Green Veggies…to log, or not to log, that is the question!
When it comes to counting green veggies in your macros, there are 2 schools of thought:
We must count EVERYTHING with caloric value.
We shouldn’t include green veggies in our food logs for the day.
Personally, I don’t think one of these schools of thought is “right” and one is “wrong”, and as is almost always the case in fitness, there is a time and a place for both.
Why wouldn’t we count our greens?
Let’s face it, counting your green veggies can be a royal pain in the ass. Despite the fact that these foods DO have caloric value, I am fairly certain that nobody in the history of time has gained body fat from eating too many cucumbers. Green veggies has a TON of water, and a TON of fiber, which would suggest that they are not absorbed as easily as pure sugar. Because of the water and fiber, they are also extremely filling. I have actually found that by allowing some clients to have “free” greens, they eat more of them than they would if they were contributing to their carb count. More greens means more micronutrients, less cravings due to being full, and the psychological limitation that “restriction” places being removed since they are unlimited.
Who SHOULD count their greens?
If you are competing in a bodybuilding/physique competition, you will need to be accountable for EVERY single calorie that enters your mouth, in order to be able to make the proper adjustments down the road. I also would suggest that people who are BRAND NEW to tracking macros log their green veggies, as this can help TEACH them about the nutritional value of all foods. I do not have EVERY new client track their greens, it typically depends on the psychology and diet history of the client. If you have also reached a plateau, are already fairly low in calories, and you do not want to drop any lower, tracking your greens for a bit can give you a general idea of how many calories you are getting from this food group each day.
So what the hell should I do?
I hope this helped you figure out whether or not to track your greens, if you are stuck, or don’t know asparagus from Apple Cinnamon Cherrios, track those greens! If you feel “restricted” and “trapped” by dieting, play around with allowing yourself as many unlogged greens as you would like. As always, there is a time and place for BOTH methods, the bottom line is you better EAT your greens in some form in order to maximize performance, optimize health, and attain the best results possible!