By: Anthony Campo
When establishing a nutritional plan for yourself, it is important to focus on the science of nutrition in the proper order. All too often I will see someone who is not executing the basics of nutrition try to focus in on specific concepts that yield little results compared to the basics. The fundamental basics of nutrition will account for the majority of your results as it relates to health and fitness. It is not in your best interest to worry about specific concepts if you have not mastered the basics. The basics of health and nutrition have been outlined in detail in the book Do This, Eat That: A Comprehensive Guide to Body Re-Composition available soon. Anybody who has taken basic math in school remembers PEMDAS (Parenthesis-Exponents-Multiplication-Division-Addition-Subtraction) to recount the order of operations when solving equations. Here is a new nutritional PEMDAS that will help you organize the order of nutritional concepts, so that you are focusing on the level that will allow you the greatest success.
SimPlify – The first thing you must do is simplify your diet. Eat to fuel your body, not because you are hungry. This is the primary concept behind starting to eat for your goals. Whatever your goals are, your diet must consist of the foods and macro-nutrients that accommodate just what it is you are trying to do. Let’s say you are snacking on some tortilla chips, now obviously if you are trying to lose fat or improve body-composition this would not be a good choice, but why? It’s not just what you ARE eating, the fact that you are consuming simple carbohydrates, spiking your insulin, and pumping calories into your body without satisfying any nutrient requirements. It is also what you AREN’T eating. If you are eating tortilla chips, this means you are wasting appetite and stomach space that won’t be used to eat foods that the body needs, and foods that will work towards benefiting the body.
Eat Breakfast – Secondly, if you are not eating breakfast every day you should not be worrying about anything else more specific. I am not going to waste time describing why breakfast is so important because I am pretty sure it has been written about in depth.
Macronutrient Intake – This is the primary focus of the book Do This, Eat That: A Comprehensive Guide to Body Re-Composition, and is the single most important factor in regards to fat loss and body composition.
Design A Plan – Once you understand proper macro-nutrient intake for your goals Depending on your level of knowledge and experience, have you or a trainer design a nutritional plan that fits your specific needs. Once you understand the first 3 basics, now you can focus on eating and taking supplements that address your individual health needs. Your diet should be carefully studied, and an educated plan should be devised that makes sure you are getting everything you need to meet your goals, and are not taking in things that will be a detriment to your goals.
QuAlity – Make better food choices on the foods you are eating. This means doing things like choosing free range eggs, true grass fed beef and other dairy products, organic vegetables. Here is a great article that goes into all of this in more depth. http://articles.elitefts.com/nutrition/the-mountain-dog-diet-%E2%80%93-a-healthier-way-to-get-leanadd-muscle-or-both/
Specifics – This is the area that people always want to jump to when they are first starting out trying to come up with a plan to improve their health and nutrition. “My friend told me to eat chia because it is good for me,” I read somewhere that I should eat cranberries because there is a chemical that blah blah blah,” “I heard that you shouldn’t drink diet soda because it gives you cancer.” Now there is some validity to most of these things, and if you have all the other aspects of PEMDAS down first, now you can focus on these specific things like will help to put the finishing touches on your health and fitness. These specific things are important only if you have ALL the basics down. This is the correct way to address these concepts, and make sure you are focusing on the right things for your level of acuity and your goals.