Pillar 2: Nutrition

If you missed the intro and Part 1, you can read them here:

To make sure you’re in the right place:

If you’re over 35 and you’re ready to say a big FU to aging and the Dad Bod, you’re in the right spot.

If you want to look at yourself in the mirror and say “damn, I feel and look better than I have in a decade,” you’re in the right spot.

If you want to wake up fully energized, ready to crush your client calls or have a fun adventure with your kids, you’re in the right spot.

Ready to start Pillar 2? Let’s go!

Pillar 2: Nutrition

“Don’t eat like an asshole.” – Dan John

Well, that’s rather blunt! But what does it mean, to eat like an asshole? You’re eating ice cream every night after dinner. Starting your day with a donut. Grabbing cookies at lunch. Snacking on candy at work. Consuming alcohol like you’re in college. That’s what it means and looks like.

Eating like an asshole will make it impossible to get the body you want. Even worse, eating this way will add inches to your waistline and put you at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

So what’s the solution to eating like an asshole It’s simple: Watch what you eat and drink. It all starts with awareness.

  • What are you currently eating?
  • How much protein are you consuming?
  • How many veggies are you getting daily?
  • How many alcoholic drinks do you throw down per week?

Keep a food-and drink-log for just three days and you’ll have a truthful picture of what’s going on. You’ll be surprised by what you think you eat versus what you ACTUALLY eat.

Common responses from the guys I’ve worked with:

“Holy Hell, Nick, my drink log had me averaging over 10 beers a week for the last two weeks!”

“Whoa, when I looked at my food log, I noticed I only had three servings of veggies all week!”

As humans, we’re pretty terrible at accurately recalling our food and drink intake. We delude ourselves all the time.

“Oh yeah, I just had a couple beers this week.” Then you look at the log and you actually chugged ten.

We commonly underreport unhealthy foodstuffs and overreport healthy options. But when you take an intake of your true consumption, that’s when you start to see patterns and can make changes.

This is the exact opposite approach of what most people do. Most people just aimlessly diet. That MAY work in the short term, but most will not be able to sustain it. Here’s why.

The Problem With Diets

By definition, diets are restrictive and prescriptive — eat this, avoid that — and take no account for your own individuality.

You’re not doing the work yourself, but blindly following a meal plan or trying to hit a certain macronutrient ratio. Worse, you may be completely restricting certain food groups.

Grind it out for a month using every bit of willpower and discipline you have to stay the course, and you may see some results. But at the end of those 30 days, you haven’t developed any new skills around eating.

You still don’t know how to eat for YOUR body. You still haven’t learned what real hunger feels like. You still don’t know what it means to be full but not stuffed. Good luck retaining results with such lack of knowledge.

You need these vital skills for long-term, sustainable success with your nutrition. When you build some of these key nutritional skills, you won’t need to diet ever again. No more relying on willpower or discipline.

That’s why “watching what you eat and drink” works better in the long run. It’s about being smarter.

What you’ll notice is that, when you watch what you consume, there’s none of the following:

  • No dogma around food
  • No counting calories or weighing food like some anal-retentive bodybuilder.
  • No feeling guilty
  • Nothing is off limits

Ice cream tastes amazing. Carbs are delicious. I’ll never say they don’t. Depriving yourself of these foods is no way to live. More importantly: you don’t need to deprive yourself of these foods to get results.

The one definitive statement you can make about nutrition is this: There is no perfect diet.

I know it’s hard to accept that, because the keto people and the paleo crowd and the vegetarians love to loudly insist their way is the best.

NO. If you actually look at the research and listen to experts, you’ll conclude no diet is superior to another.

What To Do Next

So here’s what to do today: your first step.

Log your food for three days. No judgements, no crazy changes. Simply write down everything that you consume, and learn from the data. That’s it.

Next up is Pillar #3 of the Trifecta of Transformation: Movement.

If you want to know what it takes to look better with your shirt off, without spending hours at the gym, you’ll want to check this out.

Again, here’s the big picture:

  • Introduction to the Trifecta of Transformation: Why All This Matters
  • Trifecta of Transformation Part 1: Mindset.
  • (YOU ARE HERE) Trifecta of Transformation Part 2: Nutrition.
  • Trifecta of Transformation Part 3: Movement.
  • Putting It All Together: How to Set Up the Trifecta of Transformation for YOUR LIFESTYLE, So You Know Exactly What To Do Every Day

Ok, that’s a wrap on Part 2.

How’s your food log looking? Seriously, this is one of the most powerful exercises for gaining clarity around your habits.

Remember, if you’re struggling with your weight or energy, what you’re currently doing isn’t working.

You need to be open to taking a hard look at your stuff, and make changes where you must.

Unsure if you’re doing this right? Send me your log at nick@saltwaterfit.com. I’m happy to have someone on our team take a look and give you feedback.

See you in part 3!