The Difference Between a Diet, and Nutrition Plan
Some words just make me cringe. The sound of them is like nails on a chalkboard to my brain.
Moist…Crisp (but only said on its’ own, with the ‘s’ heavily accentuated. Think how Stewey from Family Guy would say it. Gag.)…Panties (the worst)…
and now a new one…
The word itself is charged with such angst and discomfort, it’s hard for me to talk about it.
“I’m going on the diet from this months’ Cosmopolitan. It worked great for my friend. I mean, she’s starving and unhappy, but she looks awesome.”
“Did you read about the new Bulletproof diet? Nothing but coffee and butter for three weeks! I love coffee, I love butter- win-win!”
“Bro, I read about this new diet in Men’s Health, 60 Days to Shredded, where I only eat protein, celery, and IsoPure shakes…gona be awesome!”
Where is the sustainability, people!?
The term ‘Diet’, or at least how it’s commonly used in today’s media, is inherently time-bound, which usually means people will suffer through whatever ‘Nutrition Plan’ the next celebrity trainer recommends for a month, and then blow the wheels off with a diabeetus-inducing binge at Johnny Rockets.
I get it- we live in the YouTube generation; we want gratification, answers, results now, or not at all. But our bodies didn’t evolve that way after millions of years, so let’s chill out, pour a cup of your favorite sugar free beverage, and create a sustainable longterm plan.
Ground Rules to Creating Plan:
1. It must be replicated, week in, week out, forever.
Wellll not exactly forever, but realize that overly intricate menu planning, looking out tough-to-find ingredients, or buying food you know you won’t like, doesn’t create longterm success. In fact, I’d argue that creating an unrealistic nutrition plan from the onset will inevitably lead to undue stress, confusion, and self-resentment when giving up and reverting to what’s familiar.
For example, a few years back, I hired a private chef to teach me how to broaden my culinary skills, because I had hit a wall with chicken, rice, and broccoli, and just wasn’t going to stand for it anymore.
After four weeks of lessons, menus, and intricate recipes, I was proud to say that on week five, the first week of preparing food on my own…I made chicken, rice, and broccoli. Again.
It’s not that she was a bad teacher (although I do suspect she laughed at my pitiful cutting technique when I was out of earshot), it was that I wasn’t vested in the extra time required to make better tasting food. I was bummed, and frustrated with myself for not being up to the task, but I did find solace in slathering Trader Joe’s Peanut Sauce on everything I cooked, which was a small, small, victory (embrace the sauce kids, embrace the sauce).
2. Get your Macronutrients lined up.
Depending on your body type (Ectomorph, Mesomorph, Endomorph), and physical goals, figure out how much of each Macronutrient (Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fats) your body should consume daily.
Going in depth on specifics of each body type, and how to create a diet plan for each is beyond the scope of this article, but here’s a quick description of each, and the macronutrient breakdown of each body type
*Narrow hips and shoulder width
*Small joints (wrist/ankles)
*Low body fat; finds it hard to gain muscle
This body does well with high starches, medium protein, and low fat.
General guidelines recommend daily intake of 25% Protein, 55% Carbohydrate, 20% Protein.
*Medium-wide shoulder width
*Can gain and lose fat and muscle
This body type responds well to a balanced blend of macronutrients.
General guidelines recommend 30% Protein, 40% Carbohydrate, 30% Fat.
*Thick rib cage
*Hips as wide or wider than shoulders
*Finds it difficult to lose body fat.
Endomorphs do best with high protein and fat, low starch plans.
General guidelines recommend 35% Protein, 25% Carbohydrate, 40% Fat.
If you’d like more support on how to turn this information into a usable grocery list, schedule a no obligation consultation with a LifeUP Integrative Health Coach here —-> http://localhost/lifeup/request-an-appointment/
3. Get accountable.
Declare your mission to eat better with regularity. That can mean putting your “I Will” statement down on paper and on your fridge where you can see it. It can mean telling a partner, friend, or trusted co-worker that you plan on eating right, and can use their support in follow through (or, at the very least, not sabotaging you with a persistent invite to Happy Hour). Aim to control your environment to the best of your ability, and that often means asking those in your circle for support.
4. Plan your cheats, don’t cheat your plan.
Writing down ‘Cheat Day!’ on your monthly planner will do wonders to support you when temptation calls. It gives your brain a light at the end of the tunnel, and a reprieve from continuous discipline. Plus, it still creates the feel that you’re in control of cravings, even when succumbing to them. Depending on how strict you are with yourself, I suggest one to four cheat meals per month. Now, this doesn’t mean stick an IV of Coldstone into your vein; that’s no different than breaking down after following a short term diet for a few weeks. Use discretion, and be rigorous with intake. You’ll be proud of your adherence after just one plate of spaghetti and meatballs; don’t order the Tiramisu and complain over the scale a few days later.
Easy enough, right? If you read any diet that claims it will “Get you shredded fast!”, run in the other direction. Nothing that comes fast will stay long, so embrace choices that will reward you over the long haul.