Cliff Note Nutrition

acai with granola

acai in Brazil

So I have been working on a lot of peoples food journals lately, way more than usual. (If you don’t know what I am talking about, if you are looking to change your diet, get fit, lose weight, increase cardio or all of the above, at the academy we will review your diet. Keep a food journal for seven days, write it down along with what you drink and approximate serving sizes. We will review the journal and can make recommendations on what changes can be made to get you closer to your goals FASTER and EASIER.)

I wanted to make a quick post while I am working on another entry because like I said there has been a lot of questions lately, above average about food, diet and what not. I want to explain first, I am not a nutritional expert; however, I do have years and years of experience working with many and there was a long period where I was extremely strict with my diet. I had a nutritionist from the age of fifteen to twenty, my meals where pre-planned, my food was weighed out daily and I was on a very serious, strict and calculated exercise and lifting program. So it is something I have lived and had a lot of hands on experience with even though I have not been ‘formally’ trained in it. So moving on, first let me clear up and define the word ‘diet’ first (as I see and understand it anyway). To the everyday person a ‘diet’ refers to the way you will eat for a short period of time to bring about results which will usually also be for a short period of time. When I speak and use the word diet, I am referring to your food intake, whether it be good or bad. Your diet is what you are consuming and it should be a way of eating that promotes healthy living.

Like the title says ‘cliff not nutrition’ I am going to touch quickly on some of the basic things that helped me over the years in being better educated in what I was doing. First thing you have to look at your body in a simpler form. I think there are some benefits to CrossFit, I like the concept of what they do but feel there are issues with the actually reality of the sport/activity and I think a lot of the people are strange as hell but one thing they do that is great and has been around and something I have had in my life for way before I had ever heard of CF is the Paleo Diet. Basically the paleo diet is eating primitively so to speak but it is clean and basic and how the body is designed to eat. Eat clean and lean portions of meat and protein, raw nuts and veggies and don’t eat processed foods. Now there is more to it than that obviously but think about it like this, there is no such think as a Doritos tree or Twinkie plant. They are artificial. Your body is not designed to break this stuff down and process it. Obviously many still eat that stuff but just because you can do it doesn’t make it right. I watched a Chris Rock stand-up the other day and he said (On the topic of girls saying ‘I don’t need no man/daddy to raise my child) “Yeah you can raise a child alone if you want, it can be done…you can drive a car with your feet if you want to, but that doesn’t make it a good F##### idea!” I found it comical but it fits here, just because your body can break things down and find something to do with it doesn’t mean its ok for your body.

The five quick tips to eating better and making a better you:

  • When you shop at the grocery store, ONLY shop on the perimeter of the store. Think about the layout of any grocery store…the perimeter has everything you need and nothing you don’t; meats, fish, fruits & veggies, nuts, eggs, etc…besides water you should’t have to walk into the middle. The middle is the processed foods. Stay away.
  • What do I eat? If at one point it didn’t run, swim or fly and it isn’t green, DON’T eat it.
  • Portion Sizes: You should ideally weigh and measure your food but if you don’t have time (which is an excuse) protein serving sizes are about the size of a closed hand. 4-6oz usually depending on what you are eating if you are weighing your food (pre-cooked).
  • Calories in, calories out: it is simple math, if you are serious about getting in shape, two of the BEST investments you can make to get you to your goals faster are a food scale (here is an example from Target) and a Polar Heart Rate Monitor. Like I said if you do not want to weigh the food fine, its better because you will have a more accurate idea of what you are taking in for calories but the watch is in my opinion a must have. It functions as a regular watch and when you wear the chest strap it can accurately calculate how many calories you are burning during exercise. Why is that important and how can you use that to help you cause? A pound of fat is 3500 calories. Broken down that is 500 calories/ day. At the conclusion of a week if you have burned 3500 more calories than you have consumed you will lose a pound, if you consume 3500 more calories than you have burned you will gain a pound.Find you RMR -Resting Metabolic Rate (What your body is burning daily to just live [50 calories/ten pounds of lean body mass-100 calories. Get your body fat checked to get an accurate idea of lean body mass]) Example: If a 200lb man has 50lbs of fat, that leaves 150lbs of lean tissue left. 150/10= 15, 15×50=750, 750-100=650. That means just for being alive pretty much and your body working to do the stuff it does daily you will burn around 650/day. Use this to calculate into tracking your calories.
  • Graze do not gorge. Eating more meals smaller in size is better than fewer smaller meals larger in size. Now there have been studies showing little differences in eating 2500 calories through out the day and at a few sittings but it is about optimal performance and efficiency. If you eat 50 grams of protein at a sitting you body cannot process and use that much at once. Think of it like this. If your car has a ten gallon tank and at half full you try and put ten gallons in it you are going to spill some. The same goes with your body. Your body is only going to use what it needs to fill the tanks (this is a play on words it does NOT mean eat until you are full/stuffed). If it only needs 20 grams of that protein for example thats all its going to use, some of it will be broken down and used, some broken down and passed and some broken down and stored as fat.

So I hope this is an easy read and I hope it helps answer some questions some of your might have on the topic of a clean diet and eating better as it pertains to healthy living and losing weight. Subscribe to the blog and/or add your name to the right so you can get emails with similar topics and techniques.