Updated: Oct 19, 2020
Let’s Talk About Food
In the game, players choose one of three Nutrition Levels. When they meet the goals of the level they chose, they earn 10 points that day!
LEVEL I - Getting Started
In this level, players can eat up to 800 calories of non-compliant foods each day, but the rest of their meals should be compliant foods only. Compliant foods are whole, mostly single-ingredient foods like meats, beans, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and so on, and any foods made with those ingredients.
Non-compliant foods are the obvious things - candy, french fries, cupcakes.
LEVEL II - Ready to Commit
In this level, players can eat up to 600 calories of non-compliant foods each day, but the rest of their meals should be compliant foods only.
LEVEL II - All In
In level III, players eat only compliant foods with the exception of 100 calories per day.
Nutrition is the biggest challenge for most people, so what level is best?
What someone can and “should” eat comes down to many factors…
- current health
- health goals
- weight goals
- food sensitivities and allergies
- fitness goals
- philosophical beliefs
- how you feel when you eat certain foods
- energy level
- access to quality foods
- what you like; what you don’t like
- ability to cook (knowing how and having the equipment)
- and probably more things I’m not thinking of!
The goal of this part of the game is to develop healthier habits. To stay the path. To choose and eat better than you were before.
To lose weight, you must be in a caloric deficit. Focusing on eating mostly whole, single ingredient compliant foods is a big step toward achieving that. I've found over and over that most clients lose weight when they swap out non-compliant foods for compliant foods.
But another benefit is health. That's less sexy and no one buys a fitness program because "you'll get healthy!" It's too vague.
But it's true. Compliant foods give you fiber, vitamins and minerals, proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs. When you give your body what it needs it begins to function more optimally. You feel better, sleep better, have more energy, and your skin clears up. When those things happen, you become more active and your weight trends toward your ideal number!
Focusing on weight loss alone isn't ideal because people will do all kinds of stupid shit to lose weight. But do they feel better? (No.) Do they feel better about themselves? (Rarely.) Does it give them the peace and happiness they desire? (Almost never.) Is it sustainable? (That's a no.)
I prefer my clients focus on adopting healthy habits because feeling better is the true prize, and then.... weight change is a result.
I do not endorse any one particular food philosophy, so unlike Whole30, Paleo, Vegan, Keto, and other diet plans, my compliant foods list includes options that would allow a player to choose any of those styles, if that's your thing. I want YOU to find what works best for you. I have opinions, of course, but mostly I reflect back when clients ask what they should eat.
"What do you currently eat?"
"What do you think you should be eating and why do you think that?"
"How is your energy?"
"Do you want to lose or gain weight?"
"Do you need to improve any health markers?"
"What foods do you want help avoiding?"
"What's keeping you from eating more nutritious foods?"
In the game, I don't restrict too many foods and I don't restrict any complete foods groups. The compliant foods list adheres to the generally agreed-upon recommendations to eat mostly whole foods and avoid processed foods.
Some players are moderators - that means they like to make small changes, tackle one thing at a time.
Others are abstainers - these are the "all in" people, because if they have one cookie, next thing they know they've eaten 14.
Mainly, I want players to choose a level that is "challenging but doable." (That is my goal in workouts, too!) I don't want it to be so restrictive that they give up and get discouraged, but it’s also good to set the bar high.
If anything goes, nothing changes.
The game helps players see things as a choice and realize we (more or less) have control of what we eat.
The game makes us pause and consider what we want, what we “need,” and to choose, in that moment, what makes the most sense.
Here’s how you can prep for success in the Nutrition category:
Especially plan ahead for easy snacks - snack attacks happen!
Stock up on veggies and fruits, nuts, and other compliant snacks
Smash fruit and use it in place of sugar
Buy or mix seasoning and herb blends for meats and veggies; healthy food doesn’t have to be boring. Play with flavor profiles!
Find and make one or two compliant salad dressings that are easy to whip up
Find compliant options of things you like - unsweetened applesauce, for example, or real mayo
Focus less on what you can’t have and more on accepting and crushing the challenge to find interesting compliant options!
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