I came across an excellent article today that was an interview with Dr. John Berardi discussing his body transformation program and whether diet or exercise is more important, why so many people struggle to lose weight, and his secret to getting his client’s results. This really resonated with me.
I’ll have to say that after being a personal trainer for four years I have learned that my job requires more than just designing exercise programs and taking my clients through workouts. I am constantly encouraging them to eat healthy, sleep well, reduce stress and do their own workouts. AND, in order for my clients to be successful and go through a life transformation I must help them overcome their limiting beliefs and help guide them to live a healthier lifestyle. This is the most challenging part but the part I enjoy the most!
You can only change a person’s body so much with exercise alone. No matter how hard or how often you exercise or train with your personal trainer, without following a healthy nutrition plan for AT LEAST A YEAR clients will lose very little body fat and have a hard time gaining muscle. And it doesn’t matter how old you are, how hard you try or what you’ve done in the past, your diet right now determines how you look and feel, it’s never too late to start!
So is there a secret formula or diet or ideal meal plan to follow for best results?? Of course not! There is so much information out there it can get confusing to figure out which will work for you. Well you know what works for me and my clients? Paying attention to what you put in your mouth and following a basic clean eating meal plan for at least 6 months (1 year is best), plus working hard in and outside of the gym and you WILL GET THE BODY YOU WANT!
I found another article by Dr. Berardi and thought I would share his “rules” with you…can you tell I like this guy!?
The 7 Rules of Good Nutrition
Here’s my take on it. I call these principles, “The 7 Rules of Good Nutrition.”
These aren’t the newest techniques from the latest cutting-edge plan. Rather, they are simple, time-tested, no nonsense habits that you need to get into when designing a good eating program.
1. Eat every 2-3 hours, no matter what. You should eat between 5-8 meals per day.
2. Eat complete (containing all the essential amino acids), lean protein with each meal.
3. Eat fruits and/or vegetables with each food meal.
4. Ensure that your carbohydrate intake comes from fruits and vegetables. Exception: workout and post-workout drinks and meals.
5. Ensure that 25-35% of your energy intake comes from fat, with your fat intake split equally between saturates (e.g. animal fat), monounsaturates (e.g., olive oil), and polyunsaturates (e.g. flax oil, salmon oil).
6. Drink only non-calorie containing beverages, the best choices being water and green tea.
7. Eat mostly whole foods (except workout and post-workout drinks).
So what about calories, or macronutrient ratios, or any number of other things that I’ve covered in other articles? The short answer is that if you aren’t already practicing the above-mentioned habits, and by practicing them I mean putting them to use over 90% of the time (i.e., no more than 4 meals out of an average 42 meals per week violate any of those rules), everything else is pretty pointless.
Moreover, many people can achieve the health and the body composition they desire following these 7 rules alone. No kidding! In fact, with some of my clients I spend the first few months just supervising their adherence to these 7 rules—an effective but costly way to learn them.
If you’ve reached the 90% threshold, you may need a bit more individualization beyond the 7 rules. If so, search around on this site. Many of these little tricks can be found in my many articles published right here. But before looking for them, before assuming you’re ready for individualization; make sure you’ve truly mastered the 7 rules. Then, while keeping the 7 rules as the consistent foundation, tweak away
I know you’re saying to yourself I already know this! These rules are simple! Yes you’re right and that’s the main problem with most people who are trying losing weight; we all know what we’re SUPPOSED to do but don’t actually DO IT!
So put your money where you mouth is and think long and hard about what YOU want to look like. Then write down what your goals are, meet with a trainer who can help you come up with a workout plan and if they are a really good trainer a meal plan and STICK TO IT! Remember exercise alone doesn’t work! If you refuse to change your nutrition then any work you do in the gym by yourself or with a trainer is worthless (seriously!) Research has shown that without a diet change you will lose as little as half a pound of fat per month (not a lot right?!)
That being said, with the help of a personal trainer/life-changing/nutritional help coach (like moi!) you will be able to get exponentially better results and in less time. So for all you people looking for fat loss you can expect to lose 3 to 5 times more fat if you make changes to your diet. How does that sound? The challenge is finding a personal trainer who cares enough and has the knowledge and experience to help guide you…
If you’re looking for someone who will help you get in the best shape of your life (who doesn’t want that?) I would love to book some time to sit down and chat with you. I LOVE my job for a reason because I get to help people improve their lives and feel better about themselves everyday. Let’s not forget I also get to work in comfy clothes and running shoes all day 😉
My clients would agree that having a personal trainer is the best investment they have ever made, I can’t argue with that!