Nutrition Principles to Lose the Beer Gut.
Great, repeatable results come from efficient, effective systems. And those systems are built on a handful of principles – rules that cannot be broken if one is to succeed. Would Phil Jackson have won eleven NBA championships without the triangle offense? Would Nick Saban have 3 BCS championships without the “process”? Where there is consistent success, there is a system with principles.
Although we’re not winning any championships here, we are in the business of producing results. And because of that, we do have a system with a few principles.
So, if you’re going to be on this team and call yourself a zaddy, you’re going to have to agree with the 3 nutrition principles below. If not, zaddy life probably isn’t for you.
Don’t waste your time arguing about which diet is better – low carb, low fat, intermittent fasting, keto, Paleo, etc. They all work provided they get and keep you in a calorie deficit. In fact, the only superiority one diet has over the other is that one fits your lifestyle better and thus allows you to stay in a calorie deficit longer. You could literally eat bacon for the rest of your life, and as long as you eat fewer calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight. You probably won’t feel healthy, but you’ll look it. So, eating fewer calories than you burn is the key to weight loss.
If creating a calorie deficit is the key to weight loss, then compliance is the keyhole. Anyone can diet for a few days or even a week or two, but we all know what happens after those two weeks. The weight comes right back and then some. You have to find a way to create a calorie deficit that is sustainable. So if you have to have carbs (like me), don’t try a low carb diet. If you have to have a few beers every night while you watch the MLB playoffs, plan for those beers and reduce those calories elsewhere. Don’t attempt a diet you know you can’t do. Instead, make a small change you know you can do 90% of the time that moves you toward your goal.
If eating fewer calories than you burn is the key and compliance is keyhole, tracking is the keychain.
I know. I know. You don’t want to track your calories. It’s boring, time-consuming, and you feel like a real nerd removing your pocket calculator from your shirt after every meal. I get it. It took me a while too.
But… it’s essential. And by essential, I mean, do it. No excuses.
Why? Because we literally have no idea how much food we’re putting into our mouths. In fact, studies have shown that we often underreport the number of daily calories we eat anywhere from 200 to 2,000 calories. Only the local weatherman can keep his job with that kind of accuracy. Don’t feel bad though – a study was done with registered dieticians (people who count calories for a living) and they, on average, underreported their daily calories by 223.
So, if we don’t know that, I would argue the KEY metric to dieting, how in the hell are we going to lose weight?
That was rhetorical. Don’t answer that.
Download My Fitness Pal and use that. It’s easy and quick. It literally takes me no more than 2 minutes and 37 seconds daily to log all of my food for the day. And then, it spits it out in an easy-to-read food diary. Bam, you just ate 3,900 calories today, and I bet you thought you didn’t hit 2,500 for the day. Tracking results in awareness, and awareness is the first step to change!
Side note: I just had a guy lose 20lbs in 30 days by simply tracking his food. He didn’t meal prep, follow a die, or begin new exercise program. He simply became more aware of how much he was eating and reduced it.
Pretty simple right? As my wife often says, when it comes to men, the KISS method is almost always the best method.
Side note: Remember that these principles are for the busy dad. They’re not ideal for a professional bodybuilder or for a guy trying to go from 9% bodyfat to 6% bodyfat. They’re for guys like us who work 9-5, have kids to chase around, and a wife to make happy. We have to have balance, and because of that, we’re after better, not best.
So ask yourself these questions weekly…
Am I eating/drinking less calories than I’m burning?
Can I do this 9 out of 10 days?
Am I logging my food?
Now go out there, start that grill up, and start eating your protein.