Why I Hate Talking Macronutrients

Why I Hate Talking Macronutrients

Bold statement.  I hate macros.  I guess I should clarify, I hate the idolization of macros.  I guess I should also clarify what macros just in case.  So macros, short for macronutrients, are the big boys when it comes to nutrition.

Fat, Protein, Carbohydrates.  The nutritional triumvirate.breakdowns

People focus on these three things with great intensity.  This is no way me saying that they aren’t important.  They are.  They provide energy, nutrients, and do a wide variety of other things that are important to the health of every individual on this earth.

So now that I got that out of the way, let us get to the meat of this sandwich.  Macros shouldn’t be the initial focus of a healthy diet.  Why, you ask?  Boy am I glad you asked (and if you didn’t really ask, oh well).

When I sit down with clients and I get to asking questions, I find out that their problems are typically based on poor habits.  If you really think about it, aren’t most of our problems a result of bad decision(s) we have made?  Oh the jokes I could make here but I won’t for the sake of keeping this blog PG.

Habits are foundational.  There is no beating around the bush on that one.  Good habits tend to lead to good results in life.  Poor habits do the opposite.  Now if habits are the foundation, why would we put so much energy into other things that are lower down the list?

  • They are sexy to talk about.  It is so much more fun to try and analyze a diet and break down how maybe our carb intake is too high and our protein intake too low.  The macros are all over the interweb, diets are built daily using their names, and we make decisions based on them.  They are more appealing to discuss than closing the pantry door.
  • Nobody wants to get real.  Who wants to sit there and talk about how their environment impacts their ability to lose weight.  It’s personal and it comes across as an attack to their daily life.  Sitting down and working through why their office’s proximity to the break room leads to them eating more pastries than they’d like is almost like calling them out.
  • Easy to hide behind. This might be similar to the the above line but three bullet points just seemed more visually appealing.  Hiding behind the guise of a poorly balance macro split is common.  It gives people an out and directs the focus to breaking down those crazy numbers and away from their bad habits.

There was the meat to that deli sandwich, hormone free I assure you.  What does it all mean?  Basically it means that we typically place our focus on the wrong things.  I think it is equally important to look at why that happens.

  • Preserving our way of thinking
  • Redirecting blame away from ourselves
  • Scared to make true lasting change
  • Being held accountable can suck

Let’s open up the conversation to habits and make ourselves more accountable.  Yes it is harder to do but it is more effective.  It is only fair to ourselves that we first build a strong foundation based on good habits and then move on to something more intricate like macro breakdowns.

So that is why I “hate” talking macronutrients like its the best thing for my clients.  I hate” that it shortchanges them long lasting change.  I hate that it makes people less accountable.

I also hate walking through Ikea but that’s another story.

Brent Gallagher

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