Everyone seems to have their own concept of what constitutes “good nutrition”. High in fat, low in fat, high in carbs, low in carbs, loaded carbohydrates, intermittent fasting, high in protein, vegetarian, vegan … even the experts disagree, so it’s not surprising that there is a lot of confusion.
It seems like a new diet fad appears every week, which makes the nutrition world a maze that may seem so many that it is difficult to navigate. But you don’t need a degree in molecular biochemistry to understand how to lose weight and build muscle – here’s the simple story of what “good nutrition” is.
1. Good nutrition = Energy balance
The simple version is: If you eat more than you burn, you gain fat, and if you burn more than you eat, you will burn fat. You also need to control the correct energy balance.
If you limit your calorie intake for an extended period of time, yes, you will burn fat. But you will also reduce your lean mass. This is why people looking for a set of killer abs sometimes start looking younger even though they are thinner.
Diet and exercise go hand in hand, whether you’re trying to lose fat or build muscle. But it is important to realize that in addition to these two important elements, there is a third one – the interaction between the two, which is related to energy balance.
In short, your program must be carefully designed, eat the right foods at the right time in the right amount, and do the right amount of exercise.
ups! A lot of work, right?
2. Good nutrition should provide nutrient density
First of all, let’s be honest … it is almost impossible to follow a strict 100% diet. But an accidental slight departure won’t have a major negative effect. On the flip side of the coin, eating the right foods sometimes won’t have the effect you want, either.
This is where most people get it wrong, from what I’ve seen – they assume calories are calories regardless of their source. This is so wrong!
Be realistic – do you really think that 500 calories from spinach or some other vegetable will have the same effect on your diet as 500 calories from pizza? Anyone who tells you it’s the same is lying to you or being an idiot.
3. Good nutrition can achieve your goals for body composition, health, and performance
These first two should be pretty obvious to everyone, but the third doesn’t often get the recognition it deserves. And believe me, this is important!
If you train like a devil, but your performance does not improve significantly from week to week, then your problem may be a lack of proper nutrition.
Of course, you may burn fat, and reach the body fat target. You’re skinny and mean, but your persistence doesn’t seem to be moving. why? Because you are tearing muscle tissue but you are not getting the correct nutrition to build that muscle.
To be clear … if you eat junk food, you can expect an unwanted object. About 70% of your results come from your own nutrition, so if you don’t change yourself, you cannot expect to get the results you want.
4. Good nutrition combines goals and results
Whatever I’ve said here, you probably already know it, but let me clarify what I mean here. If I asked you if you have the body you want, most of you will probably answer no if you are true to yourself. On some level, most of us want to improve some aspect of our appearance or performance.
Assuming you said no, I’d like to tell you to focus your food choices on your goals. By “focus” I mean laser focus! Make your goal a hard and fast goal and follow your diet the hard and fast way to achieve this goal. If you are on a low diet, this goal will keep sliding farther and farther.
For example, I took my prepackaged meal with me to a wedding. Trust me when I say that when an Italian does it, at an Italian wedding, he shows commitment! (It also raises a lot of eyebrows) But I don’t care, because I have a goal, and going to this wedding got me closer, instead of putting me back three or four steps.
Make your nutrition your first priority. Missing a day of training can slow your progress a little … missing a dietary goal can set you back …
5. The priority is sustainable nutrition:
Don’t fall into the trap of looking for a “quick” solution. There are a lot of cliché diets on the internet that are supposed to help achieve this or that, but they are based on extremes and cannot last. You can show some results, but poor nutrition will not give long-lasting results.
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