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.
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.
We simply can’t get or stay lean if we’re not getting good sleep.
If we’re chronically stressed, it’s very difficult to burn fat, specifically around the midsection.
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!
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.
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.
There are two main ways you can adjust your macros. First, adjust your macros UP. If you’ve done that and feel further adjustments are necessary, then it’s time to change your macro splits.
That’s right, it’s time to increase your macros across the board. Most FWTFL clients have increased their metabolism by developing lean, calorie-burning muscle… because of this, we need MORE fuel!
If your results have stalled and/or you’re hungry after your feeding window closes, it’s probably time to adjust up.
Calculate this by multiplying each macro by 5% and adding it to the original number. For example, if your daily carb goal is 240g, then do the following math to increase it by 5%: (240 x .05 = 12) (240 + 12 = 252). Your new carb goal would be 252g. Repeat this for fat and protein and then aim for those new gram goals daily.
Some people are more sensitive to carbs (again, look into FODMAPs if you feel you are), or if you feel your body does better with fewer carbs, consider adjusting your macro splits. Your original splits should have been 50/30/20 (carb/fat/protein). Try changing your goals to 45/30/25. Some people will eventually even go to 40/30/30. It’s important to listen to your body. Each individual is different, so what works perfectly for one person may not be right for another.
If you adjust protein up, just remember it’s expensive for your body to digest. It’s important to make sure you’re on a good probiotic (or regularly eating probiotic-rich foods), and eating lots of green, leafy veggies. Give your digestive system what it needs to function at its best.
We focus a lot on macros for proper nutrition, but we can’t forget our micronutrients!
Micronutrients are various chemicals found in trace amounts in the food we eat, usually referred to as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Micronutrients prevent disease, slow the aging process, and help every system in our bodies function properly.
Surprisingly, it’s very easy to hit your MACRO goals without reaching your MICRO goals. You could actually hit your macros by eating all fast food, but the nutritional value would be very low if you did that. Focus on real, whole, nutrient-dense foods.
It’s vital to consume a diet rich in micronutrients. A deficiency could lead to a host of problems, including thyroid issues, mental impairment, bone loss and poor digestion. In fact, humans need more than 50 different micronutrients! That’s why we stress a whole food diet in the FASTer Way to Fat Loss®. The best sources for your micronutrients are nutrient-dense foods: vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, gluten-free grains, legumes and high-quality animal products.
Focus on a wide variety of these foods, as they contain different micronutrients. If you always eat the same foods, you’ll get plenty of those micronutrients, while you might completely miss out on others in the foods you don’t eat.
Nutrition is a critical aspect of your health journey, which is why it gets such a strong focus in the FASTer Way. The strategies we use will help you get your body truly healthy, and when you’re truly healthy you can exceed your expectations, meet your goals, and live your best life!
The Micro-Nutrients in Our Body