Ciaran Ruddock from FFS is back with this week’s serving of nutrition advice.
Do you find eating healthy boring and miserable? Would like to learn how to enjoy eating better and achieve your health and fitness goals?
It sounds too good to be true, right?
Well, it is not.
- If you are eating in a way that you cannot see yourself continuing a year from now, that isn’t the approach for you.
- You should enjoy making better choices.
- The way you eat should move you closer to your goals.
The phrase that I love and try to teach everyone I coach is as follows.
This mindset is a game changer for both myself and the people I coach. When I can get someone to see everything they eat as an opportunity to nourish their body, they:
- Get excited about making better choices.
- They don’t feel like they are restricting themselves.
- They enjoy eating foods that match their goals.
- Improve their relationship with food.
- Let go of the ‘treat’ mentality associated with food.
If you could take one thing away from the last twelve weeks of my articles, this would be the most important.
Be Your Own Science Experiment
No matter who you are, what your goals are, and what you do, you have the power to look, feel and perform better.
You just have to be aware of how you feel, make better choices and experiment with what works best for you. This is where mindful eating gives you the power to figure out what works best for you.
We are all different and as we get older our goals, values and priorities will change. This is why you will not hear me talk about the best diet or speak in absolutes, I understand that everyone is different. This is why I have spoken about the fundamentals of good nutrition for the last twelve weeks. I hope that I have given you the tools to start a lifelong experiment, where you will discover what makes you strongest version of yourself.
I have found the following are important data points to measure:
- What do you enjoy?
- Energy levels
- Mental clarity and concentration
- Consistency and convenience
- Physical performance (strength, power, speed, endurance)
- Body composition (progress photos, weight, muscle girths, how clothes fit)
- Digestive health
You can track the data above using metrics such as kilograms, seconds or distance.
You can also track the data above using a simple 1-10 scale. For example, if I was measuring my mood:
- 1 = worst mood possible
- 10 = best mood possible
I would take a note of this daily for two weeks and then experiment with some variable such as carbohydrate intake and see how that worked for me over another two week period.
I have found that two-week experiments are a really nice time frame to see how something is working for you. It is short enough, not a huge commitment, but also long enough to collect enough data to see if there is a correlation between what you are doing and your desired outcome.
You can use varying durations if you wish, but two weeks is the best starting point.
Finally, the three take-home points from this article are:
- Everything we eat is an opportunity to nourish our body.
- There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Everybody is different, but the fundamentals remain the same.
- Be your own experiment and find out what works for you.
Ciaran is Director of Performance at Fitter Faster Stronger, a graduate of the MSc. in Applied Sports Science from Worcester University and he is also Precision Nutrition Level 2 certified.
Ciaran is on a mission to help himself and others become the strongest version of themselves. If you would like to learn more about Ciaran, you can check out his profile here: Team FFS – Ciaran or follow him on Instagram @ciaranruddock.