Archives for November 2014

WARRIOR NUTRITION: EATING FOR THE WARRIOR PHYSIQUE PART 2

Warrior NutritionIn the last article we covered training to attain the warrior look. Today’s topic…. Nutrition.

Nutrition nowadays is one of the most highly debated and controversial subjects out there. Some people tend to identify with a particular “diet” or way of eating to the point that it becomes a religion/ideology of its own.

I don’t think extremes are healthy. (Especially in the mental sense). They cause unnecessary tension and are the reason for many pointless arguments.

I’ve tried numerous diets, tinkered with different macro/micronutrient ratios, played with, and cycled calorie intake, all of which finally enabled me to uncover and create the nutrition protocol that has served me well.

Personally, I don’t diet in the conventional sense.

Dieting, or at least most people’s connotation of the word conjures feelings of negativity and misery.

Screw starving yourself to death in an attempt to look great. The truth is you don’t need to be extremely restrictive with your food intake.

Creating a modest 400-500 calorie deficit daily is your best bet when the goal is to lose body fat, as opposed to dropping down to 1000 calories a day.

That said, just because I don’t “diet” in the conventional sense of the word, that doesn’t mean I don’t monitor the food that goes down the hatch. I do. However, I just don’t see what I do as dieting.

While there’s a great deal of variation in regards to meal set-up, frequency, calorie breakdown etc. The basic principle remains fairly consistent.

On the simplest level, if you want to look great, experience amazing energy, vibrancy and health, whole, natural, minimally processed foods should make up the bulk of your nutrition plan.

Eating like a warrior involves eating predominately from the land itself. Eating minimally if not completely unprocessed foods the majority of the time.

That means lean proteins, vegetables and whole fruits should be staples in your diet, with starches like rice and potatoes added in to supply glucose to fuel demanding activities such as intense training.

These are staples in my “diet” and the way I eat 90% of the time. The other 10% I allow myself room to fit in some “junk” foods. Although by sticking to the outline listed above, I pretty much steer clear of any cravings.

I find these foods are typically more filling than the processed garbage that is so prevalent in todays society.

This is the basis of “warrior nutrition.”

Eating in this manner combined with an intermittent fasting set up and the right training protocol will cause your body to lean out and develop warrior proportion and strength.

This is just a basic, general template.

The following are my go to food choices. I don’t buy them all at the same time (particularly the protein sources). I just rotate them when I want to spice things up and add some diversity to it.

It’s pretty simple and basic, but damn does it get the job done and I feel great eating this way.

Proteins

  • Chicken (breast, thighs and drumsticks)
  • Lamb (mince and chops)
  • Eggs (Whole)
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Venison
  • Turkey
  • Cottage cheese

Carbohydrates

  • Rice (white)
  • Yams
  • Sweet potato (White as well as red varieties)
  • White potato (Jersey royals, new potatoes and russet potatoes)
  • Vegetables Mainly green beans, broccoli, carrots, spinach and kale)
  • Fruit (Mainly berries, pears and bananas)

Note: Although I’ve included vegetables under carbs, they only contain trace amounts that are insignificant and not worth the hassle counting.

Fats

  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado
  • Coconut oil
  • Cashews, walnuts, pecans (small handful)

 That’s pretty much the bulk of my diet. I do add certain spices and condiments to add and enhance flavor, but this is the key component.

It looks fairly limited, because it is. I like sticking to foods that enable me to stick to my diet.

Occasionally I’ll fit in treats here and there because I believe in a balanced approach, but I never deviate from the backbone of my nutrition approach.

Now, I do include intermittent fasting as part of my nutrition strategy mainly because it frees up time (I don’t like to cook and clean all day). It also allows me to eat bigger meals as opposed to snaking on small meals throughout the day.

I use a leangains style approach to fasting. I fast for 16hrs a day and have an 8hr-eating window.

Though I’m more relaxed about the window. I don’t worry about going over it. Sometimes life gets in the way and I end up going past the eating window.

The important thing with intermittent fasting is not to get caught up with the eating window itself. You’ll still want to push your breakfast to later in the day, around about lunchtime. (Don’t be to damn rigid though. The whole point of fasting is to break away from nutritional dogma).

The number one priority is hitting your macronutrient and calorie intake. The eating window itself is secondary.

A typical day

1-1:30pm: Meal 1

4:30-5pm: Meal 2

8-9pm: Meal 3

Addressing psychological factors behind dieting

Most people lack the drive and conviction to stick to a nutrition plan. I don’t blame them.

When you’re told you have to give up certain foods for good, it just makes the whole process miserable which is exactly what you don’t want your experience to be like.

The whole purpose of your nutrition plan should be to help you reach your goal in the most enjoyable and rewarding way possible.

1) Stop deriving and associating happiness/pleasure with food.

Stop associating pleasure and happiness with food. Let go of your emotional connection and attachment to food. Food is fuel. It’s nourishment. Nothing more.

Most of the food related issues such as obesity and comfort eating all stem from associating food with pleasure and giving food power over your life.

If getting lean, dropping fat and developing dense muscle is your goal, all you need to do is eat enough to sustain yourself while progressively getting stronger in the gym. That’s really all there is to it.

Happiness and contentment has to come from you. Specifically being content and present. Accept the moment as it is and just roll with it.

2) Become a conscious eater.

When you sit down to eat, focus solely on the food you’re about to consume. Put the phone away, don’t stare at the tv or laptop, or read a book/magazine. Just concentrate on the food in front of you. These things are all distractions and the last thing you want to do is be distracted.

People that pay attention to their food and chew each morsel thoroughly, focusing on the flavor and texture tend to find it easier to not only eat less food overall, but also reach satiety quicker than those who are preoccupied with the aforementioned distractions. (This is purely an observation on my part. I’ve got no scientific studies to back it up. It’s my own anecdotal evidence).

3) Give yourself permission to include foods you like.

A bit of reverse psychology at work here. If you were told you could never have a certain food you liked again, for example chocolate. You probably wouldn’t be able to stick with your eating plan for very long. It’s damn frustrating and infuriating to be denied like that. Sooner or later you’d cave and eat a whole bunch of it.

It’s like telling someone not to press the red button, the individual will no doubt do it anyway to see what happens. The point is, people always want what they can’t have.

The simple way to avoid this predicament is to not put yourself in that position in the first place.

As long as you’re mindful of the quantity you’re consuming and it fits within your overall plan (macro and caloric breakdown) you can still lose body fat while including “bad foods.”

Funnily enough, when you allow yourself the choice to include “treats” into your nutrition plan, you’ll actually find yourself craving those foods less. It’s a weird feeling and something I’ve personally gone through.

Nowadays, sticking to my nutrition protocol isn’t difficult. I don’t deal with cravings or binges and I attribute these three simple, yet powerful pointers to helping me on that front.

Well, that about wraps up this article. There’s still more to cover on the nutrition front. Namely breaking down macronutrient and caloric intake. We’ll cover that in part 3. Subscribe now. You don’t want to miss out.

If you want to learn more, pick up a copy of WARRIOR 101. Everything is clearly detailed and broken down for you. You’re covered on both training and nutrition.