What do I mean by this? I get asked on a regular basis about nutrition and supplements. What to take to get bigger, what diet to follow to lose fat. Most people want to either hear about some magical easy way to get their result, this is why the magic of Supplement Company marketing works so well. Or they hope to hear that the process is so difficult/ expensive/ impractical to follow that it justifies their behaviour to themselves.
Nutrition can be unreasonable. It’s true, but usually most people’s expectations are unreasonable. They want to get things done in ridiculous timelines. Trying to get “toned” in 12 weeks, build huge arms in 8 weeks. If you are going to be unreasonable with your training/ Performance/ Physique goals. Expect your nutrition to be somewhat unreasonable.
So what is reasonable eating? Reasonable eating is the eating plan that you will actually follow.
For every eating plan that there is there are hundreds of people who say they can’t do that. Banting; it’s a fad, its expensive. If it fits your macros; I don’t want to weigh and measure all my food, it’s too much effort. The old school body builders chicken and rice classic; I can’t eat the same meal 7 days in a row.
I’m not here to dispute effectiveness of various nutrition plans. I’m not here to recommend a nutrition plan. If you want a plan make an appointment with a nutritionist, there are a few good ones out there who can help you, but the truth is that 90% of the people that I speak to won’t go to a nutritionist. Most won’t commit to that level of buy-in. I am here to say common sense can get you a long way before you have to get more complex. Get the basics right.
Vegetables are good for you
Avoid excessive sugar
Drink lots of water
Soft drinks suck
Don’t eat alot of junk food
You can have the most effective, personalised nutrition plan. It does not mean a thing if you don’t follow it. It is a question of plan versus actual. What are you actually doing? It is good to have a plan, a guide to follow. Think of it like a map. It gives you the directions to get to where you want to go. You might not follow it exactly, you might veer a bit off course, but then you correct and get back on track and eventually get to where you want to be.
I’m a strong believer in the saying the more you do the more you are capable of doing. Success builds on success. So when you give yourself reasonable targets then you can build on them. All of a sudden that unreasonable plan has become reasonable.
What are your goals? Gain Muscle, losing fat, play a sport at a high level? You first have to define what you want to do, then you can better understand how to fuel the process. Assess what you are actually eating. Take a food journal. Use your phone take photos of everything you consume for a week. It’s good to know your starting point.
Now give yourself guidelines. Just few rules to follow, so that you can stay on track with your plan. Nothing complicated just 4 of the most important guidelines to follow to get to your goal
Have a glass of water when you wake up
Have 3 cups of coffee or less in a day
Have greens everyday
Drink around 2l of water a day
Earn your bread, pasta and rice
A person trying to gain weight it could be:
Eat at least 3 meals per day
Have a protein and carb shake after each training session
Have complex carbs (rice, potatoes, pasta) with each main meal
A person trying to lose fat:
If you’re still hungry after meals have more greens
Complex carbs only in my post training meal
Drink at least 2L of water
No calorie containing beverages
Give yourself a map to follow day to day. For some this map might be a set out meal plan from a nutritionist, for another person it can be a macro ratio for the day. For some like me it can be eat more green shit and drink less coffee and more water. What you do depends on you! It depends on:
What you will actually do
The most important thing is to do something. Don’t make excuses, try something. If it doesn’t work, make adjustments and try again. This is how you build YOUR process.
Train Hard, challenge yourself, give yourself guidelines, track your progress and Win!