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Rule One: Meal Frequency

Meal Frequency is the foundation for any health and fitness program. If you overlook this rule, you dramatically minimize the effectiveness of your program, ultimately making your goals harder to reach. Your body is the most sophisticated machine Earth has ever known, and this machine needs fuel and it will find a way to get it. If your body does not get fuel several times a day, with well balanced meals, it will begin the process of catabolism. This is when your body breaks down muscle tissue to be converted into glucose, (the body’s ultimate fuel) so it can continue to carry out all of your bodily functions. You should make it a priority to consume a meal or snack a minimum of 3-4 times daily. This will not onlyhelp to prevent catabolism and combat hunger, but, it will help you perform better during your workouts. 

Rule Two: Proper Macronutrient Ratios

Another common question I get about a food program is, “How much protein or carbs should I eat?”  I have a simple rule that will help you figure this one out and give you a very accurate way to have balance with your meals. 

Introducing “The 1-2-3 rule.” This rule states that each meal’s caloric makeup should consist of 

1 part from fats, 2 parts from protein and 3 parts from carbohydrates.    

An Example:

Today on your nutrition program, you are given 1800 calories to consume and you will eat 360 calories per meal for a total of 5 meals. 

(1) Fat-300 cal/day           or  60 cal/meal    

 (2) Protein-600cal/day          or 120 cal/meal   

(3) Carbohydrates=-900cal/day          or 180 cal/meal

It’s also important to note that Protein and Carbs have 4cal/gram and fat has 9cal/gram. This will allow you to determine the number of grams of each you can consume at a meal by dividing the calories per meal by 4 or 9 to get the number of grams you may eat. 

An Example:

  1. Fat- 60 cal/meal /9 =   6.6 gram of fat per meal 

This should be used in conjunction with your selected food list which already has nutritional content of the healthiest food choices spelled out. 


Rule Three: Plan your Day

I’m sure you have heard the old adage “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This holds very true when it comes to creating success on your exercise and nutrition program. When you wake up in the morning and ready to start your day, it would be wise to have an idea of how your day might unfold and plan accordingly. When you walk out the door, have prepared meals with you to avoid any “fast food” stops.  Here are some a few examples of planning accordingly:

  1. Cook food in advance- cook enough protein and veggies to have in the fridge for a few days. This is a huge time saver!
  2. Always pack lunches and snacks to take with you.
  3. Always have meal replacement bars and shakes on hand. Eliminates fast food runs.
  4. Plan according to activities- Bigger, higher carb meals before a workout, smaller meals before a nap or sitting to watch TV.
  5. Always carry water with you. – Helps you get daily intake of water and curbs your appetite

Rule Four: Take Your Supplements

Taking supplements is a vital part of your nutrition program. There are a few factors that make supplementation crucial for success. The inability to eat 3-4 times a day makes the idea of having meal replacement bars and drinks a must to have on hand. The depleted soil and long travel time of fruits and vegetables getting to the market increases the importance of taking multi-vitamin and mineral supplements. There are also proven supplements that help performance such as creatine, and amino acids, just to name a few. The most important rule about supplementation is getting them in your possession and taking them consistently. They cannot help you if you let them sit in your cabinet. This may seem like common sense, but it’s very common for patients to get supplements and not take them.  It sometimes takes several weeks to feel the effects or notice them working, but continue to take them to maximize your results. Therefore, you must supplement your diet with the appropriate vitamins and minerals as recommended by your doctor or other healthcare professional.

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