Before starting your customized weight loss program there are a few things you should know. Below you will find some important information that will help with any confusion you might have, as well as help you create the proper mindset for success.
Your Coaching Won’t Start Until We Set a Day
I realize you might have questions about your program and I don’t want you to feel rushed to start before you are ready. I also know that you don’t have your kitchen stocked with the food for your meal plan.
Take a look over your program and let me know if you have any questions. Once you are satisfied and confident you understand everything, we will set a date to start. Due to the structure of the program, I start all clients on Monday. If you aren’t ready to start this coming Monday let me know and we’ll start you the following one.
Your Meal Plan Contains Free Calories
You likely noticed that snack #3 contains free calories. I firmly believe that this freedom to eat whatever you want is key to long term adherence. It loosens the feeling of restriction, which helps to keep you on plan.
These calories don’t have to be eaten at night, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing so. You may eat all your calories at once or you can spread them out throughout the day. The choice is completely yours. But you must limit how many free calories you eat to the calorie allotment specified. Measure out your serving beforehand.
And to clarify, when I say you can eat whatever you want, that’s exactly what I mean – ice cream, candy, etc. So long as we keep your calories in check you will lose weight. Trust me on this. Every single client gets free calories and every one loses weight.
Be Honest With Me
I can’t coach what I don’t know. If you eat off plan please let me know. I’m not going to judge you, reprimand you, or beat you up over it. After all, this is your journey and only you have to live with the consequences.
But if you eat off plan, don’t lose weight, and don’t tell me, I may end up cutting calories when I shouldn’t have due to lack of information. This can back you into a corner really quick by creating too large of a calorie deficit too soon.
Just tell me what happened. We’ll come up with a plan together that will improve your adherence. You hired me to help you – let me do that.
I Need You To Be 100% Committed
I am going to be here for you every step of the way. But I can’t lose weight for you. I can only guide you in the right direction. For you to be successful you have to make a commitment to do whatever it takes.
Changing your longstanding habits is hard, but it can and will be done. You must push through those times when you feel uncomfortable. If you can do that you will come out the other side a new person.
Mondays are Meal Plan Feedback Day
Every 2 Mondays I will be sending you a meal plan feedback questionnaire to fill out. This is what I use to create the next 2 week block of meals. It is important that you fill this out and get it back to me ASAP. I need these completed by 3pm CST on Tuesday.
You will receive these feedback questionnaires on Mondays of even numbered weeks. The information you give me will be used to create the following 2 weeks of meals.
For example, you will receive your first questionnaire on Monday of week 2. You will fill this out and I will use the information to create your meals for weeks 3 and 4. I will have this to you by the weekend so you can shop and meal prep.
The First 2 Weeks We Will Be Building a Caloric Baseline
You may or may not lose weight the first couple of weeks on your program. During this time we will be building a caloric baseline. In other words, we are simply trying to get you used to the meal plan and/or exercise program so that we have a good caloric reference to cut calories from.
The goal is to eat as many calories as possible that still enables you to lose weight. And to do that we need to make sure we aren’t starting you off with too low of calories. Doing so will leave us no room to further cut calories when your weight loss stalls. Fear of gaining weight at the beginning and the consequential starting off with too low of calories is one of the biggest dieting traps.
Veggies Are Free Food
I didn’t include many veggies on your meal plan. This is not because I don’t like them. To the contrary, they are the single best thing to eat to cut down on hunger and get in plenty of nutrients. Eat as many non-starchy veggies (usually less than 5g of carbs per serving) as you want. The more the better.
I Answer Emails Monday Through Friday
Your program includes 1 email check-in every Monday to adjust your program. In reality, I’m here for you 5 days a week to answer any questions you have. I answer emails Monday through Friday. If you have questions – ask them. Don’t worry about how many emails you send me. I respond within 48 business hours, but usually within 24.
You Must Learn How to Cook in Bulk
Your meal plan was put together with simplicity and efficiency in mind. However, there is cooking involved. To mitigate having to cook each and every meal from scratch, you will be cooking in bulk and saving the extra servings for future meals. This way you only have to reheat and eat at meal time.
Make sure you’re scheduling time to do meal prep and cook. I usually pick two days a week to do this. A couple of hours each week of planning will save you several times that. Store your extra servings in airtight containers and put them in the fridge or freezer.
Pay Attention to Servings and Notes On Your Plan
You’ll notice your meal plan has a “SERVINGS” column and a “NOTES” column. These 2 areas are very important for getting your meals right. They contain recipe and serving modifications so that your calories stay on target.
You may click on a recipe link and see the recipe says it makes 4 servings, but your spreadsheet says 6 servings. The spreadsheet has the right one. I have modified the recipe to make it fit into your calorie budget. You are to only eat 1 of those servings.
The same goes for the “NOTES” column. If the spreadsheet says use 1 tbsp of olive oil but the recipe calls for 2 tbsp, be sure to only use what the spreadsheet says. Otherwise, you will end up going over your calorie guidelines.
Water Should Be Your Go-To Drink
Your goal is to eventually be drinking water exclusively (some other drinks like coffee and tea are OK if prepared properly). If you’re currently drinking energy drinks, sodas, or other sugary drinks, let me know and we will work on creating new drinking habits.
It’s important that you eat your calories instead of drink them. Liquid calories are not as fulfilling and will make it harder to keep hunger under control. If you need flavor consider adding fruit slices to your water such as lemon, lime, or orange.
I Need Progress Measurements
The morning you start your program I will need you to take some initial progress measurements. They are:
- Weight – weigh yourself in as little clothing as possible after using the restroom first thing in the morning. Do future weigh-ins the same way. Do this every morning. You will send me these 7 weigh-ins every Monday by entering them into the feedback form I send you. I will take the average of the 7 weigh-ins. This helps smooth out water weight fluctuations.
- Waist, Hips & Thigh – if you have a tape measure (if you don’t, consider purchasing one for $5), take some circumference measurements. Measure your waist, hips, and thigh at the widest part. Measure to the nearest 0.5cm or .25in. Email me these numbers. You will do this every 2 weeks.
- Pictures – take a picture in good lighting from the front and back if possible. Wear a swimsuit or other clothing that allows you to see and compare your body. You do not have to send me these pictures if you don’t want to. However, take them anyways. When you see yourself every day in the mirror it’s hard to notice small changes. Comparing progress pictures makes body changes more clear.
Your meal plan has 1-2 snacks. You should go to your “Snacks” tab on your spreadsheet and choose one that looks good to you. I like to give people a little more freedom to choose their snacks.
You can pick any one that you want. I’ve already adjusted the servings and ingredients so it will fit your program. If there is something not on the list that you want just let me know and I’ll see if I can work it in.
Substitutions and Eating Out
The great thing about this meal plan is that it is flexible. It allows for you to make substitutions for whatever reason – you’re going out to eat, or you were simply caught unprepared or don’t want to cook.
In these circumstances the ultimate goal is to match calories as closely as possible to your scheduled meal. If you can’t eat your scheduled meal or snack for whatever reason, do your best to replace it with a meal that’s within 50 calories of the meal you were supposed to eat.
You can use future or past meals/snacks or you can use your own recipe. Or you can go out to eat. If for some reason you go over your scheduled meal’s calories, use some or all of your free calories to make up the difference.
If calorie info isn’t available where you’re eating, then the goal is to always eat slowly, mindfully, and stop eating at 80% full. If you do this you will fall within an acceptable food intake range.
That’s it for now. Look over your program and let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Once you feel you’re ready we’ll confirm your start date and get going.Talk soon…