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3 Key Elements of a Successful Nutrition Plan

Food.  Such an emotionally loaded topic.  First, we should pause to give thanks for this “problem”, which most of humanity could not even dream of for most of history.  But we live today in this society.  So how do we cope with the situation in which we find ourselves, shelves groaning with untold edibles, many specifically engineered to trigger our pleasure centers?  There are lots of ways to address it, many of which have names and trademarks and copyrights, and many of those are effective, at least for a time.

The key elements of a successful nutritional plan are:

1) you can follow it,

2) you can continue to follow it,

3) it improves your health.

Related: Want to Improve Body Composition?  Here’s How to Know If It’s Working.

Note the first two elements add up to this: can you establish the diet as a habit?  Can you eat this way for the rest of your life?  If the answer to either of those two questions are “no”, then you are following a “diet” in the usual, copyrighted sense of the term – a temporary program of eating for a specific outcome, usually weight loss.  After reaching that goal, or giving up on the attempt. you will cease following the diet.  It is as if the diet was a prescription from a doctor with a book deal.

The key is to change your definition of “diet” from that temporary, goal-oriented plan, to a lifestyle, in which “diet” describes how you eat, as if an anthropologist was writing down a description of what makes up your “diet”.

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The third question is a necessary qualifier and where most of the difficulty lies.  The program of eating that you follow needs to promote your heath, rather than hinder it.  The all-pizza & soda diet may be easy for you to follow for a lifetime, but it will not support a healthy lifestyle.  The good news is that when you release yourself from the straight-from-the-book “diet” program, you have the flexibility to eat pizza (and even soda) occasionally, so long as it does not overwhelm your diet.  As long as your basic habits are positive, the occasional deviation will cause few ripples.

What should those basic habits be?  Vegetables and whole grains take up 1/3 to 1/2 of your plate.  Lean meats and fish 1/5 to 1/4 of the plate.  Some nuts, seeds, and other heathy fats, and fruit the rest of your plate.  Limit quick starches, processed foods, and anything with added sugar, which is virtually everything with an ingredients list.

To learn practical tips for implementing this plan in your life, attend our Nutrition Seminar on May 20th with Registered Nutritionist Rasa Troup!

–John Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer

john@crossfitslipstream.com