ProjectU Beginner Course: Day 5

Hey friends!

I hope you had an easy time with MFP yesterday! We’re excited to see your results, so let’s start there. Open up MFP. It will bring you to today’s log. Up near the date, there are arrows to the left < and to the right >. Click on the left arrow and it should bring up yesterday’s info. Scroll all the way to the bottom and click on the “Nutrition” button. It will bring up a pie graph that show your fat, carb, and protein intake for the day. We aren’t concerned about percentages. We want to know grams. Here’s an example to give you an idea of what we’re talking about. In this example, the member ate 78g carbs, 65g fat, and 152g protein.


  1. Grab your journal/blog/whatever you’ve got.       Begin an entry with today’s date and the title “Food.” (today is a two-parter, so we have a “water” section coming up in a little bit).
  2. Answer the following questions:
    1. Yesterday, I ate _____g of carbohydrates, ______g of fat, and _______g of protein. Let me give you some SAMPLE goals to give you something to compare that to.       (Your goals will change based on your individual needs and your stage in the program once you start.       These are just generic guidelines to give you an idea of what we will be working towards.) Men: 150g carbohydrates, 100g fat, 175-200g protein; Women: 75-100g carbohydrates, 75-96g fat, and 125-150g protein
    2. Based upon the recommendations above, I’d say that yesterday I (circle one): overate/underate/ate the wrong things. This makes me feel…
    3. As I begin working towards meeting certain macronutrient goals, I could make quick changes like…

Let’s revisit what each macronutrient is and why you need it. Watch this quick video explaining macronutrients.

The trend we have found when our members first begin is that they are almost always overeating on carbs (and sometimes fat) and undereating on protein. This sets them up to not be getting the food they need to sustain muscle growth and development. You don’t need to eat less, necessarily. Oftentimes, you just need to eat differently.

We won’t be tweaking our diets just yet, but we wanted to give you an idea of your baseline and some view of the goals we’ll be working towards. Don’t worry about meeting certain macronutrient goals during this introductory phase. We’ll help you do that once you finish when you join ProjectU. For now, we have other healthy habits to establish. 🙂

After checking in on how yesterday’s food logging activity went, we want to share with you the easiest, least expensive way you can improve your health: drinking water!

There are TONS of reasons why you should be drinking water. Check out this infographic:


While we often don’t agree with standard recommendations for eating, we do whole-heartedly agree with this recommendation. You should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces. So, if a person weighs 200 lbs, they should be drinking 100 oz of water each day.

In addition to all of the great things water does for your body, there’s an additional benefit to you: it keeps you from drinking things that will work against your efforts to establish healthy habits like juices, soda, and diet soda. Let’s take a look at some nutritional information on “healthy” juices and soda.


Look at the carbs on those! Even the Omega Orange isn’t something we would recommend. If you want an orange, eat an orange. Juices make it too quick and easy to consume a ton of sugar in one sitting.


Now onto soda. If you are working to balance calories and macronutrient ratios, we can’t imagine that you’d want to

spend 40g of sugar (carbs) for one can of Coca-Cola or 65g of sugar (carbs) for one 20oz bottle of Coca-Cola. You could easily knock out your entire daily carbohydrate intake with soda alone. We don’t know about you, but that would leave us awfully hungry to exchange all of those carbs for nothing more than a few sodas. Beyond that, soda isn’t even really sweetened with real sugar. It’s sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is a weird Franken-food that you have no business eating. Watch this quick video about average soda consumption and HFCS.

Diet Soda

Speaking of Franken-foods, diet sodas are one of the biggest culprits in our diets. Diet sodas are sweetened with artificial sweeteners (many of which are associated with higher cancer risks) that actually cause the same insulin spike as drinking the full-sugar alternatives. So you really aren’t saving yourself any calories (since they react the same in your body) AND you’re compounding the problem by adding artificial sweeteners into your body. Check out this article about the tie between diet sodas and belly fat. Obviously no one is after that result…so cut it out with the diet soda.

Water Hopefully now you see that juices, sodas, and diet sodas aren’t going to help you get any closer to your healthy living goals. So, how do you get in the suggested 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water? There are TONS of options!

  1. Drink it. Find the discipline and motivation to drink water because it’s good for you.
  2. In case option 1 is easier said than done, here are some other choices:
    1. Get a water bottle you love…and use it. There are pretty ones, motivational ones, funny ones, or ones with water tickers. We love this one because you can switch the ring at the top to track how much water you drink throughout the day.
    2. Download an app to track your water consumption and remind you to keep drinking. We like HydroCoach.
    3. Do the gallon challenge. You may not need a full gallon (128 oz), but this is a great way to keep your water-drinking goals in mind. It’s hard to ignore a huge gallon jug staring at you.       🙂


Whatever method works for you, find a plan to drink your water.

That brings us to your assignment for today:

  1. Grab your journal. Add the title “Water.”
  2. Answer the following questions:
    1. Up until today, most of my daily liquid intake has come in the form of _____________________.
    2. Today I was most surprised to learn _________________________.
    3. My daily water goal is: _________________ (current weight in lbs) x 0.5 = _________ oz of water/day.
    4. I will reach my water goal by doing the following…(list some brilliant ideas to get your water in)

It will likely take you a few days to work up to meeting your water goals. Don’t worry if you don’t get every ounce in today. Just work towards your goal of drinking half your body weight in ounces until you get there. We are after progress, not perfection. So grab your water and drink up!

You’re doing great with establishing healthy habits. Keep it up! See you tomorrow!

All the best,

Ashley & the ProjectU Team

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