24 comments / Posted by Ryan Schroers

This is Coach Ryan here, transcribing some of the questions we received, that we feel can be of value to all of you! We will be updating this regularly as questions come in!  
Some of these are just questions flat out asking for macros...which we would nt normally include, but we feel this gives plenty reference for how different each individual's set of macros will be, depending on their goals. These are to not show what exactly YOU should eat, but just as a reference to how we approach individual variables. 





I am currently 4 weeks out of a bikini completion.
My bf% was last measured at 15%
I weight 98-99lbs
Height 4'11.5"
Lifting heavy 6x a week
Cardio 6x weekly 1-2 30 hiit sessions
I want to know what a good reverse diet macro would be to start off after prep!
Appreciate your company and all the awesome material you put out there! 💪🏽


Really glad you reached out and sincerely good luck at your show!!!! Keep us updated on how you are, as you start to reverse. We would love to help as that is always a troublesome area for competitors! 
Saying that, any set of macros i could give you this deep into prep would be highly general as contest prep is a whole different animal when it comes to how your body adapts to the deficit over time.  You will have a new* maintenance calories based on your overall composition post show BUT for our clients we HIGHLY recommend going back to what your maintenance once was before the diet -200 calories.  
 So nearly what you were eating in regards to macronutrient breakdown before you started contest prep. This will allow your metabolism to recover as quickly as possible (which studies show as early as 2 weeks). Another awesome note, is even though you will be gaining back weight and of course fat, you WILL store it differently each time you come out of a diet and especially a contest prep.  And depending on your training intensity (How much total volume) your body will also be able to utilize any extra calories to repair and rebuild, let alone regulate hormones more effectively, which will help in overall distribution!  


my info:
5" 4-1/2' inches
26 years old
This mornings weight 146.6pds
I take a probiotic, multi and fish oil from Legion and biotin every morning - any other supps you recommend ?
I drink almost a gallon of water a day
I currently go to the gym 5 days a week 1x week cardio session (MISS) - mostly hypertrophy training squatting 1x a week and deadlifting 1x a week since i need to take a step back squatting so much and doing lower back training to heal for now -
I want to grow my booty lol and also get my core strength and lower back stronger what excercises do you guys recommend?

I follow the IIFYM lifestyle and i am looking to drop to 135pds very slowly ..
What should my macros be?
What could be my maintenance macros once at 135pds ..
How often should i be switching my macros ?
What is the most accurate way to figure out my macros on my own?

Thank you so so much !!!

A: Based on the general information given we can comfortably start you off at roughly:

(~1810 calories)
And keep cardio as is for now!!

For tracking food intake, I recommend using MyFitnessPal or any other food-tracking app! The ultimate goal is to stay within +/-5g for carbs and protein, and +/-2g for fats! As you track your macros, you do not need to pay attention to the total calories as that will stay relatively the same as long as you are hitting your macros! 
It looks like you're taking the most essential supps - the only other supplement I would recommend, but isn't absolutely necessary, is creatine! (see our Blog on Creatine!)
For adjusting your macros and cardio, we would recommend using the free weekly Check in log in the accountability section of our site - you can log your weekly progress and best determine how to make changes each week. If your weekly weight average doesn't decrease at the rate you want it to, or at all, after one week, then you can adjust either macros, cardio, or both. You can take away macros from fats or carbs or both - whatever your personal eating preference is! Macro adjustments should be considered weekly - but may not be needed every week, depending on the progress you are making. This is why progress pictures are important too!
To determine your maintenance macros at your goal weight, you would have to experiment, particularly after dieting for some time - finding the accurate macros, regardless of calculation, does require some trial and error to see how your body responds. Overall, progressive training volume is going to be the variable to success in regards to eating more and achieving your physique, over time. 


Q: How do you calculate drinking alcohol into your macros?

A: Great question! Alcohol is its own macro - 7 calories/gram. Hard to attach "nutrient" onto that, as alcohol carries no nutritional value, in regards to short or long term health. If you scan the alcohol into MFP, it should come up with the amount of calories in a serving! You can track those calories as carbs or fats, and adjust the rest of the day accordingly! For example, if I have a glass of red wine, it'll be most likely 120 calories for a 4 oz serving. If I have one glass, I can track it as 30g of carbs or as 13g fat, or a mixture of the two!


Q: Female

Age: 42
Height: 5'6
Current weight:  149ish. 
Activity level: at work, sedentary (1 of 5 activity level)
Cardio: I do 1 hour 7 days a week of cardio stair master on level 9 and 10
Training routine: 30 minutes of weight training alternate leg and arm days and 1 hour of cardio.  Saturdays I will do 45 minutes of weight training. I would love to lose some weight without feeling the diet feels. I have tracked on my fitness pal but I end up being consumed by the numbers and being hard on myself. Do u think I need to do more weight training? 

A: Based on your information, here are your starting macros:

(~1910 calories)

For tracking food intake, I recommend using MyFitnessPal or any other food-tracking app - which it seems you already do! The ultimate goal is to stay within +/-5g for carbs and protein, and +/-2g for fats! As you track your macros, you do not need to pay attention to the total calories or the ratios, as they will stay relatively the same as long as you are hitting your macros!

We recommend heavily tapering down cardio, and decreasing as needed from week to week based on your progress. I would say initially cut down to 15-20 mins of cardio for each session, then cut down the number of sessions as you progress! If you have the time, I would also add in one more day of lifting! If you don't, I would recommend increasing the training volume and intensity in your lifting sessions to increase your calorie expenditure! You can do so by adding in sets, reps, decreasing rest periods, or turning some of the exercises into supersets! Each training session should typically last for 45-60 mins each session. The progressive weight lifted over time will be the ultimate variable in terms of you achieving your goal physique and body fat %.

Q: Is it worth upgrading MFP so that I have more control over the app and can better control my macros in grams and have more details available to me? I only use the free version right now but it seems very limiting on my ability to track my macros in grams and such like that. It's $50 a year, so that's only about $5 a month, I was just wondering if you guys personally use the premium version and if the yearly fee is worth it? 

A:  We personally use the free version. We manually set my calorie goal and then don't pay much attention to the macro goals that the app sets for us. BUT, saying this, we always try and get our mind off food in general, so paying for an app that heightens our focus food would be counter productive. It's all about preference and what it will take for YOU to adhere to this long term. 

Q: What foods would you recommend me have more of, and foods and food groups to eat less of to help me maintain weight and help lose without starving my muscles and feeding my body properly?

A: There are no magic foods that will have benefits in terms of weight loss - the overall intake is what matters most. I recommend practicing an 80/20 or 90/10 rule - 80-90% of your intake coming from nutrient-dense foods like lean protein, vegetables, and the like, and the remainder of your intake coming from more "fun," less nutrient-dense foods like candy or cookies, etc. This will allow you to have balance in your diet, helping you reach your goals and keeping your health in check through getting your micros as well!


 Q: And to go along with those macros what would you suggest calorie-wise? Also are the micros important? Specifically wondering what approximate sugar and sodium would go along with those. 


A: Those Macros actually end up to be around 2100 calories!

But i wouldn't worry about tracking calories if you are already tracking macronutrients.
1 gram of carb= 4 calories
1 gram of protein = 4 calories 
1 gram of fat = 9 calories
so basically if you are tracking Macros, you are tracking calories by default!
Micros Definitely play a part of your overall health long term and immediately in regards to water retention/other subtle variances, but sodium is not something you need to worry about tracking long term. Nothing will come of a high sodium intake if potassium is not being neglected over the course of several weeks/months.  Other micros can be accounted for with a good "greens" product, multi vitamin each day, fish/krill oil product, etc ! Hope this helps!
Q:   How much cardio should i do daily/weekly to lose stomach fat but without losing too much of my muscle? What if I cut off more carbs than what you recommend? For example, I would eat more protein but fewer carbs (vegetables). Would there be any negative effects in my journey of gaining muscle? 
A:  Unfortunately it's not possible to spot reduce fat. By lifting intensely, consistently and progressively, your body will recomp and you may end up being leaner in your stomach area, but that is highly genetic. If instead of gaining muscle, you prefer to solely focus on losing fat, then you would need to adjust your macros accordingly and add in some cardio. I would recommend starting off with minimal cardio and gradually increasing as needed, based off of your weekly progress.  In regards to Protein and Carb ratios...Carbs are a necessity when aiming to grow - protein is important, but eating excess protein and fewer carbs is not proven to improve muscle gain. If your goal was solely to lose fat, carbs could be cut, but swapping carbs for protein will not positively affect your progress of gaining muscle. 
Q:  Hey! I've doing great with my new macros I was just curious in how would I incorporate cheat meals/days into my diet.  Or do you not recommend
A: Thats a Great question!  In regards to having cheat meals id say look at the foods you are most looking forward to "cheating with" and try to incorporate them into your everyday diet (in moderation and proportions that will fit your macros and not leave you hungry for the day). The more you can sustainably do this and the less you think about cheating, the easier this will all be long term! Let me know if that helps or makes sense!  
"Refeeds" however occur when you are in a deficit of calories and you need to restore glycogen for either mental or physical sustainability. But these are very controlled and are only usually an increase in carbs alone. 
Q:  What type of situation would I need to refeed?  What's y'all a take on reverse dieting and body recomposition?
A: the type of situation would be deep into a cutting phase when you mentally need it after several months of dieting! 
In regards to "reverse dieting", the phrase in and of itself has no direct or specific meaning! It's just the term labeled for any protocol post cutting phase. Usually used after a contest preparation.  In regards to this term and body composition, the BIG variable to both of these is training intensity and increased volume of weight lifted over time. The more you lift, the smarter you lift, the better your body will look and store fat!
Q: How do I know what my macros should be on rest days? 
A: This is up to your individual preference. If you prefer to have high carb days and low carb days throughout the week, we recommend having your high carb days on the days where you train most intensely, and having lower carb days on rest days. If you prefer to have one set of macros to stick to everyday, you can do this by calculating your macros based off of your average overall activity level. It makes tracking simpler when your macros are the same everyday!
Q: Is it okay to weigh my food with measuring cups and spoons? I don't have a food scale.
A: Yes you can weigh your food with cups and spoons, but the measurements will not be as accurate as they would be with a food scale. However, if you do not have a good scale, it simply becomes a matter of being consistent in your method of measuring. As long as you track and measure your food the same way each time, you will have high precision therefore, better tracking.
Q: I wake up hungry in the middle of the night. Is it okay for me to get up and have something like a handful of fruit or nuts? Or does that totally ruin my progress if I get up to eat?
A: Regardless of what food it is that you eat when you get up, if you are eating more than your daily intake allows, you will not make as much progress because you are not being fully honest about your intake when tracking. If you are waking up hungry in the middle of the night, I would recommend eating later in the evening before bed. The time that you eat does not have an effect on your body composition. Staying in bed and going back to sleep is important, because if you choose to get up and completely take yourself out of sleep, it will completely disrupt your circadian rhythm. Bad quality sleep does affect weigh ins, as your body will not be as efficient in digesting if it is not sleeping enough. Sleep itself is most likely the issue, so try taking small doses of melatonin or natural remedies that aid in sleep, and see how that affects your nighttime hunger - do you wake up in the middle of the night? Or sleep straight through?
Q: Should I weigh my food cooked or uncooked?
A: It is always recommended to weigh your food cooked for the best accuracy, but like measuring tools, using the same method every time is the most important factor. MyFitnessPal has both versions of the food in its global database, so you can track your food either way - just keep it consistent!


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