For the first 4 weeks of the challenge, I scaled back on working out. It was a good time for me to take a break from Crossfit and I thought it would be good to get up and running on the macro challenge too. So, during that time I lost 2 lbs (in the full 4 weeks) and I worked out maybe 1 or 2 times each week. I started working out again almost daily at my Crossfit gym at the beginning of this week... I'm super hungry and I've gained 1 lb already. I know I probably need to give it more time, it's just a little frustrating to have gained. What should I do? Do you think I need to adjust macros at all?
Ok--so it totally makes sense that your appetite would increase since you are increasing your energy output right? And...dramatic pause for emphasis...it also makes sense that you would see an increase in weight. But notice I said weight NOT fat. The bathroom scale cannot tell the difference. And as ironic as it may seem, upping your workouts (particularly weight lifting) can increase your weight because your muscles are absorbing more glycogen and with the increase of the stress hormone cortisol (which increases when we increase strain on the body physically or mentally) also causes some water retention! This is why it is CRUCIAL that you pay more attention to your measurements than to your weight.
So. What to do. If you find yourself hungry--the first thing to do is to check your water, sleep and stress levels. Are you around period munchy time?
When we are dehydrated, our bodies can send us hunger cues to compensate.
When we don’t get enough sleep 7-8 hours our hormones get out of whack and we have more cravings and less satisfaction from food.
Stress can increase cravings and reduce our will power.
Make sure you are staggering your protein. See if you can create more volume in the foods you’re eating--cauliflower rice, vegetables--chicken vs a protein shake. On a particularly hungry day, add in 100-150 calories (around +3F 15C is what we recommend). See how that feels. If you feel you need to do this 3x a week or more, consider upping your macros to this level.
Cutting is great--but remember that this is NOT the only phase of macros where you will see results. Whenever people are cutting calories their overall activity typically goes down because you’re tired! So you’re eating less but you’re also moving a bit less. I always have to put in a plug for reversing to maintenance because think of it this way: you’ll be eating enough to build muscle, and eating more yes--but you’ll also have more fuel for greater levels of activity and performance.