When you want to tailor your nutrition plan, here are two basic rules.
- Everyone is the same.
- Everyone is different.
Well, that clears up the confusion, doesn’t it?
Let me explain.
Everyone is the same
Human physiology works pretty much the same for everyone.
For example, unlike deep-sea-dwelling anaerobic bacteria living around volcanic vents, you breathe oxygen instead of methane. Unlike a cow, you have just one stomach and you can’t eat grass. And when approaching a new focus or fitness regime, you all start off pretty much the same, doing one thing at a time.
No matter how much you know (or think you know) when you begin, I will ensure that you focus on the same fundamental principles.
Nutrition Coaching fundamentals
- Do one thing at a time.
- Eat a variety of real, whole, unprocessed foods that add value to your body.
- To lose fat, eat a little bit less. To gain mass or fuel athletic performance, eat a little bit more.
- Make sure your overall eating environment and habits, as well as your feelings and beliefs about eating, help you rather than hinder you.
- Be consistent and “pretty good” every day, rather than alternating wildly between rigid or “perfect” eating and uncontrolled or chaotic eating.
- Commit to doing a habit consistently for at least 2 weeks before making any changes, to determine how habits are working for you.
- Your body reflects what you put into it (food, recovery) and take out of it (activity, stress).
- Make decisions based on data and close observation of yourself, not “rules” or someone else’s ideas.
These basic concepts hold true for everyone from beginners to pro-athletes. Mastering these fundamentals and practicing them consistently can get you pretty far. In fact, if those universal principles are all you ever learn and apply, we consider your coaching journey a great success.
Everyone is different
However, you’ve probably discovered a lot about yourself over the years
For instance, you may have noticed that:
- Some foods make you feel better than others.
- Some foods don’t make you feel very good at all — you may have a food intolerance that you didn’t recognise before.
- You feel better with more or less fat, more or less meat, cooked vegetables instead of fresh, different types of carbohydrates, and so forth.
- Some foods (or food environments, or situations) “trigger” you into behaviours that aren’t healthy.
Now that you’re a finely tuned machine of personal observation (aka your own scientist), it’s time to refine your nutrition a little further — to make it suit YOU.
Keep it simple
Individualising and refining doesn’t mean you get bogged down in tiny, probably irrelevant, details. It doesn’t mean you whip out the spreadsheet and start making elaborate, restrictive plans for yourself.
In fact, individualising often means making things simpler.
Getting down to the essence of what YOU need. What YOU can do in your real life.
Simply make small, practical, and sustainable nutritional adjustments based on careful, thoughtful, informed self-awareness.
Drive the car
Think about how you drive a car.
Do you crank the steering wheel in one direction and then leave it there for the entire trip? No, of course not.
Even when you’re driving in a perfectly straight line, you need to adjust the steering wheel to keep the car on course.
And even if you’re going along smoothly in a pretty clear direction, you still need to watch the road ahead and make small corrections and changes as needed.
Occasionally you might need to stop, slow down, turn one way or another… or even back up and make a U-turn.
The same ideas apply to eating and exercise.
- Start with a map or general plan (such as a nutrition program).
- Make small adjustments as necessary.
- Turn or backtrack when you need to.
- Work with the actual road conditions — YOUR body’s unique response and needs.
How do you know what “works”?
To determine whether something works for you, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you feel good inside and out?
- Do you have lots of energy for what you want to do?
- Are your health indicators (e.g. blood chemistry, blood pressure, resting heart rate, immune system, etc.) good?
- Are you performing well in the gym?
- Are you meeting your goals?
Ignore what you think you “should” do. Ignore other people’s “rules of the road”.
Stay in YOUR lane, driving YOUR car to YOUR destination.
The above lesson forms part of our coaching program available 4 times per year. (Jan, Easter, Summer and Autumn). If you found the lesson interesting and would like to find out more about personalised nutrition coaching, please join our PreSale List here. Programs are strictly limited to 20 people per launch to ensure the best possible experience for all. Don’t miss out, sign up today. We promise zero spam and respect your privacy.
Lesson copyright, Precision Nutrition. 2018. Anglicised and adapted by Your Nutritional Blueprint.