Tips for when you can't give macro counting your all.
Macro Counting

How to Make Macros Work for You When You’re Not in a season of 100%.

The macro lifestyle has natural ebbs and flows as our lives have ups and downs. There are times when we have the time and dedication to give it 100%, nail those green days 7/7 and be all in on macros. Then there are those times when life needs us to loosen the reins a bit and we aren’t able to keep that level of intensity.

Family members get sick. Children have tough seasons and need extra attention and resources. Work gets busy. Travel. Vacation. Holidays. You name it, we can come up with something to put in the blank that challenges our commitment to balanced nutrition.

It’s okay! We are not always going to be in a season of 100% but that doesn’t mean we have to throw the baby out with the bathwater! The beauty of macros is that there are things that we can still implement daily that will continue to benefit us and continue making progress towards our goals. It may be at a slower pace than if we were able to commit at a higher adherence level, but it beats not doing anything, every time!

Tips for when you can't give macro counting your all.

Plus, if you’ve tracked macros for any amount of time, you have worked hard to build strong habits and I am willing to bet you have created some default healthy habits without even realizing it! You probably already think about protein, water, getting your steps in and quality sleep far more than you did prior to macros!

Our family is coming off a pretty intense season of life. Things are settling out now, but this summer was a different story of a move due to military orders, buying a home, our oldest daughter getting married and leaving home, and getting our family re-established in a new town. I was beating myself up for not being able to hit my macros with the intensity I had in the past, and felt like I was failing horribly, but every day I would open up MFP and give it a shot. I went at least two months without hitting a green day, but still put into practice the things I knew I could do that were within my control. I prioritized protein, drank my water, went for runs and joined a new gym. I started going to bed at 9 instead of 10 because the days were exhausting!

It took me weeks to find my scale (it was in a box of books, of course)! I was certain that when I stepped on it, I would have gained at least ten pounds. Ya know what? The grand total was THREE pounds. Three pounds! All of the intentions despite my lack of green days felt so rewarding! 

The key to success when life is crazy and so much is out of your control is to focus on the things that you are going to do every day anyway:

  • You’re going to drink! Start your morning off by chugging twenty ounces of water and get a head-start on your water intake for the day! Sleeping dehydrates our bodies and they really appreciate the quenching first thing!
  • You’re going to eat. Prioritize protein with every meal and snack. You don’t have to be hitting your coach-prescribed protein goal to still see the benefits. Even hitting 100g of protein every day is fantastic and will help keep you full, continue to help build, repair and rebuild muscle and decrease body fat.
  • You’re going to stand up and walk. Move your body! Our days are busy and chances are good that you will run errands, clean your house, go to work, etc, so be intentional about shooting for 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day! The benefits of NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) really add up over time! Read about what NEAT is and why it’s important HERE. Pro coach tip: If you struggle to hit your steps, it’s time to get a puppy! That little buddy will get you up and outta the house and you may make some new friends along the way too!! Boom!

  • You’re going to sleep. Even on busy days, you’re going to get some sleep so make it as high-quality as possible. Protect those sleep hours, keep a good wind-down routine and shoot for at LEAST seven hours a night (I am always reaching for eight)! Think of it like putting a baby to bed: you want to set the scene for settling in. Start to signal your body it’s time to wind-down by washing your face and brushing your teeth. Turn off the screens and put your phone away an hour or two before bed, sip some herbal tea, read a book or do a devotion/reflect on your day, journal- whatever relaxes you! Even fifteen minutes of quiet before turning off the lights can help you settle in for some good quality sleep.  Read more about proper sleep hygiene HERE.
Tips for when you can't give macro counting your all.

Remember that macros is a long-con game, but the rewards are worth it! Small bits of intention really DO pay off, which is why I love to tell my clients that CONSISTENCY trumps INTENSITY, every time! 

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