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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nutritional Flick to the forehead!

Have you ever read something, or heard something, and thought "why didn't I ever think of it that way!"  I had this realization just the other day...

I viewed part of a lecture given by Dr. John Berardi of the other day on the Crossfit Journal.  Dr Berardi broke nutrition into three main factors.

  1. Food Amount:  How many calories you consume on a daily basis.  Diets concentrating on this factor include Weight Watchers and the Zone diet.
  2. Food Type:  What foods you are consuming and what foods you cut out of your diet.  Diets concentrating on this factor include Atkins and the Paleolithic Diet.
  3. Food Timing:  When you are eating.  Post workout meals.  Small meals throughout the day...
WOW!  This should be common sense, but I never thought of it this way!

Think about any diet, or nutrition advice, you ever heard of.  Most of them concentrate on one of these three factors and maybe touch on another.  But very few take all three into account.  Weight watchers: Food Amount and slightly Food Type.  Atkins Diet: Food Type.  Paleolithic Diet: Food Type.  Eat 4-5 small meals throughout the day: Food Timing.

All of these dietary plans will get you results.  I have seen many people lose weight, and increase performance on Weight Watchers, Atkins, Eating small meals, etc...  When people concentrate on one factor, they usually, sometimes unknowingly, improve on the other factors.

If you start counting calories ("Food Amount") you will tend to improve your "Food Type" choices because you are more conscious of your dietary choices.  If you improve your "Food Type" choices you tend to improve your "Food Amount" because you are consuming more nutrient dense, high fiber and protein, foods which improve satiety.  This leads to less caloric consumption.

Within the past few months I have lost about 30 pounds by concentrating on "Food Type" and somewhat "Food Timing".  I have cut out certain types of food, such as alcohol and sugar.  I have eaten (90% of the time) a "One Ingredient Diet", where all foods I eat are simply one ingredient.  I have also tried, for the most part, eating small meals throughout the day and always a meal directly after working out. 

To this point I have seen great results.  I have lost weight and dramatically improved performance.  But I have reached a plateau when it comes to weight loss.  I have been hovering around 200lb for the past couple months, knowing I have excess fat still to lose.  The one factor I have not changed in my diet is "Food Amount".  As my wife can attest; I eat a LOT of food!

After seeing the lecture by Dr. Berardi I decided to dedicate more effort toward improving my "Food Amount".  I spend time planning out my workouts and what foods I eat; why not start planning out how much food I should eat?  Looking back on my Nutrition & Workout Log I noticed I have been consuming an average of about 2500 Calories a day with a lot of fluctuation.  One day I will consume 1700 Calories; the next I will consume 2900 Calories.  I have decided to pre-plan my meals the day before and consume a total of 2000-2200 Calories a day.  I want to lower my total caloric intake and also make my caloric intake more consistent.  I am also going to focus more on food timing.  I will consume certain foods, such as nuts and fish, on a daily basis as well as consuming a good post-workout meal after every workout (includes carbohydrates, fats and a complete protein). 

Hopefully this plan will get me past this plateau and closer to my final goal.  It will be interesting to see how concentrating on all three factors of nutrition will affect my results.  Check in on my progress by following my Nutrition & Workout Log, which is updated daily!

How is your nutrition?  Have you thought about the three aspects of a diet?  Let me know if you have tried a diet in the past which concentrated on one of the aspects listed above, and if it worked for you.


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