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Adjusting Calories in the Meal Plans

Some of you are participating to shed pounds and some of you are not. I am going to explain how to shift the calorie load up or down to meet your goals and what to do if you shed pounds too quickly.


Through my years as a nutritionist I am often asked, “How many calories should I be eating?” Instead of using an arbitrary equation to arrive at this number (or using the standard “to lose weight, everyone should eat 1200 calories” line) I am more interested in the calorie load they are currently eating at AND if they are gaining, losing or maintaining at it. If someone comes to me eating 1800 calories and they are not losing weight, I will have them shift to a 1500 to 1600 calorie plan and work on what they are eating, how they are eating (the pattern that they are eating on — this is the topic on Sunday) and we will address stress, movement, effective exercise and how they are sleeping.

Weight loss is not simply about dropping calories. Often times, I find that people try to drop calories too drastically. Though you may find that your weight shifts quickly at a 1200 calorie load, it is not a calorie load that can be maintained long term. This calorie load is extremely hard to stick with. With this plan, you are going to focus on a more balanced calorie load of 1450 calories. If your goal is shedding pounds and inches, this will help you work towards your goal. At the same time that you are eating on a balanced and lean eating plan you will be including stress reducing and detox supportive health habits that contribute to your slimming efforts.

If shedding pounds and inches is your goal, I recommend that you start with the 1450 calorie meal plan. That you each work to include the meditation, yoga pose, work on the eating patterns and work on getting restorative sleep (Saturday’s topic) and that you work on being consistent with this calorie load day after day. The vast majority of members will lose weight on this plan. If you do not see weight loss after the first week on the meal plans, you can further modify the eating plan to shift the calorie load down. You can easily cut the calories in the meal plan by cutting the snack portions in half and cutting the oils used in the recipes in half. This will shave 200 calories off the plan (I do not recommend that anyone shift below 1250 calories).

Friday through Sunday there are recommended meal replacement smoothies for two of the meals. You may also choose to alter these recipes to have a 350 calorie smoothie instead of a 400 calorie smoothie.

Again, please follow the meal plans verbatim for the first week and then we will see if we need to make further adjustments after the first week.

What If You Start to Lose Weight Too Quickly?

It is quite normal to see a 2 to 5 pound shift down in weight the first week on the meal plans. Some of these pounds lost are body weight (muscle and fat) and some is water weight. After the first week, a good goal for weight loss is 2-3 pounds a week. The average member reported losing 10-15 pounds during the last challenge. If you have been reading the FORUM posts you will see a message that is resonating from past members; those who reported weight loss kept it off. This plan is balanced, healthy and it will teach you how to eat long term.

If, after the first week, you are losing more than 3 pounds per week, you will need to adjust your calorie load up. Add 200-300 calories at a time and then track your weight weekly. Please feel free to post your questions and share your progress in the FORUM. I am happy to offer personal recommendations to you!

Is Your Goal to Detox and Maintain Your Weight?

It is hard for me to recommend an exact calorie load to maintain weight. A maintenance calorie load will vary based on age, weight, height, activity across your day, current metabolism, etc. If you need further assistance with adjusting the plan, post a question in the FORUM.

Women: Start with 1700 to 1800 calories and then monitor your weight to see if you need to make any further adjustments.

Men: start with 1900 calories and then monitor your weight to see if you need to make any further adjustments.

If you need to adjust your calorie load up, you can do so easily, by adding one or more of the following lean protein or healthy fats:

Lean Protein

150-175 calories

Visual Portion:

3 oz = deck of cards, size of your cell phone, palm of your hand

Healthy Fats

100 calories

1/2 cup lentils or beans, cookedNuts: 13 almonds, 10 cashews, 4 pecans, 3 whole walnuts, 4.5 macadamia nuts, 27 pistachio nuts, 18 peanuts
4 1/2 T hummus100 calories yogurt (coconut preferred – try So Delicious brand. Or almond, Amonde brand)
1 cup of lentil or bean soup1 T nut butter (peanut, almond, walnut or sunflower seed butter)
2 small pastured eggs1/3 avocado
150 calories NF Organic plain cow yogurt (dairy is optional)2 T sunflower seeds, hulled
1.5 cups portabella mushroom, grilled19 olives
3-9 oz raw organic sprouted tofu (soft or firm, non-GMO) * calories vary widely with packaged tofu, check the label1 oz of cheese (organic, aged preferred, which adds more flavor) cheddar, gouda, parmesan… etc (optional)
1/2 cup edamame, prepared (non-GMO)2 T tapenade
1.25 T pesto
Shy 1 T extra virgin olive oil or extra virgin coconut oil, or ghee

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