- Training Time
- Meal Plan
- Template Type
- When to Adjust Your Template Type
- How Long to Run Your Diet
“Training” is considered hard physical training, including weightlifting, HIIT, CrossFit, and endurance training.
- Rest: Light cardio like walking, jogging, yoga, barre, etc is considered a rest day.
- < 90min: If training lasts for less than an hour and a half.
- > 90min: If training lasts for more than an hour and a half.
Below training intensity is training time. An important part of appropriate fueling is knowing when to eat which macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fat). The template will automatically adjust when to eat what based on the training time you choose.
Today's Meal Plan
Below training time is your daily meal plan, which can be viewed in two formats:
- Meal Prep: This setting will give you the quantities of real foods (chicken, rice, veggies, etc) that should comprise your meals. You weigh the protein out using a food scale, carbs and veggies using measuring cups, and the fat using a teaspoon (not a tablespoon!).
- Macros: This setting will give you the macronutrient numbers that the food quantities under "Meal Prep" represent. These are the amounts of fuel, in the form of protein, carbohydrate, and fat, that your body will turn into energy for movement and bodily functions, as well as building blocks for tissue.
As an example, the "Meal Prep" tab will prescribe 3oz (85 grams) of chicken, which equates to roughly 25g of protein under the "Macros" tab. Unless you are using the Adaptive Meal plan as a part of a flexible dieting program (IIFYM), you can largely ignore the macronutrient format.
The food format gives you easy to follow instructions on how to construct your meals out of lean animal protein, safe starchy carbs, healthy fats, and vegetables. These are the building blocks of any athlete’s diet. While it’s certainly possible to get great results with foods outside these categories, we recommend you start here. Hovering your mouse over the food headers will show a list of options.
For each of the four meals, you are given the right amounts of each food group to meet your fueling needs for that day given your biometrics, training duration, and training time. In addition to these four meals, there is a post-workout shake and pre-bedtime shake. For post-workout we recommend a clean whey protein and high glycemic carbs. Some options are supplements such as Karbolyn, real foods such as bananas and gluten free cereal, or powders such as Tang and Gatorade. For bedtime we recommend animal protein or casein as tolerated. (Some athletes’ digestive tracts react negatively to casein, so pay attention if trying it for the first time. Signs of an upset stomach mean you should seek another source of protein).
If you prefer to work off of exact macros than food amounts, select the macros option in the top right of the meal plan to see your macronutrient needs in grams. Please note that the foods you’re eating - even if weighed and measured perfectly - will not conform exactly to what you’re logging. Perfection to the gram is not the goal, consistency is what drives excellent results.
Beneath your meal plan you will see your template type (initially set to "maintenance"). Click on it to see all options: Maintenance, Bulk 1-3, and Cut 1-3.
Adjust these to gain or lose body mass in accordance with your goals. If you are new to the Adaptive Nutrition templates, start with Maintenance for at least two weeks to get a feel for this kind of fueling.
When cutting, a goal of 0.5-1.0% of total body weight loss per week is ideal. A cut that acts faster than this will cause you to unnecessarily lose lean muscle mass and as a result make continued losses more challenging.
For example, a 140lb female should aim to lose .7-1.4lbs of body weight per week. If you are losing at a rate faster than this range at the end of the week, shift to a template with more calories (eg. from Cut 2 back to Cut 1). If your progress is slower than this you may opt for a more calorie deficient template (eg. Cut 2 to Cut 3). If your progress falls within these guidelines, continue with the same template.
Keep in mind the meal plan should cover all of your food intake. Eating (or drinking) off of your plan will affect your results.
When bulking, a goal of .3-.75% of total body weight gained per week is ideal. A bulk that acts faster than this will cause you to unnecessarily add extra body fat in addition to your lean muscle gains.
For example, a 180lb male should aim to gain .5-1.3lbs of body weight per week. If you are gaining at a rate faster than this range at the end of week, shift to a template with less calories (eg. from Cut 2 back to Cut 1). If your progress is slower than this you may opt for a more calorie dense template (eg. Bulk 1 to Bulk 2). If your progress falls within these guidelines, continue with the same template.
If your primary goal is to add muscle mass, it’s advised to discuss your training with an expert coach or trainer to make sure your workouts are consistent with your goals.
When to Adjust Your Template
Once you have eaten at the maintenance template for two weeks, you may chose to cut or bulk depending on whether you wish to lose or add mass, respectively. Switch your template to Cut 1 or Bulk 1 and eat according to the template for a minimum of a week. While eating according to the template, it’s important to track your body weight as a measure of change. Measurements should be taken first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything. Even with care to make measurements consistent, athletes will notice fluctuations in body weight day to day. These are meaningless and should be ignored. What is more important is your average body weight or macro trend.
How Long to Run Your Diet
Whether you’re bulking or cutting, a consistent diet of 8-10 weeks is typically ideal. A diet longer than this will start to lose effectiveness in the following weeks and become unreasonably challenging to maintain. Dieting for shorter periods is acceptable but does not yield the same magnitude of results as a longer dieting term.
Once you have reached the end of your 8-10 weeks of dieting, start to revert toward the maintenance template. For example, if you finished 9 weeks of cutting on template Cut 2, you would spend your next week on Cut 1 slowly adding back in calories. If bulking you would start to decrease calories. The goal is to stabilize your weight where you currently are.
Due to daily fluctuations we recommend only changing templates weekly, not more frequently. If you have moved from Cut 2 back to Cut 1 and are still losing weight, continue back to the maintenance template. Once your body weight has stabilized, plan to spend 3-4 weeks at this template.
By spending 3-4 weeks at a stable weight, you are resetting your body’s weight set point. This will solidify your results and put you in a position to either cut or bulk effectively again after the 3-4 weeks of maintenance is complete.
Once you have completed your 3-4 weeks of maintenance and are ready to cut or bulk again, please email us to have your biometrics updated to reflect your new body weight.