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What does success look like?

Success looks like PROGRESS. Progress in getting closer to the ideal target numbers. The first Weekly Variance Totals largely won't matter.  It matters more the direction the Weekly Variance Total is going and that you're finding the right balance for you. The hope is that there is a gradual trend downward to zero. However there is no such thing as a perfect week because the perfect week will vary for each person based on their goals. Some people may say their ideal weekly variance total is between 20-30, while others may say they have found a better balance between 30-40. What we've found, is that the individuals who are continually having weekly variance totals under 10-20 may becoming too restrictive with their diet plan. This increases the probability a huge binge and more than likely isn't a sustainable lifestyle we can get behind. 

A better goal is finding your healthy balance.


An interesting study by Precision Nutrition showed that when a person hit their daily target 0-49% of the time for an entire year they still lost 11lbs!  At 50-79% adherence to the daily targets they lost 15lbs and 7% body fat. At 80-80% adherence they lost over 20lbs and 10% body fat. Above 90% they lost about 25lbs and lost about 12% body fat. Hopefully seeing this data helps relieve some stress around the idea that you need to be perfect. You don’t need to be perfect. As you look across your week, assess how many times you were able to hit the desired target for that metric. This will give you your percentage of consistency.

Why are the carbs and fats combined and how much of each should I have?

We decided to combine the carbs and fats macronutrients because we wanted flexibility for your diet of choice. Some people tend to feel better with a high carb, low fat approach. Others like a low carb, high fat style. Most will choose an equal balance between the two. We encourage you to start with an equal balance of carbs and fats which result in a total serving amount at the provided target. If we were to utilize the example above of a 135lb person, they could have 6 servings of carbs each day and 5 servings of fats to achieve the provided target of 11.


Can a food item be categorized as a protein AND a fat?

No, we are asking you to choose one and stick with it. We have listed a few items like fish and eggs as a protein even though they are high fat proteins. If this requirement causes you to continually miss your target even though you know you‘re hitting the right numbers than you can lower your fat or carb target.

The [blank] metric seems a little high/low, how will I be able to get there?

Take your time. If you see the protein metric at 4 and you only feel comfortable having 2 servings per day, then the best next step for you is NOT to jump to 4. It is to be consistent with 3. After you’ve shown you can be consistent at 3, then and only then would we recommend trying to achieve the target 4 number. Again, the metric of success is showing consistent progress. Not being perfect on one day, then not being able to sustain it. The other caution I would give around moving too fast towards your desired end target is that this will cause gut discomfort. So if you're going to move quickly towards your target, give the people around you a heads up. 


Does quality of food matter?

Yes! Quality is of the utmost importance, however it’s all relative. Let’s use chicken as an example. Chicken nuggets from a fast food chain is “technically” chicken and would fall into the protein category.  However, this item is highly processed and the body doesn’t digest this type of food well. So a better source of protein would be getting some chicken thighs from the local grocery store.  The best source for chicken would be organic pastured raised chicken from a local farmer. Protein, veggies, carbs and fats all fall on this spectrum from an ok version to a better version to the best version. Our recommendation would be to limit the amount of highly processed foods which means to limit any product that comes in a box, has a never ending shelf life, or has more than 6-8 ingredients on the ingredient list. Use your best judgement how to move from good to great real food.


Should I change my daily targets on the days I workout?

No, working out burns only a small percentage of your overall caloric expenditure. Marketing has done an excellent job insisting that you need to refuel after a hard workout and while there is a little truth to the claim, most people are fine with just being consistent with these daily targets.


What about alcohol and desserts?

Alcohol will fall into the carbohydrate and caloric beverage category. A 12oz beer would be one serving of carbohydrates as would a 8oz glass of wine and shot of hard alcohol. What we’ve noticed is that after about 3 alcoholic drinks, your consumption of food for the day starts to get largely impacted.  As for desserts, we just limit 50g of added sugar per day. Whether the sugar is stevia, agave, or syrup it is an added sugar.  Sugar from fruit would not fall into this category as it is naturally incorporated into the food. Maple syrup though which is also naturally occurring would fall into the category since it would added to the meal.


I’m a vegetarian/vegan, how will I be able to hit those protein numbers?

In this case we are suggesting you list lentils, beans, edamame etc. in the protein category.  This may eventually lead you to lowering your carbohydrate target, but this will have to be assessed as you progress through the program.

I’m pregnant or breastfeeding, should I change my metrics?

Yes, in your case we would suggest that you add one more protein and one more carb to your daily targets

What qualifies as “movement”?

Anything that gets your heart rate elevated. For some people this will be a walk around the block. For others, this may mean taking a HIIT class. If you’re the type of person who loves high intensity or strength training AND also loves a leisurely walk around the block, I wouldn’t penalize yourself for additional “leisure” movement past the 60 minutes.  The intent behind the time parameters is to limit the amount of time people do strength training for multiple hours and/or pile on 30-60 minutes of cardio. Endless excercise isn’t the answer to getting the body you want. 30-60 minutes a day is all any person really needs and then it’s time to focus on other metrics.

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