2014 Fall Challenge
MTM Fall ’14 Nutrition Challenge:
Short Cut Overview:
– Download the Free MyFitnessPal app from the Apple or Android App Stores
– Create a Free Account. Input your height, weight, age, activity level (no higher than Active), weight loss goal.
– Change the MyFitnessPal settings (under Goals) so that your Protein, Carb, Fat ratios give you 1g of Protein per Pound of Bodyweight and no more than 175g/125g Carbs Men/Women.
– Join the MTM Challenge Secret Group – shoot DMac a message on FB if you haven’t been added.
– Weigh, Measure, and Record all of your food in the MyFitnessPal app.
– At the end of each day take a picture of that day’s nutrition breakdown both the pie chart and nutrition summary and post it to the secret group.
– Eat clean foods that you prepare at home for the vast majority of your weekly meals. Watch out for large cheat meals that take up a day or more of calories.
– If you fall off the wagon don’t stress it, don’t try to make up for it the next day by under-eating or hitting lots of workouts. Just get back on track with your normal plan.
There is an old cliché in the fitness world: “Abs are made in the kitchen”. It’s been around for a long time because it is flat out true. 70% of how you look is a direct result of what and how much you put into your body. 30% is how you workout.
We all know that CrossFit is the most effective way to spend that time working out. But, ultimately it’s only 30% of what we need to do. Diet is important. Doing any fitness plan you can get fat, thin, strong, weak, and so on based on what you eat and how much you eat.
CrossFitters have a tendency to make extremely great progress in the first 3 months of CrossFit. They haven’t been working out nearly as intense and that intensity creates dramatic results. Those results start to slow between 3 and 6 months of doing CrossFit as we get used to working out hard. Between 6-12 months, while we are WAY better off than when we started, many CrossFitters plateau or even start to see a slide back in body composition. Why does this pattern exist? When we start we’re stoked about the new and exciting environment. We focus hard on new movements and lifting and eating well enough that we don’t throw up during the WOD. As time goes on our bodies adapt and CrossFit becomes more normal, not easier but not such a shock every day. When we’re 6 months in we’re pretty use to CrossFit as far as training hard goes. We’ve also made some friends and Football (or another sport/season) has started and we start getting relaxed on our diet. We drink a little more than we should, we celebrate everything with a cheat meal, and pretty soon it seems like CrossFit isn’t working anymore.
Then we run into the real problem: If some CrossFit worked before then A Lot of CrossFit will work now! This is a recipe for disaster. Eating more and Doing more, especially lifting like we do in CrossFit, is textbook how to get bigger and stronger. If you’re constantly overeating and overtraining nothing good will come of it and you’ll probably start to have some nagging injuries.
Tracking, Recording, and Sharing
The basis of this challenge is Clean Eating and Tracking how much you actually eat. We have to know how much energy we’re consuming in a day – period. If I were to say that I had a steak, some potatoes, and some broccoli you would probably say it was a good clean meal. However there is a significant difference between having a 2oz steak, 2 cups of potatoes, and 3 broccoli florets and eating a 16oz steak, ½ cup of potatoes, and 2 cups of broccoli.
Setting up and using MyFitnessPal
Technology has made tracking your food a lot easier in recent years. MyFitnessPal is an app that lets you do this very easily.
Setting up – create an account; input your height, weight, age, activity level, weekly goal. For activity level use “Active” or less. If you don’t spend your day on your feet doing physical work then you won’t be “Very Active”. Yes, CrossFit is tough but doing a WOD a day doesn’t bump you up in activity level. Most people are “Lightly Active”. Your weekly goal should be to lose 1lb per week. Think about that now – if you’re really really good on this challenge you’ll lose 4lbs. I know, that kind of sucks. But it is the best thing for the long term. Consistent small weight loss is the road to go, not 20lbs this week. Losing more than about 1lb per week and you’ll be burning off muscle which will decrease your metabolic rate and make it harder and harder to burn fat.
Goal Ratios – One of the major downfalls of MFP is that the initial goal ratios for macro nutrients are totally whack. If you’re looking to get obese they would be great. These goals are easily changed in the settings menu under “Goals”. Use the percentage wheels to set your Protein at about 1g per Pound of Bodyweight. Set carbs at 175/125g. And then move the Fat percentage around till it all equals out at 100%. Boom, done. The app will tell you how many grams you need of each based on percentage and goal calories.
Recording Meals – This is very easy with MFP. You click into your Diary, click “+ Add Food” and then input the food. You can use the search engine up top or you can scan the foods bar code. When in doubt scan the barcode if at all possible. When choosing foods you searched for make sure that the number of servings you’re inputting is equal to what you actually consumed. This is where a food scale becomes a necessity. A serving on 93% Lean Ground Beef is 4oz in MFP. If you ate double that amount but only recorded one serving you’re obviously going to run into problems.
Sharing – each night when you’re done with all of your eating you’ll take a picture of your nutrition breakdown. You’ll post both the pie chart and the nutrient details list. Sharing isn’t about shaming you for going over or under your goals. It’s about keeping you accountable. It’s also about keeping a record so if you’re not getting the results you want we can look and see why.
Don’t worry if you find it hard at first to hit your goal percents. Don’t stress it if you go over. Make a plan for the following day to get back on track. We don’t want to try and make up for it the next day. While you can totally eat bad foods and hit your goals you’ll quickly find that eating clean nutrient dense foods is the way to really excel on this plan.
Be honest with what you record. If you consistently don’t record something, like say alcohol, then we won’t be able to see what’s really going on with your nutrition. Keep it honest so we can make real changes.