This challenge will be a 5 week restart with a focus on tracking to our desired macros, activity level and a few other items. New to this challenge is our daily log in-take, which will make submission and point tracking even easier than before! Additionally, this challenge will provide you with a customized plan based on your actual metrics at the start of the challenge, rather than “estimates”.
As an added bonus and to keep you encouraged; If you stay with the challenge through the 5 weeks, you’ll receive a “maintenance” plan afterwards so you can continue on your health journey based on how you’ve responded to our program.
All participants will achieve the following activities:
- Tracking macros daily through an app
- Meeting our individually designed macro percentages daily provided by your Nutrition Coach
- Learning new recipes to help us meet those macros with whole foods!
- Keeping up with our prescribed activity levels
- Twice weekly InBody scans to provide us measurable results.
- Weekly email recap of points tracking and new meals
- Weekly check-ins (remote) with your Nutrition coach
- Winner of points at the end of 5 weeks receives a prize pack
- Every participant will receive a customized maintenance plan for completing the challenge
While all participants will be completing the same tasks, the beauty of individually designed plans is the end result is up to you! In past challenges we’ve asked you to provide your goal, this time around, we’re going to provide you a recommendation based on your metrics specifically. If you have a partner or roommate it’s highly recommended they sign up as well, this program is open to non-members, we just really enjoy healthy lifestyles! Household accountability does wonders for sticking with any program (big hint).
SIGN-UP BY JANUARY 7th – FORM BELOW!
The intent of this program is to be done completely remotely, but obviously we’d love to talk about nutrition when we see you in the gym!
- Final Registration Deadline: January 7th 2023 – $50 for the 5-week program registration link can be found BELOW
- First In-body Scan Deadline: January 12th 2023 – In order to generate your customized plan, you need to submit your in-body results to your nutrition coach by this deadline so you can start the program on the 16th.
- Tracking Begins: January 16th 2023 – This allows for a review of material and prepping of required materials – daily logs can be submitted here
- Program Ends: February 17th 2023 – Final day to submit macros and InBody Results
- Winner Announced the following week (see scoring details below) Winner will receive a prize pack!
- You’ll receive your customized maintenance plan by the end of February if you’ve stuck with the challenge and provided the latest results.
It wouldn’t be a challenge if we didn’t have some competitive aspects, because we will be working on our individual end goals, our scoring will be adhering to the program and creating daily accountability. Scoring will be based on:
- 5 points for meeting each macro using Cronometer (more below) or another app and submitting daily – If you meet your protein and fat goals but don’t meet your carb goal, that would equate to 10 points
- 5 points – For no alcohol consumption per daily submission
- 5 points – For meeting your macros with Whole Foods
- 3 points – For working out or completing a physical activity (this includes “off-days” or active recovery, just get off the couch and do something!)
- We won’t be counting points for In-body scans, but in order to “complete” the 5 week program you must provide at least one weigh in every week. Ideally you complete your weigh in twice a week (Monday/Friday)
With the above structure you could receive a maximum of 196 points weekly and would be advancing to your individual end-result goals (of course you might win the challenge too!) This would assume you met all your goals, met your add-on goals and worked out every day; obviously we don’t encourage high-intensity work outs every day, but an active recovery bike ride would still count!
Submission of results will be sent in the daily log form here (new and improved process), only your nutrition coach will have access to the responses for tracking of scoring and weekly check-ins. Be sure to be accurate with your tracking, there may be some surprise audits!
More About Macros
Macros offer an easy way to design programs for multiple individuals so we can all share in the journey that works best for us. All foods are made of macronutrients. Macronutrients are those nutrients required in large amounts to provide the energy needed to maintain body functions and carry out the activities of daily life. There are 3 macronutrients: Proteins, Fats and Carbohydrates. Let’s break them down.
- Protein: Is the champion of the macros. It helps you build or maintain muscle tissue. It’s the main component of muscle, hair, nails, eyes and internal organs (heart and brain).
- Fat: This is an essential macro to live. Fats store energy, insulate us, protect our vital organs, assist with brain functionality, facilitate the transportation and absorption of vitamins.
- Carbohydrates: Source of energy. They help fuel our bodies and keep our brains and muscles fresh. We should aim to get the majority of our carbs from plant sources!
Within the big 3 macronutrients proteins, carbs, and fats are micronutrients. Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals necessary in smaller amounts for normal growth, development, disease prevention, metabolism and well being. While these are obviously important, we’ll focus strictly on Macros for this challenge. If you are meeting your macro goals while utilizing varied whole foods, there is a good chance you will meet your micronutrients as well (win/win).
Whole Foods simply means eating quality, nutrient dense foods that come in their natural state. If it grows in the ground or is farmed/fished/hunted, eat it. I am sure you have heard about shopping the perimeter of the grocery store, that’s where the whole foods are. The middle aisles are stocked with processed, preserved and packaged foods that are stripped of their nutrients. Could you meet macro goals without Whole Foods, yes. Will your end results be the same, probably not. For each meal/snack we consume, our goal is to meet a balance of these numbers so it is easier to meet our overall goal of Macro percentages.
If you want to focus on Whole Foods (highly recommended), here are some things to think about:
- Will it last more than a week or two—most likely not a whole food
- Is it in a box with more than 5 ingredients, more than likely not a whole food.
- Contains ingredients you can’t pronounce such as:
- Preservatives — ascorbic acid, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, tocopherols Emulsifiers that prevent separation of liquids and solids—soy lecithin, monoglycerides Thickeners to add texture — xanthan gum, pectin, carrageenan, guar gum Colors — artificial FD&C Yellow No. 6 or natural beta-carotene to add yellow hues = Not a whole food
- What about bread and pastas? For this challenge, if you make it from scratch, you can count it as a whole food, if you bought it pre-made, nope!
- I use protein powders, is that a whole food? In most cases, no, if you have something you believe to be made purely of whole foods, it can be submitted for review, but we’re trying to avoid those powders for 5 weeks.
We’ll be using Cronometer to track our Macros for everything we ingest, yes we’re tracking those liquids as well. Cronometer offers a FREE app on Apple and Google app stores and is a very easy way to keep up with our tracking with features like saving of meals, barcode scanning, and multiple measurement types. There is a Cronometer Pro version, but it is not required to complete the challenge. Be sure to download as soon as you register and make yourself familiar with the application as it will be used frequently and screenshots for the program.
So what am I doing on a daily basis?
- Eating, this might be eating as you normally do and adjusting slowly to prescribed macros or you can dive in head first. But you must eat!
- Track everything you eat in Cronometer
- Pay attention to your macros in the app. Example: If you have a high fat breakfast, you’ll need to adjust the rest of your meals to meet your daily goal.
- Submit a screenshot of your daily macros at the end of the day, or next morning, whichever you prefer.
Simple as that, tracking throughout the day for each meal makes it easier to accurately track.
My Individual Macro Goals
By the start of the program you will receive your daily Macro goals based on the details you provided during sign up. To generate these guidelines we’ll use the following:
- Personal details: Height/Weight, Age, Sex
- Goals: What you want to achieve in 8 weeks
- Activity Level: Two participants with the exact same metrics above but with different activity levels will require a different program. Not everyone has the time to work out 6 days a week, two-times a day, so if you’re a 3-day a week person, we’ll adjust accordingly.
Meeting your macro goals is unlikely to be an exact science, while that’s possible it’s restrictive to everyday life, so we’ll stick with the 10% rule. An example:
- A participant has been provided the following daily Macros
- Protein – 193 grams
- Fat – 58 grams
- Carbs – 257 grams
- Using our 10% rule, we’ll call it a successful day if we fall into the following ranges:
- Protein – 173-213 grams
- Fat – 52-64 grams
- Carbs – 231-283 grams
What you’ll receive is the range (second option) which will allow you more flexibility while staying in the ideal Macro percentage range.
We have an InBody scale located in the gym in the shower room. You’ll need to download the InBody app Fitness Measuring Devices To Track Calories | InBody USA and grab a coach while you’re in the gym to help get you setup, it’s straightforward and key to making the program a success.
The InBody goes beyond the weight on a traditional scale, we want to view the progression of your Skeletal Muscle Mass, BMI metrics and of course weight is always a good metric to know. The twice weekly weigh-ins should ideally be done at the same time and day each week for most accurate results. Beyond you being able to track progress yourself, these details will allow us to adjust daily macro goals as needed throughout the duration of our program.
Do I need to measure everything? If you want the most accurate macros and best results, then it is highly recommended. Measurements can be in volume or weight, there are lots of options in the app we’re using. After 8 weeks of this process you’ll become a master at estimation, which will enable you to leverage the program long term, but for now pull out those measuring cups and scales.
I don’t like to or can’t eat XYZ: Cool, don’t eat it. There are infinite variations to meet your macro goals. If you don’t like a particular food, don’t force yourself into misery by eating it, that’s the exact opposite of what we want. It goes without saying, if you have dietary restrictions, stick to them, but you’ll still find a way to meet your macros.
What about Alcohol? It’s possible to meet your macro goals and drink in moderation, but it won’t be easy and they need to be tracked. This is a personal decision on how effective you want your 8 week program to be. While we are not endorsing the consumption of alcohol, we know it is an integral part of life for some people. If you want to imbibe, stick to simple drinks like wine, beer, and straight liquors. Most cocktails and some liquors are loaded with refined sugar.
I need help with meals: Ask your nutrition coach, your fellow participants, Google it! While macro tracking might be new to you, it’s math based and it’s simple to find a snack that is high in protein, fat or carbs.