Don’t get me wrong about the diet… I always have a plan to suit my current goal, and I’ve become pretty damn good at dialing in meal plans that hit my target macronutrient ratios down to the last percentage point. But what’s IN the plan? Usually a lot of the stuff that other people might tell you “you can’t eat” if you want to get results.
It’s important to understand that when training towards a body composition goal, your results will be directly proportionate to the appropriateness of your approach, and your consistency in sticking to the plan. Also how hard you work at training. As far as nutrition though, to get into totally ripped, single figure body fat percentage, ready to step onto the stage in a body building or figure modelling competition… that can require some quite specific nutritional planning.
For most of us though, that’s not our goal, so it’s not what is required. So for me, I’m still going to have my cereal for breakfast like a normal person, I’m going to have some toast for a snack if I feel like it, and once every few weeks I’m going to say “to hell with the plan” and treat myself to a great big pizza. So while I do plan quite meticulously to ensure I hit my goal weight as lean as possible, my plans are a balance between wanting to be in my best shape, and wanting to have a little icecream with my pancakes after training.
Managing body weight comes down to overall calories, with attention to macronutrient ratios. We then train appropriately to positively influence our body composition (ratio of body fat to lean mass) at that goal weight.
I would never argue AGAINST consuming more whole foods, organic or whatever else… but the idea that the average obese man or woman in the street won’t be able to drop 20 kg of body fat and get into a healthy weight range unless all of their eating is meticulously clean, all organic “superfoods”, precisely timed and all this other stuff some people are talking about…. it is just not correct. I try to personally represent what can be done with a realistic and reasonable approach to healthy eating. Orthorexia is a real concern and I think it is important that Personal Trainers do not encourage it, any more than they would encourage other eating disorders.
As for my activity level… I have a lot of conversations where people will say “oh but Dave, you’re so active throughout the day”. In all honesty nothing could be further from the truth. I train bloody hard for around an hour a day, and that’s about it. I’m not a group fitness instructor who’s actually doing the workout along with their clients. When I’m with a PT client the only thing I’m exercising is my big fat mouth!
If you’re in a job that involves any form of manual labour, or even if you’re in an office job but find opportunities to increase activity (by taking the stairs instead of the lift, for example) you’re almost certainly more active than me. Although… I doubt you’re training as hard as I am!
So, I expect results from all of my clients. But to achieve those results I expect no more or less than what I do myself. Train hard for about an hour a day, and lock in a reasonable nutrition plan that hits your calorie and macronutrient requirements. That’s IT!
Pretty simple, right?