DIY MACRO CHALLENGE RECAP
It’s a brand new month and we’ve just wrapped up the first round of the DIY Macro Challenge. For those of you not familiar, the DIY Challenge was 4 weeks of self-paced information designed to lead participants through defining their nutrition goals and creating macro targets to match those goals.
We know it’s not feasible for everyone to have a nutrition coach, so we created the DIY Macro Challenge to give you all the tools you need to take control of your nutrition on your own terms. The goal was not to create a quick weight loss challenge, but to provide an opportunity to challenge yourself to build the habits necessary to create long term, sustainable change and give you the tools to make those changes happen. As coaches, we found it important to follow along with the challenge and this week’s post is about sharing our experiences with you.
As the one who designed and wrote the DIY Challenge, I was hesitant to even follow along. I figured I’d already feel bored with the information (and I hate reading what I’ve written; it makes me cringe like when you hear your own voice on a video recording). However, I had challenged the other coaches to do so and so I made it a point to read through the material each week, print out the challenge checklists, and record my experiences. Let me tell you this - following along with the Challenge was kind of like a slap in the face. As someone who has tracked their macros on and off for years, it’s easy to get sloppy and take the idea of flexibility to the extreme (just because you can have cereal for dinner every day doesn’t mean you should). Taking a step back and focusing on the basics helped me remember my “why” - why I care about the food that I put into my body, why I need to be aware of what and how much I eat, why I love teaching these things to others.
Following this challenge gave me a new perspective for tracking my macros and challenged me to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Even with goals based in performance, I have been eating at maintenance numbers for close to 6-months now. Taking some time to dial back to basics and take a step away from my food scale was not only refreshing, but it really challenged me to focus on the things that I may not be so good at when it comes to tracking. I know I can hit my numbers exactly and with consistency each day, many times without measuring. But, on the other hand, there are some days that I get to my workout and realize I haven’t even consumed half of the ounces of water I should be. And there are times that I still get a little anxious about eating a meal out or planning a meal at a friends’ house.
Participating in the Challenge was helpful in giving me a reason to focus on these things and work through them instead of pushing them aside like I usually do. In Week 1, I made my water intake my priority instead of strict tracking and I’ve noticed how much of a difference it makes in my day. Week 2 was maybe the most helpful week for me in that it shifted the way I approach weekend meals and meals out. Instead of getting all hung up on tracking perfectly and trying to estimate a meal out or trying to be strict while cooking a fun meal at home, I’ve taken on the strategy of hitting my protein target for the day along with my total calories on those days instead. Week 3 brought me back to tracking with consistency and Week 4 gave me the opportunity to put all the pieces together. I love tracking my macros because of the consistency it gives me in how I feel and how I perform and recover, but this challenge reminded me that there’s more to it than just the food aspect. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at the end of the month by how encouraged I felt to hone in on some of my habits that support tracking and I enjoyed a little reset by going back to the basics, too.
I have a long-standing habit of taking the month of December off of tracking my macros religiously. The DIY macro challenge was a great way to get myself back on track, while also taking the time to get back to basics and reconnect with the reasons I love flexible nutrition in the first place. I often get caught up in optimizing my diet and making sure I am being completely perfect in hitting all of my targets, so having a week where I just tracked my calories and focused on water intake was kind of refreshing. Taking it week by week and letting my habits get more naturally re-established was a great transition back for me.