When to Recalculate Macros for Weight Loss

macros, iifym

macros, iifymHey there! I can’t believe that summer is pretty much over! As sad as I am to see it go I’m not going to complain about apple and pumpkin everything season. Not that there’s been any short of pumpkin pancakes around here, but now its not frowned upon!

Recently I was asked a question by a client and I thought it would be a good one to share with all of you.

When do I recalculate macros?

What seems like an easy answer to those of us who deal with macros day in and day out, I realized this was not so obvious to everyone. It’s important that clients understand why and what their coaches are doing, so lets break this down! When to recalculate your macros!

 

Goal: Losing Weight

The first step to utilizing macros to lose weight is to set a goal of an average for how much weight is your ideal to lose in a weeks time. Usually .5-1lb is a safe, attainable goal.

Your coach gave you a specific number of macros and you have been following them diligently. For the first 3 weeks of the program you have been shedding the weight. Then it happens, the scale and measuring tapes didn’t move this week. Now what? Is this program worthless, your coach doesn’t know what they’re doing, you failed AGAIN?! Nope.

So what happened? Your body is a fine tuned machine programmed to maintain what we call homeostasis. That means your body will do what it can to keep everything in harmony. Essentially your metabolism has changed to use your current macros to maintain itself. (this is why long term dieting craps out your metabolism!)

If you are at a safe level of nutrient intake, and there is still weight to be lost; this is when we know to recalculate your macros. This is usually done in small increments, just enough to push past this minor plateau. You will typically take out a small number of carbohydrates and fats for the week, and reassess a week later. No change? Make another small cut. Making progress? Keep your macros here for another week.

Goal: Reverse Diet/Weight Gain

First things first, you need to know how much weight you are trying to gain each week. After all, the goal of a reverse diet is to heal your metabolism and body by adding in calories and gaining some weight!

We will approach this like a weight loss phase, just in the opposite sense.  If you are maintaining, or losing weight, then you know its an appropriate week to add in some additional carbs and fat. If you gained more than you were hoping for then maintain at the same macros for another week. Your body and metabolism is adaptable and will play “catch up”. Through a reverse diet we can ultimately improve the metabolism with minimal fat gain by altering the macronutrients in this way.

Conclusion

Making progress while counting macronutrients is only possible if you are consistent day in and day out. Reassess your macronutrient intake, weight, measurements, and goals each week to know how to approach any changes. Small, steady changes, are the most easy to keep a tight control over.

 

Readers:

When do you recalculate your macros?

Are you ready for fall?

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