If It Fits Your Macros

Over the years of servicing clients and helping them reach their health and fitness goals I’ve learned that I can’t help everybody. That’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned.

Weight Watchers has good intentions but IMHO it’s not that great and that’s because I haven’t worked with a single client or met a prospective client that has achieved any long term weight-loss with their system.

I’ve met only 1 person that achieved successful weight-loss that used the Weight Watchers system at one point in their life but the reason they were successful was because they abandoned the Weight Watchers system altogether, learned how and what to eat.

Have you’ve ever heard the saying, “if it fits your macros”? Well it’s a dietary strategy based on the idea that you can eat whatever you want as long as what you eat fits your macronutrient targets such as protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Though this is a strategy used mainly with physique athletes and a lot of the times can be taken out of context.

Weight Watchers was probably one of the first to come up with it being founded in 1963. Similar to “If It Fits Your Macros”, the “point” system justifies eating unhealthy food if there are enough “points” in the day.

So if you have enough “points” left at the end of the day you can have that doughnut that’s been staring at you all day at the office. Okay fine I get it, we all have cravings but let’s say it plays out a little different.

You had a bagel, coffee and a really delicious and far from nutritious pastry or something for breakfast or brunch, then after tallying up your points you realize you only have enough leftover to eat celery and air for the rest of the day. Not good.

This is something that some people on Weight Watchers do and I’m talking from experience working with clients on Weight Watchers using the “points” system. Starving yourself because you don’t have enough “points” left is asinine, which is something that I don’t tolerate with clients and I implore them not to continue with it.

Now some people have actually lost weight with Weight Watchers and good on them, but for some weight is lost only for a short amount of time. Maybe a year or two at best. You might be thinking a year is a long time, sure if you had the life span of a dog or cat.

This temporary weight-loss builds some kind of weird loyalty to Weight Watchers. Because they lost weight they believe in the system and keep going back… again, and again, and again.

“I need to get back on Weight Watchers” was a popular phrase I heard all too often from people who didn’t want to try something new and actually learn good eating habits.

When a member or client would tell me they’re thinking of going back on Weight Watchers I would ask “how well did that work for you the last time”?

Humming and ha-ing I would get a response like, “it worked really well, I lost a lot of weight”… and I would respond, “and here we are”. Unfortunately after all that time spent at Weight Watchers they didn’t learn the difference between low-glycemic carbs vs high-glycemic carbs, which is one of the many things I teach my clients early on.

Diets are bull$#!+ because they are temporary and Weight Watchers is a diet. If you really want to lose weight at all costs you could get held up in a concentration camp and I’m pretty sure the fat would melt right off, quick, fast and in a hurry along with all your wonderful muscle that you need for “tone and definition”.

Any diet can work for a short time because it creates a caloric deficit through a restriction of food and Weight Watchers “point” system does just that, except you can justify having more low quality food if you’re willing to sacrifice a meal or two later.

I’ve had a few Weight Watchers clients bring me their “points” log (food log) to show me how it works and there was a correlation between poorly selected food and the “points” system.

One common example is having a pastry that’s about 7 points give or take, rather than having a meal of similar value like lean meat, ½ cup of brown rice and all the veggies they could handle… Why not have the meal and if you still want that pastry go ahead and have it.

The problem that I found working with people on Weight Watchers was that they actually have no idea what “healthy” eating is. Sure, some can tell me what’s the difference between a protein and a carb but that’s pretty much it.

It’s sad that every single person that I’ve ever encountered that I still know of who has gone through or revisiting the Weight Watchers “point” system is still struggling with their weight, all because they haven’t learned what and how to eat specific to them.

The first step to correcting this problem is to stop chasing those diet systems that attract you with that “first 10lbs lost” that’s put up on a pedestal. People that usually rave about a new diet say things like, “ this new diet is great, I lost 10lbs already”!

So what? It only matters if the weight stays off when you go back to something sustainable. It rarely ever stays off.

Step two, which may not be so obvious, is to learn what and how to eat specific for you. This means understanding macronutrients, how much food you need to have per meal, portion control and so on. If you want long-term results you have to know all of these things, there’s just no getting around it. Ask anybody who has had success for years and they’ll tell you.

There’s a step 3, 4 and 5 or something but for now it’s enough to get you started on the right track and break free from diets.

I talk about the 5-habits from Precision Nutrition a lot so you’ll know what it is eventually if not already. It’s something that is easy to understand, learn and implement. Precision Nutrition created the 5-habits cheat sheet that I use with my clients to help them learn proper nutrition habits.

It’s something that you can put on your fridge or cut it out and put it into your purse or wallet for reference later when your out having a meal or preparing one at home. I have seen more long-term success with clients following the principles of Precision Nutrition than any diet.

You can download my version HERE, which is pretty much the same thing and I take no credit for it.

If you find this article helpful, then share it with somebody that you think may benefit from it as well.


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