I recently had a fairly in depth discussion with someone who in 6 weeks will be undergoing a significant physical selection process. Pull ups, sit ups, running, swimming and buddy carry are all included in the test. To call it grueling would be a gross understatement. While offering him some advice it occurred to me that there is one missing piece of the puzzle for so many of us: nutrition.
For the military it’s not always easy to have a solid nutrition plan. You are at the mercy of what is available (or you end up living off peanut butter, protein powder, and vitamin chews.) However, with this notable exception the rest of us don’t really have much of an excuse.
The bottom line is that you can have the greatest training program on earth, but if your diet consists of McDonalds, cheesecake and beer not only are you going to look like something the dog dragged in, you are going to feel like something the dog dragged in. No matter your occupation being a warrior means being ready to go at all times. So clean up your f*cking diet!
I once wrote in a previous article “stop being so fat!” Well, here are some basic guidelines to help you.
- Follow an 85-15 rule. Which is to say, have 3 “cheat meals” a month.
- Eat to your activity level. If you are sitting at a desk limit your caloric intake, if you are active eat more.
- DON’T DRINK YOUR F*CKING CALORIES. Get rid of the cream and sugar in that coffee buttercup. Stop drinking soda and other beverages that are loaded with “empty calories.”
- Stop eating refined sugar and processed foods.
- Skip the grains. Bread, pasta etc. Grains are well…they are evil. Avoid them. What about my carbs? You will get plenty of carbs from vegetables, nuts, seeds, etc. You don’t need grains, they cause blood sugar spikes and sluggishness.
- EAT MEAT. Yeah sorry Vegetarians, and Vegans warriors aren’t about “Dat life.”
- Drink water. Half your body weight in ounces is a good start.
- Forget about dairy. It’s loaded with all sorts of nastiness.
- Eat plenty of “good fats” like avocados, coconut oil, grass fed butter (let hate rain upon me for suggesting this one,) olive oil etc. Avoid processed vegetable fats like the plague!
- Unless you are seriously overweight I would suggest learning to “eat intuitively.” Learn what your caloric needs are relative to your activity level, and use the mirror or scale to adjust your eating habits accordingly.
You may have gathered that I am a large proponent of the Paleo lifestyle. I simply perform and feel better eating what our hunter/warrior ancestors ate. Remember your body is your greatest weapon, so train it and fuel it as such.