The Truth About Nutrition?

15 May

I’m always honest with you guys, so why change now.

Nutrition information, programs, articles, etc. can really piss me off, and ask those who know me, I don’t get pissed off easily. I love to learn about nutrition, apply different strategies, and help those who seek guidance.

The issue with nutrition, in my mind, is two fold.

1. The majority of people who struggle with better nutritional habits are not under educated on the topic. Rather, they are limited by their behaviors, are not willing to change, or have a host of other issues that are mainly psychological.

2. There are way too many approaches to “better eating,” just as there are way too many approaches to training. In result, people flip flop programs, lose sight of the basics, and focus on the minutia.

I am not in a position to speak professionally on psychological topics, but I will offer a few other solutions to get you back on track when navigating through the endless amounts of nutritional information available today.

1. Look for commonalities:

One thing I attribute my success to, from a training stand point, has been the ability to identify the commonalities in the programming of coaches and trainers I respect. Likewise, the same can be done for nutrition. There are marked differences between approaches such as Paleo, Precision Nutrition, Carb Back Loading, etc. However, you can also locate a lot of similarities. To name a few:

  • Eat a lot of protein
  • Eat your vegetables
  • Limit starches and sugar
  • Consume a variety of healthy fats
  • Nutrient timing can make a difference

2. Keep it simple:

Don’t get caught up in the nuances of more advanced approaches until you have mastered the basics. The basics are the foundation of better nutrition, and for most people making them a habit will get them where they want / need to be. Fancy supplementation, elaborate carb cycling schemes, and elimination of certain food groups all together, are not always necessary to make a positive change. What are some of the basics?

  • If you are overweight, eat less
  • If you are underweight, eat more
  • Eat more REAL food
  • Include vegetables, quality protein, and healthy fat daily
  • Drink more water

3. There are no absolutes:

This a common topic in the health industry. If someone tells you that “this” is the only way to make progress, don’t listen to them. Everything works to some degree. Ultimately, the best approach for you is the one you can adhere to. If you cannot adhere to your nutrition plan it won’t work, plain and simple. Nutrition is largely a game of trial and error. After you have located similarities, and made a commitment to carrying out the basics, you will need to experiment with your approach in order to make these strategies a consistent endeavor.

To wrap up, don’t overwhelm yourself with different ideas on how to eat right. Simplify the process by focusing on what others have found to work, and using what works for you. Understand that no amount of nutritional guidance will make a difference if you are unwilling to apply it, or if you are unwilling to confront behaviors that are limiting your ability to apply it.

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2 Responses to “The Truth About Nutrition?”

  1. Physical Fitness Programs May 21, 2012 at 11:22 pm #

    This might sound like nitpicking, but I’ve definitely got to agree with you on the “limiting starch and sugar” being a commonality among all those diets you listed. In particular, carb backloading tells you to SLAM the starches after training (in the evening), and the author specifically recommends that you eat “bad” carbs like white rice, white potatoes, even white bread. Avoiding sugar is definitely good, although that’s mainly because most industrial products have either HFCS or sucrose, both of which are about 50% fructose. However, glucose is perfectly fine, assuming you’re eating it a time when you should be eating carbs (post workout).

    • gregtrainer May 22, 2012 at 9:02 am #

      I agree! CBL does not restrict sugar and starches, depending on the timing.

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