Reasons you’re not seeing results from a macros approach

results, tracking macros, how long for results macros stalled fat loss, plateau, tips to get past a plateau

Not seeing results from tracking macros? You’re not alone. 

While it’s easy to think there just one simple reason you might not be seeing the results you want, that’s usually not the case. There are a variety of factors that play into your success with macros and the reasons can be different for every person. 

I want you to be successful with this approach – and I know you can be. So let’s get honest and figure out where you might need to push down or let up on the gas pedal – or where we need to take hard left turn altogether. ⁣

If you identify with any, or multiple items, on the following list, that could be why you’re not seeing results with a macros approach:

  • Your macros are set too low for you to be consistent. When you have goals for body composition change, you should opt for a slight calorie deficit and aim to be eating as much food as possible while seeing fat loss. This keeps hormones happy and metabolism healthy while still allowing you to reach your goals for fat loss and lean muscle gain. If you’re slashing your calories so you can see faster progress, it’s likely going to backfire.
  • Your ratio of P, F and C doesn’t fit your food preferences. You are not meant to fit your macros, your macros are meant to fit you. If you’re constantly battling your targets – you’ll never be consistent. Let’s reevaluate how they feel for you!⁣
  • You’re failing to count alcohol towards your macros. Alcohol contains unusable calories AND when you drink it is halts other metabolic processes as the body shifts into detox mode to get it out of your system. The amount and how often you’re consuming alcohol, especially when not tracking it, can have big impacts on your progress.
  • You’re committing for days, not months. Seeing results requires 80% consistency for months and months, not 100% for just a few days. You don’t have a problem with starting, you have a problem with not stopping.⁣
  • You’re only tracking on the weekdays, but not the weekends. Eating perfectly M-F doesn’t mean much if you’re “eating whatever you want” every weekend. It’s easy to completely blow your macros (and your deficit) with this pattern. Work to uncover your “gray area” with your eating habits. It’s impossible to hit your macros perfectly 100% of the time, but there’s a wide gap between that and “eating like you don’t give a $hit” – let’s figure that out and reset your default habits. ⁣
  • You’re eyeballing food instead of using a food scale. There is a lot of potential error when is comes to eyeballing, especially if you’ve never actually measured or weighed your food prior. If you’re serious about making progress with macro tracking, I recommend using a food scale – even if just for a while. Once you’re a more seasoned tracker, then you can move away from the scale and do more eyeballing.
  • You’re eating away from home multiple times per week. Look, I’m not saying you can’t eat out ever. But, restaurant eats sneaks in extra fats and and carbs that are sometimes hard to account for in tracking – especially if the restaurant doesn’t have their calorie or macro information listed. Eating more at home allows you to more accurately track.
  • You’re never phasing your macros and only eating in a deficit. You can’t live in a fat loss phase/calorie deficit forever. If you’ve been striving for weight loss for years and years, try something different – like eating enough (not drastically less).
  • You’re not preparing your own food. Preparing your own food gives you complete control over the macro content of your meals. Opting to make more meals on your own means better chances of hitting your targets consistently. 
  • You’re eating refined, processed and packaged food over whole, real food. Eating whole, real foods over refined, processed and packaged products allows you to reap more nutritional bang for your macro buck. Plus, food companies get away with significant rounding on nutrition labels – that adds up over time.⁣

It’s also important to make sure you’re evaluating “progress” appropriately. Most often, I see clients relying on just the scale as a measure of progress, which isn’t helpful is most situation. “Progress” can look different for everyone depending on the reason they are tracking macros. Here are ways you should be looking for progress:

  • more energy, more stable energy throughout the day, less reliance on stimulants
  • sleeping better – falling asleep easily and staying asleep
  • improved recovery from workouts 
  • better energy for workouts, able to see improvements with weights or cardio activities 
  • more consistent GI health – regular bowel movements, no constipation, gas, bloating or diarrhea 
  • improve sex drive
  • improve menstrual cycles
  • changes in body measurements or progress pictures 
  • changes in weekly average scale weights 

As you can see there is SO much more to focus on besides just weight. If you’re seeing improvements in any of these areas with your current macro prescription, then I’d argue that you are definitely making “progress” even if it’s not the progress you wanted to see. Stay the course and be patient! 

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