What makes The Change Challenge different from - and better than - other nutrition challenges you’ve seen in the past?? We make it personal. Once you’ve successfully hit your metabolic re-set in the first 3 weeks, we take you the next step to individualising your nutrition to make sure you are getting the nutrients you need to hit your goals, whether they’re weight loss, weight gain, or performance-based.
Read on to find out what the final 3 weeks of The Change Challenge has in store for you…
The Change Challenge, Step 2: Getting Personal
When we think about improving our nutrition to benefit our health and fitness there are many areas we can look at: Food quality, calorie intake, macronutrient breakdown, meal timings, supplementation etc.
For the first 3 weeks of the Change Challenge we have you focus on the QUALITY of your food.
Food quality should always be the priority; it’s senseless to have a calorie target or macronutrient breakdown if you are getting your 2500 calories from pizza, cans of coke and sweets. As CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman so eloquently put it, ”If you want top fuel-type performance, you need top fuel; you can't just piss into the gas tank."
So, if you were successful maintaining 90%+ compliance during Step One, then we are going to progress you onto a calorie target and macronutrient breakdown.
If you do not manage 90%+ compliance during the first three weeks, the Habits will remain your focus. You are going to get much more benefit (and less stress) from focusing on maintaining food quality.
At the beginning of Step 2, you will be given four numbers:
Total Calories: Total amount of food you can eat in a day, based on your activity levels and goals
Protein (g): Total amount of your daily calories made up from protein (meat, fish etc)
Carbohydrates (g): Total amount of your daily calories made up from carbohydrates (veggies, fruit, rice etc)
Fat (g): Total amount of your daily calories made up from fat (oils, nuts, avocado etc)
1. Stick within 5% calorie allowance
2. Stick within 5% of your macronutrient targets
3. Eat protein (meat/fish), source of carbohydrate (veggies/fruit), source of fat, everytime you eat
Why do I need a calorie target?
Simply because calories matter. If your goal is to gain weight/muscle you have to eat, a lot! This is usually a calorie number more than the calories you churn through in your day-to-day activities and training sessions. Conversely, if you want to lose weight/fat you need to eat less, and this generally has to be at a deficit of your maintenance level of calories.
Be mindful that this must be a controlled increase/decrease in calories. As such overall calorie intake can change week to week depending on the results you are experiencing and your present goals.
Gorging on food and taking in too much will lead to 'bad' weight gain (read: fat), and a drastic calorie reduction will often lead to a stall in weight loss, poor performance in the gym and even metabolic dysfunction (read: bad news bears).
There is conflicting information out there regarding the importance of calories, but we know it is not as simple as 'calories in vs calories out'.
The human body is not a predictable machine and there are countless internal and external variables involved in how our bodies operate. This helps to explain why calories cannot be balanced like your bank account, and why people never seem to gain or lose weight precisely as calculated by calorie targets.
To further elaborate, let's say two people eat the exact same meal of 2 large slices of meat feast pizza with a mixed salad and washed back with a bottle of beer, followed by a slice of cheesecake. One is a 28 year old female who trains CrossFit 5 days a week CrossFit, has a body fat of 18% and eats 'clean' every day of the week (this meal is her 'cheat meal'). Our second person is a 55 year old male who is overweight, has a body fat of 35%, spends all day sat behind a desk, does little to no exercise and eats processed food every single day. These two individuals will process the same meal in two very different ways, despite it being the same number of calories and macronutrients.
…and here is where we loop back round to our food quality. When you are given your calorie targets we expect that you do your best to make these calories up from the same whole, healthy, real foods you have been getting used to over the last few weeks.
What is macronutrient breakdown, and why do I need it?
This refers to the breakdown of your daily calories into grams of protein, carbohydrate and fat. Altering these numbers can have a large impact on body composition and performance.
Protein is commonly referred to as 'the building block of muscle'. Protein is used to rebuild and repair muscle tissue during stages of recovery and to keep our bodies functioning. You mostly hear people talking about how much protein they have, or how many shakes they can smash down. In reality most of us only need around 1 g per lb of bodyweight. Even if you want to gain muscle, more protein is not really going to make a difference.
Carbohydrates are the fuel for higher intensity activities, and its intake helps replenish tough workouts and also helps signal to cells to use ingested protein to build/repair muscle tissue. As such, some experts say that carbohydrates actually play a more important role in the muscle-building process than protein. If you do lots of high intensity training (like CrossFit), you need more carbohydrates than those who do low level activities (walking etc), but the exact number can differ from person to person depending on their size, activity levels, tolerance etc.
Our last macronutrient is fat. Every single cell in our bodies is partly composed of fat and they are involved in many of the processes in our body. Thus, fat is vital for proper health and function of our hormones. For most of us we need between 60-120g per day, again differing depending on size, goals, training etc.
As mentioned before, when you sign up for The Change Challenge, you get access to tools and resources to track your progress and compliance so you can see exactly how you are performing. Are you hitting your calorie and macronutrient targets? Are you staying above 90% compliance? Let us handle that hard work for you!
WORKOUT OF THE DAY
Testing week, Day 3
5 rounds for time of:
12 Deadlifts (70/47.5 kg)
9 Hang Power Cleans (70/47.5 kg)
6 Push Jerks (70/47.5 kg)