Hey guys! This is part 2 of my review of Madeline Moves’ Tighter Together program. It’s going to cover all things macros and nutrition, which were integral to my Tighter Together Results. But, if you missed part 1, I would definitely recommend going back and starting there because it explains how the program is set up, what the workouts are like, who the program is right for and more.
Before we dive in, I just want to say a quick thank you to those of you who took the time to DM me with your questions. I’ve grouped them into general themes and will address them as best I can in this blog post. But the truth is…
The key to Tighter Together results is nutrition.
This blog post is going to cover how I approached my macros, general nutrition and more including:
- Tighter Together Macros 101
- My Tighter Together macros and how I tracked them
- Why I practice intermittent fasting
- How to get enough protein as a vegetarian
- Sticking to your macros and getting back on track
- Things I did *wrong*
- My Tighter Together results
Just a quick disclaimer that I write from a place of personal experience about what has worked well for me, personally. Please listen to your body, do your research and make informed choices about your nutrition and training.
1. Tighter Together Macros 101
As part of the Tighter Together sign up process, you receive a personalised macro plan based on your goal (either aggressive fat loss or slight fat loss). Your weight, height, activity level, and whether you are vegan/vegetarian are all taken into account alongside this goal.
Your customised macro count includes a ‘low carb count’ and ‘high carb count’ option so that you can carb cycle through the four weeks. Both the Low Carb and High Carb Days will have a target number of calories, carbs, protein and fat associated with it. The Tighter Together Manual includes instructions that explain how and why to carb cycle, but also notes that you can still see success without carb cycling.
2. My Tighter Together Macros and How I Tracked Them
When I registered for the program, I decided on a ‘slight fat loss’ goal. Give my height, weight and activity level as a vegetarian, my macros were set at:
Low Carb Day: 1549 Calories // 173g Carb // 117g Protein // 43g Fat
High Carb Day: 1754 Calories // 220g Carb // 177g Protein // 45g Fat
After getting my macros, I decided to go for a more aggressive approach because I felt that I had overestimated my activity level and underestimated my ‘weight loss goal’. (Side note, I have no idea what I actually weigh and did not set out to lose a specific number of pounds.)
My macros were recalculated for ‘aggressive fat loss’ and set at:
Low Carb Day: 1389 Calories // 115g Carbs // 116g Protein // 34g Fat
High Carb Day: 1632 Calories // 211g Carbs // 116g Protein // 36g Fat
As someone who has had a complicated relationship with food for most of my life, I really wanted to make sure that I could find the balance between tracking my macros and eating food that I enjoy.
I knew myself well enough to know that during the week I was likely to be fairly precise and routine in my meals but that, on weekends, I would want some flexibility.
To make the macros work for me and my needs, I decided not to align the high carb days to my workouts. Instead, I saved them for the weekend and stuck to the ‘low carb’ macros during the week.
Having an understanding of the upper and lower bounds of my nutrition requirements for an ‘aggressive’ and ‘slight’ weight loss goal was really helpful for me. At no point did I feel the need to restrict myself or feel guilty for eyeballing portions. If I was hungry, I ate a bit more. If I didn’t feel like weighing my food and tracking religiously, I didn’t.
I have no doubt my Tighter Together results were bolstered by the consistency I found in my day to day approach to food. So while I certainly allowed myself room for flexibility, most days I tracked my meals in Lifesum (a far superior app to My Fitness Pal IMHO). I can write an entire blog post on why I prefer Lifesum, but it boils down to the fact that the UX is on point and it’s actually fun to use.
3. Why I Practice Intermittent Fasting
Okay. So. This is not a section I’m going to spend too much time on, but I felt I needed to include it because it’s part of how I have been approaching my nutrition for the past few months. If you want to learn more about Intermittent Fasting and the associated health benefits, I recommend starting with this two part podcast series between Dr. Rangan Chaterjee and Professor Satchin Panda.
Let me be clear, I do not care whether you intermittent fast and I do not think it impacted my Tighter Together results AT ALL.
But, what I have noticed about myself and my body is that the earlier in the day I eat, the hungry I am throughout the day and the more calories I consume overall. Whereas, if I wait to eat until 11am, 12pm, or sometimes later, I generally end up eating fewer calories overall because my eating window is shorter.
Whether it’s a mental game or something more tangible, it doesn’t really matter. The point is, it works for me and it has the added benefit of helping my digestion overall, as well as reducing my risk for chronic disease (you’ll have to listen to the podcast above to learn more).
In general, I intermittent fast for at least 12 hours 7 days a week. However, there are exceptions. Some days, I fast 15+ hours because I’m not that hungry. Some days, I eat at 9am because I have woken up ravenous.
The point is, I listen to my body and adjust accordingly.
4. How To Get Enough Protein As a Vegetarian
Protein is undoubtedly the macro nutrient I struggle with most. As a long-time vegetarian, I have become quite adept at eating a wide range of plants and healthy fats — they’re easy. But, getting enough protein takes a lot planning and intentionality.
The best part about tracking my macros and using Lifesum over the 30 days, was the fact that I could see how much protein I needed to eat with each meal and snack in order to hit my daily target. And, once I figured out which protein sources I preferred and the range of meals I could create, the easier it was to get enough protein every single. Here are my tips:
- Prioritise a protein source with every meal (including snacks)
- Make egg whites, tofu, tempeh, quorn, quark, cottage cheese and/or greek yogurt staples in your fridge
- Find a protein powder your actually like
- Make your dessert work harder by opting for greek yogurt with frozen fruit or a tasty protein shake
- Track your vegetables — they have protein too!
- Add in lentils and black beans in place of grains for extra protein
- Find meals you like and repeat them
These are all things that helped me hit my protein target (or at least get close) most days. Of course, not every day was perfect. Somedays I had ice cream and chocolate, forgoing a protein-packed dessert and that’s okay. The point is, most days, most of the time, I got close to my 115g of protein.
5. Sticking to Your Macros and/or Getting Back On Track
But what happens when you go out for dinner, drink a bottle of wine yourself and consume the most indulgent, delicious, calorie-dense meal of your life? What happens when you fail?
First, you don’t refer to it as a ‘fail’. You refer to it as a roaring good time.
Second, you resume your program as normal. Is it your rest day? Great, enjoy being hung over in bed, drink your water and eat all of the food you need to in order to hit your macros. Is it your leg day? Cool. The workout might be tough, but you’ll get through. Go slow, be kind to your body, but get it done.
Don’t bully yourself. Don’t shame yourself. Don’t fall into a spiral of regret.
Show up. That’s all you have to do.
Not every workout will rock your world. You probably [definitely] won’t hit your macros perfectly every single day. Some days you might feel like hot shit; others you might just feel shit.
But you still show up and do your best because consistency is the cornerstone of change. That’s true of Tighter Together results. That’s true of life in general.
I genuinely believe that if we shift our mindset to focus on consistency instead of perfection, our opportunity for sustained, long-term success increases exponentially.
So, if you’re struggling to stick to your macros, or if you’re trying to get back on track, I would challenge you to have an honest conversation with yourself about what ‘success’ means to you and whether or not you’re holding yourself to the right standards.
Then, I would keep showing up and affirming yourself for doing so, each and every time.
6. Things I Did ‘Wrong’
If you’ve seen my Tighter Together results and, even though I have talked a bit about the ‘flexibility’ I allowed myself during the 30 day challenge, are still under the impression that I did Tighter Together perfectly, allow me to set you straight… You’re WRONG.
There were a number of things I did ‘wrong’ (and by wrong I mean, technically not ‘on plan’) on this challenge and yet, my Tighter Together results were still abundantly obvious. This final section is really a continuation of the previous the one. It’s about dispelling the idea that doing something with rigid specificity is the only way to effect change or make ‘progress’.
Here’s the truth about things I did or didn’t do that were technically ‘wrong’:
- I frequently eyeballed portions instead of weighing to the gram
- I had regularly untracked snacks and unlogged weekends
- I didn’t carb cycle
- I regularly went over on low carb days
- Sometimes I skipped LISS
- I ate chocolate daily
- I drank wine weekly
- I fell short of my protein goal often
And yet, I still got results…
7. My Tighter Together Results
To me, my Tighter Together results are evidence that balance can actually be achieved. That progress can still be made without giving up the things that I enjoy or sacrificing my mental and emotional wellbeing.
My Tighter Together results are evidence that consistency — NOT perfection — is what it takes to achieve a goal. I can’t stress this enough: figure out what YOU need in order to show up for yourself every single day. It’s going to look different for you than it does for me, and that’s okay.
This is just my experience — what worked for me in this season of my life.
But, please remember that you can love your body and still have aesthetic goals. There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight or change your body composition if you’re doing it in a nurturing, thoughtful way.
If you have questions about my Tighter Together results, macros, or meal ideas, drop me a comment.
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