Part 5 | 6 Key Principles To Build Lean Muscle, Improve Performance & Develop Sustainable Results

Part 5 | 6 Key Principles To Build Lean Muscle, Improve Performance & Develop Sustainable Results

#5 – NUTRITION

Talking about nutrition these days is almost like discussing religion. Say something about the carnivore diet or being a vegan, and you better have a bullet proof vest. 
 
There is so many different diets out and seemingly endless sources of information on nutrition, it’s easy to submerge yourself in all of it the come to realize you don’t know which way is up.
 
Understand that pretty much all diets work when you commit and stick to them. Diets are designed to create a caloric deficit for you to lose weight, burn fat, be in the best shape of your life…you’ve heard it all.
 
Many diets that are promoted just tell you what to eat and you buy it because it seems convenient for you and it’s less energy spent trying to figure out what you’re going to eat everyday that’s going to help you get results. But you don’t know how much you’re really eating unless you track it. If you’re not being educated through the process then you essentially rely on that system to get you results.
 
The problem is, you’re probably not going to be on weight watchers forever.
 
So what happens then?
 
I think it’s important to establish a fundamental knowledge of nutrition. 
 
I previously mentioned tracking and journaling what you eat to create awareness around how much you eat and how certain foods make you feel. This is a tool that provides you basic knowledge of what works for you, not what works for other people. 
 
The practice of journaling your food and attaching a feeling to the things you eat like “I had a glass of milk, I feel bloated” or “I had strawberries, I feel energized.” will allow you to create a list of food that work for you. 
 
We all know that Kale is a superfood, but some people don’t respond well to eating it.  
 
I also mentioned that when creating your game plan, it’s important to make a grocery list of healthy foods. Overtime as you accumulate entries in your nutrition journal, you have a wide variety of healthy food that works for you. 
 
A general rule of thumb that’s easy to live by is what I learned from a friend and colleague, Cody McBroom, is The Handful Diet.
 
For each meal, prepare a handful size amount of protein and about a half a plate or 2 handfuls of veggies.
 
There is many more habits that can go along with this that I’ll discuss in another article, but if I was to provide you with one simple habit to take away from this, It would be the portion sizes I just mentioned.
 
Whether making your own dinner at the house, going out to a restaurant or a bbq with friends, you have a something easy to remember and implement that will keep you from making poor decisions.
 
I know nutrition can seem complicated, but it really doesn’t have to be. As a society we’ve gotten away from harvesting and cooking our own food which has left us with  very little knowledge about what we’re actually consuming.
 
Companies with millions of dollars sell you poor quality food because they know it’s convenient for you. What they really sell you is time and the illusion of less expended energy by not having to cook. 
 
We also know that on the back end of this, big pharmaceutical companies reap the benefits of people who suffer from horrible diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
 
I won’t go into a conspiracy filled rant on this subject but unfortunately this is killing millions of Americans every year.
 
But we can’t put 100% of the blame on them. At the end of the day we have to take responsibility for what we consume. 
 
Nobody is force feeding you. You have the power to control what you eat. 
 
Easier said then done, I know, but stacking habits one by one, day by day, week by week, year by year, will build compound interest on our overall health and literally add years to your life. 
 
As the old saying goes “the pyramids weren’t built in a day.”
 
Here are some key takeaways to implement:
 
—> Create awareness by tracking your food.
 
—> Identify the habits you feel you need to work on  for healthy sustainable results.
 
—> Establish a game plan on you how you will execute and implement those habits.
 
—> Create a grocery list of healthy, whole foods to stick to. You can take this a step further by designing a menu that allows you variety in your meals so you don’t feel like you have to eat the same thing over and over again — create your grocery list accordingly.
 
—> Portion your meals using the handful approach.
 
—> Journal how you feel after each meal. Happy, excited, lethargic, whatever that feeling, write it down so you know what foods perform best for you.
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