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The Key to Nutrition: Better Basics = Better Results

In the first of a new weekly series, Ciaran Ruddock from FFS Gym provides insight into better performance and nutrition.

Do you want to have more energy, recover or perform better?

Yes, I hear you say.

Well, I am going to share with you one of the fundamentals of good nutrition, and that is the following equation for success:

Better Basics = Better Results

I believe that this is the missing link in most people’s approach to nutrition. The internet has been a fantastic invention, it has allowed us to work from remote areas and stay in contact with relatives on the other side of the world. It has also brought us a constant wave of information.

We can access the nutritional value of any food or research the most recent diet in seconds, with the touch of a screen. You might have heard the phrase ‘knowledge is power’. So with all this information at our disposal, we should know more about nutrition than ever… right?


Based on my experience as a coach over the past five years, people know less about nutrition than ever. I am constantly being asked questions such as:

  • Should I be having .8 or 1gram of protein per pound of bodyweight?
  • Should I be doing my HIIT training fasted?
  • Should I only eat carbohydrates after I exercise?
  • Should I not eat after I train, because it is getting late?
  • Is there too much sugar in fruit?

I am not saying these questions are not important. I am just saying that these questions are not important for most people.

Unless you already have consistently sound nutritional habits, these are not the questions you should be asking.

I think that this is like mowing the lawn while your house is on fire!

I don’t think that ‘knowledge is power’, I am going to suggest a much more accurate equation:

Correct Knowledge + Consistent Action = Power

We aren’t what we know, we are what we do every day. As Aristotle said:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore is not an act but a habit.”

If you want to improve the way you look, feel and perform – I am telling you to forget advanced nutritional protocols for now, and focus on mastering your habits. Focus on doing the basics better every day, and you will see significant improvements. Simple habits such as:

  • Eating quality protein with most meals and snacks
  • Eating colourful fruits and vegetables with most meals
  • Eating healthy fats with most meals
  • Eating smart carbohydrates with most meals
  • Preparing the majority of your meals

Over the past two years, I have achieved the best results personally and with people I coach – by focusing making things simpler, not more complicated. I have found that it is possible to achieve elite level results by consistently applying better basics. For example, I have been able to get down to 5% body fat twice in the past two years with this approach.

Over the coming eleven weeks I am excited to have the opportunity to talk to you about the fundamentals of good nutrition, to help you look, feel and perform better.

For now the three take home points are:

  1. It doesn’t have to be complicated but it does have to be consistent.
  2. We aren’t what we know, we are what we do every day.
  3. If you aren’t seeing the progress you want, make things simpler -not more complicated.