Foolproof Nutrition For Function and Fat Lossby Christopher Warden
Dr. John Berardi has his Seven Habits of Highly Effective Nutritional Programs. My friends Eugene and Mike have their Nutritional Guidelines for Fat Loss. And now you have my take on the subject, as shared personally with my clients. . . more often than they care to hear it.
How do they differ? They really don't - with the exception of our unique delivery styles. Of course, this is the least you should expect. . . especially when you're looking for consistency in nutrition and coaching advice.
Foolproof Nutrition for Function and Fat Loss
1. Listen to your body. Don't obsess over it, but learn about it, understand it. . . just become aware of it. With increased awareness, you'll know what to eat. . . or at least realize which foods your body works best with.
2. Eat what you enjoy, but be realistic. Two points here:
- If "what you enjoy" is preventing you from getting healthy/burning fat, there's no way around it -- you've got to "eat what you enjoy," but minimally, if at all.
- On the flip side, eating healthier is not synonymous with eating foods that you hate. There are thousands of healthy, great foods (and great preparation styles) to choose from -- select foods that you love to eat, not those that are "ideal," but that you'd avoid even if it were the last bit o' food on Earth.
2a. Don't confuse "healthy" with "optimal for function and fat loss." Two more points:
- Overeating any food can make you fat. . . or make it difficult for to burn the excess you're storing.
- Many foods touted as "healthy" are labeled this way based on the "low-fat/high carb/heart-healthy" paradigm that's been preached for years. High carb (read: starch and sugar) is definitely not the key to inducing fat loss. . . and it's not a good prescription for long-term cardiovascular health either.
3. Eat 4-6 meals per day. Keep your body's metabolism working efficiently by eating at 2-3 hour intervals.
3a. Make sure one of those meals is always BREAKFAST. Yes, it really is the most important meal of the day. . .
4. Eat protein at EVERY meal. As Paul Chek would say, "Eat something with eyes, or something that comes from something with eyes. . ."
5. Eat a vegetable (or fruit) at EVERY meal. Whole food, high fiber, low starch/sugar, nutrient rich carbohydrates are ideal. . .
6. Don't compartmentalize! In other words, avoid eating "just protein" or "just carbs" at a meal. Combine macronutrients as you need to (per #4 and #5) and as your body "asks" for. Doing this not only provides the body with what it needs, it enables it to metabolize the food as efficiently as possible.
7. Drink water! At least half your bodyweight in ounces each day . . .
8. Minimize consumption of processed /starchy/sugary food and beverages. Especially if you've got health issues or have significant body fat to lose. If you're going to eat them (you really shouldn't be if you've got health/body fat issues), when's the best time? Post-training.
The foundation for health, fitness, function, fat loss -- whatever it is that you're trying to improve -- is always going to start with nutrition.
- gives you the high quality building blocks you need to build every cell/hormone/ transport molecule in your body.
- provides the energy for every cell - for every life process - to function.
- is about more than just "energy in vs. energy out." It creates an internal environment of optimal structure and peak physiological function.
So, hang these guidelines (or the others shared above) from your fridge. Place them on your bedside table. On your bathroom mirror. On your desk at work. Study and absorb them -- because commitment to these universal principles will provide the foundation for function and fat loss most of the time.