Starting a Nutrition Program on Monday, August 24th
I had a lot of good feedback from the email questionnaire, and literally 100% of you guys that responded had the same goal: to lose some bodyfat and get a little leaner.
I’m pretty sure there are a few of us in here who are trying to gain a little weight/muscle, but they haven’t responded yet. And I finally I realized that I was typing out the same things over and over in every email response.
It got me thinking.
We all know that nutrition is super important to our goals…no surprise there. But I’ve struggled to come up with a way to emphasize nutrition and support you all in your dietary goals and needs, because we all are coming from different place.
We have different lifestyles, different tastes, different habits, so I know that not everyone needs the same “diet plan,” What I recommend for YOU probably wouldn’t be sustainable for someone else.
The Internet and late-night infomercials are full to the brim with bullshit dietary advice and weightloss crap that you can spend your money on. And some people get super scientific with meal-timing, counting calories and “macros.” Others demonize certain food ingredients or compositions, like fats or carbohydrates or sugars, and say that you just have to cut one of those things out (Atkins, Paleo, “fat-free,” etc)
BUT IT REALLY IS AS SIMPLE AS THIS: If you have more bodyfat than you want, it’s because you eat too much of the wrong things.
Now if you jump off the deep end and do one of those crazy restrictive diets listed above, then you burn out your willpower (mental energy) pretty quickly and MOST PEOPLE are unable to stick with that for any length of time.
THIS ISN’T REALLY ABOUT THE FOOD INVOLVED IN DIETING, IT’S ABOUT THE PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECT THAT DIETING HAS ON OUR BRAINS.
Think of your willpower (mental energy) like the gas gauge on your car
You wake up in the morning and you’ve got a full tank. You’re well rested and ready to take on the day.
But first thing, the kids start arguing and you use up a quarter of a tank getting them to school on time. (You passed up the cookie jar this morning. Good job!)
Then you get to work at whatever it is you do, and you’re dealing with the same shit you had last week…stressful job, annoying co-workers, pushy customers, deadlines, equipment breakdowns, etc…and you’re almost down to an empty tank by the end of the day.
It was easy to avoid that cookie jar this morning. You were mentally fresh. But now all you can think about is grabbing ALL the cookies and two beers and vegging out in front of the TV.
Then you feel bad about cheating on your diet, which depletes the last of that mental energy and willpower. You’re now on an empty tank.
NOW, think of your willpower as a muscle.
If it doesn’t get used, it gets weak and flabby.
It needs to be exercised in order to grow stronger.
But…if your exercise is a workout like Murph (google it), that breaks your muscles down HARD, and it takes a week to recover.
After any tough workout, you need a little bit of designated time to build back up.
You couldn’t send a brand-new CrossFitter to the Games and expect him or her to be able to keep up. But that’s what most of us try to do with traditional diets. We dive in face-first, then burn out after 2 or 3 weeks maximum, and then end up right back where we started…if not worse.
BUT HERE’S WHAT WORKS: We need to make small SUSTAINABLE changes that we can and WILL stick with for the rest of our lives.
We DO NOT want to be perfect. That’s not the goal. Perfect is a relative term anyway.
Life has too many great treats to try to completely avoid them forever. I wouldn’t want to live without ever tasting a fine Danish pastry or a well-brewed Wheat Beer again. I’d rather be fat. Haha
But, I do need to eat/drink less of them. I actually enjoy them more when I save it for a special occasion, and not just because it’s dinner-time on a Tuesday.
None of these ideas are new or revolutionary, but if we all approach this as a group to improve our health and strengthen our self-control, then we’ve got a support system and some encouragement, which is just what gets us through some of these nasty CrossFit workouts.
What are we going to do? (For the first two weeks)
Choose the ONE THING that YOU think is the worst part about your diet/intake habits.
We’re going to focus on that for two days a week starting out: Monday and Thursday. --I've created a Facebook group that we're going to use as the forum for this program.--
Whatever your goal, we will focus on that for those two days only, and then treat the other days as you normally would; no more/no less. The only caveat is that you might need to be careful not to binge on those off days. Just treat ‘em like normal.
We’re going to start very simply and very manageably. We will get into some specifics as we go along, but for the first two weeks we will focus strictly on what YOU consider to be your WORST dietary habit.
I would encourage you all to treat this like a food diary. Post your thoughts. Let us all know how it’s going for you. Reveal your struggles. Others are probably going through the same thing, so it helps to see that you’re not alone in this.
This is going to be a cycle, much like we do with our strength training cycles. (We start slow, and build over the course of a few weeks, then take a week or so of lighter “training” to give the body and mind a break)
What this is NOT going to do.
We are NOT attempting perfection. Perfection is a relative term anyway. The goal is to start making better choices for a higher percentage of the time.
This is NOT a crash diet to lose 30lbs in a month. That’s not healthy anyway. Nor is it sustainable.
We are NOT going to be able to do the work for you. We CAN provide advice, support, and encouragement, but ultimately it is up to YOU to hold yourself accountable in whatever way works best for you. If you will describe the things you struggle with, then I will gladly provide you with ideas to support you in your goals.
This is intended to be very “Open Source.” But let’s stay focused on the common goal. We’re training our willpower with smaller, manageable steps so that we can make better choices for a higher percentage of the time.
If you would like to participate, shoot me a personal message (text/email/FB message) and I’ll send you an invite to the Facebook group. This is a completely private group, so anything you post here will only be visible to the other members of the group. Nothing shows up on your public timeline.