*Disclaimer: Nutrition WOD is not affiliated with CrossFit, Inc.
This is Part 1 of a 3 part series about the 3 tiers that make up our programming. In this blog, we cover the nutrition newbie.
We have all been there. Somebody you know or workout with has just told you about this new amazing way they are eating and how it is literally melting fat off of them. You think,
"Ugh, not another diet that I'm not doing."
To make matters worse, this lovely friend is talking about how you just need to count calories and really stay focused. But all you can focus on is, "I'm just trying to eat a little healthier. Why does it seem to be all or nothing?"
We hear you.
We really do.
What stops most people from having long term success with their nutrition plan is they simply start at the wrong place. You don't learn how to do a muscle up before a ring dip, you don't learn calculus before trigonometry, and you cannot expect to have great success with counting macros if you have never turned over a food package and read the ingredient list. Over the next three blogs, we are going to show you
- the three tiers
- where to jump in
- why it is so important to take your time if you want long term success and not just a 30-day spike in weight loss.
Tier 1: Focus
In this first blog, we are talking all about the nutrition newbie. Let's give a few examples of people who may fit into this first category:
- There is a general interest in eating healthier, getting lean, and losing body fat, but any research done is limited
- Reading food labels is not an important part of their food choices at the grocery store.
- Might have started a workout program recently or several months ago, but most likely works out for fun and not to compete.
- If asked, they might identify themselves as someone who "Eats pretty well" although that cannot be backed up with any data.
- They currently use low fat or diet foods to help them control their weight.
- They are counting calories with apps like MyFitnessPal
Of course, there are many other characteristics for those who arrive at Tier 1, and not everyone will be at the same spot. The point is we are talking about great, hard working, people who want to learn more about nutrition but are overwhelmed as to where to start. So they dabble a little bit, but there is no clear direction.
What should the Focus Tier learn first?
The reason we call the first tier "Focus" is because that is really all we are trying to teach. We want them to focus more on the food they eat. There is absolutely no reason to talk about macros or the glycemic load at this time. It will only be confusing and ultimately lead a once-energized person to feel defeated and lost before they even got started. Instead, we want our group to focus their attention on:
- Eating real foods without labels
- How to read a food ingredient when they are necessary
- How to identify the good and bad labels placed on foods
- Starting to add color and variety to their plate.
- Why following a simple protocol of "Eating meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar" will yield bigger results than any personalized plan at this point.
- How to plan for vacations and eating out.
- Why diets don't work in the long run.
The journey during this tier can last several weeks or several months depending on how quickly somebody jumps in and how long they remain motivated to learn more. There isn't a time frame that fits everyone because what is most important is people move at their own pace. However, we typically recognize people are ready to move on to Tier II: Personalization when their weight loss or body fat percentage levels out despite eating mainly real foods, very little processed foods, and a reduction in added sugar. At this point, a Tier I graduate should be able to easily identify the basic components of a balanced meal and be able to give several examples of them. They should also know their way around a food package, describing the labels that are beneficial and the ingredients to avoid.
In Part II, we discuss the transition from Focus to Personalization and the characteristics that make up Tier II.