If you landed here you’re likely new to OnPoint Nutrition. Maybe you’re diving into a nutrition program with one of our nutrition coaches. Or maybe you’re still just considering working with our team. Either way, welcome!
We are fully aware that there are a ton of different programs, plans, and systems out there.
Some count calories, macros, or points.
Some follow the stoplight system to limit certain foods.
Some fully eliminate specific foods or food groups.
Maybe you’ve tried one or two of these approaches in the past.
Maybe you’ve even tried more than you’d like to admit without finding the lasting success you are looking for.
The downside of these approaches is that while they may “work” in the short term, there is no longevity to them.
Counting calories or eliminating carbs forever isn’t likely to work for anyone.
So what do we do instead?
Here at OnPoint Nutrition, we use a daily targets system to help you achieve your nutrition, health, and weight goals while simultaneously learning how to fuel your body for the rest of your life.
In this article, we’ll dive into the OnPoint Nutrition philosophy and touch on why we don’t count calories.
We’ll also discuss our daily targets approach to food tracking including:
- Where your personal daily targets come from
- How these numbers work
- Why we take this approach
The OnPoint Nutrition Philosophy
At OnPoint Nutrition, our philosophy is anti-diet, focusing on food groups and portioning. We do not count calories, eliminate major food groups, or approach your journey as a quick fix.
We are here to help you achieve your health goals while maintaining a positive relationship with food.
Instead of counting calories, we focus on holistic health including:
- Meal and snack choices
- Daily food group targets
- Water intake
- Daily reflections
- Progress toward your personal goals
The result of such an approach is a lifestyle, rather than a diet.
Daily Targets: Our Approach To Food Tracking
While we don’t believe in counting calories or macros, we do recognize the importance of eating high-quality foods in the right quantity for your body.
Our daily targets system focuses on whole foods from six major food groups:
Your nutritionist or dietitian will determine how many servings of each of these food groups you need to eat daily to achieve your personal goals. They will also work with you to determine how to structure your meals to include all food groups so you feel satisfied and energized all day.
The goal of the daily targets system is to teach you to make healthier choices for your body and take a step closer to your goals every day.
Where Do These Numbers Come From?
Each and every individual has their own daily targets.
As mentioned above, your dietitian or nutritionist will calculate these targets for you at the start of your program. These numbers will be your starting point but may change throughout your time with OnPoint Nutrition as you work with your coach toward your goals.
So, how are these targets calculated?
Your nutrition coach will determine how much energy your body needs to make it through a normal day.
This is done using personal factors including your:
Additionally, your coach will take into account your physical activity level, goals, and health conditions.
How Do These Numbers Work?
Because these numbers are calculated precisely for you, if you follow them regularly you will be on track to reach the goals you have set.
As previously mentioned, these numbers may change throughout the course of your work with your nutrition coach.
If your goals change, your targets may change, too.
If you lose or gain a significant amount of weight, your targets may change.
If your body plateaus and stops progressing, your targets also may change.
This takes us to our next point.
Why Work With A Nutritionist
While you can use online calculators to give you daily goals for calories, macros, or even food groups, there are clear advantages to working with a qualified nutrition professional.
Calculators give you an estimate, it’s not always accurate or best for your body and goals. These calculators are limited to fillable information fields and cannot dive deeper into the other important aspects of your routine. Calculators also lack the ability to think critically and piece together information in the way that a professional can.
Additionally, when you hit a plateau, a calculator likely won’t be much help.
However, a nutrition coach can work with you to make the necessary adjustments to continue progressing toward (and eventually reaching) your goals.
Why We Take The Daily Target Approach
Before we dive into why we take a food group and portioning approach, let’s touch on why we don’t count calories.
We believe there are four major pitfalls with calorie counting:
- Focus on quantity, ignoring quality
- Lacks practicality
- Correlated with disorder eating
- Not sustainable long-term
To read a full breakdown of these pitfalls read Why Don’t We Count Calories at OnPoint Nutrition.
We can also use these four pitfalls to explain why we use a food group-based, daily targets system instead.
1. Quality Counts
As a team of dietitians and nutritionists, we fully believe that the quality of the food you put into your body matters.
While you may be able to meet your daily calorie and macronutrient needs by eating low-quality foods, your health will suffer in the long term.
The goal of our food group-based approach is to ensure that you’re getting enough of all the macronutrients and micronutrients you need for optimal health.
Yes, we want you to eat enough carbohydrates, protein, and fat, but we also want to make sure you are getting the nutrients you need from fruits, vegetables, and dairy as well.
A common flaw we see in clients who have counted macros in the past is that while they are hitting their daily macro goals, their diet is deficient in produce, which is needed to get enough fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
We don’t just want you to eat the proper quantity of food, which our daily targets assure you do.
We want to make sure you are fueling your body with high-quality choices.
2. Practical Approach
Counting calories or macros isn’t always practical.
Think about meals out at local restaurants, social gatherings, and holiday meals. Discerning exactly what is in these foods can be a challenge.
Oftentimes, that challenge is enough to make you frustrated and stressed.
This can lead to falling off your plan, feeling like a failure, and even avoiding future social situations that involve eating.
None of these are ways that we want you to live your life.
Our daily targets system makes understanding what is in the foods you eat easier. It also doesn’t hurt to have a nutrition coach to help you learn how to break these foods down into food groups and evaluate how they fit into your daily goals.
Instead of stressing over the exact numbers of calories or grams of fat in your grandma’s macaroni and cheese, we’ll help you break it into its starch, fat, and dairy components and find ways to balance it out in a well-rounded day of eating.
3. Healthy Relationship With Food
Maintaining a healthy relationship with food while achieving your goals is our goal.
Chronic dieting, rigid food routines, preoccupation with food and weight, and diet restriction are all signs of disordered eating that we want to help you avoid.
Instead of focusing on hard limits, we focus on getting enough food to fuel your body and optimize your health.
Yes, this may mean shifting the foods you are eating, but more often than not our clients tell us they are surprised at how much we want them to eat, not how little we want them to try to survive on!
We may have saved the best point for last here.
So many diets and plans are not sustainable. You may be able to lose weight, but you will very likely find it starting to creep back on as soon as you hit a roadblock like a vacation, holiday, or even just a night out with friends.
This is a large part of why we take a food group-based approach and don’t just use barcode scanners to automatically calculate your daily calorie intake.
Picture this, you achieved your weight loss goal and you are enjoying feeling the best you have in a long time! You’re continuing to work with your nutrition coach as you transition into the maintenance phase of your journey.
At this point, you want to stay conscious of what you are eating, but you also want to live your life and not worry quite so much about food.
With the OnPoint daily targets approach, you have learned what food groups are, what a serving of each food group is, and how to balance your choices.
You can easily plan well-rounded meals by making sure you are eating foods from different food groups.
You can easily ballpark your portions without weighing, measuring, or scanning because you understand what a portion of each food group looks like and how much of each you need to fuel your body.
You feel confident in your ability to stay mindful and balanced.
The Science Behind Your Daily Targets
One common question clients ask when they dive into the daily targets system is, don’t some foods fall into multiple food groups?
A perfect example here is peanut butter. While peanut butter contains some protein, it is predominantly fat, healthy fat, but fat nonetheless.
When counting peanut butter into your daily targets, it will count as fat, not protein.
This isn’t an oversight or oversimplification.
We are fully aware of this and know that many foods contain multiple macronutrients.
However, this is all accounted for when your coach calculates your daily targets.
A serving of protein in the daily targets system is different from the grams of protein you would track in another app, so we have built this into your targets for you.
We understand this might be a little confusing, so let’s use another example:
In the OnPoint daily targets system, we count one four-ounce chicken breast as one serving of protein. We know that this chicken likely has a little bit of fat in it as well, but we don’t count a fat serving because this little bit of fat is accounted for within each serving of protein.
Another great example here is bread. We count each slice of bread as one starch serving.
If you look at the nutrition facts on your bread you are likely to see a few grams of protein and fat on there as well. We don’t count protein and fat servings when counting the bread, because these small amounts are already accounted for on our end.
To put it simply, your coach calculates your daily targets using science-based formulas and equations but translates them into simple numbers for you.
OnPoint's Food Group Guideline Chart
Where To Go From Here
If you are looking to learn about nutrition and understand what your body needs to fuel itself each day, the OnPoint Nutrition daily targets system is for you. If you are searching for a quality, practical, sustainable solution, this is your answer.
However, if you are looking for someone to simply tell you what to eat and how much to eat, OnPoint Nutrition likely isn’t for you. Our goal is deeper than that.
We want our clients to understand nutrition and their bodies, feel empowered to take control of their health, and utilize the support and guidance of a qualified professional.
If you are ready to dive in deeper and truly learn more about nutrition, health, and wellness, our team is here to support you on that journey. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more about our approach and our programs, and take the first step toward your healthiest self.
Liz has been reading nutrition labels since she learned how to read. Growing up with severe peanut and tree nut allergies she learned that it’s important to know what you are putting into your body. She made her first big lifestyle change as a freshman in high school, when she decided to become a vegetarian. However, it wasn’t until she took a food class in Italy as part of a study abroad program in college that it clicked in her mind that she wanted to make food and nutrition her career. Liz graduated from Penn State University in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition, as well as a bachelor's degree in Marketing. She completed her dietetic internship with Aramark in Philadelphia, and her master's degree at Northeastern University shortly after.