In today's "health and fitness" universe, it seems as though there's a new strategy, fad, supplement, diet, etc. around every corner; that is guaranteed to get unbelievable results...and FAST.
Today we are going to ignore all of that. In general, 99% of the new trends should be ignored anyway (hint: because they're a waste of time and thought). Instead, we are going to focus on what really matters for long-term success.
So, what do we need in order to finally achieve our health and fitness goals? We need a focus shift, from propaganda to PRIORITIES.
Introducing the "Priority Pyramid"!
The "Priority Pyramid" is a sharp pivot away from a traditional food pyramid, that focuses only on the ratio and importance of food choices, proteins, fats, carbohydrates and calories. Although these things are important, this approach is missing the bigger picture.
We are human! As such, our emotions, lives, jobs, families and countless other factors are going to play a BIG role in how strong our willpower is; when we finally decide what to put in our mouths. To ignore this fact, is downright foolish and silly (...Billy).
At PFT, we don't ignore real world issues. Some gyms may just tell you to stick to the program! We say to them, "Your program is broken and you don't even know why".
Instead of preaching to you, we flipped the typical food pyramid on it's head. The foundation of this new (and vastly superior) approach, is based on priorities that will lead you to the proper food choices. Each level will build upon the previous one, creating an unbreakable foundation.
Now that we have that out of they way, let's take a look at the 5 levels of the "Priority Pyramid".
This one seems pretty straight forward, but seems to constantly be overlooked. You must enjoy what you eat! Otherwise, how are you ever going to stick to a dietary strategy consisting of foods you can't stand the taste of? (mini-rant: "I'm talking to you dry chicken, soggy broccoli and farm raised congealed tilapia. Ya'll still give me nightmares! Don't even get me started, on how you led me down the dark path toward the warm embrace of the golden arches and their smooth talking Big Macs!)
This will take some time, but it's important to explore and find healthy food choices and alternatives to your less healthy favorites. This will make the process of reaching your goals far more enjoyable and realistic.
The next time someone tells you that you must eat tilapia, dry chicken, broccoli, etc. in order to lean out; pause and take a moment of silence, for they know not what they say.
Ask Yourself...Does this dietary strategy fit within my lifestyle? If you said "no", it will never work.
It doesn't matter what strategy you are using (Intermittent Fasting, Ketogenic Diet, Paleo, low carb, etc.), if you are fighting the process the entire time it will result in failure, frustration and disappointment.
How you live your life, should never revolve around your chosen eating strategy.
If you keep trying to force it, inevitable something will break and that "something" is usually your waistline.
You can be using the best approach in the world, perfectly tailored to your preferred lifestyle and if you don't follow it...you will fail to reach your goals. Consistency is the key to progress. Not to mention, you'll have no idea what is working, not working and/or how to adjust your strategy; unless you're being consistent enough to get a true gauge of progress.
Give yourself and your chosen dietary strategy, some time to get to know each other. Endure the tough times together and rejoice in the good times and successes. Once you've given it a fair shake, you can decide to continue playing the field or pop the question. Either way, your perseverance and adherence will have paid off.
Whether your goal is to gain some lean muscle and/or lose some body fat, the key to unlocking your progress is energy balance.
Goal of gaining weight = caloric surplus
Goal of losing weight = caloric deficit
As the fitness world keeps trying to get more complicated, full of glittering declarations dictated with a religious faith, one thing remains unbroken. Although there individual circumstances and considerations; weight loss (or gain) will always come down to calories in versus calories out.
There are three main macronutrients that consist of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Another very important consideration for overall health is daily fiber intake.
Protein and fiber will remain fairly static (based on weight, age and gender) whether your goal is to build lean muscle or lose body fat. The remaining fats and carbohydrates can be adjusted to personal preferences, biofeedback and current dietary strategy. It is important to note, that dietary fats must remain at a certain minimum level for optimal micronutrient absorption and hormonal function.
Macronutrients are absolutely important for optimizing health and body composition. However, without implementation of the other levels of the "Priority Pyramid" their value fades away into a muddled mess of a misguided perspective.
How are we ever supposed to stick to a dietary strategy, if we can't stomach the food, it violently crashes up against our lifestyle and consistently staying on track is a near impossibility?
The answer is...we CAN'T! We need something better.
Let's simplify and clarify, the true priorities that will help us stay consistent and in turn crush our health and fitness goals ("the better" if you will).
"The Priority Pyramid"
Level 1: Taste
Level 2: Compatibility
Level 3: Adherence
Level 4: Calories
Level 5: Macronutrients
In order to succeed, we must stop trying to force our lives into the over-hyped diets that promise us the world, while crossing their fingers behind their backs and filling their wallets to the brim with our hopes and dreams.
Do you want the real secret? Tell you what, you can even have it for free.THE REAL SECRET:
Choose foods you enjoy eating, that fit into your lifestyle, allowing you to consistently follow your dietary strategy. All of this, encompassed by PATIENCE.
If you combine this new "Priority Pyramid", with the superior food pyramid from our 28-Day Reboot Nutrition Guide, you'll have everything in place to finally succeed at this whole "diet" thing.