Why does nutrition need to be difficult? Let me tell you folks, it doesn’t have to be! In fact, nutrition can be one of the easiest things on the planet if people stop thinking so deeply about it. But this is where the problem lies: people worry too much these days about trying to find the perfect diet or nutrition plan that is going to give them bullet proof health and an awesome body.
It seems that nowadays, people are wasting so much precious energy, time and money trying to search for it only in the end, to begin right back where they started. Truthfully, when it comes to nutrition, there is just too much focus on the small details while completely overlooking the BIG PICTURE. Let me tell you guys one thing: there is no perfect diet or nutrition plan that’s going to give you what you want. In fact, if the words ‘diet’ or ‘plan’ are used anywhere, the chances are it’s going to be a short-term thing. In other words, it’s doomed to fail before you even get started.
In all my blog articles you will notice two common words that keep popping up: long and term. That’s right: long-term. That is all I am bothered about, making sure you succeed over the long-term. Shortcuts, gimmicks and unsustainability do not interest me one bit, and it should be the same for you too. But here is the thing, not only should your fitness be long-term, you nutrition should follow the exact same course. Why? If it’s long-term, then there is a good chance it’s going to be sustainable, healthy and enjoyable to maintain and, the results are never going to cease.
Let me tell you a secret, the best nutrition is one in which nothing is removed. That’s right: everything stays in your diet: not just the healthy stuff, but also the stuff you love most. You know, the stuff you enjoy and allows you to lead a sociable life. Well, that stuff! The three things you need for in the long-term when it comes to nutrition is: flexibility, calorie tracking and balance. You get those three things right, then you can finally throw the diet books away.
Flexibility, Calorie Tracking And Balance
Like I said, if you want your nutrition to work long-term, then you need three things: flexibility, calorie tracking and balance. 99% of what’s out there with regards to nutrition lacks one or more of these things. What you need are all three. As a result, almost nothing in the field of nutrition is actually sustainable. Yes, there are a lot of cool theories out their in the field of nutrition that are interesting to learn about when it comes to performance and health. But are they useful for you in practice? For 99% of people, nope! Unless you belong to the 1% in which case you would be a high-level athlete, competitor etc. For most of us, they will just serve to add a huge layer of complexity and confusion. Trust me, I have heard so many people talking about all these ideas on nutrition (some of them insanely crazy!) while completely lacking the absolute basics.
- A selection of my meals I made for the week.
Most people’s nutrition lacks any degree of flexibility. In other words, they will have some plan that is fixed; there is no room for adjustment or things that might come up in your life (e.g. a social event). Most of the time, these plans mean specific foods are added while others are removed, you have to eat a specific number of meals per day, the calories are super dangerously low, and, there is absolutely no room in your nutrition that will allow you to be social or enjoy the foods you love. Overall, the plan is pretty much a nightmare for anyone in this for the long-term and who actually wants to enjoy life. It’s just not sustainable and not to mention, really demotivating. I mean, ask yourself this question: are you really going to maintain this the rest of your life? I don’t think so. Your body will make that clear: both physically and mentally.
The second thing that people overlook is calorie tracking. This is the most important!Ok folks, trust me on this: if you don’t have any idea of the calories you need per day to meet your goals, then your nutrition plan has already failed. Let me repeat that: failure to track calories means failed nutrition. It does not matter how much time and planning has gone into it, who has recommended it or what science it’s based on. If you have no idea on the concept of calorie tracking, then it’s doomed. Harsh. But that is the reality.
If you are not keeping an eye on your total calories every day then you are pretty much walking in the dark. You literally have no idea where you are going to end up in time. But guess what? The great thing is once you learn to track your calories and make this your number one priority; your nutrition can become as flexible as you want it to be. This means, with a strong idea on your daily calories you can include the foods you love and still be able to turn up to all those social events you have been invited to. Not to mention, you will still make the progress you have always wanted to make. A win-win situation for you!
- A selection of my meals I made for the week
The final omission in most peoples nutrition plan is balance. In other words, some people have become so obsessed over specific foods, food groups and trends that their nutrition is completely lopsided. Without any balance, you risk a lot of problems: health, performance, and just general sanity. Here is a secret: there are no secret foods that are going to speed up progress, cutting carbs is only going to make you miserable, eating your calories in a specific time window is nothing but convenience and, following these foods trends (e.g. veganism) is nothing but marketing.
What you need is balance: enjoying a range of good fats, good carbohydrates and lean proteins with every meal, getting in your fruits and vegetables at every meal and, making sure you occasionally get in the foods you love to eat. As long as you track and work closely with your daily calories, then you have the ultimate freedom to add EVERYTHING you want to your diet while still making progress. Now, that sounds a lot more sustainable, right?
When it comes to nutrition, many people fail over the long-term to reach their goals because they forget three things: flexibility, calorie tracking and balance. That is all that you need when it comes too long-term successful nutrition. Once you have your calories planned out, then everything else falls into place. If your nutrition is balanced, flexible and fits within your calorie calculations, then there is no reason why your nutrition can’t be sustainable, effective but also enjoyable. That means, getting in all the essential food groups, but also, being able to add in the stuff you love most.
If you are not a high-level athlete, competitor (e.g. bodybuilder) or belong to a special population (e.g. pregnant, allergies, medical conditions) then forget all this stuff about meal timing, special foods, upcoming trends or the sugars in fruit (since when did fruit become the bad guys?). Make sure you are getting in everything because at the end of the day: your nutrition needs to be sustainable, healthy and enjoyable for the long-term. It’s the only way to succeed!
- The three keys to all long-term successful nutrition.
If you have any questions about the article or would like to discuss further some of the topics mentioned, then please feel free to leave comments down below!