In the past couple weeks I’ve posted several videos at our main site (www.prfitness.net), if you haven’t already watched them, do so! It will be well worth your time and if nothing else, will get you thinking about how you eat, everything you’ve been taught about nutrition and everything you “thought” you knew about diet.
Over the upcoming weeks I will share what I have found to be the most basic and effective principles when it comes to diet. Please know that my goal as a coach is NEVER to help someone simply “lose weight”; that’s easy, yet it’s not always the healthiest approach, nor the most sustainable thing to do. What I coach is how to eat for optimal performance, health, fitness, and well-being. To me, these qualities and eating for longevity are far more important than what the number on the scales or body fat meter shows. And, in reality, if one is eating for performance, health, fitness, and well-being, the “aesthetic” component will take care of itself.
Principle #1 – The 90% rule:
When it comes to diet and sticking with the plan, I never expect perfection from myself, nor my athletes. Expecting perfection breeds frustration, negative self image/thought issues, deflated motivation, and a lack of results. What I do expect is working towards 100% compliance, yet allowing a 10% deviation from the nutrition plan. If we do the right thing and make the right choices 90% of the time, we will garner fantastic results and improvements in our performance as well as our overall wellness. Doing the right thing 90% of the time also allows you to live a little and enjoy an occasional treat or indulgence – guilt free!
Here’s the rub, the farther down the scale you slide, things change exponentially. For example, if you drop down to 85%, you will still see some positive results, yet improvements happen much slower and your performance will suffer. Once you drop to 80%, you are likely to be the “Mayor of Plateau City” and seeing the early signs of backwards progress, you are also setting yourself up for long term illness and dis-ease. Anything below 80% compliance and you are exposed to the many negative side effects of poor nutrition: weight gain, inflammation, fatigue, frequent illness/colds/allergies, stiff muscles and joints, declines in performance and more.
Putting the 90% Rule into practical terms:
You can do this a couple ways – Let’s say you eat 5 meals/snacks a day, 7 days a week. That equates to 35 meals/snacks in a week. 90% of 35 is 31.5, so let’s round up (to be safe) to 32. That means that 32 of your meals/snacks each week should be impeccable and on par with your plan, allowing you 3 meals/snacks for a treat, or other indulgence – just don’t get carried away and blow it with 3 trips through the drive through for a super-sized meal. That brings us to another way you can approach the 90% rule.
Grade yourself – this can be a little tricky as it’s more subjective than the above approach. In this case, you review each meal/snack and grade yourself from 0%-100% in terms of food choice, quality, timing, volume, and so forth. You have to be honest with yourself, yet you also have to know exactly what you are supposed to be eating, when you should be eating, how much you should eat, and that’s where I come in. In upcoming posts, I will share additional principles as well as what foods we should be eating and what foods we should minimize or avoid.
Coming next time – “What foods to chow down”. Thanks for reading, please post your thoughts and opinions to “comments”.