what are the 4 macro phases?

The best chance to getting strong, feeling lean and being fit is to phase your nutrition over time. ⁣
You already know that living in a perpetual diet cycle is no way to build muscle and ultimately change your shape and size, so what do you do instead? ⁣

Structure nutrition and training for your year with different phases in mind. and, phasing your macros can also allow for different health and performance goals as well as *life stuff* that may pull your focus in a different direction. ⁣

Each phase has purpose that will help you optimize creating, building and living in a body and lifestyle that you love to be in.⁣


This phase involves eating less calories than your body needs. It’s sometimes referred to as “cutting” or “dieting”. The goal is for your body to look to fat stores for the missing fuel so that you see fat loss during this time. The best case scenario is that you lose body fat and little to no lean muscle.

In general, we want this phase to be short so you can be adherent and disciplined, while remaining positive about the process. In general, if you have less body fat to lose, your deficit phase will be shorter, and if you have more body fat to lose, your deficit can be longer.

Typical calorie deficits can be anywhere between 10 and 20 weeks. Best practice is to utilize refeed days, high/low calorie days, or matador calorie cycling to prevent metabolic adaptation can result from undereating your needs.


This phase involves eating right around the amount of calories your body needs. The goal of this phase is to experience no significant change in body weight or body composition. You may see some fat loss and lean muscle gain during this phase if you are newer to tracking macros and/or strength training with progressive overload, however.

This is a long term phase – in fact, this can be the place you hang for forever. If you continue training and challenging your body through exercise however, you will become fitter and possibly gain lean muscle mass which means your calorie needs might increase. You will look for signs like hunger, cravings or low energy to eat more as maintenance is a moving target.

reverse diet

During this phase you are bridging the gap between deficit calories and the calories and it takes for you to maintain your weight. The ultimate goal of this phase is to resolve metabolic adaptation that results from being in a calorie deficit and undereating your needs. While you may see some body fat gain during this process, increasing calories slowly will lower the likelihood. You may also gain lean muscle mass during this process due to more energy being available for building.

There is no time limit for a reverse – it ends when you want it to end. At the bare minimum, you should work your way back up to your estimated maintenance needs but it is strongly advised, however, that you push past that point to maximize metabolic capacity.


This phase involves eating slightly more calories than your body needs and is sometimes also termed “bulking” or “building”.

The goal of this phase is to provide an environment conducive to gaining weight, usually from lean muscle mass. You may also gain some body fat during this phase, however, gaining a small amount of fat while also gaining lean muscle has a long-term payoff in the way of increased overall metabolism, muscular curves and strong looking physique.

Much like maintenance, this phase can last as long as you’d like, but likely no less than 3-4 months. For most people, this phase ends when you feel like you’ve optimized your lean muscle gain and you’re starting to see more body fat gain than you’d prefer.

Phasing your macros is exactly what we do in coaching! So, if you want to learn to phase your macros to look like you actually work out, apply to be a client below!

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