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The Simple Reason Cookie Cutter Diets Fail

Avatar Nutrition Staff

September 19, 2017


We all have that friend who seems to be able to eat whatever they want without gaining a pound. And others who feel like they gain weight just by thinking about food.

The reason that we are all familiar with these two types of people is simple — while exaggerated, there’s some undeniable truth to both scenarios.

Each of us has different energy and macronutrient needs, and some people can eat a whole lot more than others without putting on weight. We’re not all the same, and this is why cookie-cutter diets and one-size-fits-all meal plans fail. Avatar Nutrition helps people successfully lose weight and gain muscle because each of the factors that impact macronutrient needs are considered when creating your unique macro targets.

Factors that determine starting energy needs

Although there are a few factors that are impossible to account for when first setting energy needs (i.e. hormone imbalances that affect metabolism), Avatar Nutrition is able to create a baseline by considering:

  • Gender: Males typically need more calories than females due to having larger bodies with greater amounts of lean muscle mass.
  • Age: People often lose lean body mass and become more sedentary as they age, resulting in lower energy needs. The average person loses  ½ lb of muscle every year after the age of 30.
  • Weight: The heavier the person, the more lean body mass they’re likely to have as a result of moving that weight around against gravity. This translates to greater energy requirements.
  • Body Composition: A person’s total lean body mass can be derived from measuring body composition. The more lean body mass a person has, the more energy they need.
  • Physical Activity: Energy expenditure from activity varies widely from person to person but can impact calorie needs more than any other factor! In the sedentary adult, activity only accounts for about 15% of total calorie needs, whereas in the most active person (think Michael Phelps) the cost of activity can triple energy needs!
  • Goal: An individual’s goal will determine if they should be in an energy surplus or deficit. The level of the goal selected will then determine the magnitude of the surplus or deficit.

Designating macros from energy needs

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of how Avatar Nutrition determines your energy needs, let’s take a quick look at how those calories are divided into the appropriate macronutrient targets:

  • Protein – Many factors increase or decrease your need for protein. These include goal, goal level, age, exercise frequency, body composition, level of caloric deficit, and vegetarianism.
  • Carbs – Activity level, goal, and goal level are the major factors that determine your carbohydrate needs. More frequent and intense exercise regimens, along with higher muscle gain settings, require the greatest intake of carbs.
  • Fats – Adequate levels of fat are essential for basic functions such as hormone production and the absorption of certain vitamins. Even on the most calorically restricted fat loss settings, Avatar Nutrition sets high enough fat targets to ensure optimal intake. Individual preference for fat over carbs is also considered when setting your macro targets.

Macro adjustments after weigh-ins account for uncontrolled factors

The most revolutionary feature of the Avatar Nutrition system is its ability to account for uncontrolled factors to help you reach your goal! Up until now, this could only be accomplished by coaches.

The way this works is:

The system generates your starting macronutrient targets. It expects your body to react to these targets in a specific, pre-determined way. When you weigh in each week, the system detects how you actually responded to the prescribed macros. If your results were outside of what the system determined to be optimal, it will adjust your macros accordingly to get you back on track. These adjustments are where Avatar Nutrition makes up for factors that impact your metabolism, but can’t be accounted for when initially setting your macros. If you have a slower or faster metabolism than initially predicted due to genetics, hormone imbalance, or previous diet history, the system will detect this and modify your macro targets until it gets them right.

At Avatar Nutrition, we’ve created a system that understands the macronutrient needs of the ever-changing human body. The system not only considers numerous variables and how they work together to set macro targets with striking precision but adjusts and fine tunes them based on your body’s response. Track accurately, hit your macro targets, and let the system guide you to success!