Phase It Up Adjustments
As you’ll learn, this program is not a diet in the traditional sense. It is education. It is a lifestyle change. It is complete & total body health restoration. We know that many of you will go through this program even though weight loss is not your major goal. Perhaps you have major insulin resistance, leptin resistance, hormonal imbalances, gut issues, get bored with the same food and routine, crave doing things with a supportive community, or, you just enjoy the journey of self-exploration.
Below you will find tips for modifying the program to help the most common special populations find success. When in doubt, please consult with your medical provider regarding your personal needs, medical history, health objectives, special conditions, medical care plan, medications, etc.
While healthy eating and attention to lifestyle have been proven to aid in the treatment and relief of many preventable diseases, we make no claims that Phase it Up by 131 Method can cure, eliminate or even aid in the treatment of such conditions as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism, MS, cancer and other diseases. Further, The 131 Method meal plans and fasting protocols were not designed or intended for use by children.
When Weight Loss Is Not Your Goal:
- Ensure you’re eating plenty of fats at each meal.
- Add an extra tablespoon of oil when cooking, extra spoonful of nut butter or eat the entire avocado versus just half when a recipe calls for it.
- Consider upping carbs a bit more (healthy versions, of course) than the recommended amount. You may want to keep your percentage on the higher end of what’s recommended during Ignite.
- Consider supplementing with collagen and/or BCAA’s for amino acid support
- BCAA’s help maintain muscle mass and enhance the ability to use fat as fuel (fat oxidation). They provide your muscles energy during exercise because they are metabolized differently than other amino acids.
- Collagen provides a wider range of amino acids (with the exception of tryptophan). It’s an easy way to ensure you’re getting adequate amino acids without having to focus on individual ones.
- Keep in mind, if you’re aiming for ketosis, these are still protein sources, so as you’ll learn in the coming weeks, too much may keep you from fat burning mode due to gluconeogenesis (which is explained in other lessons).
If You Are Underweight or Looking to Gain Weight:
- Pay attention to the gut healing and inflammation lessons if you struggle with gaining weight but you eat consistent and hearty meals. You may not be digesting or absorbing those nutrients, which means gut healing is in order.
- Keep your healthy carbs at the higher end of the recommended ranges.
- Keep fats high and at the upper end of the recommended ranges. This is the macronutrient that will provide high calories in small volumes. Do not skimp here!
- You can still follow the recommendations for reducing inflammatory foods, increasing micronutrients, gut healing, macrophasing, etc.
If You Have 50-100+ Pounds to Lose:
- Reducing inflammation, improving gut health, and ramping up the quality of your food choices will likely elicit weight loss. To accomplish a significant amount of weight loss, keep caloric intake in mind. Start by tracking your typical intake during Ignite so that you can learn what that looks like for you. From there, make sure you are in a mild-moderate deficit from your baseline to promote weight loss.As you lose weight your body mass is smaller, which means you will require fewer calories to function. Keep in mind as you progress you may have to continue to adjust and decrease your calorie intake to continue to see results
- Remember to be patient with your body. It takes time and consistency to become an efficient Fat Burner, and accomplishing this slowly, methodically and safely leads to lifelong results.
- Review any changes to medications or any personal medical concerns with your physician.
If You Have Thyroid Conditions:
- Whether that’s slow (hypothyroidism), fast (hyperthyroidism) or an autoimmune thyroid issue (Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease), addressing the underlying cause or causes is your key to wellness.
- Before beginning changes, consider getting some initial lab testing so you have objective measurements to track. We recommend requesting the labs bulleted below. These can be ordered by your healthcare provider. If they refuse to order, either find a new provider or look into ordering them yourself (www.directlabs.com).
- Free T4
- Free T3
- Reverse T3
- TPO Antibodies
- TGB Antibodies
- Fortunately, reducing inflammation is incredibly beneficial for those with thyroid imbalances (especially Hashimoto’s and Graves disease). We strongly encourage experimenting with reducing inflammatory foods if you have hypothyroidism.
- Ketones stimulate the pituitary gland which communicates with the thyroid gland. Therefore, being in a state of ketosis (Fat Burning mode) can provide both anti-inflammatory benefits and a thyroid hormone boost. However, if you don’t actually get into a state of ketosis and continue low carb, high fat eating or do a fast, and you feel terrible, you need to modify your plan. Don’t push yourself! There may be more gut and hormonal healing that needs to be done before you’re ready for a fast.
- Tolerance with both intermittent or extended fasting varies per person. Some people notice increased energy and thyroid improvement while others feel fatigued and moody. You’ll need to listen to your body and adjust as needed.
- If you try intermittent fasting, slowly adjust your window to expand as tolerated. Then, complete a fast if you feel ready.
- If on Thyroid Medication: While reducing inflammation and stimulating hormone production are just a few of the benefits in the program, those benefits can also change your natural thyroid hormone production. As you make dietary and lifestyle changes, you may require medication changes. This needs to be monitored by your physician.
- Removing inflammation is critical if you want to improve Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease and reduce thyroid antibody numbers.
- Ensure you’ve tolerated intermittent fasting before embarking on a fast, and if on thyroid medications, consult with your physician. No fasting if you struggle with keeping weight on.
- If you have hypothyroidism (often Hashimoto’s, the autoimmune type), research suggests that limiting carbohydrates too much may be detrimental. You may not want to push your carbohydrates lower than 20%. Don’t worry, you will still reap huge benefits from eliminating inflammatory foods, even if you can’t reach ketosis. As you improve your gut health and continue to cycle the 131, you may be able to return to Ignite later on and reach ketosis at a later time. Listen to your body
- If your doctor isn’t willing to listen to you or doesn’t support your attempts to improve your health using diet, consider seeking out an integrative health doctor in your area.
If You Have Food Allergies:
- The recipes you’ll find at the end of the book are incredibly delicious. Simply omit ingredients to which you’re allergic.
- You can try substituting other non-allergenic items in recipes, just know they have not been tested and macronutrients may need to be adjusted.
While Pregnant or Nursing:
We love having pregnant and nursing mamas joining the Phase it Up because if there’s ever a time to get serious about your nutrition, it is now! With that said, we do have to take a few things into consideration when going through the program during pregnancy and while nursing because women are especially susceptible to hormonal changes occurring as a result of diet or lifestyle changes. Review this resource on Ketosis & Pregnancy.
- If completing the program while pregnant, we need to be conscious of the fact that overall energy needs are higher than pre-pregnancy so all phases of the program we need to aim for similar total calorie intake. In Ignite, stick with the higher end of the carb recommendations.
Blood sugar control:
- When pregnant, the body has a harder time maintaining blood sugar balance thanks to fluctuating hormone levels. It is a great idea to reduce intake of refined carbohydrates, as we recommend throughout all phases of the program, but you may need to play with the amount of carbs in Ignite to feel your best. In general, sticking to the higher end of the recommended carb range and opting for complex, nutrient-dense carbs. In Renew, you may need to modify or skip the carb charge days all together because too many carbs may be too much to handle during pregnancy.
Foods to avoid while pregnant:
- The immune system is suppressed slightly during pregnancy, leaving you more vulnerable to foodborne pathogens. For that reason, it is recommended to stay away from raw, undercooked or non temperature controlled meats (like sushi, rare steaks or lunch meats), unpasteurized milks and juices, processed/chemical-laden meats (salami, conventional sausages, etc), and high contaminant seafood. It is also best to keep caffeine intake to the equivalent of 1 cup of coffee per day. Avoid heavy use of artificial sweeteners and soft cheeses from unpasteurized dairy.
- It is especially important to wash your produce thoroughly and to cook all proteins to safe internal temperatures.
- Do not do any fasting (of any variety) during pregnancy.
- We recommend nursing as long as possible and as mutually agreed upon between mom and baby.
- Until your milk supply is well established, you don’t want to make any changes to what you are doing. Similar to pregnancy; however, we will want to keep the total caloric intake similar, if not higher, during all components of the Phase it Up program to support adequate milk supply. This means you may need to add in a little more carb or fat on particular days to keep energy intake consistent.
- Do not fast while breastfeeding as it may impact milk supply.
- For more about maintaining your milk supply, review this resource.
There are many benefits to be gained from going through this program at any time in your life because it is designed to be adapted to YOU and YOUR unique needs. Our hope is that the Phase it Up program can be revisited from time to time as a way to check in with your body and learn what serves you best. We highly recommend repeating the program again once you are done breastfeeding.
If You Have Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes:
- It’s important you consult with your medical provider before beginning Phase it Up or throughout the program regarding your personal medical history, medical care plan, medications, etc.
- If you are going through the program with diagnosed pre-diabetes or Type II Diabetes Mellitus and not on medications (meaning you’re controlling it through diet), you can go through this program much like everyone else, but with the following in mind:
- We encourage you to get a glucose monitor and track your blood sugar levels.
- If you feel symptoms of low blood sugar, make adjustments to your plan with an increase in healthy carbs and slow down your rate of new changes.
- Consult with your medical provider before doing a fast.
If You Have Type II Diabetes Mellitus & You are on Medications:
- Make sure you are measuring your glucose levels.
- Medication dosage and need must be monitored by a healthcare provider. This program may cause a natural decrease in blood sugar so you must be aware of what to watch for if medications need adjusting by your doctor.
- Consult with a medical provider before doing a fast.
If you have Type 1 Diabetes:
- We do not recommend the fat burning, ketosis or fasting components of this program unless you are working very closely with a medical provider who is educated on this. If done incorrectly, there are serious and potentially deadly complications.
- You can incorporate the other components of the program including reducing inflammatory foods, increasing micronutrients, repairing gut health, etc.
If You Engage in High Levels of Activity (endurance athletes, etc.):
- Highly active individuals will need to pay close attention to ensure caloric intake meets your energy needs. Add extra meals or snacks for proper fueling based on what you need.
- Signs that you may need to up your intake include decreased athletic performance, decreased recovery from exercise, increased rate of perceived exertion, poor sleep, unusual fatigue, low motivation/drive to exercise and muscle fatigue/cramps.
- Depending on the fuel you prefer to use during training and competition (carbs or fat) you will likely need to adjust the recommended macronutrient ratios to meet your needs.
- Never adjust your eating plan just before/day of competition.
If You Have a History of Eating Disorders:
- If you currently know you have an eating disorder, the 131 Method is not for you at this time. We recommend seeking individualized counseling before delving into any nutrition program.
- If you have experienced an eating disorder in the past, the 131 Method should only be done if you’ve completed therapy, feel confident in your positive relationship with food and have clearance from your physician to begin a new health journey.
- Fasting protocols can be a slippery slope for those with past eating disorders. Fasting is not recommended for those with a history of eating disorder.
- All phases of the 131 Method can be followed according to the program recommendations, without a fast.
Don’t forget that you have an amazing community of support here to help you along the way!
A final reminder to be safe and consult with your physician if you have any concerns, want to adjust your medications, or if you experience signs or symptoms that need treating. If your doctor isn’t willing to listen to you or doesn’t support your attempts to improve your health using diet, consider seeking out an integrative health doctor in your area.