Thursday 14 November 2013

Week 46 Nutrition Habit: Testing YOUR Nutrition

Are you confused about
what diet to follow?
In today's information age, each day brings countless (and often conflicting) new diets and nutrition resources. What are you do? Should you become vegan, eat Paleo, go on a  raw food diet, eat right for your blood type, eat every two hours or fast intermittently? The answer is simple: quit trying to follow someone else's diet and start figuring out the right diet for YOU! At list point in our 52 Weeks to Better Nutrition and a New You series, we have covered a lot of basic nutrition information. Once this is in place, one of the next important steps is to move to individualizing your diet based on the 3 essential tests that your diet must pass. If you cannot pass these tests, then your diet is wrong for you!

In Dr. John Berardi's Precision Nutrition package, he states that proper nutrition should improve your health, performance and body composition. I couldn't agree more!

Before we start these tests, we need to make some assumptions. First, let's assume that you are consistently training well, you get a decent amount of sleep, you avoid unhealthy/destructive lifestyle habits and you have no strong genetic predisposition to diseases/health conditions. I know, that is a lot of assumptions, but if you had problems in these ares, you could be eating perfectly for you and still have health, performance or body composition issues. So, assuming you are good (i.e. not perfect, but doing reasonably well) in these areas, let's get to the tests.

Test Number 1: Your Health
Is your doctor smiling after
seeing your blood work?
  • Is your blood pressure normal or currently moving down towards normal?
  • Is your blood work (e.g. cholesterol, lipids, etc) getting or staying at healthy levels?
  • Do you rarely get sick or are you constantly fighting illness and infection?
  • Do you have digestion issues (e.g. gas, bloating, cramping, discomfort, heart burn, constipation, diarrhea)? 
  • If you were to go to your doctor's today and get a complete physical, would you and he/she be happy with the results?
  • If you were to purchase life insurance, what health rating would they give you? How much money would you save because you are so healthy?
  • If you continued to eat the way you currently do, what would your health be like later in life? (I know this one is hard to answer, but what do you honestly think?)
Test Number 2: Your Performance
  • How would you rate your daily energy levels on a scale of 1-10?
  • Do you need to rely on coffee, energy drinks or other stimulants to get you through your day?
  • Can you have a great training session without needing to take some trendy pre-workout stimulant?
  • Do you have high levels of mental clarity and focus?
  • Do you have the energy to be highly productive at whatever you have to do all day?
  • Are you regularly seeming performance improvements in your training log and setting PR's (personal records)?
  • Are you recovering well between training sessions and able to handle a reasonable amount of training?
  • If you are playing a sport, is your physical performance moving towards or staying at a high level?
  • Do you finish your day and still have energy left to have some fun and enjoy life with friends and family?
Test Number 3: Your Body Composition
  • Are you currently gaining lean muscle or successfully maintaining an optimal level of lean muscle?
  • Are you currently losing body fat or successfully maintaining an optimal body fat percentage?
  • For more information on this, learn how to assess body composition HERE and learn a simple, cheap way to assess your body composition HERE.
The Application: This Week's Habit
This week's habit is a little different than, "go to the store, buy this food and make it a part of your diet." This week, I encourage you to start a lifetime habit of continually examining your nutrition based on these 3 tests. If you regularly do so, and adjust accordingly, you will be on your way to individualizing your eating plan to what is right for you!

Below are the links to the other weekly habits in this series:

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