GTS Reverse Diet
At this point you should have reviewed our Preparation Week material and prepped for success! Feel free to jump back to that page at any point throughout the program.
Some of you are experts and have the whole calorie and macro thing dialed in.
For the rest of us, this week, I want you to focus on finding foods (preferably ones you enjoy) that help you to achieve your prescribed calories.
Week 1 Focus
Average Daily Calories
The average calories you consume over time will control whether your average body weight goes up or down. Yes, there will be hour, day and week fluctuations, but we are focused on trends and averages, not short term/single instance numbers.
Macronutrients or "macros" (proteins, fats, carbs) will control how you'll distribute that weight and how you'll perform.
We'll worry about the macro piece in future weeks.
This week, get your bearings, play around with meal prep, experiment with different foods, and start building a foundation of protein and vegetables! Start adding other foods around that to enhance the flavor and get closer to your calorie goals!
Set Custom Calorie and Macros in MyFitnessPal
Set your Week 1 Calorie and Macros in your tracker app on your phone.
In MyFitnessPal, click...
--> More (bottom right) <--
--> Goals <--
--> Calorie, Carb, Protein, and Fat Goals (Custom) <--
Adjust the calories and percentages to get as close as you can to your prescribed numbers.
Start logging your daily food
This will be a process, and seem daunting at first. But I assure you, it's much less complicated than it seems and it will become easier as you start to build out a database of foods you frequently eat.
It's super easy to add food to your log!
--> Click add or "+" <--
Use the barcode scanner, or search for it.
Almost every item you'll ever eat is already in there.
You'll develop a database of all of your foods so it will be easy to add in the future.
--> Click Meals <--
Instantly add yesterday's meal, making it easy if you're a routine eater like me!
As always, this is a process and I don't expect you to master this on the first try. Do your best and let us know if you have questions.
Don't worry too much about the Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/Snack sections, they are just there to help you divide up your day. Log your food in any area that makes sense to you. For instance, I log one giant meal for lunch. In reality I break the meal/calories up into 3 containers that I eat throughout the afternoon. I just log the total calories once across those 3 meals because it's significantly easier.
What to expect...
The first week will be your lowest overall calories of the 12 weeks.
For many of you, this will be a challenge, but do your best to embrace the change and remember each week we'll be adding in more calories!
Those of you focusing on fat loss will likely see a significant drop in body weight the first week as your calories and carbs will likely be much lower than usual.
This will slow to a more reasonable rate over the first 1-3 weeks.
The initial drop is typically due to a reduction of glycogen (carbs) and water stored in your muscles.
Those of you focused on weight gain, this will be your "easiest" week, as we'll be adding calories over time. Depending on where we set your calories and what you have been doing prior, you might see a short term drop in weight as well.
For those on lower calorie plans, during the first few weeks, you will likely experience a slight drop in how many reps you can perform at the top end of your lifts.
Top end strength might be minimally impacted on the pressing movements, but squat and deadlifting patterns will likely remain un-impacted initially.
This is normal, easy to adjust for and will improve as we slowly add calories back in. Continue focusing on perfecting your reps, and rack the weight when you feel your form is degrading.
Success Tip 1
Start reading the labels!
If there's anything I want you to walk away with is how awful we are at eye balling and estimating our calories over a day and a week.
Check out the food labels! Specifically look at the serving size that the calories correspond to.
I can't tell you how many people tell me they eat "healthy" and can't figure out why they can't lose fat.
Healthy (or higher quality) food is great and always recommend.
But when it comes to fat loss and muscle gain quantity is king. You can become overweight on anything if you eat enough of it, even "healthy" foods.
When available, use a digital scale or measuring spoons to get a more accurate reading on how much you're consuming. When you don't have access to one, do your best to estimate the quantities. You'll get better at this over time as you start measuring things.
Success Tip 2
Prepare most of your own food
When you're in the kitchen, you're in control! It's easier to track and be more precise.
Start carving out a little more time to make food at home.
Pack a lunch (or two) and a snack.
Cook in bulk.
Multi-task. Try cooking breakfast and lunch at the same time!
Success Tip 3
Eating out... Assume high!
Can't prepare at home. No problem. You can still eat out, but just be smart. The total calories of a single meal out can exceed or take up a good portion of your daily budget.
Look for simpler, less processed food. It will be easier to track and estimate.
Salads and stir-fries are cool... but oils and dressing are not free calories...
The job of a restaurant is to make things taste delicious, they don't care about your calories and macros. This makes it really difficult to estimate what's in your food and the serving sizes.
If you want to treat yourself, plan for it. Typically a meal out will be rich in fuel calories (fats and carbs) so "save up" and focus on proteins and vegetable based calories the rest of the day. Train prior to the meal if possible. Enjoy it, we all deserve a little release in moderation. Just know yourself, we all know the foods that open up pandoras box and send us on a bender...
When logging your calories, be honest with yourself and assume high when eating out. One day won’t define the success or failure of your program. But logging it will help to prevent it turning into multiple days. Its like checking your credit card statement after a spending spree... I’d bet you’d pause and carefully contemplate your next few purchases...
Your journey is your journey. Your coaches are here to guide you and offer solutions. No one is judging your meal decisions, we all indulge from time to time. Just log it, gain awareness of the amount, learn whats worth it to you, what you can or willing to sacrifice next time (in the below image... chips? beer?), and get back on the horse right away. DO NOT starve or punish yourself the next day to make up for it.
End Of Week Check-IN
I'll be sending out a check-In form on Friday to gather data and see how everyone did, but you're free to communicate with us at any time.
A few reminders...
Make sure you're weighing yourself 3x per week, preferably first thing in the morning. We'll be tracking the high, the low and average for each week.
Take progress photo (selfies) at each weigh-in.
Final Thoughts & Other Helpful Links
Remember go easy on yourself! Try not to stress about being perfect. This will be a journey, let's just aim for small victories and improvements each week.
Next week we'll focus on protein...
Links to Meal Prep and Shopping Suggestions can be found on the Preparation Week.
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