Week 2 Optimal Nutrition Course

February 08, 2015 0 Comments

Welcome to the 2nd week of the Optimal Nutrition for Health, Performance and Body Composition course. I heard from quite a few people last week, and a few more posted their goals in the comments section, but I urge anyone who hasn’t yet laid out some clearly defined goals to do so now.

You should also have a week or so logged in your food diary. Assuming you’re up to speed, let’s do this!

Lesson 1

The first lesson of the week is all about figuring out what your food diary is telling you. Nutrition can be an incredibly complex and personal subject but we’re going to be looking for a few key pieces of information when we analyse your diary. 

  • Do you eat at fairly consistent intervals throughout the day (smaller meals every 2-3 hours) or eat  more sporadically (larger meals every 4-6 hours)?
  • How much water do you drink? Is your water consumption the same each day?
  • Do you alter your intake of food and fluids depending on your activity levels for each day? 
  • Did you notice any spikes in energy or periods when you were significantly lower in energy?
  • Were there certain foods that made up the bulk of your dietary intake? What were your top 5 foods in terms of volume consumed?

Where possible I’d like you to share this information in the comments section below. As this is a course that is dealing with nutrition, rather than just generic goals like weight-loss, then this will allow me to give you some more specific feedback. 

Lesson 2

The goals you decided on during week 1 are a great starting point. I heard things like:

“My goal is more energy and better health."

“My goal is to lose weight, tone and build muscle."

“My goal would be to drop some body fat".

But goals have no real power without action. Knowledge is most definitely not power unless you are motivated and committed to do something towards the attainment of those goals. One of the simplest ways to achieve your goals is to keep track of them, to check in on a daily basis. Writers often approach their work this way - they might aim to write 1000 words per day as a way to keeping track of their progress. Those 1000 words might not be great, but they do represent progress. Your commitment to maintaining your diet should be the same. 

Assuming that you have received some feedback from me in lesson 1 (above) then lesson 2 is all about assigning actionable tasks to your daily life. It sounds incredibly prescriptive but it needn’t be onerous. For example, you might have the daily task to:

  • Drink 4 litres of water per day. Our actionable task might be to start each day by filling a couple of 2 litre water bottles and keeping them with you at all times. The task therefore is present throughout the day - it isn’t something that you’ll get to the end of the day and suddenly realise that you haven’t completed it. 

Remember, I can't give you advice unless I have received your feedback about the food diary so make sure you reach out, either in the comments section or via email. You can also send me your food diary directly if that is easier. 

Lesson 3

I am far from your typical example of someone who lives a perfect life. I drink and eat what I want when I feel like it. But I also live my life by the rule that discipline equals power, rather than the traditional view that discipline is a loss of power. I get great pleasure from being able to make a decision and stick to it, of being disciplined enough to shape my own life. 

I think this rule is also very closely related to nutrition. You should be happy that you’re able to eat a diet that supports your health and happiness, but also happy when you choose to eat things that might not necessarily be part of the traditional view of a good diet (alcohol, fried foods, sweets etc.). Put simply, lesson 3 is about one thing - you need to make your own choices rather than do things blindly. 

See you next week!




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