RP Diet Template 3.0 Updates
by Dr. Mike Israetel, Co-founder and Chief Sport Scientist |
Nov 26, 2017
Some of our most successful products at RP have for years been the RP Diet Templates. These simple documents break up the progression of your fat loss or muscle gain diet into just a few phases and come with simple instructions for you to move into the next phase when your body adjusts to the last one. This auto-adjustment keeps you losing fat or gaining muscle at a steady pace, without the extremes of starting a one-off diet that’s either way over or under your needs.
Though the RP Diet Templates have always been one of our top sellers, we’ve also been diligent about improving the product so that it can continue to improve with both our expanding understanding of real-world diet design and the feedback we get from you, the customer.
The most recent round of changes to template design has just occurred and is the 3rd major change in the lifetime of the templates. There are two major categories of changes, and we’d like to take the time to explain some of them to you in a bit more depth. The two categories are content and cosmetic. The cosmetic changes include a switch to PDF (from Excel) and a change in both the visual presentation of the templates themselves (each diet phase fits on just one page now) and the supporting materials, such as the FAQ. So far, the feedback on the visual presentation of the templates has been the best ever by a long shot, and those updates are pretty straightforward when you purchase and examine the new templates. On the content side, the updates have been a bit harder to catch because they are often subtler. Let’s take a look at the major ways in which the templates have been updated in their content and see some of the reasoning behind the changes.
1.) Static Fat Amounts Over the Days
In the older templates, light, moderate, and hard days all had different added (healthy) fat intakes. We noticed that these were quite similar to each other, to begin with, and due to the somewhat interchangeable nature of fats and carbs (after protein is equated), we decided to equalize the fat amounts over the days. This keeps the diet just as effective as it always was, but also allows your meal prep to be MUCH easier because the only thing you have to alter between workout day difficulty is carb amounts. In fact, making on-the-fly changes to intakes is now easier than ever because all you have to do is add or subtract a bit of carbs and you can change your diet from one difficulty day to another.
2.) Less Added Fat Alteration Over Bodyweights
In the older templates, heavier individuals got a lot more healthy added fats in their diets than lighter ones. This approach ran into two minor problems. First, heavier people often reported difficulty in eating that much food, even though they were still losing weight. Secondly, when protein portions go up (and carbs as well to some extent) for the bigger individuals, ancillary fats start to compose a higher and higher amount of added fat calories. For example, if someone has 25g of protein per meal but another person has 50g, the latter individual will be eating a considerably higher intake of fats and calories just by having double the ancillary protein. In the latest update, we reduced the amount of added healthy fats the heavier people take in, and our calculations for calorie levels came out even closer to our required values. This means that heavier people get a lot more protein, more carbs, but not so many more added fats than lighter people.
3.) Increased Protein Intakes
Protein is a big player in both growing muscle and reducing hunger. And because getting “too much” protein is not a concern within most ranges for healthy adults, we put protein intakes closer to the higher end of the accepted ranges to cover the bases of muscle growth, muscle loss prevention, and anti-hunger that much better.
4.) More Carbs, Fewer Fats
Carbs lead to more anabolic activity and anti-catabolic activity (via chronic insulin secretion and glycogen level feedback). On fat loss diets, more carbs help to spare more muscle AND get you better workouts (which does both more muscle sparing and fat burning via increased calorie expenditures). On muscle gain diets, more carbs help gain just a bit more muscle while building just a bit less fat as a byproduct (than higher fat, lower-carb diets). On maintenance diets, higher carbs, especially from whole-grain and fruit sources, can even keep you fuller and with better cognitive function and energy for work. In the updated templates, more carbs come at the expense of fewer fats in many places, and we believe that this tradeoff is a net-positive.
5.) Calorie Changes with Bases and Phases
When we re-examined the calorie values we were programming for individuals of different bodyweights, we found that we might be over-feeding the heavier weights by a small margin. We adjusted the new templates to reflect these findings. In addition, we adjusted the calorie changes between the fat loss and muscle gain phases within each auto-template. The jumps have been updated to, on average, be smaller than they were before. This allows each phase to be less of a shock than it used to be and keep the diet rolling along more steadily. This is especially true for the muscle-gain templates because slower weight gain rates are now being programmed, so the jumps have to be smaller to prevent weight gain from exceeding the gain rate recommendations. The How-To documents of the Muscle Gain template have actually been altered as well to guide the users to a slower accumulation of body weight and thus keep fat gains to a minimum while still pushing muscle gains ahead.
6.) More Veggies, Adjusting Veggies
Increased vegetable intakes offer numerous advantages for the dieter. They bring in needed fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, all of which greatly support your health. Veggies also take up a lot of room in your mouth and stomach for how few calories they contain, which means that higher veggie intakes on a fat loss diet can greatly curb hunger and increase the success of your diet by that much more. The new templates have a much higher recommended veggie intake for these reasons. Now, it’s certainly true that, especially for anti-hunger benefits, eating more veggies on deeper phases of the fat-loss process makes the most sense. On the other hand, trying to eat too many veggies on the deeper phases of the muscle-gain process is also difficult because hunger can be suppressed so much that getting in needed found amounts becomes a challenge. For these reasons, veggies actually increase toward deeper fat loss phases and decrease for deeper muscle gain phases, giving you the best adjustment of hunger levels to give you the best chance at accomplishing your goals!
On the whole, all of the changes to both the content and appearance of the templates have been made with the intention of creating a product that’s more effective, easier to use, and gets you closer to the results you want. As successful as the auto templates have been without these changes, we hope that this latest round of updates is that much more powerful a tool to enhance your fitness. If you like the templates and you like your results, please feel free to post your feedback and/or transformation pics on your Instagram page and tag @rpstrength so we can share your results and keep tabs on your fitness journey along with the thousands of others on our RP_transformations page! Best wishes!