Without a doubt nutrition is the subject that I get asked about the most. It also plays the largest role in body composition and health. Unfortunately, most people struggle here for a variety of reasons. I am going to cover this in a few blogs over the coming weeks.
You want to be ripped? You want to look great naked? You want to look great in that bikini? If the answer is yes, start with your nutrition plan first!
Most people don’t start here, or if they do it’s some extreme caloric deficit or some ridiculous fad diet that some Instagram model is selling online. As a side note, the Instagram models that are selling diets don’t write them!
The first thing we need to cover is 3 reasons to concern your self with nutrition:
Fat loss/Lean Muscle gain
Most people miss the point regarding nutrition, ignoring the above 3 points and simply treat their body like a dumpster fire. Then they wonder why they are sick and fat?
The next thing we need to come to an agreement on is that there is simply not a “one size fits all” approach to nutrition. In all my years of studying nutrition and implementing various strategies on myself and countless clients, I have come to a single conclusion that always rings true; while there are certain principles that everybody must adhere to, what works for me might not work for you. We simply have to find the right plan through trial and error. The good news is that with a few simple questions we can usually get the right plan without wasting time with numerous errors along the way.
The first place to start in my opinion is food quality. I used to go right to amount (in other words counting calories). This works and it’s why I recommended this approach in the past. However, the problem with counting calories is that it is a short term solution if you don’t make other changes as well.
Food quality doesn’t mean turn into a food Nazi, but it does mean stop eating crap. Yes, that means your Frappuccino breakfast of champions has to go! And if you think a bowl of cereal is good for you, then this is going to be a challenge.
Eating clean is the easiest and hardest place to start at the same time. It’s simple in that you stop eating processed foods, fast food, etc., but it’s hard if you are used to all that type of food. It’s an adjustment for sure.
I don’t think people get how crucial this is until something bad happens. Just about every health issue (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.) can be traced back to eating crap. These are facts, yet people ignore them to their own peril. Why? I am not totally sure, but for some people they have no other joy in their lives other than eating crap. For others, they just have no idea what eating healthy looks like. Unfortunately, we are at an all time high of extremes, you either eat clean or eat crap, no in between – no balance. If you’re healthy and at your ideal body composition then you can follow an 80/20 rule (consume healthy/appropriate foods 80% of your meals, and leave “cheats” to only 20%), and you will be fine. If you want to improve body composition it needs to go to 90/10 until you get there. This is not that hard, but you have to start (and be honest)!
To clean up your diet start slow. Add more vegetables into your diet, and take out boxed processed food and fast food. There is no shortage of clean eating recipes on the internet. Eliminate liquid calories and replace with water. These are simple things to do that will have a huge impact on your health and body composition.
Don’t be like the majority of people and just read this and go back to eating exactly how you do now. If you are thinking to yourself “I eat healthy”, but are overweight, guess what – you don’t eat healthy. Take an honest assessment, get real with yourself and make a positive change today!
I will lay out more specifics in part 2 (stay tuned!).