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Frequently Asked Questions

The Plan

What do I receive when I sign up?

When you sign up for your plan of choice you receive our questionnaire, eat / avoid list, Ten Commandments document, portion size and measurement videos and our Introduction document. These lay out how the plan operates and adapts, the foods we recommend you eat or avoid and also the various sets of Commandments we use to guide your decisions. The videos show you how to measure your food without scales and also how to measure and photo your body to document your progress.

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How does the plan change?

This really throws people but it depends entirely on you. Most cookie cutter plans follow a set path. But this makes no sense. Everyone is different and some people work better on high carbohydrate, some better low carbohydrate, others respond better to exercise. At Sustain this is all tailored to you. Whilst you are following the plan and getting results we won't change anything. We will focus in keeping you consistent, which is where most people struggle. If you are making good progress then making changes is unnecessary. If you plateau then we will look at portion sizes, fat and carbohydrate intake and how we can adapt your exercise plan but this is all tailored to you. So the answer is it depends.

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Meal Guidance

Can I have a cheat meal?

You can eat whatever you see fit! Here at Sustain we aren't here to tell you what's right and wrong but to coach you. There are times when meals off plan are more necessary than others. Everyone is different and we work with you to get the balance right between enjoying your life and getting results. Some people are willing to sacrifice more than others. Eating meals off plan is very unlikely to help you get towards your goal but whether this is worth it to you or not is a decision for you to make, not us.

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How often should I eat?

As with many things at Sustain there is no set formula. Some people feel good on 2 meals a day and some work better on 7. It's up to you, with the help of your coach, to find what works best for you. The only guideline is that muscle maintenance is key for health, aesthetics and fat loss. Regular protein feeds benefit this, we recommend you have a protein serving 3x a day and spread them out over the day. E.g breakfast, lunch and dinner and not 4pm, 5pm and 6pm

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How much "X" should I eat?

For guidance on portion sizes watch the portion size video that is emailed to you when you sign up for one of our plans. Weighing food is not necessary for the vast majority of people so we only do this when necessary, often in the latter stages of fat loss.

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Can I use sauces?

Are shakes / smoothies allowed?

Yes. Provided the ingredients fit into the commandments. Points to consider: As they are liquid based, nutrients will be absorbed much faster. A key benefit of protein and fats is slow absorption to keep you fuller, thus by blending these you will get less satiety and thus are more likely to overeat later in the day. Also fats are vary calorific and so drinking them means you can take in a lot of calories without realising.

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Am I allowed to have snacks?

How many snacks can I have?

See question above on meal frequency, you can eat as often or as rarely as you like, as long as you get adequate protein spread out over the day.

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What should I eat as a snack?

Whatever you see fit, but think outside the box. If your snacks are all carbs, fats or processed foods are you giving your body what it needs?

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Do I have to weigh my food?

No. We are happy to work with clients who want to do this but for the VAST majority of our clients it simply isn't necessary and makes the plan less Sustainable, which unsurprisingly isn't what we are about!

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Can I take protein powder?

Can I take protein powder everyday?

Can I take "X" supplement?

As is the case with cheat meals, what you put into your body is entirely your choice, we are simply here to guide on the ramifications of this. As this isn't our field of expertise you should consult with the relevant professionals before doing so.

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How often should I take protein powder?

Ideally we like to see our clients get as much protein from wholefoods as possible. This is both because it is more natural and also because eating protein is very satiating. It fills you up better than any other macro nutrient and as such, for most of our clients, this is a benefit as it reduces desire to eat off plan. There is no maximum to how often you take it but we prefer people to use whole foods.

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Can I exercise on this plan?

Yes. You can do whatever you see fit. Whether you run marathons, play table tennis or are a professional athlete you can do whatever you prefer. We will tailor your nutrition to this and accommodate you with the most appropriate coach where possible.

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How long should each session last?

This depends on what you are doing and on your individual needs. A marathon runner will need to train for longer than a boxer. As always you have to find what works best for you. Don't let time be an obstacle. A ten minute home workout is better than nothing. Intensity often determines how effective exercise is so focus on working as hard as you can, as opposed to how long you think you should train for. Longer isn't always better.

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How many times should I train per week?

This is entirely individual dependent. You have to do what works best for you. Those who train more frequently will get better results but exercise intensity is also key as 3 high effort sessions will likely yield better results than 4 lower intensity sessions. Exercise has to fit into your schedule so we work with you to decide what works best for you.

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What is the best kind of training I can do?

As with all the other answers this depends on you! If you have a host of injuries and are nervous in a gym the hitting the weights section might not be the best for you. If you are beginning then just focus on being active, if you are working in a gym environment or from home then we can look to optimise your training, either by giving you one of our plans or by tweaking your current plan.

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Eat / Avoid

What is the "best" alcohol to drink?

From a fat loss perspective prosecco and low calorie mixers with spirits will be the lowest calorific drink. If you are going to drink we would recommend these over lagers, ciders or wine from a fat loss perspective.

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Do you get given recipes?

We do not currently provide set recipes as part of the plan. This is because this is telling people what to eat rather than allowing them to make decisions for themselves. This also encourages reliance on said recipes and following a set structure rather than finding what works for the individual. We provide an abundance of meal ideas in our free support group and also sell cookbooks.

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Where can I find recipes?

We provide meal ideas in the free fat loss guide, our website, Facebook, Instagram and there are literally 100's of meal ideas in the Sustain Nation free support community.

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Can I eat red meat?

Yes. Scientifically the jury is still out with studies pointing in either direction. As long as red meat is consumed in moderation, from the highest quality you can afford then we are happy with this.

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Alcohol: Can I drink alcohol?

As with cheat meals you can drink whatever you see fit. We are simply here to explain the ramifications of your actions so if you want to drink alcohol then that is fine with us. It is unlikely to help you in regards fat loss goals or sports performance. If we prohibit alcohol then this is us making decisions for you which isn't sustainable long term. As such you have to decide what's right for you.

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How much fat will I lose?

How much fat you lose is entirely dependent on you as an individual. Many people have their largest loss in week one. This is because their habits pre-Sustain are less than optimal and so the change in nutrition has an immediate impact. A lot of the low quality foods people eat often force their bodies to hold more water. So whilst losses of up to 10lbs have been reported this will always be largely down to water loss. A safe and manageable target for fat loss is 1-2lbs a week but fat loss is never linear so a plateau is almost always an occurrence at some point on a fat loss journey.

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Do I get a meal plan?

No. We do not write specific meal plans for people to eat. This is because we feel that telling people what to eat is an ineffective long term practice. We don't know your individual tastes so immediately this is flawed as we will most likely include foods you don't enjoy, which makes it harder to stick to. It also takes away the decision making aspect. Anyone can follow a plan but this is short term. What happens after this? People go back into old ingrained habits as they haven't learned how to build meals or what works for them or what they can eat when out and about. On our Instagram, Facebook, website and the Nation support community we have literally 100s of meal ideas. If you are still struggling for ideas the internet has millions of meal suggestions so there is no excuse for not trying something new.

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When will I hear from my coach?

Our coaches will respond to you the next working day. So if you send your food at 10am it may be your coach is unable to respond until the next day. Often we are dealing with many clients each so please send your food over on an evening to guarantee a next day response as we rarely have time to go through our client list twice.

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Can I do this plan if I am pregnant?

We always advise consulting with your GP or specialist before undergoing a new nutritional plan

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