I’ve now met with the majority of participants in the Biggest Winner challenge regarding their nutrition.
And after all these discussions, something occurred to me:
What we are doing here is creating a plan for your life long term. Not just for 12 weeks.
And in almost all of these plans, I didn’t address cheat meals or indulging in the foods you enjoy.
Because, lets be honest. This isn’t going to work long term for you if you don’t include a small amount of the foods you like. You’ll go crazy and eventually give in! Let’s not deprive you of things you enjoy in life!
So what does this mean?
It all comes back to the 90-10 rule.
- 90% of your nutrition should be healthy unprocessed 1 ingredient foods.
80% of this are foods you like and 10% of this are foods you don’t like. (Do you want results or excuses? You know what you should be eating. And it’s green!)
- 10% are foods you enjoy but are not conducive to your lifestyle and body composition goals.
Mastering this balance is truly combining the art and science of good nutrition and will set you up for the LONG TERM.
- This is the system that the most successful of us utilize to stay lean year round.
- For example, every Saturday I will have the food or drinks I enjoy but do not support my goals. But I’m not stupid about it. I will minimize this depending on how serious I am with my health and fitness goals. And I’ll always have the slightly healthier option instead of springing for the worst thing I can think of.
At present, my commitment to my goals is very high, so instead of having 10 drinks on Saturday, I’ll have 0-4. (I use alcohol as my indulgence because I enjoy drinking and being social). Eating a pizza or fries doesn’t really matter to me and instead I find myself getting electrified now by the challenge of NOT HAVING THESE FOODS as much as I can.
How people get into trouble is when 90-10 turns into 80-20 which turns into 70-30 which turns into 60-40 which means now you are now putting on weight.
10% each week roughly equates to 2 or 3 foods that aren’t great. But this does not fly if you are having toast for breakfast. This does not work if you are having lattes 3 days/week. This does not fly if you don’t eat enough protein, or snack on a small piece of chocolate every night. You have to put days upon days together of clean eating. It has to be the majority.
It has to actually be 90%.
Be as aware as you can of what you are doing and stay connected with your why and you will have better adherence to this lifestyle long term. Even when stood with the temptation of unhealthy food in times of stress or not wanting to go to the gym when time is tight. YOUR WHY WILL DRIVE YOU!
- You are in control of this journey.
- You control what you put in your mouth.
- You control how much you exercise.
Put your body in the best scenario for success and never underestimate how much change you can create in your life over the long term.
But, just don’t expect miracles short term.
Committed to health and fitness,
Josh Saunders, BSc, CSCS
Lifestyle. Strength. Performance.