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What's Your Coach Thinking? (Why Your Macros Might Not Change)

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It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for: you get a notification that your coach has replied to your check-in, and the first thing you do is skim for macro changes. We totally get it (and we do it, too)… change is fun, exciting and motivating!

There are many reasons your coach may decide to change your targets for the week, but there are also lots of reasons they may decide that your current macro breakdown is the best way to keep you tracking toward your goals! The decision to keep your macros the same is just as important and intentional as if they were changed. We’re going to give you a peek into what your coach might be thinking if your macros didn’t change.

Please remember that these may not apply to everyone, all the time. Your coach makes decisions for a reason and if you’re curious, ask them!

You just started your tracking journey.

As much as we wish our bodies caught onto nutrition changes SUPER quickly, that usually isn’t the case. Your body may go through some pretty crazy changes when you first start tracking your macros, so your coach will probably want to take a few weeks to see how your body responds to their first prescription.

You didn’t hit your targets.

Counting your macros is kind of like doing a science experiment. You and your coach need to keep as many “variables” constant and reliable as possible so you can measure an “outcome” (AKA progress toward your goals)! One of these variables is consistently hitting your macro targets. If you’re regularly going over or under your targets, your coach won’t be able to tell how the numbers they’ve prescribed are really working for your body. They may choose to continue focusing on strategies to home in on those numbers before changing them.

You DID hit your targets…

…. and they’re still working for your body. You might hear your coach say, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!” because we don’t want to skip over a set of numbers that continue to keep us making progress toward your goals. There is no rush!  

You were particularly stressed and/or had major sleep issues.

Your stress hormone, cortisol, does some really important things in your body when it is released in short, infrequent spurts (like when you're working out!). But prolonged high levels of stress can cause cortisol to stay elevated for a much longer period of time. Your cortisol levels also rise significantly when you are sleep deprived. Cortisol can bind to the same receptor that would normally bind hormones involved in water-weight regulation. Moral of the story? When your stress is through the roof and/or you haven’t been sleeping enough, your body holds on to more water. This water retention can mask any weight loss/gain that may have happened over the course of the week, so your coach may prefer to work on getting these things under control first, before changing anything.

(Ladies…) Aunt Flo is about to pay a visit.

Much like stress and sleep, “that time of the month” may also come with water retention. This is extremely normal because of the rise in estrogen levels during PMS week! This may not be the time to make decisions about whether or not a set of numbers is working for your body so your coach may let things ride for a week. Want a few more things to consider when it comes to macro counting during your period? Check out Dieting & That Time of the Month!

Water retention seems to be a theme here, doesn’t it? There are even more things on that list of things that can cause water retention, like sleep, stress, heat/humidity, carbs consumed, sodium consumed, schedule changes, muscle soreness, hydration, workout intensity, illness, starting a new supplement or medication and SO MANY MORE!

Remember that your coach makes every decision for a reason. If they move things too quickly, you could be missing a set of numbers that work really well for your body! Your coach is there to work with you to get you closer to your goals. Trust them, trust the process and trust yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Join Team WAG

Love what you learned but still want more guidance and support? Hire a 1:1 coach who will get to know you, your lifestyle and your unique needs and create results that you can sustain long-term. If you're not quite ready to go all-in on hiring a coach, check out our Macro Calculation Cheat Sheet & 18 Tracking Tips and Tricks for macro counting!

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Posted by Ali Macy
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Ali is a born and bred Vermonter who fell in love with nutrition and fitness in her early 20’s and never looked back. She is a coach and Program Lead for WAG with a BA in English Literature and a Master's in Nutrition and Human Performance.

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