Americans get bombarded with different diets just as much as they’re been subjected to infomercials selling the latest and greatest fat burning exercise tool. The problem with diets is the failure rate. Many of them have some great base principles, however they just aren’t built to succeed; especially in modern society.
I don’t refer to diets. It’s nutrition. I don’t give plans either. I give guidelines. Proper nutrition is biological and common sense with just a handful of basic tips. We are the planets most efficient predators. Our abilities to hunt and gather have put us at the top of the food chain. However processed and packaged foods, chemicals, fast food, instant meals, and instant gratification have dulled these skills and poisoned our machine like bodies. In order to bring your body back to it’s natural efficiency you have to go back to your roots. Think like the cavemen, the hunters and the gatherers. Here are some basic guidelines I give to everyone I train:
– When grocery shopping get yourself a week’s worth of food without ever stepping foot down an aisle. Do all of your food shopping from the outer perimeter of the store. Fresh produce, meat, dairy, etc. If it’s in an aisle it is off limits.
– If it can’t go bad, it’s bad for you. This is a really simple rule. Real food doesn’t have preservatives, it doesn’t come in a cellophane wrapper, and it spoils if you don’t eat it.
– Variation prevents boredom and keeps your body working right. Not only will your taste buds suffer but so will your body if you’re eating the same things day after day. Change it up. Shop the sales, try new foods, try new preparations. Just keep it different.
– Energy, repair, rebuild. Meticulously counting calories and carbs and protein isn’t for everyone, and frankly it’s a pain in the butt. So break it down like this. Carbs are energy. Proteins and fats are rebuilding and repairing. Try and eat your carbs when you need energy. In the morning, in the afternoon, before workouts, etc. If you’re not going to need energy don’t eat carbs. If you need a midnight snack the fats and casein protein in Cottage Cheese are going to do your body better than a handful of crackers.
– Quality over quantity. We obsess over calories, and the general rule is burn more calories than you consume and you’ll lose weight. But even more important than the quantity of calories is the quality. We live in an age with so many prepackaged low calorie options, but you get more from the 100 calories in an apple than you do from the 100 calorie snackpack.
– Last and most importantly. Do it right 90% of the time, or the 90/10 rule. Eat wholesome all natural foods 90 percent of the time. The other 10 percent indulge a bit and don’t feel guilty about it. That’s where diets fail. They don’t let you live spontaneously which in today’s world is much needed.