For all the ‘’diet’’ plans written there is an argument to say they are all flawed without the addition of rules. In fact, a sheet of specific instructions rather than a diet template can be far more useful to your long term success. Think about it. The same foods over and over again every day at the same time (some of us do function better like this) or the ability to have a lot of variation whilst still achieving your nutritional needs for the day!
How can this be done? Easy! With the application of rules.
Instead of writing meal 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and so on let’s add in some rules to afford yourself variation. Below are the top 4 rules we believe will do just this. See if you agree.
1 – Like For Like Changes
If we state that in meal 2 there must be chicken breast then surely we can go one further and state a ‘’low fat protein source from poultry or fish.’’ In doing so you instantly open the door up to turkey breast, various white fish and tuna or even ostrich meat!! Right away you have options yet the outcome will be much the same. We can also apply this rule to fats and carbs. There’s no reason why we can’t have at least 3 options per meal.
2 – Nutrient Timing
By specifying that certain foods are best eaten at certain times of the day we can maintain better control over a diet without being too restrictive. For example, we can offer maybe 5-10 carbohydrate options but specify they must be eaten before and after the workouts and at no other time of the day. In doing so we are affording you more variety and freedom whilst maintaining momentum!
3 – Quality Control!
To ensure we don’t get people abusing the rules we need to apply lists of foods which are going to be conducive to good health and in turn progress. We can have a long list of proteins, carbs and fats for the individual to choose from. We can then also have a ‘’treat list’’ and offer the best advice about when to enjoy them. As an example, pizza lovers might be advised to enjoy a homemade gluten free pizza after leg training caked in chicken strips and mozzarella cheese with pineapple. Call it damage limitation.
4 – Numbers Game
Whilst calories and macro targets aren’t everything we can put numbers down on the ‘’rules list’’ so that we can apply portion control. Coupled with the list of suitable foods, suitable times to enjoy each source of food and even treats it provides a solid foundation to work from!