FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FAQs | NUTRITION
How do you determine what my daily intake should be?
The recommendation for your daily intake is based on your gender, body type, activity level, and goals.
Do I need to count calories or macros?
No. Assuming you are active and eat about four meals per day, the recommendations in your Custom Meal Plan Template are all you need to follow. These recommendations are to help you more easily meet your macronutrient (protein, carbohydrate, fat) and calorie needs without having to do kitchen math. To measure, I recommend simply using the hand-sized portions which I will describe with your Custom Nutrition Template.
This works well for many reasons.
Hands are portable. They come with you to work lunches, restaurants, social gatherings, etc.
Hands are scaled to the individual. Bigger people need more food, and tend to have bigger hands, therefore getting larger portions. Smaller people need less food, and tend to have smaller hands, therefore getting smaller portions.
It provides reasonable amounts of nutrient dense foods and their specific macronutrients (thus preventing deficiencies). It will help you meet your protein, vegetable, carb, fat, and calorie needs without having to count a gram or weigh a food.
Keep in mind that some of your protein sources may also contain some fat and/or carbohydrate (i.e. eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese), some of your fat sources may also contain some protein and/or carbohydrate (i.e. nuts, seeds, avocado), and some of your carbohydrate sources may also contain some fat and/or protein (i.e. quinoa and broccoli). But each food is categorized based on its predominant macronutrient.
How will I know which foods to eat and which foods to avoid?
You will receive a Food Guide which will contain an extensive list of foods to choose from for each category (i.e. protein, smart carbs, vegetables, and fats). When following this plan, you will be encouraged to…
Base your diet on real, fresh, natural, nutrient-dense foods like meats, eggs and poultry, fish (rich in protein and good quality essential fats) a variety of vegetables (rich in antioxidants and cancer-fighting substances), healthy fats (like olive oil, avocados and coconut), fruit and nuts.
Avoid empty calories – high-calorie foods and drinks that offer little nutritional value. Eat foods that are natural - not processed
Steer clear of anything that comes in a box or fancy packaging and is labeled “fat free,” “low fat,” “low carb”, “heart healthy,” etc.
Pay attention to where your food comes from. Whenever possible, buy meat that is grass-fed, local, organic and pastured, eggs that are organic and pastured, and produce that is locally and organically grown and in season.
Can I eat foods other than those listed on the Food Guide?
Yes, but for optimal results, I recommend sticking to the options listed in the Food Guide. If you have questions about a specific food that is not listed on the Food Guide and where it fits, you can just shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
How far apart should my meals be?
Try to eat a meal every 3-5 hours.
How do I count dairy products (i.e. milk, cottage cheese, yogurt)?
Because they contain a good amount of carbohydrate, a single serving of dairy products (non-fat and 1%) should be counted as a “palm” of protein and a “cupped hand” smart carbs. If it’s full-fat dairy, it should be counted as a “palm” of protein, a “cupped hand” of smart carbs and a “thumb” of fat. In other words, if you’d like to be able to add “smart carbs” and/or “healthy fats” to your meals, you’ll want to choose protein sources other than dairy for your meals.
How do I count beans and lentils?
Because they contain a good amount of carbohydrate, a single serving of beans and lentils should be counted as a “palm” of protein and a “cupped hand” smart carbs. In other words, if you’d like to be able to add “smart carbs” to your meals, you’ll want to choose protein sources other than beans and lentils for your meals.
Can I eat whole eggs on this plan?
Yes, but be aware that whole eggs should be counted as a “fat” as well as a “protein.” What that means is, if you eat whole eggs as your protein source for any given meal, you will forego adding any “thumbs” of fat to that meal. You should also limit yourself to only one meal per day with eggs as your sole protein source. In other words, if you’d like to be able to add “healthy fats” to your meals, you’ll want to choose egg whites over whole eggs.
How do I measure out protein powder?
On average, most protein powders contain about 25g of protein per scoop, which could be counted as approximately one (small) “palm” of protein.
Can I drink coffee or tea on this plan?
Can I add creamer and/or sweetener to my coffee/tea?
Yes. You can measure out a 1-2 thumb-sized portions of milk, light cream or half-and-half. But you should steer clear of high-calorie creamers. Stevia is an acceptable substitute for table sugar.
Is “cheating” allowed?
I prefer to call them “treats.” The word cheat has a negative connotation. Saying you cheated implies that you have done something bad. A treat is something that you allow yourself to indulge in from time to time without guilt because it’s delicious and pleasurable. That being said, occasional treats are allowed but should be kept to a minimum. Please see the section on “Cheating” below for details
If I “cheat” do I need to start over back at the beginning?
No! Understand that it’s all part of the process. Pause and ask yourself, "How can I learn from this? What can I do differently next time?" Accept that you got off course, learn from it, and move on IMMEDIATELY.