Let’s get right into it. Below is a contrast of the FDA food guide pyramid versus the pyramid you should pay attention to instead. This pyramid ranks the nutrition factors in order of most impactful at the bottom, to least impactful at the top.
Keep in mind that this pyramid is the BIBLE when it comes to achieving your physique and performance goals, and it is applicable to both men and women, young and old, recreational gym-goer and elite athletes.
Simply put, the factors at the bottom matter — A LOT. The biggest factor that will determine weight gain or loss is energy balance (calories in vs. calories out). If you eat more than your body needs, you gain weight. If you eat less than your body needs, you lose weight. It’s the law of thermodynamics.
Once you have that in place, then we look at what the macronutrient composition of your food should be so that you look, feel, and perform YOUR best. This depends on the sport you play, your body type, current rate of metabolism, among others.
These two factors alone will be responsible for 40% of your results. Get them right before worrying about quality, when to eat and how often, and supplementation.
At the very top we have supplements. A lot of people place prime importance on supplements and we have Marketing to blame for that. Supplements are just that – a supplement to everything else you’re currently doing. If you’re eating too much (or far too little) and just winging your macronutrient ratios, the only thing supplements will be good for is burning a hole in your wallet. They are unnecessarily expensive and hardly effective in the long run.
So, we clarified some common nutrition myths and looked at what your nutritional prioritization will be going forward. If there is anything to take away from these articles that will help you achieve YOUR perfect body, it is these three rules:
- Food is not “good” or “bad”.
There is no such thing as bad food, only bad diets. A doughnut eaten once a week for enjoyment and sanity can be part of a GOOD diet. However, a doughnut binge once a week can be part of a bad diet. Besides taste, food (whether a doughnut or brown rice) is a tool to help you achieve your fitness and health goals. It is how you use it that matters most.
- Context is King.
Question everything you read in the news and internet. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Billions of marketing dollars are pumped into the food and supplement industry to create perception of health. If a box has “heart healthy” slapped on it, what exactly in the food makes your heart healthy? If it says “low-fat” there’s probably more sugar to compensate fo rthe lack of taste. If it says “gluten free” it is probably loaded with added fats.
- Sustainability is key to permanent fat loss. Don’t fall victim to quick fixes.
I encourage clients to eat chocolate if it curbs cravings and helps them adhere to overall plan and maintain consistency 80% of the time. 90% of North Americans can successfully lose weight, but they can’t keep it off. What’s missing here?
The next time you embark on a diet or follow a meal plan, ask yourself this: “do I see myself eating this way for the rest of my life?” If there is a bit of hesitation, it’s time to find a more flexible solution. If you need guidance in this area, I am happy to offer some suggestions.
If you have any questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in Health,