The macro experiment - Part IV
So it's been a while since I got an installment out to you all in this little macro series of mine. Today, I thought it might be fun for Aaron and I to talk about our experience on our most recent cut and share some tips on what did and didn't work.
I got Aaron macro counting with me and he's been killing it on his cut. He likes to joke that if he doesn't keep the weight off I'll stop loving him ha ha. But in all seriousness, he's really impressed me and...he helps keep ME accountable!
Courtney: When we started this cut together I was coming off a bulk and Aaron was coming off of grad school/working/eating a 1/4 gal of icecream every night studying/only hitting the gym on days he didn't have hours of studying to do. Basically, we were both a little soft ha ha. We sat down one Sunday and decided it was time to do this thing together. Our nutrition and training has really never been fully synced up like this before so I was super excited. I think Aaron was kinda dreading the tediousness of tracking since he'd never tracked macros before though.
Aaron: Macros shmacros. I still have faith in the ice cream diet. As in…it’s true, I was resistant to dive into macro counting but I knew my eating wasn’t balanced. Unless ice-cream is balance...
Courtney: First, we weighed, measured, and got our initial macro targets from a reliable source (more on this in Part III of this series if you're interested). Then we set a workout schedule. With both of us working and balancing training, kiddo, and life, structure is everything.
Aaron: I was a little worried about the girly circuit workouts, but haven’t noted any tenderness in my chest as I was expecting…
Courtney: Whatever…these workouts are killer, not girly. He’s been consistently sore since week 1! Anyway…we ended up with a schedule that made sure Hudson was taken care of but we both got in daily workouts. We came up with a blend of:
- High intensity circuit training (BBG)
We do these for 30-45 min at home together in the garage on days we carpool
- Tag-team lifting sessions
Aaron hits the gym early while I stay home with kiddo and get ready. When he gets home I head to work and get in my gym sesh at my work fitness center before I start the day.
- HIIT sprints
We fit these in where time allows, usually in the early morning for Aaron and over lunch for me
I teach twice a week, Aaron does 100% no stretching.
- Rest day
Once a week we get to do nothing! This usually happens on a day our schedules are too packed to get in a workout ha ha.
Courtney: The first week or two we were pretty sore, hungry, andgrumpy.
Aaron: I’m still hungry…
Courtney: At least one of us went over on macro targets pretty much everyday in the the first week! It takes a little while to get used to planning food around your targets. It's tricky business! It can feel kind of discouraging because you're hungry and trying really hard and still not hitting your targets but trust me, it gets better! You start to better understand what typical foods consist of and what food is worth spending your macros on and what isn't. Like, I'd rather eat a key lime chobani flip yogurt than an apple.
Aaron: It's a lot like living on a college student budget.
Courtney: Planning meals ahead of time is also HUGE! We have protein shakes every morning because that's when we workout, however, everything falls apart if we don't have a plan for lunch and dinner. Also, it makes it waaaay easier to work in your snacks if you already know how many macros you need for breakfast/lunch/dinner. I plan to share some of our favorite recipes in my next post in this series so stay tuned for that!
Aaron: Don’t forget the fiber! I know it’s hard to spend precious macros on fiber carbs…but trust me on this one! Make sure you boost it about 2 days before weigh in each week too.
Courtney: In the beginning we picked a few recipes that we could use on a rotation. One of us would weigh the food/cook while the other, okay let's be honest...always Aaron, tracked the macros in excel for that recipe. From there we could just divide the total macro counts by the number of servings we made and BAM! Easy to enter macros! We could come back and use those recipes any time and it was easy to track.
Aaron: Your diet in weeks 2, 3 and 4 is basically limited to the recipes you calculated from week 1… when you had the most motivation.
Courtney: He's kind of right. I think we maintain our sanity and motivation by giving ourself a little extra on the weekends. We both set our macro targets so we'd have high and low days. We wanted to be able to eat out a little on the weekends.
Aaron: and week middle… and week start… and….
Courtney: Not true! We stay on track really well during the week. The weekend dinners sometimes get bit out of hand though. There’s actually very clear spikes in our measurements after each weekend ha ha. But...ya gotta have balance! Cutting and looking lean is great, but I'm just not willing to give up on pizza and tacos.
Aaron: I don’t give up… quitting is for losers!
Courtney: Overall I've found it's been so much easier to stay consistent with Aaron tracking along with me. It's like, you know the other person is going through the same tedious process and is not over-indulging so it feels like cheating if you sneak something! Like if I were to have a doughnut at work I'd feel like I had to keep it from Aaron or he'd be jealous/hangry/disappointed ha ha.
Aaron: If you eat that doughnut, don’t bother coming home tonight. The locks have been changed!
Meal prep tips and recipes coming in the next installment! If you have any other questions you want answered shoot me a message, comment, or DM and I'll make sure I get them covered here for you!