Macros and More
You’ve seen the power of properly fueling your body. When you give your body what it needs, you’ll lose fat, have more energy, build muscle, promote balanced hormones and more. Now that you’re a veteran of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss®, you have the basics down, so let’s do a deep dive into understanding macros so you can continue utilizing them properly and keep seeing great results.
Most people will eventually see a plateau in their fat loss journey because as the body gains muscles and loses fat, its nutritional needs will change as well. As you gain muscle, your body will expend more energy (remember, that’s one reason we lift, to gain that lean, calorie-burning muscle!). That means you’ll need to adjust your macros when that starts to happen.
When to Adjust Your Macros
The best case scenario is that we PREVENT a plateau, so if you see your results slowing down, you feel hungrier, or your inches don’t seem to be decreasing, then it’s time to ask yourself these six questions BEFORE you adjust your macros.
Have my measurements changed and/or are my clothes fitting differently?
If you go 4-6 weeks or even two months, and your measurements haven’t changed, it’s time to adjust if the rest of your answers are in line with proper practice. If you're continuing to see progress, there is no need to switch up your macros at this time.
Have I been getting consistent, good-quality sleep?
We simply can’t get or stay lean if we’re not getting good sleep.
Am I stressed?
If we’re chronically stressed, it’s very difficult to burn fat, specifically around the midsection.
Am I overtrained?
If you’re training for a half marathon AND taking classes at the gym AND doing the FASTer Way workouts, you need to pull it back. REST is part of the program!
Am I approaching my period, or are there other hormonal issues at play?
If you think you may have hormone issues, see a naturopathic doctor and get some comprehensive blood work done to understand if you have any underlying issues.
Am I properly hydrated, or have I indulged in food that is higher in sugar, salt or alcohol?
You may be more sensitive to carbs, so you might consider going grain free, not just gluten free. You may consider a low FODMAP diet if you feel you are sensitive to carbs.
What Are FODMAPs?
FODMAPs stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols. FODMAPs are a collection of short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols. They are found in foods naturally and as additives.
FODMAPs are poorly absorbed in the small intestine before they pass through to the large intestine. Two things happen here: 1) The FODMAPs are fermented by bacteria in the large intestine (which produces gas) and 2) the FODMAPs attract water into the large intestine. These two processes can cause symptoms such as: gas, abdominal bloating, distension and pain, constipation or diarrhea, or both.
If you have eliminated gluten from your diet and still find yourself with the symptoms just listed, try eliminating FODMAP-containing foods, which include (but are not limited to): wheat, rye, barley, onions, leeks, shallots, spring onions (white part), garlic, legumes, lentils, artichokes, chicory, dairy products, honey, mango, watermelon, apples, pears, nectarines, plums, cauliflower, high fructose corn syrup, any product sweetened with polyols.
There are six main polyols, or sugar alcohols, you should avoid: sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, xylitol, isomalt, and lactitol. Erythritol is technically considered low FODMAP (because it’s relatively well absorbed), but research suggests that erythritol can actually increase the malabsorption of fructose, which in turn could trigger symptoms. Try avoiding it with the other polyols and see how you feel.
Polyols are a very popular sugar alternative, so they are added to many processed foods in order to make them healthier. Be sure to read labels! Many people begin to feel better and see results once they eliminate FODMAPs from their diet.