When I first started paying attention to what food I ate, I counted calories.  A lot.  There are several camps on calorie counting and whether or not you should play that game.  I believe you should play it every once in a while.  Some times I think we can get oblivious to what and how much we are actually consuming.  It's nice to bring reality back into the picture and realize that the cookie you just inhaled was more calories than what you ate the entirety of the previous day.

For myself, I find it helpful to count calories for a few days when I am feeling a little sluggish or the button on my favorite pair of jeans has magically been misaligned.  Usually I discover that bread, oils, and chocolate have been following me around a little too much.

I use the My Fitness Pal app to track what I eat and I find it pretty helpful.  It allows me to set goals and see the nutritional breakdown of my food choices.  It has a nice little pie chart too.  Pictures are fun.

In doing some recent reading, I've come to the conclusion that no one is in agreement about exactly how many calories you should be consuming.  Although, you should absolutely know that the only way to lose weight is through a calorie deficit.  Meaning, you should expend more calories than you consume.  There are plenty of unhealthy ways to do this, but being aware of what kind of food you consume and what kind of energy you expend can be super helpful in reaching any weight loss goals.

Right now, I am not really trying to lose any weight, but I would like to lean myself out.  I don't mind the number on the scale, but I do mind the 2nd butt I have jiggling under my actual butt.  Sorry for the TMI, but it's the truth.  I am attempting to research as much as I can to understand some of the science behind nutrition and how calories matter.  This is very confusing.

I have also discovered that you can also track your "Macros".  Macro?  Macaroni?  Yes, please.

Unfortunately, this does not mean tracking how much noodles you eat, but instead it means you can track the percentage breakdown of macronutrients that you consume.  Those nutrients being protein, carbs, and fat.  Again, I have learned that no one is in agreement on this breakdown either.

I fully intended to set up a cute little example with a pie chart and a step-by-step on how you can calculate your own macros.  Um, that did not work out.  It turns out that I am still learning and math is hard.  Enter My Fitness Pal again!

Here's is my breakdown from yesterday:

This shows you my current goals (and my lack of meeting it yesterday).  I am still figuring out if the breakdown is right for me.  I do feel like tracking macros in this way will help eat the right foods.  I certainly have been paying more attention to how much peanut butter I consume.  It's so darn yummy.

In conclusion, I know that I need more research to figure out the best breakdown goals for myself.  I also know that if you have never even attempted to keep a food log in any form, you will be better off starting at the beginning.  Write down what you eat for a week, or log it with My Fitness Pal to see the actual nutrient information.

I found this article on the subject of macros and whether or not macro tracking is for you.  Worth a glance if you are considering it.  Should You Track Your Macro Intake?

Now, where's the macaroni?

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