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The Ladder of Nutrition Success

Learn about Michi's Ladder to swap unhealthy foods for better choices.

If you have heard of Beachbody or Shakeology you may have also heard of Michi's Ladder.

What is Michi's Ladder? Michi's Ladder is a tiered system to assist you in choosing healthy foods when trying to eat nutrient rich, low calorie foods, usually specifically to lose weight, aid digestion, and help diminish abdominal bloating.

Michi's Ladder is not a diet. It's a simple substitution plan. To lose weight, and keep your abs happy, Michi's Ladder recommends swapping the foods you may usually eat in lower tiers for similar foods in the upper tiers of 1 and 2. The more you eat in tiers 1 and 2, the more you'll increase your chances of losing weight.

There are some healthy foods in lower tiers, but they're either calorie dense or nutrient deficient. To lose weight, aid your digestion, and keep your abs as toned as they possibly can be, you want to maximize the nutrients in every calorie you consume. You can learn more about the different tiers within Michi's Ladder online.

Michi's Ladder has changed over the years and will continue to evolve.  It will continually change as health and fitness professionals learn more about nutrition. Because it is published by Beachbody, their customer feedback also affects its evolution.

Thoughts and science on nutrition are continually changing. Beachbody seems to be constantly working on improving and growing.

That said, Michi's Ladder reflects what has worked for Beachbody customers. Changes are usually made to Michi's Ladder once they've been tested with real people ... not always just real science. It's people based in addition to science based. Although this could classify it as more anecdotal as opposed to research based, there is quite a bit of research that states people will be at a healthier weight when they consume more vegetables, whole grains and lean fish, as opposed to processed foods, nutrient deficient foods, or calorie dense foods.

That stated, here are a few things to consider about Michi's Ladder:

First, it's just a food substitution guide for people trying to lose weight, aid digestion, and basically make your abs happy enough to show themselves off.

Depending upon your situation you may find it necessary to eat more from the lower tiers, especially if you are an athlete. Performance nutrition is different from weight loss nutrition.

For performance, dense calories are often important.

For weight loss, dense calories almost always want to be avoided. Michi's Ladder focuses on low-density foods from a caloric standpoint that have a high density nutrient ratio.

Tier 1 is filled with many veggies, which are loaded with nutrients per calorie as well as no calorie fiber. For people trying to fill their stomachs with as many nutrients and as few calories as possible, this is the primary aim of your nutrition. 

Secondly, Michi's Ladder is not a diet! You still need to adhere to some sort of plan. You could eat out of nothing but tier 1 and still have a poor diet if you don't cover your basic nutritional needs, such as getting a proper balance of carbs, proteins, and fats. Michi's Ladder was never meant to address this. All it was designed for was to help you make substitutions of similar types of foods.

Finally, everyone make mistakes. Some versions of Michi's Ladder have had mistakes. If something sounds wrong (like, for example, beef jerky being labeled a carb) chances are it is a mistake. Use common sense while using Michi's Ladder, or any nutrition advice.

Cori Ann Lentz June 01, 2011 at 06:40 PM
If you are looking for more info, or even free coaching, I have a team of people that I can refer you to. :) Please feel free to leave a comment or directly contact me. :)
bob June 02, 2011 at 12:18 PM
Before buying Shakeology ask for a free sample. I have tried it and it is the worst tasting shake I have ever had. Shakeology contains ginkgo which may interact with aspirin and and meds used to control seizures. I outlined all of the ingredients in Shakeolgoy here http://supplement-geek.com/shakeology-review/
En Fuego Inc. June 02, 2011 at 01:46 PM
Mitch's ladder is an excellent idea. At least the effort toward healthier eating is there. I was glad to read your feedback and article to include diet and exercise as they are both paramount to Healthy Living! http://healthyeating423.blogspot.com
Cori Ann Lentz June 02, 2011 at 02:51 PM
Thank you! Healthy nutrition and exercise are most certainly paramount to healthy living. I also enjoyed your tips for healthy cooking and tips on juicing. :)
Cori Ann Lentz June 02, 2011 at 02:57 PM
Bob you definitely make some great points. Although Shakeology is not the focus on this article, it is important to understand the ingredients in all of the food, drink and supplments you ingest, in addition to understanding what interactions they may have with medications or conditions you have. When in doubt, ask a health professional. It is also important to enjoy the taste of your food, shakes and drinks for your long term success. No matter how healthy, if you do not enjoy the taste, it will not be a realistic part of your long term plan. Personally, I have found Shakeology to be the best tasting shake on the market currently, but people will always have different tastes, different likes and different dislikes. It is always a good idea to sample products before you purchase, similar to a test-drive. When it comes to something you put into your body, it is equally important to understand the ingredients prior to even ingesting a sample. This is especially true when you have food sensitivities, allergies, are on medications, or have a health condition. Thank you for sharing Bob! :)

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