Why Your 6-month-old Macros Aren’t Working Anymore
If you’re like us, when you started tracking macros, you had some quick success for about 2-3 months and thought, “if this happened so quick, there’s got to be more coming!”
Six months later, nothing has changed. Your fat loss or muscle gain stalled.
“Macros is broken! This doesn’t work!”
The system isn’t broken, and neither are you. Here's what's happening.
When you first start an exercise or nutrition program (and stick with it for at least a 2-3 months) you’ll see results without making any other changes. Your body responds to the new stimulus by burning fat or gaining muscle quickly. As we know from CrossFit, our bodies are highly adaptable. Once they get used to a stimulus, they no longer respond to it. This is why we have so many different types of WODs: we avoid adapting, and so we keep seeing results.
Just like in training, changes need to be made to our nutrition programs so that our bodies have to continually adapt and change.
We go through 3 phases of adaptation: the freak out phase, the acceptance phase, and the accommodation phase.
If you’ve ever had to change your sleep schedule you know what this is like. The first week is rough and you’re crankier (freak out phase), but after several days, you get used to it (acceptance phase). Then, if you do it long enough and with consistency, you start to wake up at that time regardless of if the alarm is there or not (accommodation phase).
The same thing happens with nutrition and training.
When you first started training, your body was shocked by the stimulus you were throwing at it. At that point it was sore after every workout (freak out). But if you were consistent, results came quickly and fairly “easily”. Show up, work hard, and reap the reward. (acceptance).
Over the next few months, your body learned that it was going to work hard and it stepped up to the challenge. The same weights and movements became easier to do (accommodation).
It’s no surprise that if you continued to do those same things, you would have stayed the same! So what did you do? You added weight. You tried a harder version of a movement. You went faster. The accommodation phase is our enemy. It means the body is used to whatever we’re doing and it is done changing.
Your nutrition plan and macro numbers work the same way.
If you had been eating with disregard for health or fitness and you started to do something healthier, your body would go through a freak out period (cravings, headaches, energy and mood swings), and then an acceptance period where you’d see some noticeable weight loss, and then accommodation, otherwise known as, "I'm not losing weight anymore!"
Tracking macros is by far the most effective way to change your body. But, your body will become accustomed to the macro numbers you used when you first started.
Macro goals are not a one time thing. This is an ongoing journey that involves reformatting your numbers to accomplish the goal at hand: burn fat, maintain current state, gain muscle.
That’s why we are structuring The Athlete’s System differently.
Your macros will be adjusted regularly, so that you don’t get to a spot where your body is just plain comfortable staying the same. Once you’ve achieved your goal, we'll help you stay there.
If you're ready to stop messing around and waiting for results that aren't coming from those old strategies, click below.