Monday, December 2, 2019

How Often Should Macros Be Adjusted?

I get so many questions about macros and nutrition, and this is one of the most common: How often should macros be adjusted?

I seems like a lot of people think that macros need to be adjusted frequently, and that’s really not the case. I know some macro coaches will make changes weekly, but it’s hard to know what’s working and what’s not working if you’re making changes so quickly. If anything, it’s better to approach macros with a “slow and steady” pace instead of switching things up all the time.

How often should macros be adjusted?

The initial macro calculation I give my nutrition clients is based on a few factors, including their goals and lifestyle. During the first week or two, I encourage them to pay attention and play around with what’s really working for their lifestyle. Too many carbs? Not enough fat? How do these macro goals make you feel – during workouts – and how are they affecting your mood, energy levels, and sleep? All of these factors are important in determining how often should macros be adjusted.

Macros are very individualistic and should be tailored specifically to you, so figuring out what’s working and what’s not working within those first two weeks is key. For example, I might give a client a protein goal of 150 grams a day. Fabulous… except all that protein might not really be what’s needed for their lifestyle, and they will have trouble hitting it. I definitely don’t wany clients to feel like they need to be eating a bowl of egg whites or a ton of chicken just to hit their goal for the day! Vegetarians especially are likely not going to go from one way of eating to suddenly eating a ton of protein. That’s why those first two weeks are so important – it’s a trial and error period. It’s all about figuring out what works for you!

Woman adjusting her macros in MyFitnessPal while drinking iced coffee

Once we reach four to six weeks, that’s when we will really be able to see if the current macro goals are working, and not just with the scale. Body composition, energy, and sleep are all key parts of results, too. I have an in-depth conversation with clients at this sweet spot. If a client has been losing the whole time (even if it’s a teeny amount, such as a quarter of a pound or half a pound a week), I won’t make any adjustments. As long as they’re losing and feel great doing so, then something is clearly working!

What I won’t do is cut your calories and macros really low just so that you see results fast because that’s not sustainable. Sure, you might reach your goal weight or body composition faster, but it won’t remain that way long-term. Macros are meant to be a lifestyle tool, not a diet, and eating far below the calories you need is not a practice that I preach. In fact, your metabolism will probably be a bit shocked, so once you do resume eating the way that your body needs and wants, your results won’t last.

I’m very much a proponent of the slow and steady approach, and that’s actually why I’m transitioning my nutrition coaching to longer plans. (I’m no longer offering 4- and 8-week meal plans – just 12 weeks or longer.) It’s hard to achieve long-term goals and see physical results in just four to weight weeks. To be honest, even three months is a rather short amount of time! In the future, I’d really like to work with clients for 3-6+ months, so I can really help them make long-term lifestyle changes. I don’t want people to have to keep trying diet after diet. I always say that macros might just be the last “diet” you’ll ever try, and I really mean it! 

So there you have it – my answer to how often should macros be adjusted, including when and why you should reevaluate and/or adjust your macros. Of course, this is different for everyone and based on your goals and your desired results. I would say 97% of the people I work with want to lose weight and/or body fat, so that’s always something I consider when adjusting macros. Once we hit a good point where the client is feeling great and seeing positive changes, I won’t make any other major adjustments unless they hit a lengthy plateau. As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! 

How do I adjust my macros to lose weight?

Another common question related to how often should macros be adjusted is how do I adjust my macros to lose weight? I actually get this question so often, I actually wrote a comprehensive guide to calculating your own personal macros. It provides you with the “what” and “why” behind the numbers to take control of your health once and for all. I hope you decide to check it out!

How to Set Your Macros for Weight Loss

P.S. TODAY is the final day to get the Macro Start-Up Bundle! Don’t miss out. It’s perfect for jumpstarting your goals in the new year! 🙂

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I Enjoy My Life So Much More

It’s Monday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Monday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Yup, success stories are back! And I’m looking for more. Follow-ups, mid-progress reflections—every story at every stage has the potential to inspire folks out there who are getting started or contemplating a new beginning. Contact me here to share your story—long or not so long. You never know who you’ll impact by doing it. Enjoy, everyone!

Dear Mark, Thank you for asking for my contribution. And thanks for your unending support, inspiration and courage that you show everyday in your writing, your offering of healthy food, and your very presence.

I was a food addict. I was unhealthy. I didn’t really care.

Interestingly, I had Mark’s Daily Apple on my computer for years and never put it together that it was you or that it could be of any real help to me; some cool ideas….someday. When the stronger inkling of doing something about not feeling so well came up in me (age 65), it was the book Primal Blueprint that was there for me and that I was drawn to. Ultimately, I would need to lower my carbs even more to succeed at weight loss, but I am glad I started with your book because it talked about wonderful things like walking barefoot and volleyball on the beach with young studs. It got me feeling/thinking and opened my perspective on food and life.

The pictures above are the beginning middle and ongoing part of my keto/new lifestyle way of living. I now use fasting and lower carb eating to continue to sculpt and improve and perhaps lose a bit more. I think of it as reshaping and renewing now rather than aging.

I now kayak with people younger than me and train with a gyrotonic instructor a few hours a week. I am 19 months into my new journey.

Once I made the decision and choice to do keto, and my body switched to burning fat as my fuel instead of carbohydrates, which for me took 3-4 months, when it became easy for me and has been a joy ever since. Let’s see… this piece of bread or FEEL FANTASTIC. No chance, especially since I can have my own bread which I make with all organic ingredients.

I enjoy my life so much more. Food is this glorious celebration after fasting for a bit. I continue to read and tweek things, and the adventure will never end.

This final picture is just for fun. I feel playful now and frisky. Not sure if the world is ready for me……..

Submitted with so much JOY!!!

Paula M.
September 2019

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Thanksgiving 2019

{My new wreath from Target!}

Hi friends! It feels like forever since I chimed in with a post. Did that weekend feel long to anyone else? We had lots of hustle and bustle with family and friends Wed – Friday and then Thomas and I spent Saturday and Sunday relaxing and recharging. It was a super holiday overall!

Grammie + Pea Came To Visit!

Grammie brought Gus a toy duck, which is promptly tore apart. Grammie was not too happy!

Wednesday: Bball + Date Night

On Wednesday, Thomas took my dad to the UVA basketball game, and then G+P babysat the boys while T and I went on a date. We went to Ten Sushi and had a great time!

Thursday: Thanksgiving

We each took a shift in the kitchen. I made cranberry sauce (Teri’s version with bourbon!) and Pinch of Yum’s Sweet Potato Casserole.

Mom made her popular corn pudding, and Thomas smoked our turkey on his Big Green Egg!

He was happy as a clam smoking on our new porch!

I put together a mini version of the charcuterie board from last week.

And set the table!

Thomas’s parents and T’s cousin, Michael, also joined us. (Mazen was there but he was too cool to get in the group photo so we didn’t force him.)

I had an egg sandwich for breakfast, nibbles + cheese board for lunch, and a big plate for dinner at 5:00. Plus a generous plate of pie with whipped cream! We had three kinds: pumpkin, pecan, and apple, all from Paradox Pastry.

Birch loved the corn pudding and sweet potatoes! His first real Thanksgiving.

We were all worn out for the day and in bed by 9.


On Black Friday, I woke up and made a cranberry sauce smoothie! Hoping to share the recipe soon.

Thomas and I went to ACAC for a post-Turkey Day workout (led by Matt, yes that Matt!)

We said goodbye to Grammie and Pea and then had friends over all day to watch the UVA football game! The new porch TV was installed just in time. Thomas was in heaven! We had sandwiches and some beer and did lots of cheering (and chasing after kids!)

Trim The Tree

Our sweet little tabletop tree couldn’t hold too many ornaments. But the minimalist in me is loving it! Mazen had so much fun getting out the Christmas decor this year.

While Mazen, Birch, and I decorated, Thomas reheated all of the leftovers. I think he put more on my plate than I had on actual Thanksgiving!! But that was no a problem – I still ate it all :mrgreen:

I watched the latest Survivor episode on the edge of my seat!!


We couldn’t wait it relax on Saturday after having company for a few days in a row. I went to my 8am workout class and had a slice of pie (!) and the rest of a smoothie for breakfast. Mazen went over to Matt’s for the night, and T and I caught up on laundry, emails, and couch time.

Saturday evening we went to a friends’ party for a bit before watching a couple episodes of Black Mirror on Netflix. It’s our new favorite show!

9 To 5 is my new favorite holiday lip color!

Beautycounter is on its final day of the best deals of the year!

Sunday Yoga

Breakfast of eggs, fruit + scone.

I was SO THANKFUL to get to go to a 75 minute hot yoga class at The Elements! My body and mind needed it so badly, and it had been way too long.

Hope you guys had a great holiday full of joy!

What was the highlight of your long weekend? Buy anything good for Black Friday?

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