Last week we asked you to give us your top 3 nutrition questions, and today we are going to start giving some answers.
The first one we chose to answer covers a lot of ground, and addresses a topic that many of our members struggle with. I think it can be summed up like this: How perfect do I have to be with my nutrition and still get results?
The question was prompted as the questioner looked through Nancy’s food log and noticed that there were snacks where protein and vegetable were not consumed. Isn’t that “non-compliant” with the food plan? Shouldn’t Nancy be flogged in the public square?
Before I answer, consider this – Are your goals and Nancy’s goals the same?
Now I know you don’t know her specific goals, so I’ll frame it this way – Will the goals of a woman who is 5′ 7″ tall, weighs 135 pounds and has between 16 and 18% bodyfat going to be the same as a woman who is 5′ 7″ weighs 190 pounds and carries 30% bodyfat? (this is a hypothetical woman, not the questioner)
Of course the answer is no. There can be a significant difference in nutrition specifics because woman #2 needs to drop bodyfat, while Nancy does not. In this case we need to separate the two questions “Am I eating to support my weight loss goals?” and “Am I getting all the vegetables, vitamins and fiber I need?”. Make sense?
So here is (finally) the question and the answer I gave. It was a great question, and I appreciated it being asked. Let’s hear your thoughts and any followup questions you might have in the comments below.
Here I’ve been, wiping myself out to eat protein and veggies at EVERY meal….I can just snack smartly between meals and get all the veggies and protein I need three times a day or so….
Not sure if I would snack on prunes, though. Yuck.
Fruit or yogurt or a small snack of mixed nuts is usually what I can easily find between the larger meals. This is “acceptable” or “compliant,” eh? Or am I on the right track (getting burned out) to eat so many veggies and protein each time I put something in my mouth?
I applaud your hard work and making some significant changes in your nutrition. Let’s back it up a bit. When it comes right down to it the most important thing is making your plan something you can live with – adding stress to the equation (getting burned out) is not what we are after.
Let’s talk about the reasons we are looking to get protein and vegetables in every time we eat. The typical American diet does not contain close to the amount of fruits and vegetables that is recommended in order to meet the nutritional requirements of a sedentary person, never mind someone like yourself who is training hard. The recommendation to eat veggies at each feeding is in order to help meet these requirements. I don’t know anybody (including myself) who eats too many vegetables. Eating protein, even a small amount, helps maintain blood sugar levels throughout the whole day and supports building lean tissue, which in turn helps raise your overall metabolism.
So that’s the theory and strategy. Now let’s talk reality. I have seen what compliance to the nutrition plan can do, and I believe it is optimal for rapid body composition change. That being said, what are the consequences of backing off that and developing a pattern of 3 solid protein/veggie meals and supportive snacks in between? The answer to that lies in the progress you achieve doing it that way, and we find that out with your weight and waist measurements. So try the “new” plan for two weeks, take your measurements, and re-evaluate. If you are making the desired progress, we stay with it, if not something needs to change.
So August 7th is two weeks out. Take your measurements then and shoot me an email so we can re-evaluate. Sound like a plan?
Make It Happen!