Is It Working?
I take the approach that changes aren't needed until the plan you have stops moving you closer to your goals. Just because you lose/gain a little of weight doesn't mean you need new numbers.
Also, if disturbances to your activity are short lived it likely isn't needed either.
Read through the following criteria to understand if you need a new set of numbers.
Have your Goals Have Changed?
If your goals have changed from weight loss to maintenance or if you've been bulking and are ready to cut some body fat that certainly would require a new set of numbers.
Have you hit a TRUE plateau?
Plateaus happen but I just want to make sure we are looking at good information so that we can make good decisions.
Read through the following questions and if you can answer YES to them all then you have likely hit a plateau.
- Have you been relatively consistent with hitting your macros numbers over the past 3 weeks. Ideally this would mean that your weekly averages are within a 10% variance of your goal numbers. If you haven't been able to get close to your goal numbers then we would want to see daily numbers consistently in the same range 5-6 days a week.
- Your exercise and daily activity has been consistent and in line with what you originally stated on previous form. New workout routines can potentially cause a higher than normal inflammatory response and therefore weight gain.
- Has your sleep, stress, and water intake have been consistent over the past 3 weeks.
- Has your frequency of eating out at restaurants stayed consistent?
Now let's make sure we are looking at good metrics if all of those items have been consistent.
- When we are looking at weight numbers, we want to make sure we are looking at weekly averages to determine progress. You can find this information on your Macro Tracking Worksheet. A plateau is if we see the same weight for at least 3 weeks.
- For the women that have an active menstrual cycle, we may need even more information. What we would potentially need to look at is weight average from month 1, week 1 of your cycle versus month 2, week 1 of your cycle and see if you are showing progress.
- An acceptable rate for weight loss will fall somewhere between 0.5-1.5 pounds of weight loss per week on average.
- As you get closer to your goal body composition gets leaner weight will be less important and plateaus will likely be better determined by monitoring measurements and/or photos. If measurements are moving in a positive direction yet weight is stable that is still a good sign that your plan is working.
Are you ready for a new set of numbers?
If you read through the previous section and feel like you are in need of a new set of macro numbers just fill out the form below.
Please give me up to 2 business days to get your numbers calculated. In the meantime continue using your current numbers. I would encourage you to review the confirmation email of the information you submitted and message with any discrepancies you see.
Have you been using a Carb Cycling plan or ready to upgrade?
Cycling carbohydrates can an effective approach to tracking macros for a number of people. It is a natural progression as a person begins to grasp the basic principles of tracking to move to a plan that cycles calories via varying amounts of carbohydrates. The main idea is that a person's calorie intake will scale with his/her activity levels.
It can be a great strategy no matter your goals whether it is fat loss, and you are eating in a deficit. Carb cycling will ensure you maintain a deficit across most if not all days. If you are wanting to gain muscle and eat in a surplus it will make sure that you only increase calories on days, you want to build muscle and keep your rest days lower to avoid gaining body fat.
I know that can sound attractive but before you move forward with a carb cycling plan make sure you read through the following and make sure you fit the demographic of a person that would be well suited for a carb cycling plan.
Read this first before submitting the form below.
I want to make sure you are a good candidate for a carb cycling plan and not waste your time or money. Here are few things that you should be able to do or have in place as far as workouts to move forward.
- Are you a competent macro tracker? If you haven't tracked before I would advise continuing with our basic macro plan. A carb cycling plan will be more complicated than having static numbers to hit daily. I would also recommend that you would have confidence in your food choices and being able to manipulate your carb choices if more or less is needed.
- Does your workout and activity levels warrant a carb cycling plan? If there isn't a high degree of variance in your daily calorie burn you likely don't need to cycle your calorie intake. For example, if you workout 5 days a week for 25 minutes, you likely don't need to add the nuance of multiple calorie/carb goals for minimal if any benefit. Now if you have 4 days of intense, 60-minute workouts and 3 rest days where your calorie burn is a lot less than you would make a great candidate for carb cycling.
- Lastly, do you have a pretty set schedule for your workouts? Another way to put it do you know when you wake up what workout you will be doing that day? If you are the person that just wanders into the gym and finds any open machine(s) or decides to join a group fitness class, last minute, it will be much harder for you to plan out your day. Having a set schedule doesn't have to mean that you lift legs every Monday, it just means that you have a set rotation of workouts.