Prescription for a Great Life #2: Eat Clean 80-90% of the time
By now everyone is familiar with our Prescription for a Great Life.
Today I want to talk about #2 Eat Clean 80-90% of the time
So we hear this all the time, Eat Clean! But what does it actually mean? Well there are a few ways to describe this. Simply put, eat meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds, a little fruit and starch, but no sugar or processed food. Does that mean strict Paleo? Maybe. Zone? Maybe. If it fits your macros? Could be. Vegetarian? If that’s your inclination. Ketogenic diet? Maybe.
“Stop being so vague and tell me how to eat perfectly!”
The problem with that is that there is no perfect, just varying degrees of better and not so good for you.
But Generally Speaking for Most People what works the best most of the time is a whole food diet that is higher in protein, fat and vegetables, but lower in fruit, and starches. With Sugar being non-existent along with processed foods (food in a package that doesn’t go bad and has ingredients you can’t pronounce).
Do you like to weigh and measure your food to know exactly how much you are getting?
Sounds like the Zone or following a Macros style diet is something you can handle.
Don’t like to be that anal about it, but still kinda want to know?
Try the Precision Nutrition method of portion control:
1 palm sized protein at each meal for women, 2 for men.
1 fist size of vegetables for women, 2 for men.
1 cupped hand of Carbs (starches) for women, 2 for men.
1 thumb size for added fat, 2 for men.
Want to lose weight? Have two fists of veges and no starches and add an extra thumb of fat.
Eating to train harder? Have an extra carb hand and extra fat thumb.
Always hungry? Have a snack thats half your normal portion of each of those things.
See Picture below for a reference, or ask your coach for more guidance.
Pretty simple right? Seems too easy you say? Why are you trying to complicate it?!
Next step, whats this 80-90% all about? That seems really strict!
Well, lets have a closer look at this, if most people eat 3 meals and 2 snacks a day, then that's 35 meals a week. 80% of 35 is 28 healthy compliant whole food meals, which leaves you with 7 'cheat meals' or 'slips' a week! Thats a lot right? Lots of good things can happen at 80% compliance, that's like one little desert every night, or a huge binge on the weekend!
90% of 35 is 31.5 healthy compliant whole food meals, which leaves you with 3.5 'cheat meals' or slips a week! This is where you want to spend most of your time, this is where the most change will happen the fastest.
How does this look for eating? How about Taco Tuesday, Pizza Friday, Pancake Sunday? Do you think you'll be able to handle that? Now I'm not saying you HAVE to have a cheat, or plan for it, but if it happens, don't beat yourself up over it, just recommit to have the next meal healthy.
Want to have a drink here and there? Account for it by cutting out the carbs on your plate. There's a lot more about drinking, but that's for an entirely different post!
So there you have it, some simple tools to help with portion control and eating clean 80-90% of the time!