A woman holding a fork and eating food.

Intuitive Eating vs. Macro Counting

Let’s take a closer look at the two competing trends.

There are two clear ways to watch your food choices: intuitive eating and tracking macronutrients. Both are discussed in the media a lot. Which (if either) is appropriate to achieve your best diet and meet your health goals? Let’s take a look.

Counting Macros

Tracking macros means you are logging your food and watching how it breaks down into carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Since all food breaks into these three macronutrients, it’s a fairly easy way to view food. The general premise is that if you tinker with different amounts of the three, you’ll achieve differing results. In my experience it can be useful for weight gain, weight loss and other targeted health goals.

Are you well suited for tracking macros? How many of these apply to you?

  • You are looking for a more customized approach to your diet.
  • No history of eating disorders. You won’t be triggered by micromanaging (logging and reviewing) your food and macro goals.
  • You aren’t bothered by numbers in general and don’t mind data collection.
  • You understand that daily eating and logging your food is about process and information instead of perfection.
  • You cook at home most of the time. It’s hard to track what you are eating if you don’t have control over ingredients.
  • You’re willing to work with a professional (like us!) to set realistic macro goals.

Intuitive Eating

Intuitive eating is a philosophy that empowers you to confidently choose your food after listening to what your body is asking for. It has a profound impact on food confidence and body image. It greatly impacts how, how much and what you eat and empowers you to listen to your body and let your body dictate your food. We LOVE incorporating intuitive eating into a personalized plan.

Are you well suited for intuitive eating? How many of these apply to you?

  • Must be able to eat in a quiet atmosphere not a chaotic environment.
  • Can you listen and hear your body’s cues?
  • Are you open to eating more or less and making different choices on your own without following guidelines?
  • Portions are negotiable. If you are part of the clean plate club, this isn’t your plan.
  • Do you eat for hunger and not for emotional reasons (stress, boredom, etc.)?
  • Portions are dictated internally (not externally). For example, you are not swayed by portion sizes that are served to you.
  • You’re willing to work with a professional (like us!) to learn more about what your body needs.

Is it one or the other? Absolutely not. We incorporate one and both food philosophies into eating routines. Sometimes one more than the other, depending on personality and need. It’s all about meeting your personal nutrition and health goals.

For more info on finding your best diet and on whether to incorporate macro counting or intuitive eating into your nutrition plan, schedule a free 20-minute consult with a Healthy Nest holistic nutritionist.