Metabolic Coaches Corner

Macro Frustration: 5 Tips for Improving Weight Loss

By May 6, 2020 May 14th, 2020 No Comments
Frustrated along your weight loss journey? 

Here are my top 5 tips to get the ball rolling again!

We have all been there. Saturday morning comes, and you know what that means….WEIGH IN DAY! You feel confident you will see a nice drop on the scale, take a deep breath and step on. “What in the….no way…this couldn’t be possible” you say to yourself, as your heart rate elevates and you feel your face flush as panic sets in. You move the scale around on the tile slightly…”sometimes that works” you say to yourself. Stepping back on, the SAME number pops up, hitting you like a right hook from Mike Tyson. Discouraged, defeated, and frustrated, you say to yourself, “I just don’t get it, I did EVERYTHING right”, and I still didn’t drop. Sound familiar? Aside from the fact that the scale is just one metric, and you shouldn’t focus exclusively on that number, before you get too frustrated, let’s take a step back, and see if you are falling victim to one of these pitfalls.

Munching/Logging Amnesia

As the father of a 3 year old, I can completely understand the temptation to polish off a “few” uneaten teddy grahams, chicken nuggets, or those amazing smiley face french fries. However, even if you don’t ENTER every morself that goes into your body into MFP, your body sure does, and it WILL be reflected in your results. Do you ever grab a “small” handful of nuts (they are “healthy after all”), a piece of chocolate, or one of those 100 calorie frozen yogurt bars when you are hungry, but don’t log it? If you are saying to yourself right now “Well, it was only TWICE”, or “I was listening to my body”, when it comes to fat loss, “it is what it is”. Log those munchies, and remember, several “small” unlogged indulgences can really add up over time. 

Too much eyeballing (especially fats)

I will freely admit that the goal of ANY individual out there should be to be able to get away from the food scale, and not have to weigh apple cores, peanut butter, chicken, or cucumbers. There are 2 populations of people that should weigh every last ounce: those first starting out (after all, this is how you learn), or those who are feeling “stuck”. If you are feeling stuck, spend a week weighing everything again to hold yourself accountable and stay honest. In my experience, if you just did this with fats ALONE, you would see a big difference.

Why fats?

The margin for error with “guessing” on strawberries is much larger than it is more peanut butter. If your estimated serving size for strawberries is 200g instead of 100g we are talking about 30 calories here. If your estimated serving size of peanut butter is 38g instead of 16g, you are at a 200 calorie surplus. Much more problematic. Reel in the portion sizes of nuts, nut butters, avocado, oils, etc to really help keep those calories in check, and get those results coming once more. 

Not logging oil for meals out or just plain not logging oil.

Let’s face it, meals out taste better, and yes, while food prepared by someone else ALWAYS tastes better, meals out generally taste good, because, well, they are lathered in lots of cooking oil. Does that boneless, skinless chicken breast eaten out taste AMAZING? Does it come with a side of spinach that seems to have a “gloss” to it? Odds are the meal was prepared in oil, butter, or in some cases, both. Restaurants do not care what the macros of your meal contains, they want it to taste AMAZING, so the meals tend to be loaded more heavily with fats and salts. When I go out to eat, I always log one tablespoon of olive oil, and even an extra pad or two of butter if I sense the veggies have been prepared this way as well. Whether or not you count the oil that the food was prepared in, the bottom line is your body does count it, so “it is what it is.” You absolutely CAN go out to eat while tracking your macros, but if you are going to do so, you are best served to log your oil beforehand, and log the meal FIRST so you can work backwards. If you cook at home beforehand, you NEED to log all of the oil and butter that you prepare your food with. Cooking in bulk? No problem. Just divide the TOTAL amount of oil by the total amount of food (i.e. 2 tablespoons of Oil used for 2 pounds of chicken), and log the amount of food you eat proportionally. 

Too much Gum and Breath Mints

This is a sneaky one.

Admittedly, even the most well-intentioned macro tracker can fall victim to having too many pieces of gum or breath mints. I always tell my clients, “whatever you were doing before, keep doing that and don’t log it.” This makes sense when you stop to think about it.  If you were having 4 pieces of gum per day, and continue to do so after you start tracking your macros, any changes I make to your numbers will be valid, as the gum is a “constant” variable. But what happens if you start popping breath mints like they are candy because they are, well…candy? The package may say they have between 0-5 calories, but remember, the FDA is allowed a variance of up to 20% in either direction. Pop 15 of these bad boys, and you could be adding 100-150 calories per day, that you didn’t even know about. 

Honest reflection on compliance

Look at a calendar for the last 2 weeks. I want you to place a “Green Check” next to all of the days that you were COMPLETELY compliant. Next, place a “Red x” next to all of the days that you were not. When it comes to fat loss, you need a MINIMUM of 6/7 days compliance, or about 85%. Anything less, in my experience, will not get the job done. It is all too easy to remember the days you grinded through, put in a great day, and got it done, but what about the ones that you didn’t? I know, the truth hurts sometimes, but if we face it, if we own it, and we try to improve upon it, we are taking a MAJOR step towards our evolution. 

So there you have it. Feeling frustrated that the scale isn’t moving, or the tape measurer won’t shrink just a quarter of an inch? I get it, we have all been there. But remember, you have to EARN the right to be frustrated, if you take a moment to stop, reflect, and ponder these 5 points, I am willing to be that there is SOMETHING you can improve upon to help get progress rolling again!

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