A hundred people used Nutrient Optimiser for six weeks. Can you guess what happened to their weight?
The results of the challenge demonstrate the positive benefits of quantitatively optimising nutrient density and satiety and potential benefits of the Nutrient Optimiser to create sustainable improvements in diet quality and thus health.
- Participants were able to significantly improve their diet quality over the first two weeks which led to a reduction in body fat and blood glucose levels.
- The average average of 5.1% lost during the six weeks.
- There was no significant difference in the rate of weight loss for people who identified as insulin resistance vs insulin sensitive.
- Users who were part of the prize pool lost twice as much weight.
What is Nutrient Optimiser?
Nutrient Optimiser is an automated nutrition program that considers biometric data, goals and current food intake (recorded in Cronometer) to provide personalised recommendations to optimise a user’s nutrition and lifestyle habits to improve metabolic health markers including body fat, weight as well as blood glucose and energy levels.
The Nutrient Optimiser includes a range of tools that enable users to progressively improve their diet to align with personal goals, including:
- weight loss,
- blood sugar management,
- weight loss & blood sugar management,
- lean bulking,
- nutritional ketosis,
- therapeutic ketosis,
- nutrient-dense maintenance, and
- endurance athlete.
The Nutrient Optimiser is a web-based program that can also be set up on a user’s mobile phone home screen to look and feel like a native mobile app.
The Nutrient Optimiser Challenge
Participants were given the opportunity to enter a free challenge between 2 January 2019 and 10 February 2019. This first challenge focused on weight loss and blood sugar management.
Participants aiming to lose weight were provided with a meal plan optimised for nutrient density and satiety. Participants whose primary goal was to reduce blood sugar used a lower insulin load meal plan.
Participants were also educated and encouraged to make use of the various tools embedded within the Nutrient Optimiser to incrementally improve their current diet by adding in new foods and recipes.
A range of suggestions from users on how to improve the functionality and user experience of the Nutrient Optimiser were addressed during the challenge.
Meal plan sizing
While the Nutrient Optimiser onboarding process provides an indication of calorie requirements, the primary focus was on food quality. Users were given the opportunity to choose from 1200, 1500 and 1800 calorie meal plans.
A range of foods and meals were rotated to ensure that participants obtained adequate levels of all essential micronutrients across the week.
However, in line with the intended design of the high satiety meal plan, calorie intake decreased as a consequence of the food choices (rather than a primary focus on actively restricting calories).
A common response from participants was that they were too full on their assigned meal plan and had to drop snacks or meals. Some participants even requested 800 and 1000 calorie meal plans because they were too full on the 1200 calorie per day meal plans provided.
To increase motivation and adherence, users were given the opportunity to participate in a prize pool (USD$50 per person). Proceeds were shared with the winners in each of the three categories.
The table below shows the split of the prize money which was based on the number of people qualifying for each category.
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- To be eligible for the blood glucose prize pool users needed to have a fasting blood glucose greater than 110 mg/dL.
- To be eligible for the weight loss & blood glucose participants needed to have a starting glucose of greater than 90 mg/dL.
Official competition weight loss progress was calculated based on the average of the first three measurements (2 to 4 January 2019) versus the final three measurements (8 to 10 February 2019). Photographic evidence of start and finish measurements were shared in the Nutrient Optimiser Facebook Group and/or uploaded into the platform to verify data.
Huge congratulations to our winners.
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Magdalena dropped 14.5% of her body weight during the competition period (and 18.5% between her highest and lowest weight recorded from the start of using the platform). Magdalena was very active in the habit tracking and currently holds the number two position on the nutrient density leaderboard (check out her full nutrition fingerprint report here).
Coming in at number 2 in the weight loss category is Nick who lost 10.9% of his body weight during the six week competition (and 12.4% between his highest and lowest weight logged since starting with the Nutrient Optimiser platform).
Paul lost 9.3% of his body weight during the competition (and 10.5% between his highest and lowest weight recorded using the platform).
As well as taking out the number three position in the weight loss category, Paul also made fantastic progress with his blood sugars to win the other two categories!
Weight loss achieved
The average loss for all participants was 5.1%. The chart below shows weight loss vs time across all participants. We see a faster initial rate of loss as people lost water weight over the first week due to an overall reduction in stored glycogen and the associated water weight.
Of 103 participants who recorded valid start and finish weights, 101 lost weight Two people gained a small amount of weight. The chart below shows the range of change in weight during the challenge.
The average rate of weight loss was 0.76% per week during the competition period.
It seems that 0.5% is a reasonable minimum rate of loss for most people. A weekly weight loss of 1.0% or more per week is possible. However, a continued loss of more than 1.0% per week may not be sustainable and may cause a rebound in appetite.
So, while we are very pleased with the results achieved by the participants, the Nutrient Optimiser aims to build healthy habits to ensure lasting success rather than short term aggressive weight loss.
Note: To avoid excessive reduction in calories and loss of lean muscle mass, users needed to meet a minimum protein intake of 1.4 g/kg LBM as well as not be experiencing significant hunger before qualifying for a reduction in calorie targets.
Insulin resistant vs insulin sensitive
Through the onboarding process, people were given the opportunity to identify as insulin resistant or insulin sensitive. We wanted to understand whether there was any difference in how people responded to the high satiety nutrient dense meals based on whether they identified as insulin resistant or insulin sensitive.
As shown in the chart below there was minimal difference in the rate of weight loss based on whether people identified as insulin resistant or insulin sensitive when they focused on the nutrient dense high satiety foods recommended by the Nutrient Optimiser.
While a lower carbohydrate diet may help to reduce the volatility in someone’s blood sugars, it appears that high satiety nutrient dense foods provide weight loss regardless of whether your blood sugars are elevated or you identify as insulin resistant.
Prize pool vs free
The chart below shows the weight loss of the participants in the weight loss stream broken up based on whether they were part of the prize pool. As shown in the chart, there was a 2.9% absolute difference in weight loss between the two categories over the six weeks. People who participated in the prize pool were less likely to drop out and lost approximately twice as much weight. People who were committed enough to participate in the prize pool tended to achieve much better results.
The chart below shows the change in weight for the ten people who lost the most weight with nearly 12% of their body weight lost during the six weeks. Eight out of ten of these people were part of the prize pool.
Long term results
Participants who were active at the end of the challenge have been given the opportunity to continue on with the Nutrient Optimiser platform and continue to be active in the Nutrient Optimiser Facebook Group to understand their progress over the long term.
These initial results of the Nutrient Optimiser Challenge demonstrate improvements in energy and relatively effortless and swift weight loss by focusing on helping users improve their micronutrient profile.
- On average users lost 5.1% of their starting body weight over the five-week at a rate of 0.75% per week.
- People who identified as insulin resistant lost weight at the same rate as everyone else.
- People who participated in the prize pool tended to be more motivated and lost twice as much weight.
You can also join the Nutrient Optimiser Facebook Group to ask questions and see some amazing meals.
Registrations are now open for the Free Four Week Nutrient Density Challenge. We’d love you to sign up and see what happens when you level up your nutrient density.