Mastering Poverty Macros on a Cut



This picture says everything I want to say.  In our house, when we are out of macros we say we are on
Monkey Macros.  This poor little guy is inconsolable!

If you are on a ‘cut’ or ‘active fat loss’ phase of your diet then you understand how precious each one of those
macros are each day.  I have had days where I was out of nearly all my macros by 2pm.

Let me explain.  I wake up at 4am to go train clients.  If you are a coach, or competitor that’s the normal time for your own workouts too.  I have to fuel up before I start and post workout.  By 7:30 am I’m already on Meal 2 and hungry.
The day progresses and by 4:30, I’m pretty much done for the day.   It makes no sense for me to skimp on my necessary pre and post workout macros just for the sake of having more for couch time.

My main goal is muscle development and fuel so most of my food is eaten during the day when I’m either working out or training clients.  That leaves me with “monkey macros” come late after noon or evening.

If you are low on macros, those are referred to as Poverty Macros.  It’s like stretching your money from paycheck to paycheck.  You must tread carefully so you don’t over spend and have nothing left!

One salvation for poverty macros is Volume Foods. 

Volume foods are the equivalent of shopping at the dollar store.  You get lots of stuff for a little cost.
So basically, volume foods are foods you can eat more of and that will fill you up but take very little of your macros.

Items such as
Sugar Free Jello (you know you do it- it has protein!)
and my new favorite Shiratake noodles.

The Spiralizer
My girlfriend, Christine surprised me with a spiralizer for my kitchen. It was the As Seen On TV version
and we vowed to try Zucchini pasta.  That moment saved my prep and my macros!
Green Zucchini is fantastic.

Zucchini is made mostly of water and but it fills you up really well.
100g of zucchini is
16 calories
3g Carbs
1g Protein
0g Fat
1g Fiber

There are so many wonderful recipes on pinterest for spirialized zucchini.
It tastes amazing. My kids actually ask for it.


Miracle noodles are another great volume food.  These Shiratake noodles come in
orzo, fettuccini,  and angle hair pasta. The mister rocks these with shrimp and Thai seasonings for me.
They are Soy Free, Gluten Free and Vegan. They can be made to taste like whatever you like!
They fill you up. I ordered them from Amazon Prime! Easy peasy.

This is a 10 calorie “Miracle Noodle ” cookie!
If you click on the picture, you can see the recipe!

Macros on Miracle Noodles are
0 Calories
0 Fat
0 Carbs
0 P


When you become a label sleuth, you will find that you can actually fit more into your day and feel full. I encourage you to check out pinterest and to plan your Poverty Macro meals!

IIFYM and accuracy

To make your IIFYM experience really successful, you have to get accurate.  Whew!  Who knew!

I always feel like I’m totally accurate! Maybe you are, but your kitchen utensils might not be.

eyes up!  Weigh it properly for success!
Eyes up! Weigh it properly for success!

1. I started with my scale and my weighing unit. I put the plastic bowl on the scale and zero’d it out.
2. I poured 1/2 cup of dry quick oats into my Pyrex measuring cup. It looks totally right!

3. The label on my oatmeal says 1/2 cup of oats (40g) is
150 calories
2.5g Fat
27 C
4. When I weighed my 1/2 cup of oats I got 51 grams!
So I was over by 11 grams.  That is 41 extra calories and 16.5 extra carbs.

Competitors!! When it’s measured.. it needs to be really measured.
The interesting thing is each of my measuring cups gave a different weight.
I’m better off starting with an empty unit on the scale and adding 40g of oats.

The little scoop in my chia seeds did not hold the amount of grams that was a full serving as per the label. I poured that little scoop into a measuring spoon and it was exact. The weight was under by 10 grams.

I don’t ‘eye ball’ my food ever!
Most everything in your tracker like MyFitness Pal and My net Diary is listed in grams so it’s good practice to start using it.

I have a friend who “eyeballs” olive oil.
Use ML as it shows on the bottle for liquids.

Using flatwear table spoons for cool whip, peanut butter, fluff, honey, etc is lazy.
You need to be accountable and get that on the scale!

One coach had 1/4 cup of cashews for M2 .
So listen, the girls took their ninja and ground those nuts to a powder and packed it in there good.  That was soooo many more calories and fat than the normal
Cashews 1/4 cup
Calories 170
P: 4

Cashews ground 2 oz (quarter cup)
Calories 337
P: 7
F: 278

So that can make a difference when you are trying to get lean!!

You may feel like this is too picky or complicated but as a competitor, I don’t have room for error.  If you are not seeing results, check your measurements. It may not be a problem with your macro numbers, but your
grams.  I’m sure you aren’t just eating your food all hilly, willy,nilly!

Weigh your Quest bars as well.  I’ve heard rumors of the label weight being off on products like that as well.

Edit:  Weigh your protein powder! Do not believe the scoop. One scoop of my protein powder was actually a full scoop and a half!
Use the grams for everything in weight.

Continued success!

20 Weeks out: Mixed bag

Ok.. My off season is still going on for another 2 months. Whew.
To keep things honest, I’m struggling..  I am not
at all used to the building phase and I feel super mushy and bloatedy. We were in Chicago for the holiday. That was positively exactly what I needed.  I brought a lot of
my food but we ate out for 3 days. I was more lax in my food but I did not
have any dairy or fried foods.  I got lots of rest and that was wonderful.

I believe that a lot of competitors are tiny and lean to begin with.
I see them post pics at the beginning of their prep and they are already
ripped out! I’ve never been tiny! haha
I’m about 13 pounds over what I hope is my new stage weight.
I hope to come in leaner and tighter so we’ll see.
This sport takes a lot of patience and will power.
I am resisting the urge to try to lean out  right now, because I know I need to build.
So I’ll bright side this.
I’m pretty happy with my muscle gains over the last month and over the last 2 is
much better than I had in my first show.  I’m going to keep working. My lower body
will get there.  Edit: The first pic if from 10/9.

Muscles are growing.
Muscles are growing.

Carbs, Carbs…
I’ve added more clean carbs to my meal plan because I burn so much in my job along with my workouts.
Here’s to oats and sweet potatoes.

I’m pretty excited that this week, my leg press was 430 pounds for 4 sets.
My lifts are so much heavier than in my last prep.
Here’s one of my favorite moves.
What’s funny is that we had to film this 5 times because I kept falling over. That 45 is heavy, sister. I use the step under my front foot to give more range of motion.
This was shot in October. 🙂

Have a great weekend, xoxoxo