Spring is FAST approaching which means it’s almost time for tank tops, short shorts, bikinis, and Chubbies. You’ve been working hard in the gym but have you been working hard outside the gym?
We recently completed a four-week Nutrition Challenge which saw a group of members overhaul their lifestyle and eating habits. Their results included:
- loss of excess fat
- increases in energy
- increases in recovery
- increases in performance and strength
- increases in sexiness*
(*increases in sexiness have been unconfirmed)
Since we’d love to see all of our members get the most out of their training, for them to feel great, and for them to be proud enough to show off their hard work all summer long, I’m going to share our Nutrition Challenge plan with you! This four step process of weekly additions and removals which build upon each other will get you headed in the right direction as we start the new season. Take a look at the attached Nutrition Challenge PDF then read through the following directions which were provided to participants and you should be all set!
A couple things to remember before you begin:
“You are what you eat.”
- As straight forward as this is, it is completely true. From a biological perspective, your body literally becomes what you put into it; proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals are assimilated into tissues to maintain your body’s integrity. From a practical standpoint, if you eat sh*t you’re going to feel and look like sh*t (because, well, you are made of sh*t).
“You can’t out work a poor diet.”
- I can’t stress the previous point enough so I will say it again in a different manner. If you think that working your ass off in the gym is going to allow you to eat whatever you like whenever you like then, unfortunately, you are sorely confused. I wish it worked that way but not even CrossFit gives you that license to kill.
- Ok ok this doesn’t EXACTLY apply but I was on a roll with quotes and this was the only thing I could think of. Regardless, whether this has to do with your health, diet or anything else in your life, for the most part things don’t just happen to you. YOU are in charge of what YOU DO and what happens TO YOU. It’s a sad and sometimes painful truth but once you realize that the result of your actions is what happens to you then you control the ultimate power in your life.
“Knowledge is power.” / “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.”
- Two-for-one! Changes in lifestyle or habits require the act of acquiring knowledge. Whenever you have a greater understanding of the situation at-hand, you will be poised to act on it and change the course of the future. So get your learn on!
“Will this help or hurt my progress?”
- Ask yourself, is what I’m doing right now ultimately going to help me get closer to where I want to be?
“Drastic results require drastic measures.”
- I don’t know if this is an actual quote but I’ve taken to saying it recently. Your results depend on your commitment. Question: “How many cheat meals should I eat? How frequently can I drink each week? When can I have dessert?” Answer: As many as allow you to get you where you want to be as soon as you’d like to be there. If you have a long way to go to get where you want to be, you’re gonna have to do a lot of things you don’t normally do to get there.
“Do what you’ve always done and you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
- Building off the previous bullet point, if you’re not where you want to be then you’re gonna have to start doing things you’ve never done before. Likely things you don’t necessarily WANT to do….
“Do the things you have to do when you have to do them so that you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them.”
- I stole this from Jimmy John’s walls a long time ago so it’s funny that I’m using it for nutrition. Nonetheless, it’s absolutely still true (for many things) and continues to build off the previous points. If you want results, you’re gonna have to do things you don’t normally do, for as long as it takes to get you where you want to be. Want to have that cupcake/beer/burger/pizza every once in awhile and still look like a f’ing rockstar? Well, you’re gonna have to make some sacrifices in your current life so you can have that in the future. Once you’re where you want to be, it’s that much easier to maintain what you’ve achieved.
Got all that? If so, YOU CAN DO EEEEEEEEEEEET!
If you’re still not motivated to take control of your eating and convinced that you can do it, then read these (even if you’re ready to crush it, still read these):
- GNOLLS.ORG: “Eat Like A Predator, Not Like Prey”: The Paleo Diet In Six Easy Steps, A Motivational Guide (even if you don’t eat “paleo”, and even that depends on your definition, this can still apply to you)
- STRENGTHCOACHTAYLOR.CA: The Brutally Honest 6 Reasons You Are Still Overfat
Ok, now read the Nutrition Challenge presentation:
At this point, you know what to eat and how to construct meals (whole meals of real food based around an animal protein source, a fat, and vegetables of all kinds of colors – YES, IT IS THAT SIMPLE).
Now that we’re armed with motivation and information, here are our goals. They are two-fold:
- Eat the right KIND of food (so we can change your taste for real food and begin feeling the effect of real food on your body)
- Eat the right AMOUNT of food (depending on your goals and activity level)
Luckily, our bodies have gone through an incredible process of evolution where if we take care of 1. it will automatically aid you in adjusting the quantity of food you should be consuming because it will start correctly sending the right kinds of satiety signals to your body and brain!
So, how do we go about getting there? For the next four weeks, do your best to follow the instructions in the Nutrition Challenge presentation but each week, above all else, include and exclude the following while building on the previous week’s suggestions:
- pop (including diet pop)
- other liquid calories including fruit juices (not including pre-/post-workout drinks)
- refined sugar (sweets, desserts, etc.)
- basically: don’t drink your calories and don’t eat sugar
- 8 to 12 glasses of water per day (this isn’t nor does it need to be precise – just drink water at every meal and throughout the day)
- processed food (fast food, anything which comes in a package, has a criminal record, etc.)
- snacks (things eaten between planned, whole meals of real food)
- whole, real food: protein, healthy fats (eggs, avocados, etc.), green and cruciferous vegetables at every meal
- legumes (beans, peanuts, anything in a pod)
- sweet potatoes, white potatoes, or white rice at dinner on workout days while avoiding starchy and sugary carbohydrates at all other meals
- adjust caloric intake on workout days (more calories and more starchy carbohydrates) vs. non-workout days (fewer calories and fewer to no starchy carbohydrates)
- select grassfed meat and wild-caught fish
If you’d like to give this Nutrition Challenge a try, do your best to stick as closely to it as possible and let me know if you’d like to have your food log reviewed. I’d be happy to work something out. Good luck!
I am not a doctor. I am not a nutritionist. Follow my advice at your own risk.
If you have a known disorder or disease, please consult certified professionals so that they may assist you.