The Ultimate Quick Fix
In life people make things way more complicated than they need to be.
The biggest barrier I find when first speaking with coaching clients about their goals and why they are interested in training with me is related to diet 80-90% of the time.
It’s frustrating and upsetting because it does not have to be that way.
Diet comes from the Greek word diata which means “way of life” but instead is looked at as a quick fix.
Dropping body fat fast, packing on lean muscle in record time, and trying to drastically change your body composition is rough. Not only do these suck but they are unhealthy, unsustainable and most importantly they suck!
I want to help make your fat loss journey fun and as painless as possible.
You have an event in 6 weeks that you absolutely have to look good for — you just got out of a long term relationship and need to get away so book a trip to Hawaii.
You don’t know it yet but your ex-girlfriend is going to be there with her new boyfriend, so you obviously have to look better than before to make her jealous (it’s science).
He’s a good singer and has a cool British accent and sleeps with tons of girls…
You have a big event in the next 6 weeks, you aren’t happy with your body and you don’t know what to do.
You have dieted for a 6-week event in the past that was based off of meal plans.
You saw decent results but was 10lbs lighter when you started the diet before and also immediately gained the weight back plus extra.
The diet seemed to have worked in the past but only for a short period of time.
But after the event your weight skyrocketed above and beyond what it was before starting your ‘6-weeks to sexy Hawaii body’ diet.
That is one of the many reasons why I am not a fan of meal plans AND drastic changes to your current diet.
Do all meal plans suck?
To be clear the meal plans I am referring to are ones that give specific foods to eat for each meal of the day at a certain time, with the clear intention of only eating these foods — no questions asked.
I AM NOT REFERRING TO — planning a smart and well designed outline deciding what foods YOU CHOOSE to eat based on your current lifestyle and your goals.
One is a choice, where you are able to use educated decisions to choose your own meals and eat the foods you want.
The other is ‘Captain Jack-Off’ telling you exactly what to eat whether you like it or not.
The Pro’s of a meal plan
I’ll keep this short and sweet.
Easy to follow
- Go food shopping with a list
- Buy what’s on the list
- Cook your food
- Find the path from your fork to your mouth which leads into your belly
- Do that for all every meal of the day you are ‘required’ to eat
The good part with this — there isn’t much thinking and all the tough decisions of deciding what to eat are removed.
But this also has a huge negative impact on your social life and most of these plans are boring and flat out SUCK.
Let’s dive into some of the reasons why I am not a huge fan of meal plans for most people.
Reason 1. They are not sustainable
What happens when you…
- Travel for work and you can’t pack a week’s worth of meals?
- Take clients out for a business dinner and the restaurant doesn’t have grilled tilapia and asparagus that your 5th meal of the day calls for?
- Go out for a friend’s birthday, are you not going to have a drink or eat and food because you think ‘that is the only way to get a flatter stomach?
Many people feel this way and it is unfortunate.
They feel forced to make drastic decisions which destroy any bit of social life you have left.
I work with my online coaching clients to make adjustments to their diets which are maintainable over the long haul.
If you want to make a change in your diet ask yourself these 3 questions.
Can you see yourself eating this way 1 year from now?
What about 5 years from now?
What about 10 years from now?
If the answer is ‘NO’ it is important to understand this is not a healthy option and will most likely lead to episodes of yo-yo dieting.
Yo-yo dieting refers to your weight cycling 5-10lbs of losing and gaining weight in periods of ‘dieting’
If the answer is ‘YES” we have found something sustainable.
There will be times when you want to see more results so you tighten the reigns but these do not involve drastic measures that are unhealthy.
Reason 2. They make you dependent on a coach
Meal plans take thinking out of the equation.
This may sound like a good idea but you depend on a coach or personal chef to make all of your meals and decide what you eat.
Both are NOT ideal.
Could you imagine how it would feel if there was one person in your life who controlled everything you did and you had no say in anything?
I am pretty sure that is why a lot of relationships end.
I’m know I would hate that, so why would it be ok for me to do that with my clients?
While it may seem good at first glance, this holds my clients back from learning the process of living a healthy and balanced life.
My goal for my online and in-person coaching clients is to help them learn what they need to make the best choices for the body and life that they want.
Eventually they will not need my help anymore…if they want to continue working with me because they genuinely enjoy it, perfect, if they can sustain these habits without any coaching from me perfect.
Yes, I know that seems like a backwards way of thinking and terrible from a business standpoint but to me personal growth is the name of the game.
Reason 3. They are boring
I enjoy my life, have a good time with friends and family and when the occasion calls for it, enjoy great food and drinks.
Fish tacos. Tequila. Friends/Family. Smiles = extreme happiness for me
I have never come across a meal plan with the words fish taco or tequila.
You see how I really feel about them by now — it isn’t good.
Over the course of the week I eat the same foods but with the flexibility to allow myself to make different foods for different meals unlike a traditional meal plan.
The majority of the meals I eat are home cooked
I order the bulk of my groceries 1 x week
Pick up other things from the store if there is something special that I want to make or if I run out
But here is the kicker…
If I want breakfast food for dinner that is what I am going eat.
If I want a homemade burrito bowl for breakfast, I am eating that bad boy and I am going to enjoy every bite.
Meal plans don’t give you the flexibility to enjoy the foods you want when you want them.
What are the other options?
The first thing I do with all of my coaching clients is speak about their goals and why they want to achieve them, their current habits, lifestyle, career, family, hobbies etc.
Because all of these factors go into developing a way of eating that fits their lifestyle consistent enough to get the results they really want to be happy.
Yes, if you think that sounds like an awesome idea it is.
All of the information gathered during the call leads to us to decide to go with one of these three options:
Option 1: Basic principles diet
Option 2: Handful based diet
Option 3: Macro based diet
It is NOT uncommon for me to mesh different options together or cycle different options throughout the year as their goals change or when they are ready/want to try something new.
Whats the differences?
Each have their pro’s and con’s but the biggest factor is determining what works best for you, your lifestyle, your goals and your current start point.
I will be writing articles taking a deeper look into these 3 options later down the road, but for the sake of keeping this article easy to read without putting you to sleep I will cover the basics of each.
Basic Principles Diet
The basic principles diet is a great starting point for anyone looking to make healthier choices and has little to no idea where the hell to start.
My coaching clients all come to me with different dietary habits and this is what I use for those who aren’t comfortable with basic nutrition guidelines.
With this system we focus on ADDING healthy habits rather than taking bad ones away.
The basic principles diet is filled with easy to follow habits which become second nature.
The point is to make sure these habits are not overwhelming — which is what happens in many cases when starting to ‘diet’, specifically when following a detailed meal plan.
Eventually when these habits become ingrained in the ‘Basic Principles Diet’ you find yourself making decisions that are helping you burn fat and become healthier all without an overwhelming feeling of being restricted.
Basic habits include:
- Drink more water
- Protein at every meal
- Veggies at every meal
- Eat healthy fats
- Eat carbohydrates around workouts
- Don’t drink your calories
- Eat until satisfied NOT full
- Follow the ‘1 plate’ rule
- Track your food intake
- Follow the ’80/10/10’ rule
Not everyone needs to follow ALL of these habits because we all are at a different place point and some of these habits may be harder than to nail than others.
That being said it is important to be well rounded.
Protein at every meal seems to be overwhelming for most people and this is where protein shakes can come in handy.
Be careful when choosing a protein shake because not all of them are created equal. Make sure you are getting it from a company that actually puts what they say they do in the product (there are still some good reputable ones out there).
Just because you are drinking more water and eating more vegetables it doesn’t mean you can eat 3 plates of food, a big bowl of ice cream every night and throw back a couple of beers.
Start with a single habit
Nail it 80-90% of the time for two weeks straight
Pick a new habit
Rinse & Repeat
Once you reach a point where you can comfortably nail your current, then it is time to build a stronger base and implement a new one.
The little important things add up over time.
Handful Based Diet
Once you have the basics down the handful diet is a perfect way to progress if you are interested in seeing even more results.
The same guidelines are followed from the basic principles diet but now you start having a little more fun.
You are given a certain number of meals to eat per day as well as guidelines for each meal — depending on your goals.
Some of these meals are ‘anytime meals’ and others are a ‘post workout meal’.
The main different between the two:
- One has more carbohydrates and less fat (these are your post workout meals which are placed around training)
- The other has less carbohydrates and more healthy fats (these are everything BUT the peri-workout meals)
Your portion sizes are based off of your hands (you would have never guessed).
- Your palm determines your protein
- Your fist determines your veggies
- Your thumb determines your healthy fats
- Your cupped hand determines your carbohydrate sources
Guidelines for number of meals per day and portion sizes in these meals should be determined by a coach according to your size , activity levels and current health.
This is an easy way to manipulate calorie intake and get a better estimate of total calorie intake without actually having to weight your food and learn how to count macros.
A step up from the basic principles diet without learning how to weigh your food and being much more meticulous about what you eat.
Macro Based Diet
This is reserved for those who want to take their progress to the next level.
Counting macro’s is a skill — especially when trying to do so when you eating out at restaurants.
It takes time to learn but is a very good trick to have up your sleeve.
I alternate between a handful based diet and a macro based diet depending on the time of the year and my goals.
When I really have to kick things into gear and get lean or am training for a meet and have to be certain body weight I typically switch from a handful diet to a macro based diet.
It is an easier way to keep a close eye on things and is better for making more accurate adjustments.
For a macro based diet:
- Calculate your ESTIMATED daily caloric intake by using several different formulas (estimated, there is no perfect formula that will determine everyones maintenance calories because there are too many variables that must be factored in)
- Set a proper deficit or surplus is calculated depending on if you want to lose fat or put on muscle
- Macros are determined based on food preferences, goals and type of training
- Adjust macro’s accordingly
Some people opt to calorie cycle which involves different guidelines and goals to hit on days in which you strength train and those in which you don’t train. Some like the variety where others like to have the same guidelines every day.
This is all based on personal preference.
So which is best for you?
By now I hope you realize there is no such thing as a perfect diet.
The name of the game is consistency.
Whoever can do the right things for a longer period of time, wins the game…the game of health and happiness.
Sure there may be a brand new ‘detox diet’ or whatever bullshit they are calling it now, that guarantees you lose 25lbs in 15 days, but what is the after effect?
Are you willing to sacrifice drinking juices all day for for short term happiness that will most likely lead to disordered eating habits?
Because the chances of you learning how to develop habits that will allow you to be successful for the long haul are slim to none.
You’ve heard it before, hell you probably have even said it before — “I tried ________ diet that worked really well for me, I just put a lot of weight back on but if I do that again I will be fine”.
OK…so what the hell happened the rest of your life after that short ‘diet’ phase you went through.
Use that beautiful brain of yours and let’s get you eating in a way that you can sustain for the rest of your life.
If you have questions feel free to reach out to me or Ryan Gosling
If you are interested in being coached feel free to reach out to me NOT Ryan Gosling
If you just want to tell me you love me reach out to ME
If you want to tell me you hate me reach out to Ryan Gosling
My Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan’s Email: I don’t know just @ him on Twitter or something
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