Delving deeper into the diet, the Jamaican experiment
By Neil Perkins
It is very easy to become an absolutist with a diet and or nutrition plan. There is nothing more annoying than someone who starts a new diet who harps on about it continually. I remember my brother and mother starting ‘Slimming World’ and discussing if they were on ‘red’ or ‘green’ days – it drove me mad!
After last week’s wobble and doubts, I’ve started looking at my nutrition a little more. I started looking at alternative nutrition plans, something I am aware many people do when ‘dieting’ becomes hard.
We live in a world where information is easily accessible. Google, social media and the thousands of PT’s who flood the saturated fitness industry all have advice on diet and training. Theories on how to win the war on fat are great, but they are better advised by people who have gained ‘experience in the trenches’. By that I mean persons who have either successfully transformed their physique or have successfully implemented these strategies for others. I am an oxymoron, I am full of information and have attained success stories, yet I still doubt the best methods to achieve success. What is a little more disturbing is I failed to realise and address the patterns I developed that caused my slide into my current deconditioned state?
I listen to pod casts from the renowned Strength & Conditioning coach Charles Poliquin. Poliquin is a leader in the field and someone who when they talk, I listen (unlike 95% of the fitness industry who babble garbage). Poliquin understands the holistic approach to training and he realises that training can’t work unless in conjunction with other factors including mental, social, nutrition and sleep. He also talks about informed decision making, life coaching and one of my favourites ‘the myth of discipline’.
Charles Poliquin, Cain Leathem and John Buckland are three ‘teachers’ I’ve personally worked under to enhance my knowledge on nutrition. All of them are exceptional and all understand the physiological and holistic approach to training.
All three share things in common with their nutrition strategies – whole foods. This isn’t an Instagram junkie eating pizza saying ‘if it fits your macro’s’ this is eating food that either grew out the ground, ran on the land or swam in the sea. They all have variants on their approach. Cain’s ‘sugar is the enemy’, Poloquin’s ‘earning your carbs’ and Buckland’s ‘testosterone boosters’.
My diet has been very much on point for seven days but something I have taken on board from a Poliquin podcast has instantaneously made me feel a million times better, this is a little too spiritual for my liking. I have stopped viewing any form of screen for one hour prior to going to bed. I also ensure that I am in bed for 10pm every night. After a long day at work there is nothing more I like to unwind watching the TV before I go to bed, this is usually coupled with an I-phone nearby updating and checking social media. There have been several studies done to show that viewing bright lights before going to bed affects your ability to fall into deep sleep. I have taken this one step further by reading a paper-back book in the 30 minutes prior to bed and I now write a journal of all the positive things I’ve achieved in the day and all the things I will conquer the following day. This is designed to put you in a sense of positivity before bed. I must say, I feel like I am sleeping a million times better.
I was dreading going on holiday last December and prior to flying out to Jamaica I was a whopping 116kg. With an all-inclusive holiday planed, I worried about how much my weight would balloon. My diet in Jamaica was very simple. I live pretty much of mountainous portions of Jamaican food for two weeks – Yams, sweet potato, plantain, chicken and fish. I also watched little TV and slept at least 10 hours per day. Yes, I drank alcohol, made a fool of myself at the resort disco and spent one night on the sofa because of it but at the end of the holiday I’d lost 4kg. Perhaps the holistic relationship between whole foods, sleep, happiness and lifestyle is key to the battle of fat loss, no just restrictive dieting and slaving away in the gym.
This spiritual soldier is happy to keep fighting the war on fat, I am learning lots on the frontline from ‘within the trenches’. My recon indicates that the body is feeling a little firmer and the energy levels are through the roof…..Yoga tomorrow.
Over and out.