Your Adaptive Nutrition Meal Plan
Why are we limited to certain foods?
We stick to the foods listed in the app because those are going to be some of the cleanest sources of fuel for your body.
The idea is not to eat these foods forever, but to clean your slate for a few weeks before gradually reintroducing off-plan foods to see how they make you feel.
Clients' adherence to food quality is a key driver to the improvements we see in everything from energy levels, skin quality, sleep quality, mental clarity, and body composition.
If you're having foods off-plan, it's likely that you will not see much - if any - improvement in these areas.
The ultimate goal is to better understand how the food you eat affects your body. You might be surprised to learn those headaches you get on occasion are triggered by certain foods!
Why do we need to eat 1+ cups of vegetables at each meal?
Vegetables are important because they keep the conveyor belt of your digestive tract moving at the right pace; too slow and you’ll feel heavy and backed up; too quick and your body might not absorb nutrients.
For our clients who have trouble gaining weight, the problem is often that they aren’t eating enough vegetables!
How are portion sizes determined in Phase 3?
The amounts of protein, carbs, and fat in your meal plan are based on your gender, age, height, weight, and body fat percentage. In addition, they’re based on your activity level throughout the day. You'll see meals have varying amounts of carbs and fat, depending on the duration and intensity of your workout.
Why am I eating the same amount as people who are much bigger or smaller than me in Phase 1?
Your portion sizes are not the same as others’, unless they are the same size as you. A larger person’s palm will naturally be larger than a smaller person’s palm, therefore portion sizes will be different according to the person’s size. It is meant to be an easy way to roughly gauge what your portion sizes should be.
I feel like I'm eating SO MUCH FOOD in Phase 3. Is it really necessary?
Your portion sizes are what your body needs according to your gender, age, height, bodyweight, body fat percentage, and activity level.
If it feels like you're eating a ton of food on our program, you were likely not eating enough before. Not eating enough for a long period of time will cause your body to slow its metabolism and hold onto body fat. It realizes it's not getting enough food, and copes in various ways that negatively impact your health.
Not to worry, we've had many clients in this situation. Their bodies adapted to the portion sizes in a matter of weeks!
Remember, we are beginning to change a lifetime of eating habits in only a few short weeks - things will be uncomfortable. The good news is that that discomfort indicates you're going to get different results than you've gotten before!
What if I'm not hungry when it's time for my next meal?
You can wait to eat up to five hours between meals. If you're still not hungry at the five hour mark, go ahead and eat.
If you're not used to eating this much food, it will take a few weeks for your body to adapt, and may require that you eat when not hungry for a couple of weeks.
Not eating enough for a long period of time will cause your body to slow its metabolism and hold onto body fat. Your body realizes it's not getting enough food, and copes in various ways that negatively impact your health.
As you begin eating enough to support your body, you should start noticing improvements in your energy levels, body composition, sleep, and other health markers.
Why don’t we log food?
In our own personal nutrition journeys, we found that logging food would go well for a week or two, and then it would become a pain. We wanted to remove the need for documenting every food you eat at every meal.
While we will sometimes ask our private coaching clients to log their meals for a few days in order to pinpoint specific issues, we find that making this new way of eating as simple as possible makes it much easier to stick with.
From a client: "I was hesitant to get back into this because (due to some type A tendencies) logging food starting to become an obsession and a time-suck but I think you two have done an excellent job focusing on keeping it simple and minimizing the time required to log."
Do we weigh and measure food after it's cooked or before?
Weigh and measure food AFTER it's cooked.
Do I have to eat breakfast?
Yes, it’s strongly recommended that you eat within an hour of waking. Waiting longer means your body is in a catabolic state (breaking down muscle for energy).
If you've never eaten breakfast, understand that changing a lifelong habit will be uncomfortable at first. However our bodies are incredibly adaptable, and within a few weeks eating breakfast should start feeling more natural.
Do I have to workout or do CrossFit specifically to use this meal plan?
No, you do not have to CrossFit, or even workout, to see results on this meal plan (though exercising will improve results).
Our criteria for high-intensity exercise can be covered not only by CrossFit, but by high-intensity interval training, circuit training, weightlifting, endurance training, and other types of activities.
Why do we need to start on the Base template in Phase 3? Can't we immediately start cutting calories? I want to lose weight now!
Think of the Base template like getting into a new car. It makes sense to put a new car in park in order to adjust your seat, mirrors, and familiarize yourself. Refusing to do this is dangerous and could really limit your ability to go places efficiently.
The Base template is a way to familiarize yourself with our meal plan. Because you were eating differently before starting our program, the Base template is needed to establish a baseline according to our program guidelines.
Depending on how you were eating before, you may either gain or lose weight on the Base template at first. Once your bodyweight stabilizes (i.e. you've familiarized yourself with your new car), you're in a great place to start going places!
What if I miss a meal?
Depending on which meal you missed, you can:
- Combine your next meal and missed meal into one.
If you have 2-3 meals left, eat as soon as you're able. You can space the rest of your meals 2-3 hours apart instead of 3-5 hours apart in order to get them all in.
If you missed your first meal, eat as soon as able. You should have plenty of time left to space the rest of your meals 2-3 hours apart.
How quickly do I need to a finish a meal when I sit down to eat it?
Aim to finish meals within a half hour.
Carbohydrates, protein, and fats affect your body differently depending on what combination of them you eat. For example, eating a meal of carbs only will affect your blood sugar differently than if you ate the same amount of carbs with some protein and fat.
To avoid any energy spikes or crashes, be sure to get in all parts of your meal at the same time.
Do I need to count the oil I used to cook with?
Yes. However it's also easy to cook without oils to avoid any miscounting. Apart from roasting veggies, we've found that the following are great ways to cook without oils: A non-stick skillet, crockpot, InstaPot, or baking in the oven.
What percent leanness is acceptable for meats?
Shoot for 90% or more.
I need help with meal prep!
Here are our dos and don’ts of meal prep that should help you make meal prep as efficient and productive as possible!
DO try to do as much "hands-free" cooking as possible - the oven and crockpot are your friends.
DO use seasonings and spices on your food. Eating healthy by no means means eating bland! See our recipes page for our recommendations.
DO invest in some quality Tupperware and storage containers.
DO cook 1-2 times a week. Your goal should be to cook 3-4 days of food in about 30-90 minutes. At first this may be a challenge, but after a few times you will have your efficiency down.
DO have some food on hand that requires no preparation, such as bags of mixed salad greens, nuts, jerky, or deli meat. These can be great to supplement your meal prep for when you're on the go, or if you run out of prepped food.
DO have variety. We suggest having at least two options for each food group. For example, your protein options could be chicken and ground turkey, your carb options sweet potatoes and white rice, and your healthy fat options avocado and olive oil. You can mix and match these for your meals so you aren’t eating the same thing for every meal.
DON'T spend hours on meal prep (unless you have the time and love to cook)! Habits have a better chance of sticking around if they're easy, so we want to make meal prep as hassle-free as possible.
DON'T get too fancy with recipes, otherwise you'll be in the kitchen all day. Keep it super simple - we like 3-step recipes with 1-3 ingredients. Need ideas? Head to our recipes page!
What if I didn’t have time to prep food?
We’ve all been there! Having emergency foods on hand can help you in situations you don’t have your meals prepped. Have a stash of jerky, nuts, nut butter packets, or plantain chips at your office, and keep no-prep items in your fridge, such as salad greens, rotisserie chicken, and frozen veggies. For more ideas, visit our recipes page.
How do I deal with food cravings?
The cravings WILL subside! When you’re constantly feeding your body hyperpalatable (foods purposely loaded with sugar, salt, or fat to keep you buying more), you form an addiction. Eat clean and within 2-3 weeks you’ll find yourself over the withdrawals.
Instead of soda, try sparkling water.
To fight off sweets cravings, eat pickles or carrots.
To fight off hunger, try chewing gum.
How do I stay on track if I travel a lot for work? How do I do not go completely off the rails on vacation? What should I do if I have an event to go to?
See our The Ultimate Guide to Eating Out to address all of these questions and more!
Can I have cheat days?
We encourage our clients to stick as closely as possible to the meal plan for the first six weeks in order to maximize results. We want you to see what kind of results are possible when 100% on plan. Getting results quickly will also keep your motivation high throughout the process, leading to even better results.
Hyper-palatable foods (foods manufactured with loads of salt, sugar, and fat to keep you buying more) increase cravings and keep you wanting more - they are designed this way to make food companies profitable. It's only when you've stayed away from these manufactured foods for a few weeks that you start to rewire your body to want healthy foods and free it of cravings.
Of course, you're a full-grown adult and can make your own choices. Foods off plan will slow progress towards goals, so keep that in mind as you make decisions around food.
My weight is not going down every day, what am I doing wrong?
Bodyweight fluctuations are completely normal. Things as simple as how much water you drink and bowel movements can have an affect on your weight day-to-day, so we encourage you to look at the direction it’s trending over the span of a few days.
My weight spiked. What happened?!
It’s common for your weight to spike the day after eating out, as restaurant-prepared food is high in salt and makes you retain water.
Weight fluctuations can happen depending on hydration. A weight spike can be caused simply by drinking a lot more water the day before, especially if you had a workout.
Ladies, your weight will naturally be higher right before and while you’re on your period, so don’t worry about your weight during this time too much.
I’m following the program to a tee but I’m still not losing weight. What’s going on?
We see this issue every so often with our clients, and 9 times out of 10 sleep is the issue. Just an hour or two here and there makes a huge impact on our health, our cognition, and our waistline.
We use the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock app to track sleep quality and duration. If you're sleeping less than eight hours a night with poor sleep quality (below 85%), your body is very likely stressed out and holding onto bodyweight.
While the food options on our program are chosen because they are safe for most people, some foods might still cause inflammation in certain people. If sleep is not the issue, try taking nuts and nut butter out of your meals. You may be eating too many (nuts are high in omega-6s, which are inflammatory, so we recommend only having them occasionally) or have a sensitivity to them. Avocado and nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers) are other potential issues for some.
What about poop?!
Poop is a great indicator of how much your body does or doesn’t like particular foods.
Everyone’s poop stinks, but if it’s offensively stinky or not coming out like it should (refer to the lovely infographic), that’s a sign you’re eating something you probably shouldn’t.
If you’re having trouble staying regular, make sure you’re getting the cup of vegetables at each meal. Vegetables help everything move along in your digestive tract. In addition, make sure you’re drinking enough water. A good starting point is ⅔ of your bodyweight in ounces of water per day (e.g. if you weigh 150 pounds, drink 100 ounces of water per day).
My friends and coworkers are giving me a hard time about eating healthy. How do I respond?
People don’t make fun of those who eat donuts, pizza, and whipped cream out of the can...but they always seem to make fun of anyone who is trying to eat healthy! You will probably get flack from friends and coworkers. You will probably be tempted to eat out and drink with friends. Just remember that no one with abs eats/drinks the way they do.
I’m losing motivation… How do I stay on track?
At some point or another, you might find yourself losing steam, or maybe you have a string of back-to-back vacations, client dinners, and birthday parties that seem determined to derail your progress!
In those times, we like to remember why we care about eating healthy, how much more energy we have, how much more mentally clear we feel, how much better our workouts are, how well our clothes fit... Whatever your “why” is, write that down and come back to it whenever you find yourself getting off track.
Do you work with vegetarians?
Right now we do not have the capacity to effectively work with clients who have chosen to eat vegan or vegetarian diet.
That being said, we've had clients who were vegetarian, but decided to give our program a shot. Here's our client Maddie's experience:
"I was very hesitant initially to try this program, because the meal plan included meat for every single meal including breakfast and I am not a big meat eater. But I decided to give it a shot, and just not worry about substituting - and it was the best decision ever."
While it is possible to lead a long healthy life without eating animal protein, we find that the results from a combination of nutrition and exercise without the ingestion of animal proteins are compromised at best.
Meeting the dietary protein needs of an active healthy individual purely from plant sources without unnecessary levels of carbohydrates is challenging, or even impossible, for some.
That being said, we are happy to discuss the mechanisms and options involved for clients considering reintroduction of animal protein into their diet.
Still have questions?
Shoot us a message!