6 Simple Rules to a Better Diet

Categories: Smart Swimming
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Published on: June 23, 2015

Sandwich

Diet: A short, simple word that can cause widespread anxiety, confusion and passionate- possibly misguided - conviction wherever and whenever it joins a conversation.

On a whim, I recently started reading a book by Dan John called "Can You Go?"  and I am more than a little impressed with Mr. John.  His book is a beautiful, straight forward discussion on fitness, health and training.  He easily side-steps the "fads" and "trendy" pitfalls that have claimed many a budding trainer.  These "potholes" are common in the fitness industry because everyone seems to be trying to package the next big brand or gimmick. It's easy to get lost in the milieu.  The worst offender of trending to the next best thing is the topic of "Diet and Nutrition."  Let me just take a minute and point out something:

If all those diets out there actually worked...........

 ........Then why is it a multi-billion dollar industry?

Seriously.  There is a diet for everything.  Even sunlight is now part of a restrictive (i.e. don't eat anything but sunlight) diet.  No, I'm not making that up, it is called Breatharianism.  Please don't try it.  It can kill you.

When client's ask me for nutritional advice, I tend to suggest common sense ideas which include increasing protein and reducing simple sugars.  I shy away from anything extreme or promising "10 lbs in 2 weeks"-style results.  In general, 1-2 lbs per week is acceptable weight loss and can reduce the amount of lean muscle mass that is lost as collateral damage.  Usually, a good 'ol triceps extension away from the table is a healthy starting point for nutritional change.

That being said, Dan John's little list for simple nutritional advice is spot on.  It's the type of diet I've been following recently and it works because it allows you to live life as long as you make good choices...most of the time.  "Most of the time" is my happy place.  I'm a personal trainer who loves craft beer and lifting heavy things.  Embrace the following and break free from the 1000 calorie magazine diets for good!

  1. Eat like an adult! (i.e. step away from the frosted corn flakes and canned spaghetti)
  2. Eat vegetables (duh. A colorful diet is important to making sure you're getting everything your body needs)
  3. Eat lean protein (i.e. chicken, turkey, lean beef, eggs, etc)
  4. Drink Water (super duh.  If your bloated, fluid pushes fluid)
  5. Train in a fasted state - sometimes
  6. Stay hungry after training - sometimes

That's it.  Those simple six guidelines make up my cornerstone of good nutrition.  I look at the last two as a way to relax the perfection around training.  If I forget to eat at the right time before training, it's really OK.  If I can't eat for a while after training, it's OK.  Unless I get "HANGRY."  That is not OK for anyone.

You can find Dan John's book here.  Check it out.  It's great book.

Keep on Swimming,

Coach Meg

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