It’s been satisfying to see people use the tools we have created to their fullest extent and go on to achieve amazing results!
One spectacular example of this is fun-loving and cheeky and 36-year-old retail seafood specialist Camilla Caton who topped the Nutrient Optimiser Leaderboard for the second time in our 6 Week Nutritional Optimisation Masterclass.
So we thought it would be interesting to see what she is actually eating!
Optimal Nutrient Score
While we also guide Optimisers to dial in their macronutrients to suit their biometric data (i.e. weight, body fat, lean mass and blood sugars), the primary goal of the Nutritional Optimisation Masterclass is creating a truly balanced diet at a micronutrient level.
Camilla’s micronutrient fingerprint chart from the January Masterclass below shows how we calculate the Optimal Nutrition Score. If the area to the left of the 100% line is filled they would get an Optimal Nutrition Score of 100%.
Rather than relying on the Dietary Reference Intakes (which have been formulated to prevent diseases of deficiency rather than optimal health), the Masterclass guides Optimisers towards the Optimal Nutrient Intakes (which align with greater satiety and health, rather than just avoiding deficiencies). Normalising the nutrient intakes to 2000 calories enables us to focus on food QUALITY. Once people dial in QUALITY, food QUANTITY looks after itself.
We tend to eat less as our food quality improves. As shown in the chart below, people with a higher Optimal Nutrient Intake Score score tend to eat around 40% fewer calories per day than people eating foods with a lower nutrient density.
The average ONI score is around 60%. If you are happy with your current energy levels and weight, there is no need to chase a super high ONI score. But if you want to lose weight and/or want to improve your diet quality, we guide people in the Masterclass to use the Nutrient Optimiser to progressively improve their diet quality to fill the gaps in their nutrient profile with food.
Very few people manage an ONI score above 75%, so it’s incredible that so many Optimisers in the Masterclass maintain such a high ONI score.
The nutrient fingerprint chart below shows Camilla’s final week of her second Masterclass. Camilla was able to improve her nutrient score from 95% in the previous masterclass to 97% this time around by dialling in some more of the nutrients she was finding harder to get in her diet.
As you can see from the micronutrient fingerprint chart, there is no need for Camilla to worry about foods that contain more of the nutrients towards the bottom of her nutrient fingerprint (like vitamin A, copper and vitamin B12) because she’s already getting plenty! Chasing the harder to find nutrients towards the top of her micronutrient fingerprint chart enables her to create a truly balanced diet at a micronutrient level!
The question that many people had was, “What is Camilla eating to achieve this!?!?!”
Weekly nutrition report
One of the remarkable things about Camilla’s eating is that she’s able to put away a LOT of protein (i.e. 43% of the total calories, 250 g protein per day or 4.0 g/kg LBM). After losing 72 kg, Camilla is now working on building strength and lean muscle, including recently competing in her first powerlifting meet.
As you get your protein intake closer to 40%, your balance of fat and carbs don’t matter that much (at least in terms of satiety)! We tend to consume fewer calories as the percentage of protein increases in our diet.
The chart below from our analysis of our series of 22 recipe books shows that optimal nutrient density tends to align with a protein intake of greater than 40% – 50%.
The average protein intake of Optimisers is a bit less than 30%. Not many people can sustain a protein intake of greater than 40% because our appetite for easy energy from fat and processed carbs takes over. Based on our satiety analysis, we have set a stretch target of 40% of calories from protein if you are trying to lose weight. This is a lot more than the minimum to prevent disease (i.e. 0.8 g/kg BW) or the average population intake of 16% calories from protein.
Rather than eating more protein, for most people, this requires trimming back the foods that contain fat and non-fibre carbohydrates. As we reduce the percentage of energy from refined carbs and fat our energy intake comes down.
Simply consuming more protein tends to lead to a higher overall energy intake because protein tends to come packaged with energy-dense fat.
To dissect Camilla’s diet a little more, the chart shows where she was getting her calories from in the last four weeks of the Masterclass. Her primary calorie source is her appetite-smashing chocolate jelly pudding followed by beef liver, avocado and chia seeds.
If you’re wondering what’s in the jelly pudding, we’ve included the recipe further down.
Next, we see that liver, protein powder, salmon and clams make up a lot of her 250 g of protein per day.
Most of her fat comes from avocado, her magic jelly, chia seeds and almond milk making up her 70 g of fat per day.
Camilla’s 115 g per day of non-fibre carbs come from carrots, her jelly pudding, rhubarb and broccoli.
And her 60 g of fibre per day comes from the jelly, chia seeds, avocado, carrots and rhubarb.
Finally, we see the breakdown of her food by weight.
Compared to other optimisers
For comparison, I have included the protein, non-fibre carb, fibre and fat sources from forty thousand days of data from our Optimisers. Popular protein sources include chicken, eggs, steak, salmon and ground beef.
Popular non-fibre carb sources are bananas, sweet potato, apples and oatmeal.
While popular fat sources are butter, whole eggs, avocado, olive oil and cream.
What’s in that chocolate jelly pudding?
Camilla’s magic pudding to kerb her night time snacking is a simple chocolate jelly pudding recipe which is:
- 4 cups of almond milk
- 4 tbsp of gelatin powder
- 10 tbsp cocoa powder, and
- 500 mL tap water.
The recipe makes 360 calories, 40 g protein, 18 g of fat and 17 g net carbs. This will be enough for four hunger smashing small serves.
Hopefully, you’ve found this snapshot of what nutrient density can look like useful to inspire you to level up your nutrition in your context and with your preferences.
But you don’t need to eat like Camilla. We believe that the process of Nutritional Optimisation can be applied to any context, preferences or budget. The goal of the Masterclass is to guide people to incrementally improve their diet to find the foods and meals that they enjoy and are optimal for their goals and situation.
If you want to be part of the next Masterclass (which starts 6 February 2021) you can sign up here.
Camilla’s food photos
Finally, we’ll leave you with some of Camilla’s food photos to show you, beyond the numbers and charts, what Camilla’s optimised food looks like. She initially used our Maximum Nutrient Density Recipe Book.
But, as you can see from the photos below, she learned to adapt the recipes to her own context and tastes.
I wonder what nutrient density will look like for you?