3 things I wish I knew about and nutrition 10 years ago

 

Oh yay, another nutritional article pre Christmas!… said no one ever, but before you scroll past – this is no typical diet article, in fact it may be the thing you need to hear to finally get a hold of your own diet.

 

You see I’m really writing this to myself 10 years ago, that was about the time I was just coming into coaching and thought I had a good grasp of all things nutrition. I was still a little wet behind the ears and would still be distracted by the noise of all the shiny new diets that were emerging (at least I thought they were new). 

 

So here is my letter to myself of the 3 biggest lessons I have learned in my 20 years training, learning and coaching:

 

Dear Kevin

 

It’s you 10 years from now.  I just wanted to write you a letter to say your making the best decision you could ever make getting into the fitness industry,  not only do you carve out a decent career, you also get to coach some amazing people but you also get to learn the biggest lessons in your adult life.

 

I wanted to quickly share with you 3 such lessons on your nutritional journey.  This should save you a bit of time from experimenting further and just start getting the results you crave.

 

Lesson 1 – Everyone’s an expert

 

You kind of already know this but my god does it accelerate in accuracy when you start working in the gym.  From top level PHD’s to school drop outs there is a spectrum of people that will tell you what they think about your diet and what you should and shouldn’t do.

They will tell you to fast, to not fast, to cut out carbs, to not cut out carbs, to track your calories, to not… ah you get it, basically contradict each other until you’re not sure what nutrition even is anymore.

Everything in this industry works in cycles and like Double Denim and mullet haircuts they come and go but just like fashion you don’t have to change a thing (you keep rocking your cargo shorts and vests mate).

 

Lesson 2 – Carbs are OK

 

Carbs are your bodies main energy source and for the workouts we do in the gym they are paramount to help you perform and look how you want to look and feel.  Though you may not need as much starch as you have been told, the right amount can be a game changer for fat loss and performance.

As we know, concentrate on eating less processed carbs like potatoes, rice and fruit and less on bread, pasta and biscuits and you’re good to go.  As far as amounts you can use this hand-y tool (you still love puns in 10 years time) to guide you. A portion of Carbohydrates is roughly one cupped hand full.  For each meal, you should have 1 to 3 portions.  Start there and experiment with your goals as you move forward.  

 

Lesson 3 – You don’t need to track everything all the time

 

Obsession is just another word for dedication, is a way of saying help me.  You don’t need to become obsessed, with tracking and measuring everything all the time to the nearest gram or millilitre.  Instead, learn awesome measuring tools that require less stress and more time to actually enjoy yourself and not sitting sweating over the fact you have 30 grams of carbs left for the day and you want to sit and eat biscuits with the kids whilst watching a movie (you have 2 amazing kids by the way).

Tracking is a great tool for the beginner and advanced athlete – once you have the basics in place you can start to use instinctive methods (Portion control and fasting).  You have a great diet already that you have used for success, with a little tweaking and learning this method will help you change peoples lives and take control of their diets.

You don’t need to spend 5 minutes measuring how many carbs are in an apple or worry if you had 10 less grams of protein today.   Eat whole foods, set a structure to fit your day and enjoy your life, you only get one.

 

So go get em tiger

 

No one can tell you what works best for you, when it comes to nutrition and how it fits your individual needs.  This will be learned over time but you do need to start.  Good nutrition is about eating for better health and fitness, not just weight loss and calorie counting.  When you understand the basics and use the correct tools you will find that making your diet fit into your lifestyle is effortless and means you feel less frustration and more control over your body composition goals.

 

Now go get the day!!