It doesn’t matter if it’s an off-season eating pattern or contest prep, some girls simply don’t like to be told how much to eat.

Unless, of course, it allows them room for that deep dish pizza and hot fudge brownie covered with scoops of runny ice cream!

I get it.

To say it’s a challenge for you is an understatement. And no, you can’t trade an extra hour on the treadmill for the right to eat your favorite stuffed burrito at Chipolte. This isn’t about women’s rights or not being sensitive to those with eating disorders.

Speaking of which, this article is not addressing those out there with bulimia or anorexia. When I use the word “addiction,” I’m not referring to an eating disorder. I’m simply referring to girls who have a severe craving for food (you know who you are). So, those of you who are suffering from said diseases need to seek out medical help.

For the rest, clean out your ears and listen up.

Macro This, Macro That

After my last midnight howl on food addictions, I must have gotten over twenty messages from girls asking, “Hi, I’m 32% body fat and weigh 155 pounds. What macro numbers should I follow?”

News flash: Unless you’re already under 18% body fat and have a photo shoot or contest on the horizon, you don’t need to be measuring anything. You need to be eating a healthy diet and exercising.

Do you really think having 74 grams of carbohydrates one day instead of 66 grams is going to be the culprit if you aren’t able to lose 35 pounds of adipose tissue?

C’mon, folks.

Well, why did so many people ask me that question then? Why do so many female clients ask me to personalize diets for them and then demand a new one four weeks later because, as they put it, “The old diet doesn’t work anymore.”

I’ll tell you why: Because they don’t want to actually adhere to a disciplined diet. They don’t want restrictions put on the foods they can and can’t eat. Most importantly, they want a very easy way out. Talk about the grass is always greener mentality.

I mean heck, Chris Shugart figured out what they’re really saying many moons ago.

“That diet didn’t work for me,” is dieter-speak for:

“I thought I was more knowledgeable than the author so I upped the calories, switched around the macronutrient ratios, didn’t use the supplements recommended, and came up with my own training program.”

I can hear the tirade now: “Your articles are no help whatsoever, and your ‘figure it out yourself’ attitude sucks. So, I just won’t read anything you write. Problem solved!”

Sheesh! Some thanks I get.

I suppose next time I should write out personalized eating patterns for everyone who asks. Tally up their individual macro numbers and send them on their way to the body of their dreams.

While I’m at it, would you like me to throw in my American Express card info, Social Security number, and PIN number as well?

Look here, sweet cheeks, the reason a cookie cutter program based off of a person’s lean body mass isn’t necessary and usually won’t work is because everyone is different.

Throw out some random numbers for an antsy girl who has never followed any sort of consistent weight training or contest prep protocol before and the answer is simple: Itwontwork.

Forget about the individual’s height, weight, lean body mass, or body fat percentage – that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In order to design a personalized eating pattern that provides the best possible chance of reaching contest ready conditioning, the following factors need to be considered and evaluated:

Training age

Activity level

Somatotype

Current and past diet

Current and past energy system patterns

Current and past weight training

History of drug use

History of thermogenic use

History of supplement use

Adrenal fatigue test

Possibly a blood test

Then once the eating pattern is implemented, the individual still has to follow it.

Why You Think You Need It

Still, though, why do so many girls who are light years away from ever seeing the bottom of their belly button think they need some meticulous diet with 15 different herbs, extracts, and supplements attached?

This is a simple question with a complex answer. I think I might be on to something, though.

We had the usual one-minute greeting segment in church last Sunday where you stand and greet those seated around you with a brief “good morning” and a hand shake. Every once in a while, some overzealous baby boomer who lacks enough on their mental plate, will commence in a full on interrogation with me cued by the handshake.

This was the case last Sunday.

I turn around behind me to meet an older couple in their sixties. After the routine greeting, the obese wife proceeds to size me up as if I was on a job interview.

“So, what do you do?” she asks.

I give her the shortest answer possible.

She then follows up with, “Where did you get your training?”

“What do you mean?” I ask.

“Where did you get your education?” her husband chimes in.

“Would you like me to fax you my resume?” I reply with a grin.

The next hymn started up, and I turned back around to face the front. All of a sudden the woman leaned forward to whisper in my ear, “I’m a nutritionist.”

At that moment, I almost stumbled over the pew and off the balcony waiting for a team of angels to swoop down from heaven above to rescue me from certain disaster.

Regaining consciousness, I snapped back to reality. She didn’t just say what I think she did, did she?

You see, this is just part of the bigger picture. Any time you have obese women speaking as an authority figure to the masses on the topic of nutrition, it subconsciously gives the advice-seeking female “permission” to be as fat as their advisor.

The driving force behind all these women pleading for a brand new diet with specific macro numbers is because they really believe that’s all they’re missing.

Forget about just simply making smart eating choices and sticking to a sensible diet. Oh no, it couldn’t be that easy.

A female over 25% body fat asking for exact gram amounts of macronutrients per day is akin to a girl who has never lifted weights before asking to be put on steroids. Get the picture?

Give a newbie a diet with set macros and she won’t even get past the first day. Somewhere between getting the tomatoes out of the fridge and weighing the slice of raw salmon, she lost focus and scarfed down a handful of hickory roasted cashew nuts.

You don’t always have to feel overwhelmed to get results.

The last reason women think they need some special diet designed just for them to get near the 20% body fat neighborhood is because on every channel, every magazine cover, and every billboard there’s a new fad diet. The Holy Grail of fat loss is just a phone call away.

This mindset leaves the naive newbie chewing on her cinnamon raisin bagel, perplexed and confused as she ponders weather to try the Crunch diet or West Palm Beach diet – next month, of course.

Surely nothing as simple as losing fat could be as easy as making smart eating choices and exercising? Could it?

The Get It Right Program

The following workout and diet is for any female who’s above 25% body fat, or in that neighborhood.

Let’s set some ground rules first:

Eat four meals per day.

Eat five meals on days you lift weights.

Every serving should be about the size of your fist.

Eat a protein source with every meal.

Eat a carbohydrate or fat source with every meal.

Eat a vegetable or salad with every meal.

Fruit can be eaten once a day as a carbohydrate.

Drink a calorie-free liquid with every meal.

Lift weights two times per week.

Perform two, 20-minute energy system workouts per week.

After 100% adherence for the first two weeks, you’re allowed to eat two unapproved meals per week.

Approved protein sources:

Wild salmon

Eggs

Ground turkey breast

96% lean ground beef

Chicken breast

Tuna

Talapia

Sea bass

Orange roughy

Approved carbohydrate sources:

Organic brown rice

Quinoa

Long grain wild rice

Sweet potato

Yam

Oats

Chick peas

Northern beans

Approved fat sources:

Avocado

Egg yoke

Olive oil

Fish oil

Walnuts

Almonds

Ground flax seeds

“What about a protein shake?” you ask. The only time a whey protein shake should be consumed on this plan is during or after your workout, and you’re allowed to have a grapefruit along with it. It’ll also count as one of your meals.

“Yeah, but can I have some soy sauce on some of that?” Condiments, sweeteners, and spices are fine, but use no more than a tablespoon three times a day.

Now, don’t ask me if you can have a food that isn’t listed above. That’s the first problem with the 25% body fat and above female demographic: They immediately start to look for a way out. Ever heard the ole’ saying, “Give em’ and inch and they’ll take a mile?”

Stick It Out

This plan might be a little inconvenient, and it certainly won’t allow for you daily high-fructose corn syrup fix. But if you stick to it, you’ll be very pleased with your results.