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Diet and Exercise Tips Interview Question #3

What does your healthy nutrition program 
consist of?

BIG FAT UPDATE: To see my current healthy nutrition program, scroll to the bottom of this page! This interview is a few years old. I've grown up since then and so have my views on healthy eating. But read the whole article first because these tips are priceless and timeless! Either way, they are healthy nutrition plans and it is good to have alternatives.

OLD HEALTHY NUTRITION PROGRAM

The Skinny on Gettin' Skinny

  • First of all I have figured out what my caloric intake needs are in order to maintain my weight. I did that through equations using my height, weight, gender, age, and activity level. My absolute fav place to do this is at freedieting.com.

  • I then took those figures and monitored my progress on a daily basis. I personally found that the figures seemed a bit high for me. I want to lose about 5 pounds of body fat and I was maintaining on the fat loss figures instead of losing. So I cut that by a couple hundred calories and began to make progress.

  • I eat 5-6 small meals a day, dividing my caloric intake accordingly. I am doing this very subtly because I don’t want to lose my hard-earned muscle. So it is happening very slowly, but I am in no rush. My nutrition program varies from day to day according to how I am training and how I feel.
  • Plus, I live in the real world. As I stated earlier, I love to eat. I also am very against totally restricting any food from the diet; in other words, I am a big believer in planned cheats. Life is too short, peeps!
  • I also like to take in a bit more protein on the days I strength train. I take my total calories and divide the macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat) into the desired percentages.
  • For instance on strength training day I may go with a percentage split of 40/30/30, respectively, and on non-strength training day go more with 50/30/20 or 60/20/20 or whatever. I switch it up. I pick 3 or 4 days a week and go very low carb, meaning no bread, grains, sugar, processed foods—in other words—no bad carbs. I am not saying grains are bad, I am just saying I don’t believe we need much of them (if any) in our daily diet. But that’s a subject for another page on this site.

TRACK YOUR NUTRITION

  • I tracked it very meticulously for several months, writing everything down and checking macros, so that I know now without writing it down. I do suggest everyone diary their food, especially at first. You’d be surprised how many calories you are taking in that you forget or don’t count for whatever reasons. I was shocked at how much recording my intake revealed that I was taking in more calories than I thought I was.
  • I use My Fitness Pal It's free and awesome! The nutrition software that comes with it is very cool and it helped me immensely.
  • I grew up thinking that fat was bad and learned in the past few years that we need good fat and I had been throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. Now, I enjoy healthy fat and my health and my weight is much more stable to boot.
  • I try to eat organically when I can.
  • I avoid processed food as much as possible, which is truly challenging these days. Anything that comes in a can, box, or bag is processed and you can bet that there is something in there that isn’t exactly healthy.

SO WHAT DOES THAT LEAVE?

  • As much locally grown fresh produce, veggies, and fruits as possible. Support your local farmers! Grow your own if possible.
  • I am not a vegetarian but I do avoid red meat for the most part.
  • I eat ground turkey instead of beef usually. I eat chicken, salmon, tuna, fish, seafood, low-fat dairy, fresh veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, etc.
  • I avoid white food and replace it with brown whenever possible, i.e., whole grain bread instead of white, baked sweet potato instead of regular, brown rice instead of white, etc.

In summary, my nutrition plan is based on daily caloric intake and macronutrient percentages. Calories in and calories out. I’ve calculated my personal needs and through experimentation found what works best for me. I mix it up and throw in a dash of planned cheats and a lot of variety and healthy choices. I love food. It’s all good!



WAAY BETTA HEALTHY NUTRITION PROGRAM! JUST SAYIN...

Today, I no longer eat 5-6 small meals per day. Instead, I follow pretty much a Paleo diet about 80% of the time. What this means is I eat 3 meals a day. I avoid sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy and processed food most of the time. I eat plenty of healthy fat including nuts and seeds, avocado, coconut milk and coconut oil, and olive oil, etc. 

THE KEY IS FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN EAT...NOT ON WHAT YOU CAN'T.

  • I get to eat humanely treated meat like chicken, beef, fish, seafood, sweet potatoes, veggies galore, fruit, nuts and seeds.
  • I focus on whole foods and try to buy locally grown, organic produce.
  • I go for grass-fed, drug-free meat and free-range eggs and chicken or wild caught fish whenever I can.

I actually feel better (morally and physically) eating this way than the way I used to. But...as my mantra goes: there are many ways to skin a cat! If you are eating the way I was when I answered this question 5 years ago, let's face it, you are eating healthier than most. 

I also know that I stated that I don't believe in excluding any food totally. However, when I tried this plan for 30 straight days, the results were amazing! I felt better than I ever have, and I dropped 10 pounds without even trying. I just can't argue with those results, folks. But I do live in the real world; hence, the 80/20 rule.

So if you want to try something a little more radical than the average eating plan, check out whole30.com. I LOVE IT! You should also check out the book that goes along with the plan called, It Starts With Food. It will get you psyched up for the challenge for sure! Good luck and let me know how it goes if you decide to give it a go! I would love to hear about your experience.



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