When I am talking about weight loss, I really mean fat loss and specifically the cutting phase I was in that started in January 2021. I talked about this on Instagram, but thought it would be great to talk about it here for those who may want to reference it in the future, or for those who are catching up.
I have been cautious in the world of macro tracking and IIFYM (if it fits your macros) because while it can be an efficient method for reaching your goals, it can also cause disordered eating. I have written research papers, and I have spoken about this multiple times on YouTube and Instagram. I probably knew better, but after my bulk in 2019, I decided that I just wanted to lean out in an organized way. The pandemic 100% set me off track and I decided to not go through a cutting phase after my bulk until I had access to a gym again. Funny enough, my body naturally recomposition and I leaned out and I dropped 10 lbs. or so by August 2020 without trying to.
I started tracking macros in January this year to finish leaning out, and…it was a mistake. To be completely honest and upfront, it was not the right move for me, but I didn’t know that until recently. I started to plateau, even with lowering my macronutrient intake and then I started gaining weight again. My body started to feel nauseous, bloated, exhausted and inflamed most days. After trying to figure out what was wrong for months, it seemed that stress was a bigger factor than I could have ever imagined.
For those who don’t know, I am a grad student in an English program, and my stress was very high this last semester. Being in a calorie deficit and completing hard training sessions daily only added another kind of stress. I started reaching for bro diet hacks, processed foods and made the excuse that it fit my macros so it was fine. It wasn’t. My body was not running the way it should have, because it was not being fueled the way it needed to be.
Long story short, I was too stressed out, I was feeling sick, my skin was breaking out, and my body was not responding to my macros. I did not want to ruin my metabolism, so I stopped tracking, and I decided I needed to stop worrying about being in a cutting phase.
I am now focusing on nutrition, gut health, reducing stress, and TRUSTING, my body to recomposition on its own as it needs to. This may seem scary and kind of a risk, but I have actually done this before successfully and feel completely confident in this decision.
It’s unfortunate but I felt so much pressure to lean out after my bulk because I am a fitness trainer, that I chose to put myself through extra stress. While macro tracking can be great for some people, it is not great for a lot of people, even if you are an athlete or a personal trainer. Not feeling good while tracking does not make you less likely to succeed at your goals. I had to face this and fully believe it.
I’ll be documenting this process of just focusing on overall health on Instagram, from physique updates, strength and performance updates, skincare, gut health, and more!
I look forward to seeing you there!