Do you know when it’s time to update your macros? Do you automatically assume since your numbers aren’t working you should probably lower them? Before you restrict your calories further, let me share with you three signs it’s time to adjust those macro goals AND three signs you need to stay the course.
I am often asked, “How can I tell when it’s time to adjust my numbers?” The answer to this question is it kinda depends on your situation (duh lol). If a client is seeing great results, it makes no sense to fix something that isn’t broken. Why would I want to reduce calories when she’s still losing at x# of cals per day? With this said, there are some specific times when we know it can pay off to do something a little differently.
BEFORE YOU JUMP INTO MAKING A SWITCH to your macros, ask yourself the following questions:
Has Your fat loss has truly stalled? First, take updated measurements and progress photos. Have your measurements changed or does your clothing fit better in the last two weeks?
If you haven’t seen anything budge for at least two weeks, then it may be time to switch things up. A two week window is long enough to see results, even if they are small. If you are seeing results, big or small, don’t make any changes just yet. Keep going with your current macros and be patient.
If a client has truly hit a wall in their fat loss, we change their strategy. Remember that as you continue with your diet, your body will begin to adapt to the amount of food you’re eating. Soon enough, it may no longer produce the amount of weight loss that you desire. If this is the case, you’ll need to adjust your macros a bit downward or upward in most instances. Make small changes at first, such as a slight reduction of five grams of carbs or fats from your daily intake. Make the adjustment, wait a 10-14 days, and monitor progress. Often this is enough to get your diet moving along again.
Are you following a carb or calorie cycling plan that limits you to less than 1200 calories a day a few days per week? These ridiculously low calories WILL NOT serve you in the long run. Yes, you will lose weight initially but eventually you will plateau. You may begin to notice you’re constantly feeling drained in energy on an everyday basis. If you attempt a low carb diet for instance and constantly feel hungry, miserable, and low in energy. Raise those carbs up and cut back on your fats. You can easily make a few shifts like this without having to reinvent the wheel.
Have your goals have changed? When a client comes to me with a change in goals, I know this also means that I need to change nutrition requirements. If you were focusing on fat loss and you achieved that goal the next adjustment could be into a maintenance phase. Or maybe you have decided it’s time to get stronger by gaining muscle (muscle building macros are my favorite to work on btw!). This means you are going to need an entirely new macro and calorie set-up. While those using a strict fat loss approach may be following a reduced carb protocol. Those who are using a muscle building approach will need to add far more carbs back to their day. As your workouts become more intense, you’ll require more carbs. You will also need adequate protein to support the repair of the muscle tissues, enabling you to see ongoing results.
Recognize when it’s REALLY time to adjust. If it’s been 2-3 weeks since you’ve seen a loss or gain, THEN it’s time to tweak those #s. I personally would rather begin to add in a hiit session than give up food but you get the idea. You can make small adjustments to your overall calories or a specific macro and go from there.
Adjusting your numbers and staying true to them day in & day out for at least 7-10 days will give you an adequate amount of time to know whether or not they’re working. You will not see significant results if you continue to change your ratios or calories. Likewise, if you’ve plateaued then it’s time to reassess these factors.
By making these tweaks along the way, you’ll begin to put together a nutrition plan that is absolutely perfect for you. You will learn about your body, what types of foods it responds best to, and how you can maximize the results that you desire!
P.S. If you’d like help dialing your macros, I would love to work with you! While my VIP nutrition program is 110% full, I’m currently offering a 1-time custom macronutrient plan for just $97. The custom macronutrient plan includes macros based on your specific goals, a sample menus, and easy to follow recipes to get you started. Get details and purchase via the link here!