Welcome to CrossFit I35’s 28-Day Transformation Challenge. We can’t wait to see your results.
The next 28 days may be the most important 28 days of your life. While we can’t promise a total transformation in a month you have the opportunity to lay the foundation that will totally change how you look, feel and perform for the rest of your life.
The CrossFit I35 28 Day Challenge is a body transformation program that includes both high intensity workouts plus a sensible easy to follow meal plan. Exercise and Nutrition go hand in hand because you can’t diet away lack of exercise just as much as you can’t out CrossFit a doughnut.
Food Follows the Workout
We’ve observed that if a person does CrossFit workouts long enough a change in diet is inevitable. The first change is the desire to avoid that terrible or sick feeling during or after workouts caused by poor food choices. So you change what you eat in the hours before your workout. Ultimately you make choices based upon workout performance and tuning the precision machine that is your body.
There are no shortcuts and your diet and workout schedule has to be tight. When you are getting started there is little margin for error. The good news is that once you get to a new set point for your body your margin for error is higher but until you get there please stay focused and remain accountable to yourself and the gym. We’re here to help.
How to Eat
We’ll look at nutritional priorities first and then how to make a plan. Once you have a plan and a method of tracking your progress your on your road to success.
If you get the following priorities in order you are on the right track.
Calories in vs. Calories Out
While there are several factors that control metabolism one thing is very clear. If you want to lose weight and fat you have to be in a calorie deficit. Period.
if you’re gaining weight you’re in a calorie surplus. In other words you’re eating more than you’re burning.
This is usually where people say, “my metabolism is shut down”, “I’m old”, “I’ve had a bunch of kids”, “I’m old hypogonadal, hypothyroid”…OK I get it but the rules for you are the same as an elite athlete or bodybuilder. If you want to drop fat and or weight you have to burn more calories than you eat.
The Scale is Your Friend
Some of our most successful clients didn’t succeed until they got over their fear of the scale and started using it as the feedback machine it’s was built to be.
We’ll ask you to weigh yourself 3-4 times a week at the same time everyday then take the average of the daily weigh ins on Sundays and use that number as your barometer of progress.
Based upon your goal setting session we will provide you a daily calorie recommendation. What you want to see are the numbers on the scale getting smaller while still having the energy for your workouts.
More About Calories
We’ve been doing this for a long time now and the biggest fail for most people is their illusion that they’re eating “healthy” alternatives instead of the classic McDonalds small combo for lunch.
So let’s look at this example what you you guess is a better alternative
The small cheeseburger and fries combo from McDonalds OR
A vegetarian salad at Chipotle.
The answer is very surprising to quite a few people the veggie salad bowl clocks in at 875 calories while the burger and fries comes in at 530.
So simply ordering the so called healthy alternatives can make you very fat. I’m not suggesting building your meal plan at McDonalds BUT as long as you don’t order the large sandwiches, fries and big sugar drinks you can probably do a better job keeping the calories down eating there as opposed to Chipotle or Panera.
My point is no matter how healthy or clean you think you might be eating if you haven’t built a meal plan based upon a foundation of the right amount of calories you will most certainly fail.
In other words while adding “healthy alternatives” is a great idea they can often increase the total number of calories consumed thus adding more weight to an already overweight body.
Getting your calories right is 50% of your plan. Think about it this way the other 50% can be perfect but if you fail this one you get an overall grade of F.
Once you determine how many calories you need to move toward your goal you can start looking at your macros. These are simple guidelines to build your initial meal plan.
Protein .5 to 1 gram per pound of bodyweight. A goal of fat loss should be towards the lower limit with a goal of muscle gain should be toward the high end. Even if your goal is building muscle mass your first goal should be fat loss until you are under 20% for a female and 15% bodyfat as a male.
Carbs 1 to 3+ per pound of bodyweight. Most people wanting to lose weight can keep the total carbs around 1 gram per pound of bodyweight on non-workout days and at 1.5 to 2 on training days. Three or more should be reserved for ultra endurance athletes, world class CrossFit athletes and large body bodybuilders in bulking or mass building phases. In today’s modern world we see people who don’t exercise and even children eating as many as 4+ grams per pound of weight which is a recipe for morbid obesity, diabetes and a variety of comorbid conditions that lead to a miserable life and early death. Carbs are everywhere and most of us love them. It’s real easy to blow this one unless you’re really paying attention.
Many of you will be able to attain your goal weights simply by eliminating (or dramatically reducing) sugars, refined flour, chips, pretzels, doughnuts and various crap. These would be what the popular diet press call bad carbs.
Fats. Contrary to popular opinion fats don’t make you fat and a diet too low in fats can cause many health issues. However we can’t throw out some of the traditional wisdom and believe that butter and bacon are health foods.
One of the issues we’ve found with people is that those who set their protein intake too high usually don’t have room for fats. Let us know if you’re having that problem and we can help you tweak it.
Building Your Plan
I’ve used a variety of food tracking programs and nothing is easier than My Fitness Pal. (myfitnesspal.com) Myfitnesspal can be used on your computer or by downloading the App on your phone. The App makes it easy to enter meals and track your numbers anytime no matter where you are.
If you need help the trainers at CrossFit I35 are available to set up your plan for you as part of the 28 Day Transformation Premium program. If you have any doubt how to proceed please ask about the premium upgrade and we will be happy to walk you through all of the following with you.
Even though MyFitnessPal is set up as a food tracking program that’s not how we want you to use it. Honestly you don’t need to log a half dozen doughnuts or a large pizza washed down by a couple pitchers of beer to know you blew it.
We are using this program to build a food plan with the right calories and macros that we discuss in goal setting sessions with the intention of following the same daily regimen with remarkable consistency.
(Note not perfect just remarkably consistent)
Yes I know that sounds really hard but guess what…it really works and once you get the hang of it you’ll be surprised how much easier it is than a random approach. You can’t adjust random but you can make intelligent adjustments to a well laid out and followed plan. CrossFit is an fitness program where everything we do is measurable so an intuitive response like, “I eat healthy” or “I’m getting better” isn’t CrossFit. In reality if you aren’t progressively lifting more weight or if the scale isn’t budging you aren’t making progress. The only way to guarantee success is to measure your weight, food intake and workouts.
Getting started with My Fitness Pal
Step 1: Create a User Account – Hop on your computer or phone and “SIGN UP” – If you’re in the premium program your trainer will help create check and your account once a week to keep you accountable.
Step 2: Customize Your Numbers via Website – Once you create your profile, select “My Home” – Select “Goals” – Select “Change Your Fitness Goals” – Select the “Custom” option – You can now customize all daily nutritional percentages based on the goal numbers we discussed at your goal setting session.
DO NOT enter exercise. All of your numbers provided by your trainer have exercise taken into account. If you add it in, MFP will allow you more calories and throw off what we are trying to do, so only enter food. If you need a program to track your workouts ask your trainer about beyond the whiteboard. Its awesome and free to members.
Starting your plan
After you enter your weight and calorie goal you will need to enter your macro goals.
A great place to start as a calorie goal is your BMR or base metabolic rate. (this may be a bit low for some people BUT it will give you an amazing jump start. You can adjust this after a week or two with the information in the next section)
Your goal protein should be no lower than .5 grams per pound of GOAL weight and no more than 1. Yes powerlifters and bodybuilders often eat more than that but its because its the only way they can get enough calories to get their body to grow.
Your carb goal should start around 1 gram per pound of GOAL weight. If you have a diet based upon pasta, tortilla, bread and sugar coffee drinks at Starbucks this will be a major lifestyle change but if you want real transformation your body will get used to lower carbs soon enough. There is a lot of literature out there for very low carb or “keto” diets. I’m not going there at all because its number 1 unsustainable and too low of carbs will ruin your workouts and turn you into an evil bitch from hell. You get the idea not sexy…Right? Seriously bad moods and poor workouts can be linked to low carb diets.
Once you get the protein and carb goals in the system you can look at fats. We usually just let the system calculate the fats as long as you don’t go over your calorie goal. (fats are also the best place to manipulate calories while not messing with protein and carbs)
Finally if you want to enter your macros in grams you will need the paid version of my fitness pal. If you’re using the free version the macros are entered in percentages but it will calculate the grams based upon the percentage. Now you should be set up and good to go.
Here are the steps in building your plan
First download and print the 28 Day Challenge Suggestion Sheet. Once you have that you can move to the next step.
Take the suggestion sheet and add a protein source to each meal and snack. Once you get close to your goal grams stop and move on to vegetables. (Stop a little short of your protein goal as plant based proteins will raise the number.)
Add your veggies to every meal and snack. I don’t want to get preachy about veggies so if you refuse to eat them it’s not the end of the day. I’m not your Father, Priest, Pastor or spiritual advisor just a trainer who wants to help you get the fat off your body. If you are opting out of this one please make sure you have a multivitamin as part of your daily routine.
Next add starchy carbs. Choose from the provided list and add a starchy carb to each meal and snack. You have to have starchy carbs or your workouts will suck and you will be reduced to a whiny 8th grader with braces and a smirk. After you get your starchy carbs in feel free to add fruits to your snack column as they tend to be great before and after workouts. (Fruit is awesome but be careful. This is one of the “healthy” food items that can send your total calories and carb grams over the top)
Finally you can add fats if you’re still short on total calories as long as your protein is close to your goal. Most of your protein sources will also have a certain amount of fat content but it you need to increase this number you can eat chicken with skin on or add nuts or avocados provided you aren’t allergic to those items.
You should have your daily meal plan written and done. I always like to keep this 150 to 200 calories under goal to make up for the oils and sugars in condiments that inevitably creep into all of our meals. Just stay light on the goop, sauces and dressings. Goop can take a perfectly planned 1800 calories diet and turn it into a 2500+ diet without even noticing.
Executing Your Plan
As difficult as it may sound for some of you eating approximately the same thing everyday is actually much easier that randomly grabbing what’s available. Studies say that people who keep lots of cookies and chips and other crap foods in their cupboard tend to be more overweight that people who don’t. Well no shit Sherlock. If at all possible get the crap out of your house so you won’t eat it. Yes I know your kids and spouse will have a nuclear meltdown if you toss it but they probably don’t need that crap either.
A plan on paper without a plan to execute the plan is nothing more that wishful thinking and fantasy. So here are your steps.
- Before you even go to the store decide on when are your prep days or evenings. We love Sunday evenings to cook for the week. If your plan involves eating lunch at a favorite place close to the office make sure that fits the plan and you won’t need to shop for these items.
- Make your shopping list and go shopping.
- Prepare your food and put it in containers for the next day or days.
Boom that’s it. Not rocket surgery or building a new Ikea kitchen with your ex just something that needs to be part of your routine
Monitoring your progress
- Pick a convenient time of day to weigh in.
- Weight 4-7 days a week
- Take the average of all of your weigh ins for the week
- Use the average for the week to judge if your weight is going up, down or staying the same.
If weight loss is your goal your average weight loss should be 1 to 2 pounds a week (the only exceptions are people who are 50 or more pounds overweight and if you fall into this camp you can shoot for 3 until you are within 50 lbs of your goal) If you aren’t losing at least 1 pound a week you will need to adjust your calories down further. If your weight loss is too fast you will need to up your calories a little. Again if you don’t know how much you’re eating and what you weigh you won’t have any idea how you’re doing
Here is a brief summary of the CrossFit I35 28 Day Challenge:
- Plan your workout times, meals and meal preparation times in advance
- Train as often as possible.
- Keep your total food intake within the guidelines set by your trainer.
- Use the CrossFit I35 nutrition software to build and modify your diet not to track random things you grab off the shelf.
- Weigh yourself 3-4 times a week and focus on your Sunday average
- Always have a plan B for food on hand in case something comes up in your schedule
- Do eat lean meats green vegetables and eggs. Avoid sugars, refined grains and processed foods. (in other words stop eating crap)
- If your food plan looks, sounds or feels complicated or too hard it probably is. Revise and simplify your plan.
- Lastly always feel comfortable asking for help from any of our trainers either in person or by email.
That’s about it we wish you incredible success and results.
Scott and Cynthia