Nutrition: Black & White Thinking

Nutrition, where people understand the differences between poor and good habits but they don’t know how to apply it. People understand what calories are, they know they should probably increase their protein intake, and ever since we were kids we have been told to eat fruit and vegetables and drink water. It sounds easy in theory, but why do so many people find it difficult to apply it to their daily life?

One of many reasons people find it hard is because they think in terms of black and white when it comes to food. It has to be “good or bad”, or “healthy vs unhealthy”. This then creates the thought process of I am “on plan” or “off plan”, and being somewhere in between is unthinkable. You are either eating all healthy “clean food”, or you are eating fast food and chocolate. You are either following a meal plan, or you are off the plan. You are either counting your calories, or you are eating whatever you want. You are ether banned from eating chocolate, or you are binge eating on 6 bars in one sitting.

This is a common reality, thats present in far too many peoples thinking.

For example:

You eat one thing off plan, but instead of tracking the calories and matching it up you decide to get a pizza and say you will start fresh tomorrow.

You are tracking your macros, and because you went over your calories by 100 you decide to get a tub of ice cream because you feel you have messed it up anyway.

Its the same with training, you are either “on it” or “off it”. It is this flawed logic that leaves people going around in circles trying to get results, until they finally get too demotivated to even try anymore. This thought process is so frequent, I could nearly guarantee that you, or someone you know thinks or has thought like this.

The detail nutrition requires is dependant on the goal and the level someone is at, but I will list below the simplicity of how things could look. Usually, simplicity is better.

General person who wants to look good and feel better:

  • Track calories
  • Have protein target
  • Let carb and fat fall wherever you like as long as calories are under control
  • Include fruit, veg and water
  • Do it 7 days a week
  • Allow 20% of your daily intake for any food you like (e.g for a daily intake of 1500kcal, 20% is 300kcal for anything you like)

Sports Performance & Physique Related Goals

  • Same as above, with differences being:
  • Carb and fat intake goals could be set to optimise performance and results
  • Percentage of flexible intake may need to be altered depending on goal and stage person is at (e.g. someone in a physique prep will have very little room for flexility compared to a physique goal based toward trying to gain weight where calories are higher and less emphasis is placed on being lean)

For an every day, happy life remember these rules:

  1. Calories are KING. It doesn’t matter what method you are using.
  2. Protein being high is a good idea if looking good, recovering, and being healthy is the goal.
  3. Do not be nutrient deficient. You need all vitamins and minerals to ensure all health markers are in a good range and your physiology is running well and efficiently. (Eat your fruit and veg).