Whit’s Journey of Nutritional Optimisation

Whit has been a passionate member of our Optimising Nutrition Community, progressing through the Data Driven Fasting Challenge, Macros Masterclass and the Micros Masterclass (his favourite).

Whit volunteered to share his learnings from his journey to help spread the word about Nutritional Optimisation.

So… here’s Whit’s story.

How It Started

Whit moved through college not worrying about what he was eating, strolling to classes at a relaxed pace and only eating when the mood struck, getting lots of sleep most of the time. 

The healthy habits of walking and hunger-driven eating patterns faded for extended commute times and a 40-hour work week.  His weight started to creep up with all the sedentary activity.

This ballooned out when he went back to school for graduate work.  Long hours with high stress led to using food and caffeine as crutches.  With the birth of his daughter, the scale hit 276 lbs when he stopped weighing himself.

He started his health journey with a 5k run and then moved to endurance running.  Whit ate a vegan diet when its popularity was rising.  But after five years of great progress, he started to feel inflamed and started gaining weight again despite running more than ever.

Slowly his running suffered, then stopped, and the weight climbed back up to 200 lbs.  Lots of experimentation began ranging from macrobiotic to paleo to ketogenic, but weight and energy just yo-yo-ed up and down with gradual gains to plateau at around 225 lbs.

He then discovered Protein Leverage and Data-Driven Fasting, which helped to stop the creeping weight gain, but weight loss was slow and then flat.  Following others who had seen success looking at WHAT in addition to WHEN of eating, he participated in the Macros Masterclass and then the Micros Masterclass.

It was in the Micros Masterclass that Whit really started to gain traction.  By letting the nutrients guide him, he ate a ton of nutrient-dense vegetables.  As a result, his energy for everyday tasks increased, and he was more productive at work.

Whit realised that his intake of critical nutrients like calcium, potassium, vitamin E and vitamin A were severely lacking.  He also found that prioritising more of the foods and meals that contained them had a significant impact. 

As these changes started to click into place over the course, his appetite fell off the cliff!  Then, as the nutrient density of his diet increased, he was surprised that he was working hard to eat much less food!

Fat Loss vs Diet Quality

As shown in the charts below from Nutrient Optimiser, as his diet quality increased, his body fat fell! 

At the end of the Micros Masterclass, Whit was topping out Diet Quality Score in Nutrient Optimiser.  But he found this a bit too extreme to maintain for the long term comfortably.  But it had shifted his set-point for nutrition quality a huge step forward.

Easing back a little, he found it very easy to maintain high dietary quality long-term for a gradual and maintainable weight loss.  Now he has room to be flexible without compromising his progress.  Once you have looked at the food you’re eating through the lens of the nutrients it contains, it’s hard to unsee it! 

How It’s Going

The photos below show Whit before his first Data-Driven Fasting Challenge vs after the last Micros Masterclass

During his journey of Nutritional Optimisation, Whit has dropped 16 lbs (7.3 kg) (213 to 197 lbs)…

 …and 3.8% body fat (31.4 to 27.6%). 

Whit’s Nutrient Dense Meals

The great thing about dialling in nutrient density is that you get to eat a LOT of food – it’s just very satiating and hard to overeat.  

A typical dinner during the last week of the Micros Course

Curried salmon soup for lunch

Whit’s Key Learnings

  • High dietary quality means a lot of food volume!  
  • Satiety is not hard to hit when you focus on the nutrients in your food.  
  • Increasing protein percentage is not about eating more protein.  Diet quality increases when you reduce energy (fat and carbs).  So you don’t necessarily need to eat a lot more protein.  
  • Nuts and seeds, especially high-fibre ones, are great for increasing minerals!
  • Non-starchy vegetables are the ultimate hack—they significantly increase your nutrients with almost no energy!   

The Future

Congrats Whit, on your great progress and thanks for sharing your story and for all your inspiration and encouraging contributions to our Optimising Nutrition Community

I can’t wait to kick off another round of the Micros Masterclass with you on board as a moderator to share your wisdom and encourage new Optimisers!