Macros Won’t Save You
Written by Fritz Nugent

If you come to me for nutritional support, you have to earn your right to get macros. If you hop on a macro plan before you have other things dialed in, macros won’t save you. They will frustrate you because you’ll put all this time into eating strictly and tracking every little thing, and it probably won’t work. Or worse yet, it’ll work, supporting the illusion that you have your life in order when perhaps you don’t. 

How many people do you know, including yourself, have “dieted”? Working with me on your nutrition is not dieting. It’s a full force lifestyle change, and it’s meant to be long term. I don’t enjoy training people to have a 6-pack in three months, then they take some pictures, and afterwards lose all that progress. I want to help teach you how to improve your life in three months and keep improving yourself for the next three years, all the way through the following 30 years, and beyond.

Start with the Low-Hanging Fruit

I use that analogy frequently with my clients – low hanging fruit. People nod and give me the yeah yeah yeahs. Some people don’t take the time to think about what that analogy means and how to apply it to areas in their own life. The trendy way to say this is “life hacks”. Simple habit changes that have an immediately beneficial outcome. It’s called habit stacking

If you go into an apple orchard to pick some tasty apples, chances are that you won’t climb the tree or get on a ladder to pry the apples from the top of the tree if there are big, fat, juicy apples hanging at chest height ready to grab. Pick those apples first and make some pie! In your life, the low hanging fruit are sleep, breathing, stress, movement, and nutritional habits. Last on the list (and closest to the top of the tree) are your macros.

The Lowest Fruit

Sleep. If you sleep 6 hours or less, that’s the first fix. Eating better won’t do jack if you are sleeping like a teenager who just discovered things on the internet (90’s reference…of course). Get to bed earlier, wake up later, or both. Get off the electronics. Read by candlelight. Wind down. Did I mention getting off your phone? Get off your phone. 

Breathing. If you breathe poorly, chances are that you are sleeping with sub-optimal quality. In addition, your training suffers because you are most likely working harder than necessary. Furthermore, you’re probably holding higher stress throughout the day which further negatively affects your mood and energy levels, physical performance during training, recovery, stress, and sleep. See – it’s all connected! Breathe better to improve every area of your life. Do yourself a favor and buy the book The Oxygen Advantage, by Patrick McKeown (Kir’s Notes here). Read it and follow his simple breathing exercises and watch your life begin to improve.

Stress. If you have a ton of stressors in your life that are seemingly out of your control, then you may have elevated cortisol which will increase cravings, energy spikes and lulls, and other frustrating experiences. 

Movement. If you are already stressed in your life, there is a beneficial amount of training and movement for you. Going beyond this will actually slow your progress because it overtaxes your body’s ability to recover. Adding in leisurely walks and low intensity exercise days are common suggestions you’ll get from me if you train hard 5 days a week and aren’t seeing the results that you desire.

Nutritional Habits. Maybe you need more protein at each meal. Maybe you don’t eat veggies. Maybe you don’t have an eating schedule. There are a million things that you could change about your nutrition which could provide you benefit. Picking the top 2-3 and patterning those changes into life-long habits is a fantastic place to start.

The Path for Long-Term Success

Wouldn’t it be more fun to move closer to your goals without having to work that hard? Macros are challenging for most people! Here are the most common pros and cons. In comparison, changing your sleep habits, learning to breathe better, restructuring your life to reduce stress, and implementing some simple new nutritional habits may be all you need for a month or two. Then the macros. And eventually, no more macros. Learning to eat by feel and actually listening to your body’s hunger, thirst, satiation, and fullness signals are the final frontier!


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