The best nutritional strategies are the strategies that you’re more apt to stick to.
The more I read about nutrition, the more I am reminded that the best tactics to leverage are also the most simple.
We overcomplicate a lot of things in life, and nutrition frequently is made much more difficult than it actually is. In times like that, I outsource to professionals and programs that carry a knowledge that is beyond my own. I have no problem humbly sending people to someone who specializes. It’s the right thing to do.
Precision Nutrition is my go to resource. I trust them whole heartedly right now, and will for years to come. I first started leveraging Dr. Berardi’s nutritional advice years ago when I was first learning about nutrition for myself. I really started to realize how influential nutrition is to boosting sport performance, and later on, improving body composition.
I started reading free articles from Dr. Berardi on the popular website T-Nation, which is a niche site primarily targeted at males who desire higher level training and nutritional advice. Dr. Berardi used to contribute guest articles to gain exposure to his cause when he was an up and comer.
“But Kyle, it’s the internet, nothing is true on the internet!”, you say.
Despite the negative outlook toward health advice on the internet, there is actually a lot of useful information that a person can leverage if you know where to look and who you can trust. The key is that you have to spend some time deciding on who you can trust! Or, you can take advantage of other people like myself that have a great working knowledge of where you should be looking for solid information.
Sometimes you have to sift and sift until you find the gold, but it’s out there.
My experience with learning how to eat…
Prior to making any changes to my diet, I thought that my eating was pretty decent really. But looking back, I was a fool. My activity level was so high that I could get away making poor nutritional choices. I was burning through so many calories throughout the day that it almost didn’t matter what I was putting into my mouth.
A lot of people have a similar situation to this. They burn so many calories from activity that they don’t even know that making a few subtle (yet impactful) changes to their diet would send their body aesthetics to a whole other level.
Anyways, I began to dabble with some of Dr. Berardi’s suggestions.
Here are four different observations/ideas that I came away with…
1) Nutritional adjustments are easier said than done in the beginning.
There are thousands of nutritional articles that are published on the internet every single day. Most of them preach the same general ideas: eat more protein, consume less sugar and refined carbohydrates. I think it is safe to say that just about everyone agrees that this advice is legit. It’s bland and boring advice, but still, it’s great advice.
Sugar and refined carbohydrates aren’t tolerated by the body very well, especially if you’re inactive or currently carrying a higher percentage of bodyfat.
I used to eat bread with nearly every meal as most people do. The first step forward for me was cutting my bread consumption in half. Instead of eating two pieces of bread with a sandwich, I would only eat one. Again, this was difficult adjustment at first because my entire life I had been eating sandwiches with bread on top and bottom, as most people often do.
Cutting my bread consumption in half was challenging, but I knew that it had to be done in order to make improvements to body composition. It was a simple change, but it wasn’t easy. Old habits can be tough to break. But, over time, new habits were formed.
Eating my meals with a lean protein source on top of only 1 piece of bread started to feel natural in short time with some consistency.
I noticed significant decrease in body-fat by doing this.
2) Vegetable intake was increased.
When people think carbohydrates, they often think about foods like bread, pasta and rice. At least those are the foods that usually come to mind. Interestingly, there is a significant amount of carbohydates that are in vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, asparagus and other leafy greens that provide valuable fuel for performance and energy throughout the day.
This change I found to be easy. Initially, I began preparing my veggies by boiling them. Later, I read an article that shared that the nutrient retention of veggies was greatly increased by steaming vegetables versus boiling. So, I began steaming my veggies for all meals. I cooked the vegetables on a meal by meal basis, eventually figuring out that steaming veggies in bulk was a far more convenient tactic (along with being time effective).
Filling up on veggies during meals is one of the oldest tricks in the book. If you’ve never tried it, you’re missing out. It works. Veggies are low calorie foods that pack a huge nutrient punch. It’s one of the most powerful nutritional shifts that a person can make in their quest for body transformation.
My decreased bread intake was now joined by an increase in vegetables. Again, I noticed a change in body composition and an increased energy to direct toward my workouts.
Note: There is also a certain mental satisfaction in eating more vegetables throughout the day. Quite honestly, I began to build a healthier mindset just from increasing my veggie intake. You’ll know what I am talking about when you make the leap.
3) Nutrient timing
Nutrient timing completely changed my outlook on eating, and how to approach it throughout the day. The concept that there are specific times when foods are better tolerated by the body was mind blowing. Remember, I was learning about nutrition from ground zero. If you already know about nutrient timing, congrats, because you in the top 15% of people in the world who are leveraging this concept.
I made valuable trade-outs in the foods I was eating for breakfast and in the timeframes before, during and after my workout sessions.
Again, I saw a drastic improvement in body composition and performance.
From a performance standpoint, the most notable improvement was my ability to recover quickly in between workouts. It became apparent to me after adopting the new nutritional strategies that Dr. Berardi outlined, that I had not been recovering fully between workouts. I was essentially entering the next workout incompletely recovered, which can be an overlooked hold up when aiming to lose fat and build muscle.
Again, had I not made the changes, I never would have known anything different. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Make sense?
I was now using food properly. It was fueling my physical activity appropriately while keeping me lean in the process.
4) It’s way more effective to follow a nutritional system.
In as few words as possible, a system gives you focused direction.
It takes you from point A to point B as efficiently as possible. No heartache, no anxiety, no wasted efforts.
I know I pump up the Precision Nutrition System a lot, but it really is a world class program. They teach you how to eat, when to eat, what to eat, why you’re eating it, how to advance and progress your eating to achieve even higher levels of health, performance and leanness.
It was one of the first nutritional programs that I came across that made logical sense in their approach.
We stress the importance of progressing in all other areas of our lives, so why not approach nutrition with a progression? It’s soooooooooo difficult to go from poor eating habits to perfect eating habits overnight. It’s too much for a lot of people to handle in the beginning. Saying goodbye to old habits can be extremely draining.
I often talk about the importance of following a fitness regimen that is results effective, yet sustainable for the long-term. To do this, you have to manage your stress levels, scale your workouts to your current physical abilities and assess constantly. It’s in ongoing process that you want to adhere to for life.
Nutrition requires a very similar format. You need to be willing to put an ounce of energy into learning a few tips and tricks. Once you apply the basics, things begin to snowball and you gain momentum. Old habits disappear and new habits form. Your body changes in the process and eventually you’re equipped with knowledge that will serve you well for the remainder of your life.
If you can dial in your eating habits for the long-term, again, you’re now in the top 15% of healthy people in the world, without even breaking a sweat during a workout. Sound personal eating habits are vital.
Of course, this is summarized and simplified guidance, but it’s pretty close to what happens when you transition into being a fit eater.
If you’ve got anxiety with nutrition, let these guys and gals help you out. They are incredible resources…
Hopefully some of my personal testimonials that I touched on will help you bring your own eating into some kind of perspective.
*** If this post sounds like a sales pitch, I can assure you, it is. Yes that’s right, it is absolutely a sales pitch. People like to talk about products and programs that they love. Word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful forms of advertising on the planet. It just so happens that PN is something that I completely believe in, so why the heck not talk about it?
Cheers to your nutritional success!