“Ask the Gals” Week 2

How important is it to drink a protein shake right after a workout?

If there’s any nutrient timing that you concern yourself with, your post workout window should be priority! When you’re in a cut especially, your body is in a catabolic state. Meaning that it is breaking down the muscle & tissue in your body to use as energy. To preserve as much lean muscle mass as possible, you want to make sure you have adequate protein in your diet! But not only in your diet in general, but particularly within the hour post workout window.

Nutrient timing is less important than hitting your macros in general and overall calories, so if you’re struggling to hit those, then that needs to be your first priority! But protein has amino acids in it that are delivered to the muscles to repair them after they’ve been broken down during workouts.

Carbs are equally important post workout because during your workout, especially if you’re doing resistance training of any kind, your glycogen stores are being depleted. Carbs will replenish those and help your body recover effectively and well! We encourage you to get 30-40g protein in post workout as well as at least 30-40g carbs post workout. When you’re cutting, this could be in the form of a meal instead of a protein shake. Because when you’re in a cut, volume is always helpful! But bottom line it matters what YOU like and what YOU can stick to consistently.

Below you’ll find the Nutrition pyramid that Ashton talked about in the Facebook Live. “Strength in Numbers” was our original name FYI!

SIN Nutrition Pyramid.jpg

I haven't been able to hit my protein, I always hit my fat first, can I get exAmples of protein that I can eat?

First off, just a reminder that it takes time to figure out how to make your macros work for you! It’s a huge learning curve, and that’s totally normal. Try not to be too discouraged! When you’re cutting your fats are obviously lower than they would be at maintenance, and so balancing them with the other macros is definitely an art. But you get better and better at it with practice! We have a post all about “macrometers” and how to work them together.


Below is also a graphic with some protein sources! (credit: Ideal Fit)


The following info is from @butteryourmacros on protein as well!

We ❤️ protein & want to talk about our favorite protein strategies & our sources.

For a new macro counter hitting your protein number is often the hardest part!! It’s pretty eye opening to realize how much protein your body needs! But even if you don’t ❤️ protein yet--you WILL! Your body needs it for almost everything it does, you burn the most calories digesting it & it helps you feel full and satisfied!

😋If you’re hungry--go for protein. When you’re sitting to eat: eat your protein first!

⬆️Have a high protein source at every meal, aim for at least 20-30 grams at each sitting!

✌️For most people you’ll be eating double the protein you’re used to--so think of it that way! Making or ordering a sandwich/taco/etc...double the protein. Making a recipe? Double the protein! Wherever you can double up!

🤤Craving something sweet? Answer it with a protein shake or bar! Notoriously sweet, those things ought to kick (or at least dent) your munchiness!

3️⃣ Have at least 3 easy grab proteins on hand

💞 Favorite on hand protein sources: Rotisserie chicken, Dickey’s BBQ smoked chicken, Kirkland luncheon meat (turkey, ham), egg whites, cottage cheese, chicken patties!

🤝Favorite ready to go shake: @premierprotein, GNC lean shake vanilla bean 💪Favorite protein powder: @pescience, @ilovehighfitness, @idealfit (use code MACROMOM for 10% off all products) , @optimumnutrition .
Favorite protein bars: @g2gbar (use code BUTTER for 20% off) @fitcrunchbars

What are the benefits to counting macros rather than just counting calories? Is it more effective with weight loss? Why?

Losing weight is really just a matter of eating fewer calories than you burn in a day--so cutting calories by any method can help you lose weight. However, the quality of your weight loss is vastly different when you just cut calories vs. count macros. We want to lose fat not just weight!

It’s important to eat enough protein in a calorie deficit--otherwise your body will break down muscles to use for energy (resulting in the dreaded “skinny fat” look). Adequate protein helps prevent muscle loss during a cut and it helps control your appetite by helping you feel fuller for longer. It doesn’t hurt that you burn the most calories digesting protein than the other 2 macros!

Our bodies use carbs for energy--not getting enough carbs can leave you feeling weak, emotional and unable to perform in workouts.

Fat is an essential nutrient that our bodies require to live. While calorie for calorie low fat dieting is more effective than low carb dieting--not getting enough fat can mess with your hormones and make weight loss difficult.

What is especially empowering about macros, is you train yourself about serving sizes, what macros are in what foods, what food combos work for you, what you like, how different foods make you feel, even different types of hunger! Understanding how many calories you burn in a day is like knowing how much money you have in the bank, you know what you have to spend and it helps clarify the wants wants/vs. needs of where you spend your money.

What’s the best macro friendly bread for sandwiches ??

Not gonna lie, I’m a big fan of white bread (sue me!)! Carb for carb it doesn’t hurt anymore than wheat bread! We also like Joseph’s lavash, Flat out wraps and hollowing out bagels! But the more you stuff your burrito or the higher you pile your sandwich with protein--the more macro friendly your bread becomes ;) Think of it like a vehicle for getting protein in!

How do you deal with sickness when it comes to workouts? If I’m not going to be able to do all the workouts I planned or the intensity changes for my macros for the week, should I change my calorie intake?

First of all: you gotta listen to that body. Eat if you’re hungry, don’t eat if you’re not. But do hydrate hydrate hydrate! If cold water sounds terrible, try warming it up! We’ve been known to sip on BCAA’s or get a little comfort from a warm cup of Perk Energy!

As far as activity goes: doing a little can actually boost your immunity and help with what you’ve got.








(prolonged vigorous exercise actually depresses the immune system)

Heavy strength training

Endurance training


Sprinting or power activities

Team sports

Exercise in extreme temps

This week is my 1/2 marathon on Saturday so I am tapering. I don’t want to do the WODs for fear of injuries. What should I do?

If we were you, this is what we would do:

Run for 30 minutes on Tuesday, rest or walk on Monday and Wednesday.

Thursday/ Friday Rest, or run very easy for one to two miles. Plan to get at least eight hours of sleep Friday night!

Good luck!! We'd love for you to share your experience with us on the facebook page!!!

I just found out I’m pregnant. What adjustments should I make to my macros? Also, is there anything I can do to prevent putting on a whole bunch of baby weight?

First of all--do WHATEVER your doctor tells you! Their advice trumps ALL. Unless it is your doctors specific recommendation that you try to lose a little weight--we would advise you to get up to maintenance asap!

What is the daily percentage of protein, fat, protein I should target?

It depends on some different factors, you can review our How to Calculate Your Macros guide. Generally we recommend 30-37% of your calories from protein, 20-30% of your calories from fat, and the rest from carbs! (40-45%). It’s NOT that there are magic macro numbers--it’s that there are numbers that work for you. Try hitting a set of numbers 7/7 for two weeks before changing them up.

Which pre-workout do you recommend?

C-4, WM Nutrition, Ideal Fit

Should we be weighing daily?

If you mean food YES.

If you mean YOU---that’s a personal choice. Everybody’s weight fluctuates from day to day depending on stress, sleep, recent workouts, undigested food in your stomach, needing to poop, recent sodium intake, hormonal cycles etc. If it’s not going to mess with your head, go ahead and weigh yourself every day and just take an average of those 7 days. Just make sure whether it’s once a week or once a day that you weigh yourself first thing in the morning, before you eat or drink but after you use the bathroom.

How do you count the macros when I’m marinating meats?

Weigh the marinade before you add the meat, weigh the remaining after you take the meat out. From there it’s a ratios game. What amount was absorbed? 1/2? ⅓? If it’s ½ add ½ of the marinade ingredients to your recipe.

There are days when I feel like by the end of the day I’m forcing myself to eat just to meet my macros. Which is worse- being under on my macros or feeling like I’m over stuffing myself just to meet them. My calorie level is relatively low- like 1400 so it’s not like I’m eating a ton. Some days i guess I’m not as hungry?

Make sure you are spreading your food out throughout the day--especially your protein. 30-40 grams at each sitting, pre-log a good treat (that takes a good portion of your macros). A moderate deficit is best for weight loss--going too low too quickly can stress out your mind and your body---neither of which have a positive impact on weight loss.

HAVING SAID THAT--if you try spacing it out and your appetite is not adjusting--you may want to consider getting a blood test to make sure all your levels--including your thyroid are at appropriate levels!

What are some of your best tips for traveling?

Let’s talk about what not to do--before we get to what TO do.

Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to control everything.

If you’re on vacation--don’t live in deprivation the entire time. Your goals will still be here for you when you get back. Enjoy yourself--employ some moderation if you want to but understand that you’re far more likely to wreck your mindset than your physical progress.

So let’s talk about what you can do:

We find breakfast & snacks are the easiest meals to control while traveling. It’s typically lunch & dinner that are the wildcards. Pack or plan reasonable, satisfying or protein-packed portable breakfast & snack solutions for this! Our favorites to grab or bring along are McDonald’s Egg mcmuffin or a Egg White Delight, a Premier Protein Shakes, beef jerky or  ½ a G2G bar.

If you know the plans for meals or restaurants, pre-log your meals so you can build your day around it! If you don’t know, remember that most meals are heavier on fat & carbs than we’d like them to be--so pre-game by staying high protein and rationing your fat & carbs. Use the sister account @butteryourmacros_restaurants, we’ve calculated the macros on over 60 restaurants!

If you are headed out what will likely be a decadent meal, take the edge off of your hunger so you can order wisely. Once again, we love to hit a protein shake or beef jerky--a snack high in protein but low in fat & carbs!

Whether it's taking the stairs, walking to the restaurant, find ways to move as much as you can—even if it means taking a bit of a detour (an adventure in itself!).

Thoughts on diet soda ... okay in moderation or if I’m really looking for results skip it?

Our thoughts are drink it if you like it!! There are of course plenty of people that have a problem with artificial sweeteners etc., but our perspective is just moderation in all things. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water to offset the diuretic effects...Some people feel like it increases their sugar cravings but I don’t find that too be true.

Next Wednesday I'm having surgery to repair my meniscus and ACL in my right knee. I expect to not be mobile or do any kind of workouts for a couple of weeks. What changes do I need to make with my current macro count?

After your surgery, you can reduce -3 fat and -15 carbs and see how that feels. You don’t want to immediately slash a bunch of calories. Exercise makes a difference in your TDEE for sure--but there’s not a ton of room to go below your cutting numbers--more than one or two subtractions of -3 and -15 and you’re getting TOO low.

How do you figure out how much you ate when making a family meal? Example tonight I made a stir fry for the family. Beef, zucchini, pepper, onion, broccoli, frozen corn, garlic in a little olive oil. All that got mixed up in the stir fry so How figure out how much I ate of the cooked meal? I measured/weighed all the stuff before but how do I put it in mfp? (And I can’t listen live to the Facebook thingy.)

You can watch our video on How to Calculate a Recipe HERE.  And when you miss the Facebook Live, you can watch it HERE.  We’ll email it out to you every week, so you can watch it even if you miss it live!

My cousin did the macro challenge and said that I’m supposed to be doing a weekly weigh in and measurement and I don’t see an email that’s taking me to a place to do that.

The Macro Challenge has significantly changed over the course of the past year. This recent upgrade is our 3.0 version, where we are offering a lot more! If you signed up for the “Elite” package then you get weekly check-ins with a coach as well as received your custom macro count. If you signed up for the V.I.P. package then you received a custom macro count from us. If you signed up for the “Insider” package, then you receive access to all challenge materials as well as our “How to Calculate Your Macros Guide” which can be found by clicking that image on your HOME PAGE. As far as tracking progress, we highly encourage you to be checking in with yourself and taking your measurements. You can use the weekly progress trackers & reflections in your “TMC Workbook” that is also on your HOME PAGE.

I am having a hard time hitting my macros every single day +/- 5g. And find it hard to figure out how this is "flexible" if I have to hit those numbers so exactly. Also, because i'm not hitting the macros +/- 5g every single day, does that mean no progress is being made at all?

Flexible Dieting is the scientific approach to nutrition by finding a system that works for you in order to achieve your current phyusical and training goals. True flexible dieters shouldn’t live by any set of rigid rules but by a relaxed set of flexible guidelines. This is a lifestyle and it needs to be treated as such. Try not to think of flexible dieting as counting and tracking system, but as a simple and effective way to reach your goals with minimal angst and maximal potential. All the while consuming foods you love.
— Krissy Mae Cagney

There is no definition for flexible dieting that all flexible nutrition advocates can come to an agreement on, but that is the beauty of it! Flexible nutritionists agree on the general guidelines, but then apply them to suit their individual needs. You create your own rules from the guidelines. If you don’t like +/5g, then no need to feel stuck to that parameter. The reasoning for that parameter is because this whole process is meant to be an experiment of sorts. You need to treat individual journey as a research study that may last for several years! The closer you can get to your numbers, the more accurate your research will be so to speak. If you hit your numbers consistently for 3 weeks and aren’t seeing any progress, then you know that your TDEE was an overestimation, and you’re not eating in enough of a deficit to see results. So you need to lower your numbers. Drop 100 calories. We recommend 4g Fat and 16g Carbs. But you can’t know that information if you don’t stick to your numbers.

On the flip side, if that makes your head spin, and you’re not interested in being so precise about it and instead are looking for a healthier relationship with food, and want to take it at a slow and steady pace, then aim for a goal that seems suitable to you! Maybe your goal is getting within 10% range of your macros goals. For example your protein is 130g, so you want to get within 13g under or over of your macros. OR maybe getting within 20g of your protein is a win. Macros are flexible guidelines. The key word is FLEXIBLE. Bend so you don’t break. If you find yourself on the verge of a break, it’s time to reassess and rethink your approach. What are your expectations? Are they realistic? Do your actions align with your goals or expectations? What things are going well that you could do more of?