One thing I've noticed since releasing Fat Loss Happens on Monday is some confusion about the "By The Numbers" Phase.
It's Where To Start, Not Where to Stay
In the book I said to start with By The Numbers, a phase that includes starting to food journal, and adjusting primarily calories and protein based on your results.
The reason I start people there is because it shows us where the break in the system is. Or, said less elegantly: The By the Numbers Strategy is designed to break you.
Most people are going to have the wheels come off the wagon with calories and protein and logging, and see that they need to work on habits or logistics, like planning, shopping, cooking, or eating slower.
90% of the Game is Awareness
Tracking calories is going to create some awareness around food choices and quantity. But where it's really a powerful assessment is in showing what there is to work on.
Could be logistics like planning
Could be "on the court" stuff like eating more slowly
Could be that counting calories drives you crazy, and that you should journal your food on paper or by taking pictures with your phone.
Those are absolutely completely necessary things to learn. And that's the whole point of the By The Numbers Strategy — to create awareness of what you really need to be focusing on.
How do you know if you're super advanced? If you can go straight off of calories and macronutrient information, and make those changes on the fly, you're super advanced.
This is typically someone who's already been planning, shopping, and cooking for quite a while.
If that's you, you can make small adjustments to your food plan, based on your results and the numbers in your journal, and have a straight line to your goal. It's awesome when it's that simple.
It's almost never that simple.
Everyone Else: Three Step Plan
If that isn't you, that's awesome! In fact, that's most people who come to me. Here's a three step plan to getting to the next level:
1.) Look at your food journal for where things didn't go the way you wanted
2.) Figure out what the issue was (Planning? Cooking? Bored? Ate too fast?)
3.) Put together a plan to take one new small step that would be more effective than last week
In my book Fat Loss Happens on Monday, there are four different strategies you could take on based on what you learn from where it comes apart.
So essentially, what you'd learn from the By The Numbers Strategy is which strategy that would make the most difference for you:
- Planning and Preparing Strategy
- Fullness Leads to Fat Loss Strategy
- One Meal at a Time Strategy
- Mindfulness Strategy
There's also a maintenance strategy, which mostly involves cycling off fat loss as a goal, and working on something else fun and fitness related. Cycles of goals and focus makes a lot of sense. Likewise, most people might cycle through one of the above strategies multiple times, or might go through all of them one after another.
That's the point of assessment — it shows you what the one next thing to work on is.
Having the discipline and courage to work on just that one next thing is actually the fastest route to the goal.
To The Next Level, Rockstar
Whenever things come apart in your diet, the only question you should ask yourself if — what could I add in strategically that would make a difference.
If you need more structure, take a look at my book Fat Loss Happens on Monday.
If you need some accountability and support, I have a Fat Loss Happens on Monday coaching group starting soon. Stay tuned.