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Week 5 “Ask the Gals”

I really want to sit and eat junk (mostly candy and cookies) just one day a week, lol! I haven’t caved to this mainly because I know I will feel like crap afterwards and it’s really not worth it but the desire is there and some days it’s really strong! What can I do about this desire? (Can I have a junk day lol?) I’m moving pass my viscous episodes of bingeing and punishing myself. So what are your thoughts? I love how physically strong I’m feeling and how good I feel when I eat balanced but the mental and emotional balance is a little harder to maintain or reach some days. Thank you for your help!

Ok so a couple things:

A lot of people like to incorporate an untracked meal, a “joy eat” or a “cheat day”--and it there isn’t a problem with it--it just depends on a lot of factors. You are more than welcome to incorporate a “junk meal” (not a day lol) but how do you think your mindset will respond to that? Will it mess with your head? Will it be a nice break? Will one meal turn into a day or a weekend? It really depends on your personality. And it’s similar with your physical progress also--if you notice you’re not making the progress you want--it’s tightening up the weighing and tracking and eliminating these kinds of extras that is your first step!

As far as the desire--(and we actually sent an email about this today--Wednesday)--you have to just allow it. It’s called riding the wave. Just allow it, don’t judge it, don’t make the presence of this desire mean anything about you as a person--or make it mean anything about your progress. The more you allow it and don’t judge it and don’t act on it--the less these desires will have power over you in the long run. Allowing the discomfort of cravings or negative emotions of any kind--and not acting on them or judging yourself for them--IS the secret. You can just say, man I am really craving cookies and candy right now, that’s interesting.

And perhaps consider building them into your day, like an end of day treat for example! It could be a good thing for you to understand what they cost and how to fit them in--you won’t be in a cut forever and when you reverse and count in maintenance they will easier to fit. You don’t have to live the rest of your life without cookies and candy to see or keep your results--it’s just a question of what’s worth it to and when/how to fit them into your day in a way that works for you physically and mentally.

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.

What are some good tasting (read: not scary) kinds of jerky. What are your favorites?

Great question! I’m a diva about jerky--not that I know best for everyone, but I know what I like, I have decent luck at Costco with their selection.

I like Kirkland steak strips

Golden Island jerky is good, they have a Korean pork jerky that’s good, I like their chili lime beef

I also like Jack’s links pretty well, but I favor the big and meaty varieties--when it comes to the one serving packs of regular jerky--I don’t love those, the pieces get so small and “shreddy”. :(

How do you stay on track at parties or outings when no one else is watching what they eat and you hear you can start over tomorrow or one cheat day won’t hurt?

Ok so this really comes down to you being in charge of your results. One of the best ways to build confidence is by keeping your commitments to yourself--to know that if you tell yourself you’ll do something, you’ll do it. You have your own back. Not tracking social situations becomes problematic when you decide in the rush of it, “oh screw it” and you then go extra overboard because you want to get it all in. If this happens often enough it can totally impact your results. Everyday you cut you are building a calorie deficit and one night of overindulgence can diminish or erase that deficit. We want you to decide with intention beforehand how you’re going to handle a social situation---and then do your best. Nobody is perfect. Even if you come away with “hey, I wasn’t spot on but it wasn’t as balls to the wall as I normally go”--to us that’s a win. You are in charge of your results. If you’re not seeing what you want, it’s time to troubleshoot and like I said earlier--tightening up the weighing and tracking, the untracked meals and the BLT’s is the first place to evaulate.

How do you stay motivated and on track I’m having a hard time coming back from vacay?

Totally understandable! So my thoughts are these: what do you really want to do here? If you’re still motivated to chase your goals then it’s time to sit up and get back to work--give it some good effort! When you’re cutting you need to strike the balance between “meh, there’s always tomorrow” and “I must be perfect or there’s no point. We find that balance to be: “I’m in this, I’m giving it solid effort and I’m working hard”. It is not productive to drag out a half-hearted cut for weeks or months. That’s the most painful way to go about it. Get in, do a good job and get out. If you’re not feeling motivated to cut--AND THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH FEELING THAT WAY---then reverse!! You are not meant to cut forever. Absolutely reverse. You can create great results in maintenance, it’s a great thing to do for your body and mind.

The last few days I’ve been right on macros but pushing my +5 carbs per night and I am always hungry. I wake up starving and am wanting to eat about 2 hours after my last meal. I was making it to 3-4 before. It’s increasingly harder to not snack in between meals leaving me without a macro cap and making dinner small. I also was down to 138.8 this am! The only thing I can think of is I did increase my orange theory workouts from 3 to 4-5 a week. But I also haven’t ran longer than 3 miles in 2-3 weeks... thoughts?

Ok--so I spoke to some of this earlier--but we really want you to get to know your body and your patterns through this process. When you feel your appetite increase, double check your sleep and water--are you getting enough? Is this a part of your hormonal cycle that you can tough out or do you need a bit more just to see you through? See if you can add more volume or incorporate actual food vs protein bars and shakes. On a hungry day. add in +3F +15C and if you need to do that more than a couple times a week to be comfortable, up your macros. Look at your weekly results and make outcome based decisions! If you’re still seeing progress--keep going! If your progress plateaus you can bump your numbers back down or consider reversing and counting in maintenance! Your body may need a break from the stress of dieting.