Counting Macros, Intermittent fasting, the Ketogenic diet, carb backloading…
What do all these ‘diets’ have in common? They all work. I’ve done them all and seen some noticeable change in sometimes as little as three weeks. They all have the same goal: leaving you at a caloric deficit (eating less calories than you burn) so that you can lose weight or body fat, depending on your goals.
Although they all might work, most of them leave you feeling flat, lethargic, and hungry- despite looking good. What we try to recommend to people is following something that gives you a basic understanding of the different types of macronutrients (carbs, proteins, and fats), and come up with a plan that promotes balance.
The key to making this type of nutrition protocol work for you? CONSISTENCY!
The biggest problem I see in terms of nutrition is lack of consistency. People might have 3 great days of eating, but ruin it with a ‘cheat meal’ or during a night out with friends or family.
The thing is, if you are not where you want to be in terms of body composition or weight, you are going to have to make a few sacrifices in order to make a change. I’m not saying you can never enjoy sweets again, or that you have to be the grandchild who broke nonna’s heart by refusing to eat her pasta (Italians will understand that struggle). But until you reach where you want to be, you have to have the discipline to shut out everything that will prevent you from reaching your goals.
Believe it or not, I was a chubby kid. I was ashamed of it, even at such a young age. If we were at a swim party that had girls there, you can bet I was keeping my shirt on (no tarps off for young stephy).
One day in the summer of 2011, I watched the movie Never Back Down. In that movie, the guys were shredded, they could fight, and they were fit. Something about that movie resonated with me, and I simply thought to myself “Thats it! I am going to get a six pack” (Kind of funny now that I reflect on it haha, but bear with me).
That same day, and every day after, I ran. I had this route around my house, roughly 1.5 miles, and I would time myself every day and try to beat it the next day. It was tough, and I wanted puke every time. I loved it.
Up until then I was eating horribly. I ate a lot of junk, and drank so much juice that I’m surprised I didn’t become diabetic. I immediately cut out all of this. Cold turkey. The diet was now meat, veggies, and sometimes potatoes. It was mid-August. By the time school came around in September, almost everyone noticed a change, and people kept asking me “did you lose weight?”.
I kept this up for many months. I would literally have 1 piece of junk food a month, if that. No no “cheat days”, just consistency, day after day after day. And you know what? I did struggle. I did have those days where I felt like it was not working, or I was tempted to eat pizza or drink a ton of alcohol with friends. But I stayed on the path. I trusted the process. And by April that same year, the abs popped through, and I probably spent that whole morning looking in the mirror. It was simply something that I thought would never be possible for me.
From there, I kept working out and eating clean. I found a job that I wanted to do, which demanded physical fitness and discipline, so I immediately changed my training to focus on that. In addition to body composition changes and becoming physically fit, what I also noticed is that my grades improved. I used to be a trouble maker who had time for anything but school. But after changing everything, I made honour roll that same year and surprised all my teachers who doubted me. Working out and eating right changed my life, I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t make that choice at such a young age.
So the take away from this story? If you want to see success with your nutrition program, you have to be consistent! Trust me, it is much easier to maintain your body composition, the hard part is getting there. Now that I am more comfortable and have different goals, I make room for those foods I love. (cookies and burritos are my favourite things… man, I love them)
So find a nutrition program that aligns with your daily schedule and lifestyle, be CONSISTENT, stay disciplined, train hard #paytheman, and say no to the sweets—what Jocko Willlink would call: “Sugar Coated Lies”…haha
Do these things, and I promise you guys, you’ll get there. If someone like me did it, I know you can to. Be the example for those around you, through your success, others will follow.