Diet dilemmas, which way to go?
by Neil Perkins
I start this blog with a statement that is controversial.
‘I am better qualified and more experienced to discuss nutrition than any member of my team’
Despite my somewhat portly appearance, I have attended four courses on nutrition and I am accredited with two bodies (albeit joke organisations) then next statement will cause less controversy.
‘I am the least conditioned (and fattest) member of my team’
Nutrition has been described as the icing on the cake when it comes to clients achieving their goals, but this isn’t really true – it is the cake. The training is the icing.
For achieving fat loss, the science of quality nutrition is the key to sustainable fat loss. Gyms and Personal Trainers (myself and my gym included) like to avoid the topic of nutrition. It is like the Catholic church discussing paedophile priests – it is better off avoided and brushed over.
Nutrition is such an emotive and controversial subject and I have been unable to control multiple professional athletes I have worked with and their nutrition strategies, to tackle it with a newcomer to the gym is a much bigger task. The issue with the modern world is the various sources of information available to you and the contradiction of these sources. Couple this with our ‘I want it now’ attitude of the world, there is a big problem to tackle.
Despite the science of Cain Leathem, Charles Poloquin, John Buckland and the NAR – I learnt more about nutrition watching ‘Secret Eaters’ than I ever did from any of these persons – it is an insight to people.
I am evaluating my own journey and it isn’t just decline and decondition that have seen my body fat slide into the early 20’s from 8% in 2007 – it is the habits I’ve formed over the past 10 years. With the nature of the industry I work in, I am more thoughtful than most about the food that goes into my body. I have attended three of my four courses since 2010. During this period despite my knowledge increasing, my decondition has increased.
In the ‘nutrition tackling’ problem, this very often is a side effect of emotional, cultural, habitual and lifestyle factors – no one eats a bag of sprouts when they are stressed. From a lifestyle perspective, pretty much any nutritionist of note recommends quality food preparation and the counter argument to this is that ‘I don’t have time to prepare food’ – this is an excuse that I have made and many “successful” city centre professionals have given me.
As this puzzle unravels I am going to share a secret with you, recently I undertook some business coaching – this was the best money and time I have spent. I was given lots of reading and Tim Ferris was one of the extracts I was given to read. Ferris wrote the ‘Four Hour working week’. Ferris also wrote ‘Tools of Titans’ – A breakdown of 100’s of successful people, he observed similarities and differences in all of them and their tools of success. The people interviewed included successful business people and sports starts. For those of you who have read the book, there are some interesting finds in relation to nutrition to exercise, lifestyle and nutrition with the ‘Titans’ he interviewed.
- Less than 50% of them had breakfast
- Everyone of them made ‘me’ time and formed some kind of meditation ritual
- Everyone of them ate whole foods conscientiously and fuelled their body well (yes even if they did miss breakfast)
- All of them value their body as their ‘machine and ensured they exercised
I think the above four points make you aware of the importance of making time to why you should make time to prepare and eat whole foods. Every year we have the fresh draft ascend on the gym who have joined either one of the big law firms, accountancy firms or recruitment firms. With their freshly picked Ted Baker suit off the ‘two for £150 rack’ they strut in full of self-importance asking do we offer a corporate rate as they list the name of their employer with pride. For those that start their journey, when nutrition is mentioned in relation to training results, they give you the answer that ‘with their busy schedule that they don’t have time to prepare food’. Eating better foods will not only make you perform better in the gym, it will make you perform better in life and work – it is not that you don’t have time to prepare and conscientiously think about what fuel you put into your body – you can’t afford not to if you want to succeed in the gym and in life.
We are identifying our goal driven culture at Henrietta Street Gym and striving to make our members improve. October 2018 see’s the launch of our members area on the website, we are finally tacking and talking about nutrition with our members – for our success and theirs, we can’t afford not to.
Sorry if an exercise pumped man who has read too many books has made you sit up and reflect on you actions and lifestyle. You clearly don’t have time to prepare food and make better choices – it would interfere with your time browsing social media and reading blogs written by a man who’s chastises you and who is half your intelligence.
More to come, if you aren’t too busy preparing food, I hope you have time to read. This will be life changing…….