Even if you don’t know the ins and outs of nutrition, you can follow our protocol. It’s simple: eat what humans are supposed to eat and skip everything else.
Ideal nutrition is a whole foods diet with a balanced carb-protein-fat ratio. Carbohydrates should come from ingredients such as oats, fruits, vegetables, seeds, and legumes. Protein should come from eggs, fish, seafood, poultry, legumes, vegetables, and wild game. Fats sources include nuts, seeds, fatty fish, avocado, and oils high in omega-3 fatty acids. You can do this as a vegetarian, vegan, omnivore, etc. What we don’t promote is fad diets.
Is Eating Right Hard?
No. If you stick to foods that are in their natural form or are minimally processed, then a wholesome diet is easy. Most folks fail at a wholesome diet (I like to call it eating like a human) because they’ve convinced themselves that eating right is too hard, too time-consuming, or too expensive. I suspect that’s part of it, but most of the time those are excuses.
The real reasons people fail is due to a lack of nutrition education (or being educated on food by our government which is sadly owned by billion-dollar food corporations), and because they enjoy eating crappy, overly processed foods no matter how terrible it makes them feel. Because it’s fast. Because it tastes good. Because they just don’t want to cook.
Harsh? Maybe. But home-cooked meals are entirely possible with a little planning. Many of us do it every single day--kids or no kids, full-time jobs or no jobs--because health is a top priority for ourselves and our families.
You may or may not be one of those people who stop at a fast food joint every night on your way home from work. If you are, it’s time to make a change and redesign how you think about food. How you think about time. It might be hard at first, but with the right mindset, you will succeed.
What I Need to Do to Succeed
If this is your first time making a big change in your diet, then we recommend buying a copy of our transformation book which has meal plans for you to follow; you can download an ebook or buy a print copy. And then, once you feel confident with your new eating habits, you can stray from the meal plans. You can DIY your nutrition with the following rules in place:
How Many Calories Should I Eat?
If you stick to our protocol, you won’t count calories ever again. Are you wondering how not counting calories is going to lead to fat loss and better health? Here are the guidelines to help you keep your meals in check:
If you want to count calories and keep track of your eating habits, you can do that too. Use our online calculator to determine how many calories you need every day. This is called your TDEE, or total daily energy expenditure. TDEE is how many calories your body uses with exercise accounted for. Remember this is an estimate.
Okay, so let’s continue with our example. We’ve determined that our subject requires 1,943 calories every day with the current exercise regimen, but she wants to lose body fat and build muscle. To do so, she will need to reduce her intake (if she were just looking to build muscle, she would NOT go into a deficit).
Instead of doing the traditional “subtract 500 calories” from the day, we are going to reduce the TDEE by a percentage. And you are going to do the same thing. Reduce your caloric intake by 25%. Do this by multiplying your TDEE by .75. The resulting number is your new calorie intake.
Consider this number your starting point and at the end of the 8 weeks, you will need to recalculate your BMR, TDEE and weight loss number using your new weight. If you need to keep losing weight, then readjust in the exact same way. If you are happy with your weight, then find your TDEE and that is the number of calories you should eat daily. Again, if you are eating right and following the “eat when hungry” rule, calorie counting won’t be part of your life.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t ever reduce your TDEE by more than 30% because you may experience unwanted side effects…like fatigue, irritability, or hangriness. Yes, you know what we’re talking about! Just don’t do it. The reason we have you take a percentage from your TDEE is because it will be easier to return to your caloric needs after the program with seeing a ton of undesired weight gain.
How Many Meals and When?Your eight-week program gives you three main meals. You don’t have to be super regulated as to when you eat them, except for your first meal of the day.
Eat your breakfast after you work out (I never said you weren’t going to be working out…I said no cardio). Yes, that means that you may need to get up a little earlier than normal to work out before eating, but you are going to be so thrilled that you committed to this rule. Why?
Folks who work out before eating lose more body fat than people who do it later in the day. And those same folks tend to drop excess abdominal fat faster as well because the blood vessels are more active in the abdominal region when you are active on an empty stomach.
And if that isn’t enough to sell you on an early morning workout, then how about having more time in the evening for yourself. By getting your workout done in the morning, you can spend time with your family, make a nice dinner, or just go for a walk without having that workout looming over you all day long.
Not a morning person? Change your attitude. Set your alarm clock for one hour before you normally get up and get that workout in.
Unsure of how to structure your days? Here’s an example:
7:00 AM: Eat breakfast
1:00 PM: Eat lunch
6:30 PM: Eat Dinner
The beauty of this schedule is that you can get up before the kids or before anything else can interfere with your workouts. You get it done and check it off your list. Hooray!
Do I Have to Follow a Certain Dietary Lifestyle?Well, yes. But it’s an easy one: eat a real food diet. Your diet will consist of real food. Cut the crappy processed foods from your diet (forever…not just for eight weeks. FOREVER).
But you don’t have to go vegan or vegetarian or paleo or whatever else the pseudo-nutrition blog world is calling it these days. You are just going to eat right. You can be a vegan or omnivore on this plan. Our team does not condone nutritional trends. We just want you to eat right and avoid “food” that makes you sick.
The goal of this plan is to get you eating food that comes from the earth and is as unadulterated as possible. That might mean you don’t eat baked goods or bread or cookies or dairy.
Yes, you saw that right. You won’t find a drop of dairy. Why? Well, cow’s milk or goat’s milk or any other creature’s breastmilk is not for human consumption. End of story. This guide isn’t a place for an ethics or biological conversation, so we will just leave it at that.
Now that we’ve covered that (insert awkward silence for the milk lovers), let’s talk about the foods you will eat and the foods that you will not eat.
Foods to Enjoy: