Our nutrition strategy


Periodically, we share how we approach training and nutrition, by sharing our current training program or nutrition strategy. This is one of those times. Some of what we share below is the same as the last time we shared it, but some things have changed. As our goals change, our needs change, and our overall situation changes, the way we approach nutrition changes. There will never be the “final” nutrition strategy or meal plan we ever use. Like our training program, our nutrition program evolves over time. This is Nathan again, writing solo today. Every day I help create nutritional programming or implement said programming for clients as well as myself. Developing nutrition programming has been part of my life for more years than I can remember. I would not be very good as an online and face-to-face nutrition coach if I did not have the education and experience to help others. Any person that follows my nutrition programming for an appropriate amount of time will see the benefits of the programming in body composition changes, performance improvements, and in other areas, such as improved mood due to better health. My nutrition programming helped drive me to feats such as a 535-pound deadlift, a 270-pound clean and jerk, and a six-minute mile and many other feats, such as maintaining a body fat percentage of less than ten percent year round. At the same time, my programming as an online and face-to-face nutrition coach helps other people achieve similar goals. Simply put, my nutrition programming works, but maybe you're curious about the healthy diet plan I, and Grace, use. Well, I will provide some insight in this writing. Now, understand that just because we use this approach, it doesn't mean you or someone else should. The approaches are custom made for us, just like all the plans we create for clients are. My approach What's my approach? I eat what I want. Okay, so that is true but does not tell the entire story. I do not count calories or macros, nor do I follow a meal plan. I do eat at certain times and make sure to eat until satisfied but not stuffed, while at the same time consuming healthy foods. It might sound odd that I do not count calories or macros, nor do I follow a meal plan, especially when I prescribe these approaches for other people. Simply put, I have done this a long time and know what works for me. I have 20 years of health and fitness experience, during which I've come to know what my body needs, regardless of cals and macros. Additionally, I can look at foods and have an idea of how many cals and macros are in serving sizes. Now, understand that I am still aware of calories and macros. I have an idea of where my numbers are, and I monitor my body composition and performance for signs that my nutrition approach is or is not working. The reason this approach is successful for me is I have control over my eating. I won't randomly overeat, snack due to boredom, or otherwise engage in habits that will sabotage my performance and body composition. I have a vast knowledge of food, meaning I understand portion sizes, what are healthy foods, when I need to time my foods, etc. At the same time, I listen to my body and understand when I am fueled properly versus when I need to fuel better. Additionally, I primarily buy and eat healthy foods. While it might seem odd, this in itself helps me effectively utilize this approach. If I purchased McDonald's fries, chips, frozen pizzas, and similar items, then ate until full but not stuffed, I would inevitably consume more calories and have imbalanced macro levels. Finally, I also have a controlled fast at least 12 hours per day. This allows me to condense my calories into fewer meals, eat more, and still not overeat. In fact, due to my fast and my high level of activity, right now I struggle more with consuming enough calories. My weekday schedule looks something like this:

  • 3:00 a.m. - Wake

  • 4:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. - work, life

  • 4:00 a.m. – Meal 1

  • 7:00 a.m. Meal 2

  • 10:00 - a.m. - Workout

  • 12:00-1:00 p.m. – Meal 3

  • 6:00 p.m. – Meal 4

  • 8:00 p.m. - Sleep

If needed, I may have a snack one or more times during the day. Here are a few examples of meals I might eat: Meal 1

  • 1/2 dry oats cooked in water

  • 4-8 ounces of ham

  • 2 bananas

  • 1 apple

  • 1 scoop pea protein in water

Meal 2

  • 3 oz beef jerky

  • 3-12 ounces carrots

  • 2 bananas

  • 1 apple

  • Up to 1 cup raisins

  • 1 scoop pea protein in water

Meal 3

  • 1-2 medium white potato

  • 8 ounces chicken breast

  • 82 grams peas

  • Up to 1 cup raisins

Meal 4

  • ¼ cup dry rice cooked in water

  • 8 ounces ground beef

  • 82+ grams of broccoli

These examples do not tell the whole story, of course. If I need to eat more, I eat more. If I need to eat less, I eat less. I regularly consume up to nine servings of fruit, seven serving of vegetables, and two pounds of lean meat along with 1-2 starches/whole grain carb sources. Additionally, I drink 1+ gallons of fluid per day.

My approach to eating is simplistic. There is nothing fancy to it, complicated, or time consuming, except maybe the actual eating. Meals 1 and 2 take only a few minutes to make. Meal 4 is prepared in the evening and from it Meal 3 is also prepared. The listed examples take no more than 30 minutes to make, and that is combined time, since the meals are prepared together. Grace's approach Grace's weekday schedule looks something like this:

  • 3:00 a.m. - Wake

  • 3:45 a.m. - Protein shake

  • 4:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. - work, life

  • 8:15 a.m. - Breakfast

  • 11:15 a.m. - Lunch

  • 3:00 p.m. - Workout

  • 6:00 p.m. - Dinner

  • 8:00 p.m. - Sleep

If needed, she may have a snack one or more times during the day, most commonly in the afternoon before her workout. Grace keeps a rough count of calories and macros, using a macronutrient spreadsheet that lays out the numbers for each meal. There is nothing fancy about her approach, she does not fast, and instead, she just follows basic principles such as calorie control, macro control, minimizing snacking, and overall mindful eating. Here are a few examples of meals she might eat: Protein shake

  • 1 piece fruit, 1 scoop pea protein in 8 ounces milk)

Lunch

  • 1/4 cup dry brown rice pressure cooked

  • 4 ounces steak

  • 1/2 cup cooked peas

  • 1 diet soda

Dinner

  • 1 medium white potato

  • 4 ounces chicken breast

  • 1/2 cup cooked corn

  • 1 diet soda

Now that might seem simplistic, and it is. Proper nutrition does not need to be difficult. Preparing Grace's shake takes less than five minutes. Lunch and dinner take longer. When we make dinner, we cook enough for lunch for the next day. Yet still, the process only takes us about 30 minutes. Think about that, 30 minutes once per day to make two lunches and two dinners. Everyone has that much time. In fact, in 30 minutes, by simply increasing the ingredients, we could make 4, 6, or more meals and have food for multiple days. Eating right is as difficult as you make it. If you really want to improve your nutrition, you'll find a way to do it.

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Nathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, run coaching, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, and the International Sports Sciences Association. Nathan has 17 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA.

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