Getting your nutrition in line is a sticky matter. There’s a whole dearth of information available on the Internet, and depending on who your favorite guru is, you might be in total agreement with the bro next to you, or you might be having a trial by combat to see who has the better diet.
I’m not here to crown some diet winner in a massive showdown or anything like that. Instead, I just want to shed some light and give you some hard and fast rules that will never change.
Here are 9 no-nonsense nutrition rules.
- Calories will always matter.
Until they develop a pill of some sort that makes calories null and void, the total number of calories you eat is going to matter. It’s not the only thing, but it’s a big thing.
- You don’t need to eat ever 2-3 hours, but it sure seems to work well.
You don’t have to stick with the bodybuilder classic of pulling out your Tupperware ever 2-3 hours to scarf down some chicken. But having a routine and set schedule works incredibly well.
- Juicing is for Scientologists.
If drinking cold pressed super organic juice makes you feel better, then by all means, keep doing it. Just don’t live under some false sense of superiority because you’re drinking juice. It doesn’t make you better, and it’s not healthier.
- That 30-minute anabolic window is more like 4 hours.
This isn’t to say that you should stop slamming a protein shake immediately after a workout, but it’s to say that if you miss a shake, don’t stress. The anabolic window is more like 4 hours, depending on how long it’s been since you’ve eaten.
- Supplements work, just not as much as we think.
Using supplements can help you a ton, but not because the supplements themselves are that great. They work thanks to the placebo effect most of all. That, and spending money on something helps force you to dial everything else in.
- In order to find moderation, you need to live at both extremes.
Moderation, by definition, is living in the middle. To find the middle you’ve got to find where the edges are. This is why for short periods of time there’s value in complete debauchery and restriction. It helps you find a place of sustainable balance.
- Carbs aren’t the devil.
Carbs are not only delicious, but they play a pivotal role in giving us the energy we need to support hard training sessions, as well as support recovery. That said, if you’re totally sedentary your diet probably shouldn’t consist of 90% worth of carbs.
- Removing most processed foods actually does help.
Thanks to the rise of IIFYM eating a diet relatively high in processed food and staying lean has become in vogue. And while it’s possible, it’s not exactly ideal. Removing most processed foods is an easy way to cut down on junk calories and look out for your health.
- When all else fails, eat the rainbow.
If you’re ever unsure of what you should be eating or what sort of diet to be following then make it very easy on yourself: eat as many colors as possible. This way you ensure that you’re getting in plenty of whole foods, typically from fruits and vegetables, and a wide variety of micronutrients.