Nutrition does not have to be as complicated a topic as most will make it out to be.
Textbooks will ask you to count everything and do these complicated math equations just to have an inaccurate measurement.
I took four nutrition classes in college and none of them could have been passed without a graphing calculator. I knew from the class and my own experience that the system was flawed. In general, people were not going to do the type of tracking that these classes required.
It has been noted numerous times that most people will underreport the bad stuff in their diet and over-report the good stuff.
This is human culture. I heard this idea from a few different sources over the last two years or so and I started to see it in other aspects of life as well.
Lifting numbers become inflated when someone is talking about them. A 350 pound deadlift somehow becomes 500 just by telling the story more and more.
Someone only drinks a couple of beers on the weekend when they are called out for the 12 pack a day that they actually have.
The bottom line is that it is human habit to over emphasize the good things and minimize the not so good things.
Nutrition also suffers in this regard.
In addition to inconsistent reporting, counting and measuring food is a pain in the ass. Breaking out a scale every time you eat is annoying and gets old really quickly.
Diets based around scales and weighing should really only be used as a last resort. If someone is really struggling making dietary changes then it might be warranted.
I want to make nutrition simple Instead of turning every meal into a chemistry lab of measuring, weighing, and recording.
I have gathered 10 basic rules of nutrition for the average person.
- Do not skip meals
- Eat 2 fistfuls (the size of your fist) of vegetables with every meal
- Eat 1-2 palmfuls (the size of your palm) of protein with every meal
- Minimize processed foods and sugary drinks
- Take a multi-vitamin and fish oil every day
- Cook the majority of your meals
- Drink water until you can’t drink anymore
- Do not go on a diet without a long term plan to maintain the progress
- Don’t make excuses
- Sleep 8 hours a day
If you notice, there is nothing mind blowing on this list. In fact, all of these rules have just been borrowed from different sources like Dan John and John Berardi into one neat one.
Most people that want to get leaner, stronger, or feel better would benefit from following this list. It might not fit extreme cases of nutritional need.
I have had clients lose up to 10 pounds in 2 weeks just by cutting replacing soda with water from their diet. That is two of the rules right there.
Also, most people do not eat enough, let alone eating enough vegetables and protein.
This list is comprised of a few themes. The first is to actually eat. You cannot accomplish your goals if you do not eat. Secondly, eating real food will have tons of benefits for the majority of the population.
Lastly, I hate diets. They are band-aids. They are short term solutions with no long term plan. Basically, a diet will allow you to lose weight in 2 months but making the appropriate lifestyle changes will allow you to lose weight and keep it off forever.
Follow the rules and the rest of the work will be done for you. No more measuring, weighing, or bouncing from fad diet to fad diet.
Consistently following the rules will allow you to look and feel better for the long haul.