The Basics of all Great Nutrition Programs

mattlj —  July 29, 2009 — 3 Comments

Here I will outline the basics for a clean and healthy diet and what we stand for here at California Strength for nutrition. The majority of Americans need to make proper food choices first before doing anything else.
First we will start with what NOT to eat.

1. Cut out all regular sodas and processed fruit juice.

2. Get rid of processed carbohydrates. This means cutting out most breakfast cereals, white bread, potato chips, candy, and store bought pastries and cookies.
3. Cut out foods high in saturated fat and fried foods. Your body does not need the extra saturated fat.

Next we will outline what to eat.

1. Eat whole foods as often as possible

2. Eat moderate to small meals every 2-3 hours.

3. Eat some lean protein, fat, and unprocessed fibrous carbohydrate at every meal

4. Eat fruits or vegetables with each meal (as fresh as possible).

5. The bulk (size wise) of your food intake should come from fruits and vegetables.

6. Ensure that 20-30% of your energy intake comes from “liquid fat,” with your fat intake primarily coming from unsaturated (ie. flax oil, fish oil, olive oil, raw nuts).

7. Drink only non-calorie containing beverages, the best choice being water and teas.

8. Drink alcohol in moderation.

What about calories, amounts of fat, protein, carbohydrates, nutrient timing? For most people following these guidelines at least 90% of the time will be all they will ever need. If you are not near 90% then work your way there. Find friends that will do it with you.

IF YOU WANT IT, HAVE IT. “Never say never” to foods you love but that are not in your best interest to eat. There is nothing worse for a person’s health or diet than a built up urge to splurge. There are two main roads one can travel to curb binge eating. The first is to have a little bit everyday. For example my big sweet tooth is chocolate, so I always have a small amount of high quality chocolate around and allow myself one small piece a day. It works very well for me that way. Another is to allow yourself one meal a week where you can enjoy whatever you want. In fact even invite your other friends over that are attempting to eat better and do it together! This “ritual” will become something you look foward to and your friends will too, plus for the rest of the week everyone can hold each other on track. The trick is to find which one of these two works for you.

DON’T LET THE TOUGH TIMES GET YOU DOWN. Everyone’s healthy eating efforts get sidetracked from time to time. The trick is to keep a positive attitude and curb the unhealthy eating as quickly as possible. My trick is to keep a couple of motivational documents around to read in times of need.

That is it! Keep it simple, eat well, exercise hard, and live life to its fullest. Why not?



3 responses to The Basics of all Great Nutrition Programs

  1. Great Article: any thoughts on the amount of protein per day for a weightlifter? Seem to be many conflicting values ex. 1.5g/lb Protein per bodyweight

  2. Glad you like the article, more are on the way and any suggestions will be noted for future articles.

    Protein needs is an area of great confusion for the general public. In the scientific arena the research in the past has been interesting, but with gross holes and questions unanswered. So I will give you the best answer I can, with notes from real world results.

    Athletes it seems can use more protein than the general non-training population. The basic range is about 0.8 grams per pound of bodyweight to 1.2 grams per pound of bodyweight.

    These sound low to many in the strength community and high to some researchers, but that is where the confusion sets in, so let me briefly try to clarify.

    1. Overall ENERGY BALANCE must be considered. By this I mean that if a person is gaining weight their physiology is much different than if they are losing or maintaining weight. In general if you are in a positive energy balance you “need” less protein. If you are losing weight you “need” more protein. But no research I can think of is higher than the values I stated.

    2. Meal timing. This is becoming a more and more important variable for athletes. As research continues to come out, it is starting to look like “small frequent meals” with adequate protein in the meal can potentially make a big difference in long-term outcome. So the HUGE amounts you see many athletes and bodybuilders take in may not be as important as taking it spaced 6-8 times per day to continually spike protein synthesis (the main way humans are thought to build more muscle mass).

    So with those two caveats in mind I hope I answered your question. For most of us that don’t want to count calories and grams of protein all the time (but if you do that is fine). I recommend a palm sized protein source at lunch and dinner, and then a post workout type meal/liquid drink that has 15-30 grams of protein in it. The real secret for the most part is consistency.

  3. Thanks Matt, that really answers my question. This blog really is providing interesting, and useful information.

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