10 Nutrition Myths That Just Won’t Die
How often should I adjust my macros?
How Often Should I Change My Macros?
So you used the IIFYM Macro Calculator to get your fat loss macros and you are ready to start rapid weight loss diet.
As you go about your If It Fits Your Macros approach, there may come a time when you begin to wonder, how often should I make diet changes? Do I need to adjust my macros on a regular basis or can I just keep using them as they are?
For whatever reason, everyone seems to think they need to change their weight loss macros every time their weight changes. DON’T DO THIS!!!
The answer to this question is it depends on the situation (of course). If our clients are seeing great results, it makes no sense to fix something that isn’t broken. With this said, there are some specific times when we know it can pay off to do something a little differently. In all of the instances below, we will begin to change macros or create a greater diet change in order to ensure our clients keep seeing results.
Let’s look at these times so that you can get a better sense of how often you should change macros. For some people, it may mean changing your macros every few weeks while for others, it may mean changing them every month or two.
Here are the instances you need to know.
Instance #1: Your Fat Loss Has Stalled
When a client of ours has hit a wall in their fat loss, we move to a change in their strategy. Often times it’s a complete overhaul of their approach.
Remember that as you continue with your diet, your body will begin to adapt to the amount of food you’re eating and 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. Make small diet changes at first, such as a slight reduction of five grams of carbs or fats from your daily intake.
Make the adjustment, wait a couple weeks, and then monitor progress. Often this is enough to get your diet moving along again.
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Instance #2: You’ve Lost A Significant Amount Of Weight
The second time that you may want to consider making diet changes is if you’ve lost a significant amount of weight. For instance, let’s say you’ve lost 50 pounds.
At this new body weight, your calorie intake is simply going to be a lot lower to maintain this new body weight, thus you need to re-adjust your macros.
Yet, we only suggest doing this if you are no longer making progress or if your energy levels are tanked. Lower energy levels might be a sign of a slowed (adapted) metabolism) or of adrenal fatigue. If this is the case with you, we suggest taking a 2-week diet break (eating at TDEE for 2 weeks). After which, you’d drop to your appropriate deficit calories with a slight shift in macros. Sometimes these simple changes are exactly what was needed to improve mood and gain more commitment to dieting for weight loss.
Instance #3: Your Goals Have Changed
When our clients come to us with a change in goals, we know this also means that we need to change diet requirements. If you were focusing on fat loss but now that the months have passed and it’s winter, you may instead decide it’s time to focus on muscle gain instead.
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.
The carbs are what will help keep you in an anabolic state, building muscle as quickly as possible. Re-working your macros to accommodate your new calorie intake as well as the change in your macro ratios will be a very wise move.
Likewise, if you are going to step up your game and start intensifying your workouts to boost your conditioning and performance, this may also be a good reason to change macros around a bit.
As your workouts become more intense, you’ll be requiring more carbs and likely protein to support the repair to the muscle tissues, enabling you to see ongoing results.
If you don’t adapt your macros and make the diet change to these new demands being placed on your body, it will be hard to see results from the new training program you are utilizing.
Instance #4: You’re Not Feeling As Well As You Could
Finally, the last instance you may need to change macros is if you just aren’t quite feeling like you’re feeling as well as you could be.
If you’re constantly feeling drained in energy on an everyday basis or if you feel like you aren’t recovering as fast as you’d like from your workout sessions, this could be more the reason to make a few diet changes.
Remember that everyone’s body is unique. What works great for one person may not necessarily work best for you, so it’s all about figuring out your own system and how you are responding to various protocols. This is a big part of what we do with our clients and how we can devise programs that are custom-built for their bodies.
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. That’s the beauty of the IIFYM diet plan. You can easily make a few shifts like this without having to reformat your entire diet plan.
By making these tweaks along the way, you’ll also be putting together a diet that is absolutely perfect for you. You’ll be learning your own body, what types of foods it responds best to and how you can maximize the results that you want to be seeing.
So there you have a few of the main instances that will call for you to make some diet changes. It’s a smart move to constantly be monitoring your progress and taking a look at whether you need to make any changes every two weeks or so. This is about the length of time when you can determine if what you are doing is working or whether you may need to make an adjustment here or there.
Then if you do find that you need to start changing diet requirements, always remember that slow and steady is the route to go. Avoid making dramatic changes as this can get harder to track and pinpoint where you need to be.
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