If you’re trying to lose weight, your nutritional level is a really important factor to consider when deciding what approach to take.

Very often, women come to me wanting to lose weight and expect me to just hand them a meal plan, calorie goal, or macro splits and send them on their way.

I do understand why this seems appealing. It’s normal to want something concrete to work toward or to just be told what to do since you’re obviously struggling with figuring it out on your own.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes one of the options above is exactly what I will suggest. But very mostly, jumping right into reliance on a meal plan or “exact” numbers is making the process more complicated than necessary. Not to mention that taking one of these approaches right off the bat may actually be setting you up for failure.

How’s that?

Advanced techniques like counting calories or aiming for certain macronutrient percentages are best suited for those with a solid base of nutritional knowledge and consistently healthy eating habits and may end up being too much, too soon, for most.

So how do you know what level you are and what does that mean for your weight loss goals? Precision Nutrition suggests:

Level 1

You are most likely a Level 1. Almost all of us are.

You are:

  • a “regular” (I say this with love & you’re still a special snowflake, but you’re not a competitive athlete and you don’t make money based on your hot bod).
  • looking to lose weight, tone up, look & feel better.
  • aren’t consistently eating well & exercising (though you know you should be).

There is nothing wrong with being a Level 1.

And actually, you’re in luck, because you likely won’t need complicated or time-consuming tactics.

Odds are, you’ll see amazing results just by consistently doing very simple daily actions. Your focus should be on the big picture, not minor details. Master the basics by doing them regularly and consistently and the results will come. Do the big stuff every day & don’t sweat the small stuff. (Basically, follow my suggestions in the Body Transformation Guide & you will be well on your way). 

Level 2

You:

  • have your exercise and nutrition very dialed in.
  • consistently execute the basics with minimal effort.
  • are looking for a challenge.
  • would say you have an intermediate level of nutritional knowledge.
  • are an athlete or recreational exerciser whose performance is important to you.
  • are in great shape, perform well, and feel good.
  • have the requisite skills to maintain your physique & performance.

Many of you reading this might be thinking, “well that’s definitely not me, but who are these Level 2 people and why do they think they have any changes to make?! Sounds like they’ve got it all under control!”

The focus for Level 2’s is about bumping that consistency up to “basically all the time” and expanding your nutrition related skills. Perhaps learning new cooking techniques, trying new foods, buying direct from a farm, or experimenting with meal timing, different macro splits, or varying calorie ranges.

If you’re a Level 2 eater, you may be interested in my Macro eBooks to help you take your nutrition to the next level (no pun intended.)

Level 3

You:

  • make a living from athletics or looking a certain way.
  • are a professional or elite-level athlete.
  • are a fitness model.
  • make a lot of sacrifices to look & perform a certain way.

Since a lot is riding on performance or physique, Level 3’s often need very detailed nutrition programs to reach specific goals. For example, a boxer may follow a meal plan to ensure she makes weight for an upcoming fight. Approaches like this are short-term and with a specific, date-based goal in mind.

Which are you?

You’re most likely a Level 1 but what I’m about to say really applies to all levels, so if you’re more advanced, don’t tune me out just yet.

The important thing isn’t just knowing what level you are, it’s actually using that knowledge to your advantage and acting accordingly. Level 1s – focus on basic actions & getting in the habit of doing them consistently. Level 2s – step it up a little bit and make the basics (that you’ve already mastered) a little more challenging by adding variety, taking some risks, and testing your limits (ie try things that you’re not sure about or you think might be too hard). 

Regardless of where you are, take things one day at a time. If you’re a Level 2 but going through a particularly busy or stressful time, scale things back to just focus on the basics. If you’re a Level 1 in the same position, scale things back to focus on your BAM’s. Build a strong foundation, day-by-day, and in time, the results will come.

Need help mastering the basics? I’ve got you covered with my Body Transformation Guide!

Ready to take it beyond the basics? I’ve got you covered with my Macro eBooks!