Pffff, I don’t need to track my calories. I just eat really healthy I don’t need to. Of course you are, thats why you are over/under weight, feel like a bag of s++t and can’t hit your fitness related goals whatever they are.
If you’ve ever followed an exercise plan you’ll know how much easier it is to measure your progress from knowing exactly what you’re doing because you have a plan. Figuring how much fuel you need to match your lifestyle is the FIRST thing you need to do.
Whatever formulas are out there it’s important to understand we are all different. We absorb nutrients with different abilities and have different metabolic rates so usage of calories is different between us. Tracking will give you a great foundation to your food plan. You’ll be surprised what you’re consuming, or what you’re not.
Paleo, balanced, raw food or whatever you chosen way of eating is you will need a set amount of calories FACT. Calories are not the same though. Richer nutrients are what we should aim for. 2000 calories of junk food vs 2000 calories of quality food isn’t even worth talking about. Think of an old diesel car which is capable of running on chip fat oil and also diesel. Im sure you can figure out which one it runs better on.
My fitness pal (www.myfitnesspal) is a great smart phone app for this. Its default setting for macronutrient (protein, fat, carbohydrate) is protein 15%, carbohydrate 55% and fat 30%). I personally have higher protein and less carbohydrate (35% protein/40%carbs/25%fat). This works for my chosen balanced diet, it might not with yours so it is important to find what works for you and talking to a qualified nutritionist who understands your goals is a good first step.The point is that no matter what your percentage needs are if you’re not getting enough calories or too much you’ll never gain muscle/lose body fat or be optimum.
I personally track sporadically for 2 reasons. First is to keep my body weight close to my weightlifting category and secondly I slip, like every human. However I don’t want to obsess each day. I find doing this weekly works for me and gives me wake up call if required.
So if gaining muscle, strength, cardiovascular fitness and functioning at a good level mentally and physically is what you want then tracking is for you. Track your calories with the aim of entering quality protein, fats and carbohydrates into your diary. It is way too easy to have crap quality carbs. Getting decent amounts of protein and fats takes more organising. Take responsibility and give your body the quality nutrition with the right amount of calories to reap the benefits!