started. We did get to experience some of the financial freedom benefits that we hadn’t experienced before. We made a few big purchases and we got to loosen the reigns and give ourselves bigger budgets. The same is true in the maintenance world for food. If you throw the budget out the window you will end up back where you started.Yes, our clients track their macros 80-95% of the time depending on how gazelle intense they are about reaching their goals, but they follow diet periodization that doesn’t leave them in a calorie deficit for months on end because that WOULDN’T be sustainable. It is unrealistic to live in a state of CUT at all times. Overall caloric intake must go through periods of maintenance and surplus before cuts. As coach Amy put it, you have to EARN the right to cut and your body must hit true maintenance to be able to know how to lose.
While maintenance macros are drastically different for everyone, maintenance is pushing your body to the upper limit of macros. It’s seeing a little fluff around the middle or 5ish pounds that you might not mentally be comfortable with and letting it sit there a bit, letting your hormones balance and restore. It’s letting your metabolism remember what it really is like to work. In contrast, true intuitive eating isn’t a free for all either. Do you trust yourself at this point to eat whatever you feel. Will you eat ENOUGH to not kill your metabolism? Eat the right balance to keep your body composition? Will you get your protein, eat fiber, water, veggies or will you eat your weight in Snickers bars? If you have a good relationship with food and are willing to eat what you KNOW you should than give it a go!
My husband was among one of the many freaked-outers on MyFitnessPal Apocalypse Day. He’s a solid 6/7 days of the week macro tracker and we spent some time discussing intuitive eating. He took out his phone to see how much time he spent on MyFitnessPal last week (thank you screen time app). He spent a grand total of 18 minutes for the entire week, which tracking 6 days a week, averaged 3 minutes per day. In the beginning tracking and weighing seems overwhelming and time consuming, however this process becomes habitual. It gets easier and easier. To Chris, tracking is worth taking out the guess work. It is his way of remaining intentional with his food choices and 18 minutes a week to maintain food freedom AND 6 pack abs is worth it to him.
Do you have to count macros forever? No. But you DO have to be intentional about what you put in your body FOREVER if you want to be healthy and lean, because health and nutrition is a WAY OF LIFE.
Interested in learning more about the how and why behind the SFM Nutrition Program? The Stay Fit Mom Guide To Counting Macros on Your Own might be for you!
A special thanks to Nate Grant of TNG Photo, who took most of the photos above. Nate has consistently exceeded our expectations during each photo shoot. He is professional, hilarious, and prides himself on meeting his clients’ needs for every occasion. TNG Photography specializes in creating timeless portraits of families of all sizes, headshots and high school senior portraits. Visit: www.TNGphoto.com for more information.