Nutrition is a really important long-term consideration if you’re planning on changing how your body looks and feels. Too many people try to out-exercise a poor diet and fail. Admittedly, there are probably an equal amount of people who only try to change their diet and expect traumatic physical transformation too. Learning how to train better, in combination with a nutritional change, is really where the magic happens for body transformation. I’d include a more comprehensive nutrition section here if I thought I could do it justice. I just can’t at the moment. This book is more for people who need to learn how to move better and get better at the training side of the equation.
I’m going to discuss the basics of nutrition very quickly, so you don’t feel like I’m leaving you in the dark. Like I said, nutrition warrants its own book entirely, so be on the look out for one by me eventually. At the time of writing I felt like nutrition was fairly adequately represented on my blog, whereas training was not. That’s why I started here and not with a nutrition book. Well that, and I would generally say that I know more about training general than I do about nutrition.
I base my nutritional advice off of a method I’ve developed that I call the ‘Agnostic Diet.’ Like my training system, it’s a variety of methods that I’ve pulled in from various sources and approaches to nutrition over the years. I’ve tried to simplify a lot of the core elements down to the most foundational levels and then I work up from that base as objectives get more and more specific. Like my training system, I believe nutrition should also be based on context and varied based on the need of an individual. Meaning a holistic approach to eating that is adaptable and holds no particular label with any dogmatic, almost ‘religion-esque’ dieting strategies. I hate how much diet is debated and scrutinized. If what you’re doing works for you, keep doing it. If you’re not getting where you want to be, then change something. It’s really that simple. The agnostic diet is intended to be morphed to the individual and their needs, taking into account cultural outlooks, personal perception, environmental eating, social eating, habitual eating and a bunch of factors I feel most ‘diet’ books fail to address.
Eating well, is more than just ‘what’ you eat, it’s also how you eat it, where you eat it and who you eat with. It’s also a strategy for how to get from where you are now to where you want to be, in the most effective way. That typically means you can’t just overhaul your diet in one go, you have to add and subtract slowly over time. The psychology of eating is probably more useful in the context of physical change, than the science of eating.
The word ‘diet’ in popular culture these days, unfortunately has come to be synonymous with a ‘restrictive pattern of eating done for a short amount of time.’ It’s something you go on not something you’re always on. The real definition of diet is a holistic overview of all the foods a person (or organism) consumes regularly over time. For instance the diet of a cow, or another ruminant animal, is almost exclusively grasses, or at least it should be. The human diet on the other hand is omnivorous, we are capable of surviving and potentially thriving on a wide variation of foods. Depending on where a person lives in the world and what they have access to, will change their diet. All you have to do is look at the overall eating pattern differences found between us in North America and the Japanese diet, the Inuit diet, the often ‘Vegetarian’ Indian diet, or the French diet and the Mediterranean diet. Diet is really how you habitually eat.
I’m not exactly sure how the word diet ended up so skewed in the last forty years, but I encourage you to change your outlook to the more holistic viewpoint I offer above. You’ll save yourself a lot of stress and increase the likelihood of success.
That being said, of course you can find success with this program using a multitude of other diets if you so choose. Primal or Paleo eating has recently become popular, perhaps just a more modern take on the Atkins diet, but it can and does work for some people. Likewise you can eat Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, or you can follow the South Beach diet, or the Zone Diet, whatever suits you. I’m only going to offer up what I think the basic principles of most good diets are (most are far more similar than we realize):
Guideline #1 – Eat Whole Foods
Guideline #2 – Eat Lean Complete Protein with Every Meal
Guideline #3 – Eat a Colourful Mix of Veggies with Every Meal
Guideline #4 – Eat Healthy Fats Daily
Guideline #5 – Moderate Starchy Carbohydrate Consumption.
OR as I prefer to say: Reserve Starchy Carbohydrates (Rice, Quinoa, etc…) for days you train. The harder you train, the more you probably need on a weekly basis. Starchy carbs are the swing vote of any diet. In other words, carbohydrates round out the rest of the diet depending on energy output.
For more info on this nutrition strategy, I highly recommend that you check out the free nutrition section on my blog.
If you want a great book that most closely resembles my nutrition philosophy, check out the Precision Nutrition System. I am in no-way affiliated with them, nor will I profit from your purchase, but in my opinion, they provide one of the best nutritional methodologies out there.