A quick note on testing before we get on to the good stuff. Whatever your goals during Kaizen, it’s a good idea to track body weight and body fat %. I’d suggest measuring body weight once a week and body fat % once at the beginning and once at the end of the challenge.
(1) For body weight, make sure you take note of the conditions under which you are weighing yourself and be consistent between measurements. Always use the same machine at the same time of day with minimal clothing on and make sure you are equally far away from a meal each time you measure.
(2) For body fat %, you have 2 options. This coming Saturday we will be doing skin fold measurements. As far as I know, women aren’t always super keen on guys pinching their fat in delicate areas, so we may teach one or two of you how to do it so that you can do it amongst yourselves. The other option is to go for a Dexa scan at BodyScan where we can get you 2 scans for £170. This is definitely the better, more accurate option and you’ll get lots of very useful information besides body fat % (I’ll post an image of mine to the Kaizen group). Let us know if this interests you and we’ll get it set up.
We have devised 3 nutrition plans for you guys, depending on your goals: Fat Loss, Performance & Hypertrophy. Each plan includes what to eat as well as how much to eat, via our macronutrient algorithm (more on that below).
First, which one should you go for?
|Plan||I should follow this plan if…||I should not follow this plan if…|
|Fat Loss||fat loss and getting leaner is a central motivation in my training OR
Performance is my main motivation but I have some fat to lose (men >18%, women >24%)
|I am already lean (men <12%, women <18%) ==> Performance
I am very active (>5 workouts per week) ==> Performance
|Performance||performance is what matters most to me in the gym
I train at least 4-5 times per week at a high intensity
|I have some fat to lose still (men >18%, women >24%) ==> Fat Loss
I train less than 4 times per week ==> Fat Loss
|Hypertrophy||Putting on muscle mass is my main goalI have at least 5kg of muscle to put on
I’m pretty lean (men <15%, women <20%)
|I’m carrying a little fat (men >15%, women >20%) ==> Performance
I want to get bigger, but not much (<5kg) ==> Performance
The short story is that if you’re not already fairly lean, you should choose Fat Loss. Guys, can you see your abs at all? Girls, is that stomach flat? If not, I’d suggest using Fat Loss since you’ll still be able to go after some performance with that plan and you’ll get lean too! If you’re lean or if performance is really important to you, feel free to choose one of the other plans.
The reason for making this table is that the effects of the plans are not mutually exclusive. If you are following Fat Loss, you can still increase your performance and if you are following Performance, you should still expect to get leaner. So, just because you want to get leaner, it doesn’t mean you have to do Fat Loss and just because you want to improve in the gym, it doesn’t mean you have to do Performance. Please read those directions carefully!
The Plans – What to Eat
Our basic prescription is paleo: Eat meat (and fish / eggs) and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. For the most part we want all of you to avoid processed foods, sugar and grains. This sounds restrictive but it’s better to think about what you can have than what you can’t. You can have eggs with avocado and chilli. You can have steak and potatoes with broccoli. You can have roast chicken with roast parsnips and kale.
The only difference between the plans in terms of what you can eat is the addition of a few supplementary carbohydrate sources for Performance and Hypertrophy and milk for Hypertrophy only.
|Plans||Basic Structure||What’s In||What’s Out|
|Fat Loss||Paleo||Eat meat (and fish / eggs) and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar.||processed food of any kind; grains of any kind; legumes; pulses; dairy; refined sugar: no soft drinks etc.|
|Performance||Paleo + clean starches||Paleo + rice; gluten free oats||The above except: rice; gluten free oats|
|Hypertrophy||Paleo + clean starches + milk||Paleo + rice; gluten free oats; whole milk (organic / raw)||The above except: rice; gluten free oats; whole milk|
|All||sweet potatoes; potatoes; squash; parsnips & turnips; acorns & chestnuts; fruit||avocado; extra virgin olive oil; coconut oil; grass fed butter; eggs; nuts||chicken (organic); beef (organic); lamb (organic); pork (organic); eggs (organic); wild fish; whey protein (<50g/day); vegan protein powder (<50g/day)|
|Performance||+ rice; gluten free oats||+ nut butters||+ recovery shake (max 1/training day)|
|Hypertrophy||+ rice; gluten free oats||+ nut butters||+ recovery shake (max 1/training day); whole milk|
The Plans – How Much to Eat
All of the plans are based around a very basic carbohydrate cycling model. All this means is that you are eating more carbs on training days and fewer on rest days.
For those of you on the Fat Loss program, the difference will most likely be small and, if the added complication is confusing, you can just follow the training day numbers every day without much loss of effectiveness.
For those of you on Hypertrophy or Performance, however, we definitely recommend incorporating at least 2 low carb days per week. So, even if you train 6 days a week, you’ll need to use the rest day numbers on at least 2 days. This is just because you’ll actually be eating a fair bit of carbohydrate on training days which can be inflammatory without some respite.
In order to work out your numbers, you’ll need to download the spreadsheet which I will post to the private members’ page. Below is a screenshot of the algorithm run on my inputs.
What you need to do:
Input your gender, age, height in cm and weight in kg. You will then need to choose an option for Activity Level, Program and Current Body Composition.
Activity Level: this should be pretty self-explanatory. The options are based on how many training sessions you do per week. For almost all of you, the right option is Moderately Active. You need a good reason to select an activity level higher than that. Make sure you select your average here. Just because you trained 6 times one week, it doesn’t mean you are Very Active if most other weeks you only train 3 times! The only time you may have to use your judgement is if you train 5 times a week. You could either pick Active or Very Active. In most cases I would suggest choosing Active. Choose Very Active only if performance is your goal and you are already lean.
Program: again this is self-explanatory. Use the table above to decide which plan to follow and select that plan here.
Current Body Composition: here you have to chose between Lean, Moderately Lean, Fat to Lose and Overweight. Your best honest judgement is probably correct. Lean means something like <12% for men and <18% for women (skin fold numbers). In other words if you can see your abs as a guy or you have a flat stomach as a girl, you are Lean. You are Moderately Lean if you don’t quite meet these standards but you don’t have much visible fat to lose. Stand up and grab your stomach in a vertical line a couple of inches across from your naval. If you can grab less than a handful, you’re probably ok for Moderately Lean (this is very rough). In numbers we are talking <18% for men and <24% for women (skin folds).If you’re above that, use your best judgement as to whether you are Overweight or you just have some Fat to Lose. Off the top of my head, I don’t think any of you really qualify for the Overweight category.
Once you’ve put this all in, you’ll get some numbers in the blue output box. Very simply this will tell you how much protein, carbohydrate and fat to eat on training days and on rest days and these number will depend on all the input data you supplied. It will also give your total calorie goals. What we want you to do is to track your food on MyFitnessPal and aim to hit the given macronutrient numbers. Think in terms of macronutrients rather than calories. We want you to be particularly careful about hitting your protein and carbohydrate targets each day.
You’ll notice that if you selected Performance, then the number of calories drops on rest days. That isn’t a mistake. If you selected Hypertrophy, you’ll notice you have a lot of eating to do. That also isn’t a mistake!
Some Final Details
We suggest you get most of your carbs pre and post workout. If you are on Performance or Hypertrophy, you’ll need carbs throughout the day, but on Fat Loss you should be able to get 70-80% of your carbs before and after you workout.
We’re not going to be as stringent as the Whole Life Challenge. What we suggest is: have a maximum of 2 drinks per week, spread out however you like. But keep it to that! For some of you that will be a challenge, but it’s worth it, believe me!
Now: pick your plan and let us know what you want to do. We’ll tell you if you’re right or wrong!