Let’s challenge our expectations about body transformation by breaking another “rule”: that you need a special meal plan with lots of detailed restrictions to lose fat and get in shape.
Usually when individuals go to professionals to seek help in dieting they ask –
Are you going to give me a meal plan?
Are You Acting Your Nutritional Age?
Do you browse nutrition and fitness blogs… but skip workouts? Is one of your kitchen cupboards full of the latest-and-greatest supplements… and another cupboard full of junk food?
Do you want a custom, fancy meal plan… that you won’t actually follow?
If so, you aren’t acting your nutritional age.
Just like there are age-appropriate outfits (you wouldn’t let your 10-year-old daughter out the door dressed like a showgirl, right?), there are also “nutritional age-appropriate” choices.
Knowing your “nutritional age” can help you make the proper decisions, and keep you focused on what will really make a difference.
Nutritional Age is a Combination of Three Things
. What you know
. What you do
. What you do consistently
The more skilled, accurate, and adherent you are — and the more precise your body transformation has to be — the higher your nutritional age.
Why Is This Important?
Knowing your nutritional age will help you:
determine what you should be doing and why
understand what’s important to you and what isn’t
set realistic expectations and match behaviors to them
3 Levels of Nutritional Age
Nutritional Age is broken into 3 categories. Unlike actual aging, it’s possible to stay a baby forever. And you don’t have to advance to “old age” if it doesn’t suit you.
You’re a regular person who’s just trying to improve things. You want to lose weight and “get in shape.” This is probably where you’re at (most people are)
Level 1’s don’t need a super-complicated custom diet plan to have incredible success and make “holy crap!” changes. And really, a complicated custom diet — like one a professional athlete may use — could actually be the worst thing to try and follow.
We all start at Level 1 and most of us choose to stay there for good. We do enough of the right things to get dramatic results, and we leave the complicated and time-consuming stuff to the people who earn a paycheck for using their bodies. (Besides, they have more to lose.)
Level 1’s should get good at doing the basics regularly. There’s really no need to focus on specific details, since we’re focusing on the big picture here: a dramatic transformation and lasting change without completely overhauling your life. That’s what Lean Eating is all about.
At Level 2, you’re a dedicated recreational exerciser or high-performance athlete who already has a pretty good diet. If this is you, you still don’t need a super-complicated custom diet plan to have incredible success.
Level 2’s need to reinforce the basics and then add in a few simple strategies – like learning more about portion sizing and meal timing.
Level 3’s are professional performance or physique athletes. These nutrition and exercise ninjas make their living from exercising and eating a certain way. They need detailed custom programs and diets because their job depends on it. (That’s definitely not you. And if it is, may we please have your autograph?)
Being a Level 1 or 2 is just fine. While a few of us have competed in bodybuilding shows or advanced athletics, most of us are just people like you who want to live a healthy, fulfilling life (while looking good in the process).
And there’s certainly nothing wrong with that!
Figure Out Your Nutritional Age
You can probably already guess where you fit. But if you’re not sure, ask yourself a few questions.
Ask yourself three questions about your nutrition.
. What do I know?
. What do I do?
. How well do I do this consistently?
Ask yourself about your goals.
Where do I want to go?
Chances are you don’t want to be a professional athlete. (All right, maybe you do want to be a pro athlete. Unfortunately, it’s not in the cards for most of us.
Work With Your Nutritional Age
Once you’ve figured out your general nutritional age you don’t try to rush ahead. You need to build up the basics for a good block of time (no meal plan). Then you need to adjust a few elements of food amount and timing (again, no meal plan).
Just like you don’t try to run a marathon before you’ve mastered crawling, don’t try to train and eat like a pro athlete before you’re ready – regardless of what the magazines say, what some elite athletic coach suggests, or what your friends think.
What We Learned and What’s Up Next
Now that you know our philosophy on meal plans and nutritional age, it’s time to relax. You don’t have to “do it all” or be “perfect.” In fact, all you have to do is be a little bit better than before. And that means doing today’s workout and following one new habit!
More on that tomorrow — along with tips on how to outrun a bear!
WHAT TO DO TODAY
|1||Ask yourself three questions about your nutrition.. What do I know?. What do I do?. How well do I do this consistently?|
|2||Ask yourself about your goals.Where do you want to go?|
|3||Remind yourself why you’re here.Remember you are in level and if you are either in level 1 or 2. don’t start with complicated meal plans to follow. Because people who try to follow them can only do so for a limited time. Then they quit.|
|4||Practice a new habit or twoIf you’ve been doing this, high-five yourself. What are your new habits?If you haven’t? Well, it’s time for a clean slate start. Decide what you are going to do to take the first step to good nutrition or exercise.|