MacroFactor has three unique program styles for you to choose from when setting up your Macro Program: Coached, Collaborative, and Manual.
With "Coached" programs, your initial macro program is tailored to your needs, goals, and preferences based on a series of guided questions (that you've already answered at least once when initially setting up your profile). From there, we'll take care of all program adjustments week-to-week based on your goals, your energy intake, and your changes in trend weight.
With "Collaborative" programs, we'll handle weekly calorie adjustments, but you can determine your own day-to-day calorie and macro goals. Collaborative macro programs offer considerable flexibility, but they require a bit more effort and thought to set up. If you prefer drastically different calorie targets day-to-day (for example, if you want to have a fasting day, or if you want to budget an extra 1000 calories for a social event), or drastically different macronutrient ratios day-to-day (for example, a much higher carbohydrate goal on days you have a long run or an intense lower body workout planned), collaborative programs offer you that flexibility. However, to give you that flexibility, collaborative plans are lacking some guard rails that are present in coached plans. In coached programs, we allow users to set a daily calorie floor to ensure that daily calorie targets don't get too low; with collaborative plans, there are no daily calorie floors. Similarly, since a certain level of fat intake is required for normal hormonal and metabolic function, we ensure fat intake remains at a reasonable level in coached programs; that safety net isn't in place if you go with a collaborative plan. In short, if you're reasonably knowledgeable about nutrition, collaborative programs offer you more flexibility than coached programs, but they take a bit more thought and effort to set up. Before setting up a collaborative program, we'd recommend that you read through our diet setup guide, but don’t let that dissuade you from giving collaborative programs a shot if you want to benefit from MacroFactor’s coaching algorithms, but you prefer more flexibility in your day-to-day calorie and macro targets.
Finally, with manual programs, everything is at your discretion. You can set whatever daily calorie or macronutrient targets you prefer. We don't assign or adjust a weekly calorie budget for you if you opt for a manual plan. You'll still have all of MacroFactor's analytics and tracking features at your disposal, but we won't have any hand in guiding your macro and calorie targets. A manual program may be advisable if you're working with a nutrition coach, and using MacroFactor's food logger and analytics in conjunction with your coach's calorie and macronutrient recommendations. Before setting up a manual program, we'd recommend that you read through our diet setup guide.
During the initial set-up of your profile, MacroFactor will guide you through the creation of a "Coached" program. We recommend this program style for most users, but you should feel free to swap program styles at any time. Creating a new program or switching between program styles doesn’t result in any loss of data, and it doesn’t require you to set a new goal. You can seamlessly transition between program styles whenever you want.