What if I told you we could reach your goals without dieting?
How about this – What if I told you we could reach your goals without tracking calories or macros?
Diet has been a buzzword for DECADES. Actually, over a century. In fact, CBS News published an article in January 2011 titled 150 Years of Dieting Fads: An American Story.
But we’re tired of dieting.
We’re tired of starting every New Year’s Day or the day after we book the flights for our next vacation.
Because dieting is HARD.
So as we’ve grown tired of dieting over the last 150 years, we’ve created new buzzwords.
Terms like calories, macros, and tracking.
For some of us, those buzzwords have been life changing. For others, those words damn near make your eyes roll right out of your head.
Regardless your results, none of those terms should make up your lifestyle.
Dieting shouldn’t be a lifestyle. It shouldn’t be something you have to start and stop based on what’s coming up on your social calendar.
If you’re tired of always dieting or tracking anything, you’re facing a very normal problem – your nutrition isn’t structured to fit your lifestyle.
Everything about you is unique – your body, mental make-up, work life, social life, literally everything.
Your nutrition needs to be structured to your uniqueness!
It’s time to stop thinking that because we love bread like Oprah, that we can have her results.
Or that because the crash-diet 6-week challenge was able to get your friend on track that it will work for you.
BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT YOU!
You can have results without copycatting celebrities or friends.
You can have results without tracking every single calorie and macro.
You can even have results without dieting.
However, you cannot see results unless you make the plan fit to you.
Now, I wish I could enter into a section telling you exactly what you need and how to best structure your nutrition plan, but some serious 1-on-1 time since I don’t know you or your goals.
BUT I can give you the bare bones of the plan and outline the phases to help you create the outline. Once you’ve done that, then I’d love to help you fill in those gaps.
Until then, let’s jump in.
Phase 1: Food Quality
Do you know the saying “quality over quantity?”
Of course you do.
That is the exact focus of Phase 1: Food Quality.
Calories and macronutrients are the hot new thing to get everyone results; however, it isn’t always the EASIEST way.
Phase 1 prioritizes an increase in high-quality foods and a reduction of low-quality foods.
“What classifies as a high-quality and low-quality food?”
High-quality foods are your whole, naturally produced, minimally-processed foods.
Examples of these foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and meats that have undergone minimal to no processing.
On the other hand, low-quality foods have undergone significant food-processing, and have lost most or all nutrients.
The simplest way to differentiate between the two is to look at the shelf life.
If you purchase a food item, and it can sit in your kitchen for longer than a week without going bad, it’s probably undergone some heavy processing.
Know, that strategy does not strictly dictate a food items quality, but it can quickly eliminate some of the more highly processed foods in that it eliminates many boxed, canned, and frozen foods.
Regardless of who you are and what your goals are, food quality is important, and will likely end up as either a short- or long-term focus at some point in your journey.
Phase 1 is great for beginners. If you are just starting out in your health journey, without question, this is where you should start. It builds awareness and teaches you how to properly nourish your body with high-quality foods. With my clients, I find it allows you to find which foods work best for your body and how to create an appropriate balance between high-quality foods and enjoyment.
Beginners are not the only ones who benefit from food quality.
Let’s say you’ve reached your weight loss goal through calorie and macro tracking, you’ve maintained it, and are wondering if in order to maintain you need to track every calorie for the rest of your life?
If you’ve reached and maintained your goal, it’s time to shift into a lifestyle focus. This moves you toward a food-quality focus and allows you to have some of those “must have’s.” If you focus on consuming predominantly high-quality foods, you’re leaving yourself room to enjoy the foods you love while maintaining your results.
Finally, let’s say you’re a full-time employee and full-time mom, and you just can’t seem to catch some time for you. You have big year-end work projects to crank out, and you’re in that wonderful time at school where fall and winter activities are overlapping.
Counting macros? Pfft. That is not happening, and neither is calories.
Unlike popular belief, you don’t have to just say “Screw it” (or the other, less appropriate term), it’s possible to still see results or at least maintain what you’ve accomplished to this point until the busy season slows down.
The best way to do that?
Emphasis on food quality.
Let’s say your life sounds just like one of these three scenarios, what would that look like?
Your goal is to choose high-quality foods 85 to 90 percent of the time, and 10 to 15 percent of the time is for lesser quality foods.
Your goal is to always make the best possible choice given the scenario.
It requires no calorie or macronutrient tracking, but it does require an awareness of intake and eating with mindfulness.
For example, let’s say you go out to eat with the family. Up to this point in the day, you’ve taken in all high-quality foods; therefore, you allow yourself something of lower-quality and to enjoy the time with family.
Now let’s look at the flip side of that scenario.
Let’s say you’ve been on the go all day, and you’ve only been able to take in a protein bar and whatever was easiest to eat while driving off when ordering off the drive through menu. This is a scenario where it is recommended you choose something of higher quality so you are balancing out your day.
The emphasis on food quality leaves ample room for growth and a gradual transition into healthy eating for beginners. It allows for enjoyment and transition into a healthy lifestyle for those who have reached their health goals. For the busy, on-the-goers, it offers more simplicity and flexibility without sabotaging results.
Phase 1 focuses on eating majority high-quality foods and making the best possible decision given the scenario.
- Beginners to nutrition
- “Weekend Warriors”
- Individuals with a lifestyle focus
- Someone amidst the busy season of life
Phase 2 – Energy Balance
Do you ever wonder why siestas never became a thing in the United States? Or do you find yourself wondering how you can be so tired in the afternoon but have SO MUCH energy when it’s time for bed?
Phase 2 aims to balance your energy throughout the day while helping you to achieve your desired fat loss goals.
When you take an emphasis on food quality, you’re only looking at the type of food that goes into the system.
With an emphasis on energy balance, you’re looking at the quantity of food to balance the amount of work done by the body in order to achieve the desired result.
Okay, now how do we do that?
Well, energy In this sense is measured via calories.
A calorie is the amount of heat energy necessary to raise the temperature of water by one degree Celsius.
We burn calories in our daily actions and movements; therefore, the body requires calories to be taken in to replace what is lost. That’s done through the things we eat and drink because they all contain calories.
Phase 2 asks you to follow a caloric intake recommendation to stabilize energy throughout the day and provide a clearer indication of how much to eat to see fat loss results.
The most accurate recommendation for calories comes from utilizing what is called the Harris Benedict equation, which takes into consideration your gender, age, height, weight, activity level, and desired goal.
In comparison to Phase 1, energy balance requires additional time spent planning and thinking about your daily intake.
Through the use of food labels and phone apps, tracking caloric intake throughout a day is relatively easy to learn and something that can be made a part of most people’s daily routines.
Phase 2 utilizes your unique caloric intake requirement to offer direction on how much to consume in a day to best manage and balance energy levels as well as enhance results.
- Moderate-level experience with nutrition
- Individuals looking to enhance fat loss results
- Individuals who enjoy planning and have the time to plan ahead.
Phase 3 – Macro Planning
Let’s say your energy levels are balanced or you’re looking to fine tune your results.
Maybe you’re just a numbers guy or you’re the woman who loves to check things off your list.
Phase 3: Macro Planning might be a great place for you to see results.
Macro planning is inclusive of both pieces from Phases 1 and 2, but expands on both by looking at WHAT makes up the caloric intake.
Now, it should be noted that macro planning cannot be accomplished without and adherence to a caloric recommendation.
Phase 3 requires you to take a look into the three macronutrients:
- Protein: The most important of the macronutrients is made of amino acids. It is utilized for muscle building, hormone and enzyme production, and formation of hair and nails.
- Fats: The macronutrient that aids in hormone production, energy, and support of cell growth.
- Carbohydrates: The macronutrient most known for its role in energy and providing fiber.
In Phase 3, you will utilize a ratio of the three macronutrients (as set by a professional or coach) to direct you as to the amount and types of food to consume in a day in order to best reach your goals.
This is a great strategy for someone looking to enhance results or prepare for games or competitions.
Macro planning is a great strategy for helping to fill in the gaps and provide a more clear direction of what to eat in a given day.
Now, it does require additional time; however, there are plenty of apps that are easy to use, and with enough practice, you quickly grab hold of the process.
Phase 3 breaks down a caloric requirement into specific percentages of each macronutrient to add specificity to your intake and optimize results.
- Advanced-level experience with nutrition
- Someone looking to enhance body composition results
- Athletes or regular competitors
Phase 4 – Timing
This is the most advanced of the four phases, and it’s possible you never enter into Phase 4, but let’s at least dive into it so you can gauge whether or not this is the right phase for you.
Phase 4 adds one additional dimension to the previous three phases in that it uses calorie and/or nutrient timing.
Most often, this is utilized for athletes, shift workers, or when recommended by a doctor.
There are different ways to utilize Phase 4, in that timing can be done specific to calories or nutrients.
Examples of these include intermittent fasting, carb cycling, and pre- and post-workout nutrition.
Now, they are the fourth phase for a reason.
Too often, individuals look at timing as the first or second option for fat loss, but the reality is that if you are not consuming high-quality foods in the right amounts (AKA adequate calories), your body will struggle to produce results regardless of when you eat.
For my standard clients, I recommend caloric or nutrient timing when he or she is consistently hitting calorie and nutrient recommendations but are just not quite seeing the desired results.
On the other hand, there are a handful of shift workers with limited opportunities to eat – nurses, doctors, construction workers, professional drivers, and even your busy mom.
While it is a challenging phase to stay in, it can offer relief in that individuals are not being recommended to eat every three hours.
Phase 4 is a great strategy to help some bunker down and get results, but is not necessarily one that is a long-term lifestyle approach for your average person.
Phase 4 takes into consideration the timing of food consumption as well as that of specific nutrients to improve results or enhance performance.
- Expert-level experience with nutrition
- Athletes looking to improve performance
- Individuals in professions with limited eating windows
- As recommended by a doctor (hormonal or digestive issues)
Now you know about all four phases.
Where do you fall right now?
Regardless of where you fall now, here’s the beautiful part about it – you’re not stuck there!
These four phases allow you to come and go as you please or as life allows, so that you can continue to see results without EVER having to diet again.
Not sure where you fall or how to take the next steps? Fill out a Coaching Application
Here NOW, and let’s get you started.