Macro Based Approach for Client Success
As a trainer, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had new clients come to me and say “But Anna, I don’t understand why I’m not losing weight. I exercise and eat fairly healthy. But nothing I am doing is working”. Seriously, if I had a dollar for every time I heard that phrase I could probably buy a nice private island somewhere.
This always leads me to “Well (insert client name here), how many calories are you intaking per day? What do your macros look like?” To which they usually look at me with the most dumbfounded look like I had just asked them to give me the answer to some ridiculous math problem. I get it, not everyone has the proper tools to understand just how the science of the body works. And that’s where we, as the health and fitness professionals come in; to help teach people the tools they need to lead a successfully healthy lifestyle and reach their goals.
The reason I personally like a macro-based approach when it comes to the client’s diet is I’ve found it to be the easiest for them to follow, especially in the early stages of learning healthy eating habits.
I mean who doesn’t like to hear “if it fits within your macros” which leaves it open to unlimited possibilities? While I always reiterate to try to stick to the 80/20 rule of eating clean 80% of the time and the other 20% is left for cheat meals, there’s something about not being tied to a super restrictive diet that does a lot for the psyche, especially in the early stages of “dieting”.
Clients don’t feel deprived. They don’t feel like you just took away everything they’ve ever known. It also helps them to feel more “human”. If they go to a birthday party or out to dinner with friends, they can enjoy the time with them instead of stressing about what they will eat or just ordering a plain salad. Instead, they can calculate that small cupcake or slice of pizza into their daily macro needs. It’s an eye-opener for serving sizes. This is one of the biggest “ah-ha” moments my clients have when they start tracking macros. It’s truly amazing how skewed our versions of 1 tablespoon or 1/2 a cup can truly be until you start measuring everything out. And the calories add up quickly with that extra spillover of serving sizes.
Macros are also very personalized.
Depending on your body type, activity level, lifestyle, etc. all determine the macros that suit your needs best. Some people will thrive off of more carbohydrates like athletes. Some people will thrive better with more healthy fats if they tend to be more insulin resistant.
This is why it’s best to use a professional (RD, Precision Nutrition Coach, etc.) to calculate your macros rather than just using a macro calculator you found off the internet that only basis it off of your age, weight, and goal. Macros aren’t a “one size fits all” approach that is generically calculated and generated on a website.
In conclusion, in a world where we have so many “fad diets’ in the market nowadays. Why not use an approach that is proven and is sustainable and successful for clients. Inevitably that is our goal as trainers, to set our clients up for long-term success.
Anna Pagnotta NASM CPT, PN1 Coach