Nutrition

Matt Articles

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I’ve been trying to write a post that addresses nutrition for two weeks. Obviously, no dice. The problem is I’m not an expert and I don’t have any advice. I do not know how to properly restore depleted glycogen after heavy metcon training, I have no clue how high GI food interact with blood chemistry, and I still cannot say why Intermittent Fasting might be very successful at putting on muscle mass if you eat enough on feast days.

I don’t have a degree in this stuff. I’ve never been professionally trained. Hell, I’ve never even met a “real Coach,” and talked with them. Up until this point, from losing a lot of weight, to becoming athletically fit, I’ve winged it. I’ve gone on my own. I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel.

I can, however, give you non-expert non-advice. That’s right. Take ’em or leave ’em. Good night, and good luck.

They’re more general constructs and rules to live by than eating plans or what foods to mix. They’ve helped me lose weight, keep it off, and build muscle. It’s all simple really:

1) Have a plan. This means know what you are going to eat everyday, when you are going to eat it, and how much of it you are going to eat. This means a written plan, a log (www.fitday.com can get you started), or some other reminder on what it is you are going to do that day. There is nothing more deleterious to a nutritional plan than not knowing what you are going to eat at every feeding. Remember, grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants are set up to facilitate bad choices. Don’t let them do that to you.

2) This is a nutritional plan, not a diet. You are eating for life now. This isn’t the cottage cheese and grapefruit 7 day wonder. This is quality nutrient dense food at reasonable quantities that will sustain training, daily living, and lean body mass without adding body fat. If you are eating in combinations and quantities that you can’t continue for YEARS then it is time to rethink your plan.

3) Do not self defeat. We are eating for life now. If you cheat one day it does not mean you have to cheat the next day. A diet may be ruined and scrapped after one candy bar but a nutritional plan ought not to be. As Zone creator Dr. Sears has said, you are only one meal away from being back in the zone.

4) Start slow. Cut out all junk. If it was forged with human hands then it needs to leave yours and go into the trashcan. Bread, grains, some starches, all processed foods must go. Take two weeks to phase junk out. Take an additional two weeks to phase healthy food in. This means lean meats, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds. You can replace all of the carbohydrates in grain with those in vegetables and fruits. It gets easy very quickly to go without breads and pastas. Take an additional two weeks to phase out higher GI fruits and vegetables. This is bananas, raisins, carrots, and beets. Cleaning up quality food will be easier than giving up the junk. At this point you will like eating well. Next, and perhaps simultaneously with dropping high GI foodstuff, emphasis quantity. Order “Entering the Zone,” by Barry Sears and figure out your carb/protein/fat blocks. Experiment with Intermittent Fasting. Find caloric quantities that are adequate for your goals of fat loss or mass gain. Finally, emphasis quality. Buy organic products. Buy grain fed meats. Organic is expensive but much more valuable than that 18 inch flat screen television you bought last weekend. Your body will thank you for it.

5) Persistence is key. You have no choice but to do this. You want to live to 100. Even if you don’t you want a century, you most certainly desire the term of your natural life to be one of quality. The only way to do this is to train, eat well, and cut stress. We can take a very long time to implement the steps in number 4 but we must to stick to them. This is a nutritional plan for life. Make it last that long.

This is my non-expert non-advice. It has worked for me. With all this rigor and discipline I want you to remember to have fun when you train and to like what you eat. Do workouts that are challenging but also stimulating. Eat healthy things that actually taste good. Jeez, if we have to live to 100 it might as well be doing the things we love, huh?