Due to my success with the 131 Method, I have decided to become an ambassador for the program. This means that if you sign up through my link, the blog receives a small payment to help defray the cost of managing the blog. This is at no additional cost to you.
If you read my post, The Method Behind My Healthiest Pregnancy, you know that I decided to restart the 131 Method as a way to get back into healthy eating habits after having my 3rd baby. I started almost 6 weeks ago, so I thought I would update you on my progress.
The 131 Method is a 12 week program designed to help you develop a healthy lifestyle especially in regards to your diet. Chalene Johnson is the person behind the program and she has spent years studying this stuff, speaking with experts and medical professionals, and putting together this program.
The program is broken down into 3 phases; Ignite, Nourish, and Renew. During each phase you modify your diet to see what way of eating works best for you.
In Ignite, the first phase, the concentration is on Macros: Fats, Proteins, and Carbs. In this phase, it is recommended that you eat a diet high in fat and low in carbs with moderate proteins. Basically a ketogenic diet.
They give you the recommended percentages of each macronutrient, but you are encouraged to find the ratios that work for you. Every person is unique, so what works for one person may not work for another.
The first week is the prep week where Chalene discusses what to expect in this first phase as far as diet. She gives you a long list of grocery items that you can choose from. They have recipes you might want to try and you are able to plan your menu for the coming week.
They also discuss the concept of inflammatory foods. Basically these are food that make you feel less than your best after eating them. There are some that are inflammatory to the general population and there are others that may be unique to you. During this prep week you are encouraged to remove any food that are inflammatory to you from your diet.
In the following weeks, you are also encouraged to try intermittent fasting which means shortening the window of time in which you are consuming food. Here's how to start intermittent fasting. First you choose a time after which you will no longer eat food, say 7pm. Then each day you push back the time when you start consuming calories by an hour.
A good time range for consuming food would be 8 hours. So you could start eating at 11am and finish eating by 7pm. You can still consume water outside of those hours and even coffee depending on how you take it.
The idea here is to get your body to start burning fat. Both the ketogenic diet and the intermittent fasting help your body get into to ketosis which is when your body goes from burning sugar to burning fat.
This way of eating also prepares you for the 4th week of Ignite when you have the option of doing a fast. Now to be upfront, I did not do the fast. Since I am breastfeeding it is not recommended to go any length of time without consuming calories.
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However, let me take a minute to talk about the fast. First off, I want you to know that if you do choose to do the fast, you go into it super prepared. The program goes into how to prepare your diet leading into the fast, how to prepare mentally, what to expect after the fast, and how to ease back into eating after the fast.
You also have several options on the type of fast you want to do. Yes, there is more than one. And there are actually fasting protocols that allow you to eat a bit. So, you don't have to freak out about it.
Once you complete the fast in Ignite, it's time to prep for Nourish. Where Ignite concentrated on your Macronutrients, Nourish concentrates on micronutrients. These are the vitamins and minerals found in your foods.
During the prep week you can stop the intermittent fasting and relax a bit on the extreme ratio of high fats and low carbs. The best part of the Nourish prep week though is the download that breaks down the various micronutrients and what symptoms you might have if you are deficient in a particular nutrient. It then tells you what you should eat to get more of that nutrient.
So for example, if you are feeling fatigue and muscle pain and weakness, you may be deficient in Vitamin D. In order to get more vitamin D you can go outside for some sun exposure, eat egg yolks, mushrooms, or salmon, or take a D3 supplement.
The download provides this breakdown for a huge list of micronutrients which allows you to determine your deficiency and heal yourself with real food.
So for starters, I lost 4 lbs during my first almost 6 weeks of the 131 Method. That might not seem like a lot to you or it might sound amazing. Here are some thing to consider:
I am breastfeeding which means I did not do the intermittent fasting
I also did not do the actual fast
My husband had his car accident during this time so there was a whole week where I was totally not even thinking about what I was eating and just grabbing what I could get
While I did try to eat high fat and low carb I don't think I ever had a day where my carb intake was the recommended 10%
That said, I couldn't be happier with my progress. Technically, after 6 weeks I should be just completing my second week of Nourish, but as I said because of accident week, I am a week behind so I just did the prep week of Nourish.
I think that micronutrient chart may be one of my favorite things about the whole program!!
What I love about this program is that all sins are forgiven. This is not a diet where they tell you to eat this meal today and that meal tomorrow and if you don't do everything to a t every day, you fail.
This is a program where you are given solid information about health and diet, nutrients and lifestyle and you are encouraged to make an educated decision on how you can use this information to live your best life.
There are some things that might surprise you in this program. It really shines a light on some things that are very wrong with the diet industry today.
Many of us get our information about what is healthy and what isn't from TV and articles. Even fitness professionals aren't necessarily doing in-depth research on how different foods affect our bodies. Who has time for that? They hear that eggs are bad on the news so they pass the info along instead of looking into why they are saying it and who paid for the research.
So what happens is companies pay for studies on the foods they produce. They look for the results to support the consumption of that food and then promote those results to the media. The media then informs us.
Of course these companies aren't going to do studies that show any harmful effects of these foods. So the dairy industry does studies that show the value of milk and the soda companies do studies to show that soda is not harmful. But they aren't going to do studies that show any negative affects.
The best part about the 131 Method is not necessarily the eating plan itself, but the unbiased information that you get. Chalene and her team of nutritionists and integrative health professionals do all the dirty work. They comb through studies, determine who paid for the study and whether the information may possibly be biased.
They take what they learn and then pass the information on to us in an understandable way. In this program you really learn how your body works and why different foods affect you in different ways. It's like having a team of researchers at your disposal to get the most up to date and accurate information on foods and vitamins and supplement and healthy lifestyle practices.
There is so much more I can say about the 131 Method and it's amazing benefits for creating a healthy lifestyle that works for you, but it wouldn't all fit in one blog post. If you have any questions about my experience, what it entails, or anything else feel free to comment below or reach out on social media.
If you are interested in trying it yourself, I am so happy for you. You can check out all the details right here.