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“Ask the Gals” Week 1


What should I do at the end of the day, I’m all out of macros but I’m still hungry? (I am on my period so I think this may have something to do with it). One night I did eat some extra protein but it put me over by 11, should I just suck it up and go to bed hungry or is it ok to eat protein if I’m still hungry?

Obviously we want to aim for your macros +/-5g, but let’s say you’ve gone over a little bit on your carbs and fats and your calories are already used up…Do you still have protein for the sake of hitting your protein? Yes and no. No because calories in/calories out reign supreme in weight loss. So if you're wonky on some of your macros, stick to your calories! Yes if you’re hungry and it’s going to keep you sane! 11g is not that much to be over by and is awesome! Hitting your macros within +/-5g of each can be very challenging for beginner’s and even those who have been doing macros for a little while. Aim for the best you can! Be patient and don’t forget progress over perfection!

Also be sure to read up on PMS and how to navigate that when tracking macros HERE.

Is there a guideline for how much of our protein we should be getting from protein powder? Currently, I have two scoops a day, one in my shake, one in my oatmeal. Are there any negatives from getting the majority of the protein from powder rather than food?

The only guide for this is what is best for you! When you’re cutting, since your calories are lower than normal, we encourage challengers to eat real food when possible ONLY for the simple fact that it’s more filling. Volume is going to be your best friend in a cut! BUT…if you love that protein shake and protein in your oatmeal, and it’s satisfying and does the trick, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that. Definitely what we do ourselves sometimes! The key is what YOU enjoy and what is sustainable to YOU.

What should you do if at the end of the day, you are all out of macros but you are still hungry?

Have a snack! Sometimes continuing to fight the hunger leads to binges and resistance fatigue as we like to call it. So instead just sit down to a well-balanced snack, something that you enjoy, and call it a day! If this is something that’s happening every night then you might want to consider raising your macros by 100 calories in the form of 4g fat and 16g carbs. We also encourage you to practice spreading your macros out evenly throughout the day. There’s a learning curve with figuring out what works best for you and that’s totally normal!

I’m just starting out with weight lifting. What weight should I start at and how much should I increase and how often?

This is a tough one to answer! As a beginning weight-lifter we definitely encourage you to focus on form from the get-go. Start at a weight that feels comfortable & challenging but that you can still keep good form with. As far as increasing and how often…that really depends on so many factors! How often you’re lifting, how much you’re increasing by, how often you’re doing the specific movements, rep scheme, etc… Our best advice is to work with a weight that’s challenging, and as you move forward each week, increase just a little bit more than you did last time. The key is to always bring it and push yourself! With good form ALWAYS.

Is there a place where the workout moves are demonstrated? I’m not well-versed in CrossFit moves. Also wondering what you recommend subbing for sit-ups, my physical therapist wants me to avoid that specific motion for now. Thanks!

We still need to Google moves! You’re not alone! You Tube is a great place to find tutorials and we are working on creating easy go links for you to them! Hold tight! As far as sit up subs, you can do standing ab workouts off Pinterest or knee raises, knees to elbow, oblique, or sub for any kind of body weight movements like planks or air squats instead!

I pre-logged all my meals for today. I’m about 3 under for Carbs, 4 under for fat and protein. The question I have is my calorie target was 1661, but MFP calorie count is 1553. Is this an issue to be under with calories?

So MFP is notorious for being off on calories, if you’re a macro counter, macros are KING! By counting macros you are AUTOMATICALLY counting calories. Also, the FDA allows packages to round their calories so they’re not as accurate anyways! As long as your macros are +/-5 grams you’re golden!

Awhile ago, I thought I saw a posting of good options if you need protein but no carbs, fat but lot protein, etc. Am I making this up or is there a post around somewhere?

Yes! Those are the MACROMETERS!

I’m so sorry, I bought the challenge on the 29 and didn’t notice the questionnaire was part of the welcome email and have been watching for it, when today as I was thinking about starting tomorrow without knowing any numbers went back to find I had overlooked it! I just submitted it - I’m not looking to win any money if it’s too late for that, but I’d still like to be part of the challenge. I have pics of the front and side of me, just not the back, that I could send in if necessary otherwise I’m good keeping those pics to myself.

Yes! Please send your pictures in! If you haven’t received numbers or any other materials, please email team captains!

My last coach said not to track alcohol. Should we do it during this challenge?

Yes, yes you should absolutely! OK so we know all our nourishment & calories from the 3 macronutrients: protein, fat and carbs. Well guess what? There is 4th and it's alcohol! It's not considered necessary for human life but it is it's own source of calories! 7 calories per gram to be exact…And to account for the calories that alcohol costs you must deduct from your carb or fat grams. Good luck!

AVERAGE MACROS:

BEER (12oz)

4.5% Alcohol Content = 107cal = C27 or F12

DISTILLED SPIRITS (80 proof, 1.5 oz)

Gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, tequila = 97cal = C24 or F11

Liqueurs = 165cal = C41 or F18

WINE

Red (5oz) = 125cal = C31 or F14

White (5oz) = 121cal = C30 or F13.4

Champagne (4oz) = 84cal = C21 or F9

COCKTAILS

Martini (traditional) (2.25oz) = 124cal = C31 OR F14

Martini (extra dry) (2.25oz) = 139cal = C35 or F15.4

Cosmopolitan (2.75oz) = 146cal = C36.5 or F16

Mojito (6oz) = 143cal = C36 or F16

Margarita (4oz) = 168cal = C42 or F19

Piña Colada (9oz) = 490cal = C122.5 or F54.4

Daquiri (2oz) = 112cal = C28 or F12

Whiskey sour (3.5oz) = 160cal = C40 or F18

HOW TO CALCULATE:

It can be a little tricky to track but--basically you need to know the calorie content of the drink and (let's say it's a 100 calories) you would divide that by 4 to pay for it from carbs--it would cost you 25 carbs OR divide it by 9 to subtract it from fat--it would cost you 11 grams of fat.

What if it's been 3 weeks, and I'm not seeing any progress?

First off, 3 weeks is a VERY short time. You can’t put a timeline on this process. Seriously. Don’t do it. If you’re not seeing progress you need to think about a few things first...

Are you hitting your macros 7/7 days within +/-5g? Please read up in the “Beginner’s Guide to Macros” about consistency.

Are you weighing and tracking your food? BLTs, the whole she-bang!

Are you getting enough sleep? MInimum of 8 hours each night.

Are you drinking enough water? MInimum of 100 oz each day.

If you absolutely feel like you have hit rock bottom and aren’t seeing ANY progress after being completely consistent, you can drop 50-100 calories in the form of 2g fat/8g carbs or 4g fat/16g carbs.

But before you start slashing calories...let’s consider what “progress” is. Gonna get a little sappy up here y’all.

Progress is not just the number you see on the scale.. Progress is changing parts of you for the better. It’s healing what’s broken inside of you and growing as a person. It’s learning to live authentically. To be true to who you are. Life is full of love, laughs, opportunities and growth experiences. Without these foundational components met, no number on the scale can ever fill the longing we all have for happiness.

While you push forward towards your goals, whatever they may be, it’s EXTREMELY important to us that along the way you celebrate and appreciate that progress comes in more ways than one. Acknowledge ALL your achievements and growth along the way. We promise if you do you’ll gain a greater appreciation for yourself AND your journey.

Below are just some examples of how you may be progressing and you don’t even recognize it!

Changing thought patterns

Drinking more water

Making better food choices that support your goals

Learning a new skill at the gym

Choosing empowering thoughts

Going to the gym more often

Speaking kinder to yourself

Clothes fitting better

Energy levels improve

Inches lost

Performance in the gym improves.

Facing our fears and not walking away from them

Accepting progress over perfection

Building and maintaining a morning routine (Daily Intentions)

Building and maintaining a healthy bedtime routine (Nightly Reflections)

Improving sleep quality

Saying no in a situation where you would usually say yes

Practicing forgiveness towards yourself and others

You started a meditation and / or daily practice

Doing something you never thought possible

Saying you love your body and meaning it

Having the confidence to stand up for what you believe in

Walking up a flight of stairs that doesn’t make you out of breath anymore

Putting away your phone in the name of quality time with someone you love

Focusing on your inner world not your outer world

Removing yourself from toxic people and relationships that no longer serve you

Mastering the art of letting go

Learning to not take things so personally

No longer making assumptions about what you think people are thinking

No longer judging yourself or others

How do I properly meet my macro count?

The beauty of tracking your macros is flexibility. And we strongly encourage you to find a way that works for you! It’s going to take some time to figure out the groove of YOUR macros and how you can successfully hit your targets each day. If you’re struggling to hit your macros, focus on smaller goals. First focus on trying to hit your protein and letting your fats and carbs fall where they may, while trying to stay within your calorie range. Know that you are NOT alone! Many struggle with figuring out how to hit their numbers in the beginning. There’s a steep learning curve, but that’s what we believe is powerful about macros. You are learning by DOING & SEEING what you’re eating. This is not meant to be a meal plan where we tell you exactly what to eat. This is meant to give you guidelines, and within those guidelines you find what works for YOU. Definitely takes some trial and error, but be patient and don’t get too caught up in the perfectionism of it all. PROGRESS OVER PERFECTION always.

Quote from challenger on Facebook page about her trial and error experience with macros:

Maybe this will help another! I did a macro challenge in April/May and failed miserably. I could not get a grip on tracking macros. Then two weeks I decided to just go back to tracking calories- trying to stay around the calorie threshold number I received in April. So I threw into MFP everything I wanted to eat the next day. On a whim I checked the macros for what I tracked. I was below target on all three macros, so just for fun I added in a few things here and there and -wow!- I had hit my macros just like that. I couldn’t believe how easy it was! Since then that is the method I have been using.

So if you are having trouble wrapping your head around this macro thing you might try plugging into MFP what you WANT to eat tomorrow, and then seeing where you are at macro wise and what you can adjust to hit targets.

Let’s rock this day!
— Jessica Miller

Honestly, I am brand new to this so I need to really get a handle and an understanding of macros as a whole!

Make sure you’ve read our Beginner’s Guide to Macros, as well as our most recent blog post “What is Flexible Nutrition?”

What’s the proper macro ratio to help me lose body fat?

Hmm, this is a hard one! There’s no one “proper” macro ratio, but instead here is what is important in regards to losing body fat. Protein. Make sure you’re hitting your protein. Resistance training. Lifting is by far the best way to retain and build lean muscle mass while in a cut. If you’re on the leaner side and do a lot of lifting, a higher carb and lower fat ratio will be more beneficial to you than if you were someone who was sedentary and/or has 40+ pounds to lose. But what ultimately leads to most effective fat loss is being in a calorie deficit with macros that you can *consistently* hit with adequate protein intake.

I signed up and paid but think I may have accidentally erased my email.

If you erased the original email you got after signing up, that’s okay! You can go to www.themacrochallenge.com/home-base and that’s where you’ll have access to all challenge materials! You should also be getting daily emails with tips and updates on the challenge. If you are not getting those emails please email teamcaptains@themacrochallenge.com.

I swear I got an email telling me what to do to get started for my insider challenge, but I can't seem to find it. Lead me, guide me! Thanks!

See question and answer above! If there are any technical or customer service type concerns, please email us teamcaptains@themacrochallenge.com. You can also check out our “What to Expect” portion of the Members Only Home Page to see what to expect for the challenge.

Regarding the MFP app, I'm guessing you'd like me to have the premium version so that it can be specific macros?

Yes! We highly recommend premium!

I bought the insider package. Do I need to submit before pictures to be a part of the challenge? If so where do I submit them to?

Yes! All packages need to submit before pictures if you would like to be considered for the grand prize! You can submit them to progresspictures@themacrochallenge.com

How do I calculate my own macros? I can’t seem to find it. Thanks!

“How to Calculate Your Macros Guide”

When I put the grams you gave me for macros in MFP. It doesn’t equal calories you Gave me.. what do I do?

Go with your macros!! If you have specific concerns that your numbers are off, then you can email us teamcaptains@themacrochallenge.com.

I was wondering if the formulas for calculating TDEE are correct because they differ from what is given on the Harris Benedict website. For instance, your instructions say BMR X 1.2 for lightly active, but the website says BMR x 1.375 for lightly active. Thanks!

Our recommendation is using the activity multipliers that we’ve given you! The Harris Benedict tend to be very high estimates for Activity Multipliers. They will probably overestimate the actual amount of energy you’re burning. If you use the above multipliers, you’ll probably place yourself in too small of a calorie deficit when cutting (resulting in less-than-optimal fat loss) and too large of a surplus when bulking (resulting in more-than-optimal fat gain). But as always, if you feel that your macros are too low, or you find yourself “hangry”/light-headed/moody/faint…..UP YOUR CALORIES. That is our constant recommendation. Each body is different and should be treated as such. That’s why these calculations are truly just good STARTING points. The key is to figure out what’s going to work best for YOUR body. Give yourself a good starting point and THEN see how your body responds to those macros. You kind of have to view it as an experiment in the beginning and be okay with that. Trust us. If you can stick with it, you’re going to reap the benefits of not only reaching your goals, but finding some serious food freedom as you go.

Make sure you watch this week’s Facebook Live, as Ashton talks about this a little more! You can find that HERE.

What does my “elite” status mean?...I’m eager to be engaged and involved in my nutrition again, so I signed up for the challenge! What can I expect during the challenge from you all?

As far as what you get for you “Elite” package….you’ll get weekly check-ins with a coach, and they’ll be in touch with you about that! As far as what to expect from the challenge, you can read up on how it works on the “What to Expect” page of your Members Only Home Page.

I'm sure it’s on the website but I don't see the suggested menu for next week. Where will I find that information?

You can find your recipes of the week on each week’s outline. Clickable links are on your Members Only Home Page. Week 1 Outline is found HERE. If you scroll down there are clickable links to PDFs of each recipe of the week. As far as menus, we don’t offer menus for the challenge. We believe that “meal plans” are kind of a band-aid and encourage you to follow a cookie cutter plan, while instead we would love to see you be able to work with your macros and truly understand food freedom and how you can make macros fit YOUR lifestyle as opposed to turning your life upside down by following a meal plan that might be unrealistic for you to follow through with. Because who can stick to a meal plan their whole life? Putting the work in to figure out how you’re going to hit YOUR macros is time consuming at first and there’s a huge learning curve, but if you can get past that, we promise it gets easier! BUT if you are interested in meal plans, we do love Clean Simple Eats plans because they are macro-friendly and give you some great ideas to start out! She has 90+ recipes, and you can use code THREE to get $15 off her current Fall Meal Plan.

Hi! When I calculate my TDEE using both methods, I get very different numbers. Can you help me figure out the best one to use? You calculated my macros for me earlier this year, but I'm no longer training for a half marathon (until October) so I want to use the right numbers! Thanks!

Our best advice would be to use either your Katsch equation results (lean body mass equations typically yields more accurate results), a combination of the two, or whatever feels best! If you had numbers before that were working for you before, you can probably start with those, and then after a few weeks if you’re not seeing the progress you want, then you can drop 100 calories (if fat loss/losing weight is your goal)! If you’re not training for a half marathon, are you replacing your running with different exercise? Our guess is you’re probably still exercising, and if that’s the case, it’s safe to say you can use your prior numbers as a starting point and adjust as you need to!

Would all this info be here always... Even after the challenge is over?

You will not have access to any of this once the challenge is over. We recommend printing off any materials or downloading them to your computer to save for after the challenge if you want to use them again!

Do we count all vitamins on our macro counting?

Vitamins typically don’t have any calories. If they have macros or calories on the nutrition label then use your discretion for logging. Some multivitamins have carbs. For example, the multivitamin Ashton uses has 10g carbs in it. She logs it. Fish oil also for example has 3g fat typically associated with it. Log it. But Vitamin D3 for example has no caloric value, so don’t worry about logging it.

For the challenges, does our instagram account need to be public?

Yes! We can only see posts that are public. Also, you must post the story to your feed! It doesn’t show up in the hashtag if you put it in your stories.

I’m trying to watch my videos, but they all say restricted. Do you I need to be added to the approved list?

You should have access to the videos! Email us teamcaptains@themacrochallenge.com if you’re still having trouble watching the videos.

How do I download the workbook? Can't seem to find it.

It’s located on the right hand side of your home page. There are 4 pictures with titles on them. One of them is titled “TMC Workbook”. If you click on that picture you’ll be able to access it. The direct link to the workbook is HERE.

Do you have a list of foods listing their macros?

We do! Each week we are sharing our grocery favorites from our favorite places to shop! This week you can find them at the bottom of the Week 1 Outline. We shared some our favorites from Costco! You can always find each week’s outline on your Member Home Page.

I get really bulky when I lift heavy weights and don’t like how I look or how I (don’t) fit into my clothes. How can I build muscle but not get really bulky?

This was a good article

http://www.75togo.com/weightlifting-weight-loss-bulky-heavy-woman-hormones/

Would you do videos with correct movements for the daily workouts?

We can’t promise a video for every single one, but we will definitely try to get some of the movements saved to our Instagram page (@themacrochallenge) in our Story Highlight titled “WODs”

I’ve tried to figure out how to use the recipes in MFP but I still find myself not understanding it. Could y’all explain it a little more?!

We actually have a video HERE that you can watch to see how we calculate a recipe. Let us know if you have anymore questions about it!

I have been counting macros for awhile, but I do have a question specifically regarding Halo Top and Ole Extreme Wellness Wraps. When I log these in a day I have a good amount of calories left (more so on Halo Top day or if I have more than one wrap), but have satisfied my macros. If I calculate the calories from the labels based on 4 grams for carbs/protein and 9 for fat the calories “should” be higher than what’s listed on the label. I’m assuming this is because they’re not counting the calories for the fiber. So, my question is...on those days do I go over on macros so I’m not under on calories or stop when my macros are satisfied even though I may still have 100 is so calories “left?” Thank you!

We want you to stay at your macros! You are exactly right this has to do with funky labeling practices--oftentimes in an order to appear more “macro friendly” they will list the amount of“net carbs” or “active carbs”. This is essentially a marketing term that is not recognized by the FDA. Food companies have defined it to mean the total grams of carbs minus the grams of fiber, sugar alcohols & glycerine. However, this isn’t totally accurate as our bodies do absorb some of the sugar alcohols & fiber, albeit incompletely. Therefore they can't be completely eliminated as part of your calorie/macro intake. *This advice does not apply to diabetes or specific health concerns, this is just FYI for macro-counting.

I seem to be going over my protein everyday. Should I try to lower my intake? Or just lower my carbs/fats to make up for it?

You are a rare jewel my dear! Take a look at your numbers and see if your protein is roughly 30% of your total calorie intake. While there is not upper limit of absorprion for protein that has been proven--having a higher ratio of one macro necessitates lowering your carbs and fat which may be difficult and/or unnecessary!

I live in Ankara Turkey and when you do your Facebook time is 10pm here... I had other questions that I submitted through here. Where could I get the answers if I won't be listening.

RIGHT HERE!!!