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10 Unpopular Nutrition Truths

Time for some unpopular truths.

“Nutrition and fitness” is a tough world. It’s plagued with popular media, culture, and celebrities selling what is “sexy” not what works. JLo preaches about her no-carb 10-day detox. Influencers post about their Paleo, gluten-free, plant-based lifestyles. Andy Frisella sucks you in with a “mental toughness” program that perpetuates many disordered eating and training habits you’ve been struggling with for years. This is no different. YES I know it isn’t a “nutrition challenge” before you keyboard warriors get started.

Very rarely do you see what actually is going to work: the simple common sense tactics (sleep, exercise, hydration, and food quality).

What’s fun is exciting gets put on the forefront so much so that what actually works...isn’t fun or desired by the average person.

Which makes it tough for those coaches, trainers, professionals who don’t buy into the popular fads we’ve decided to fantasize for that week.

A sign of a good coach is that they keep it real.

It sucks, but honesty is the best policy. Here’s why.

How many fad diets have you tried? How many challenges have you attempted? What foods have you cut out? What celebrities or influencers have you let sway your nutrition and training decisions? Do you lean towards extreme plans and programs or towards more moderate and conservative plans?

Did these fads, challenges, fitspro/celeb plans work?

I’m going to guess no...or else you probably wouldn’t be reading this.

That’s because the #1 unpopular truth when it comes to your nutrition journey is that SIMPLE is effective. The simpler the plan, the more likely you’re going to adhere to it longer and see lasting results.

A GOOD coach is going to preach about these unpopular truths. They’re going to hold you to them and not get sucked into what sells. I, along with the many other amazing coaches, could probably make a hell of a lot more money selling what the people want...but I didn’t sign up for this career for the money. I signed up to create impact and change people’s lives for the better.

So, at this point, you might be asking, “what other unpopular truths are there???”

If so, you’re in luck because that’s what this whole blog post is about: breaking down the false hopes from what sells and teaching you the unpopular, albeit necessary truths you’re likely going to need to expect as you undertake your nutrition journey, whether it’s losing weight, building better habits, or building muscle.

So without further ado, let’s dive in to 10 of my favorite unpopular truths.

1.’s going to take longer than you think or want

30-day plans don’t work long term. Four-week challenges don’t last. The only challenges that work are the ones that begin as an introductory phase...that start with habit-building and intentionally are meant to continue for months after. If, on day 1, you’re already looking forward to the external reward at the end, then you’re not going to succeed long term.

“Kickstarting” your journey with some restrictive plan only sets you up for failure. You wouldn’t run a marathon to kick off your running journey. You wouldn’t learn how to drive by throwing yourself into a NASCAR race. You wouldn’t rob a bank to kickstart saving money. Same goes with your nutrition.

My most successful client has been working with me since May of 2018. She’s gone from 210lbs to below 160lbs. She’s increased her intake from 900 calories per day to a maintenance of 2100 calories with her deficit calories at 1700 calories (800 more than when she came to me). My least successful clients are the ones that come to me demanding a cut right off the bat and tell me they’ve got 45 days to see results or they’re firing me (you happens! I’ve had clients not able to get through their initial 4-day food log before!). It’s not that my client is naturally gifted...she’s just committed herself to the LONG term plan.

The quicker the plan, the more motivation-dominant it is. As you hopefully know by now after following me for a while, motivation is garbage. What actually works is discipline...building habits and developing the lifelong tools to seeing results. See #8.

Do you really think you can not only BUILD the necessary habits needed to seeing results...but also break the ones that got you where you are now and give it time to see your desired 30 days? It takes a minimum of 60 days to build a habit. The optimal rate of weight loss is ~1lb/week and weight gain 0.25-0.5lb/week. You have 20lbs to lose? Not gonna happen in 20 days.

2. You likely aren’t ready to actively target weight loss.

How’s your stress? Is food always on your mind? Are you always hungry or craving food? Do you even have a hunger response? Do you have enough energy to get through your day? A 45 minute workout? Are you constantly fatigued or injured? Can you sleep through the night? Can you consistently eat the same intake for 2-3 weeks or do you yo-yo every 2-3 days? What do your weekends look like? When you track your intake, are you eating above 1700 calories? Do you even eat a vegetable? Are most of your calories from liquids? Are you eating roughly bodyweight in grams of protein (or at least above 100g)??

IF any of these are out of place, you’re simply not ready to create a deficit.

A deficit is a stressor. IF stress is already high, if your sleep is garbage, if you’re already fatigued and burnt out, dieting will only make it worse.

Dieting creates hunger. If you are already miserably hungry or craving food 24/7, then it’s not going to magically improve just because you’re working with a coach or have the motivation (remember, motivation is temporary!). Know what it’s like to feel satiated and nourished...consistently.

Instead, spend time reversing your intake, recovering your body, healing your biofeedback, and practicing consistency FIRST. If you’ve never done this, you’ll be surprised at how much you’d be able to achieve.

3. Toning doesn’t exist.

Toning is a sexist way to speak to women. You can’t build muscle because you’re weak, inferior, blah blah blah. You’re not feminine if you lift you “tone”.

Guess what “toning” actually is!

MUSCLE...on a LEAN body.

Meaning you BUILD muscle and THEN lose body fat.

Females don’t have a genetic gift to “tone”.

Males don’t have a genetic gift to building muscle.

You also can’t build muscle and lose body fat at the same time. Fitspro programs on the gram sell this...because they’re appealing to your desire to look a certain way. They are lying to you. You need a surplus of calories to build muscle and a deficit of calories to lose body fat.

Toning is crap. It’s our society’s sexist way at demonizing muscle on women and encouraging this frail, thin, size 0 mentality. Don’t believe me? Go on Pinterest or Instagram and find a program or plan that helps men “tone”.

Build muscle...that’s what “toning” is.

4. To build muscle, you need to lift...and lift heavy.

The only way to build muscle (to get the desired looks you’re wanting to get) is to lift weights, resistance train, and prioritize progressive overloading.

Bands aren’t enough. 2-5# dumbbells aren’t enough.

Barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, squats, presses, deadlifts...and heavy.

You won’t get bulky. I promise. I’ve seen lean 135lb women deadlift 350+lbs and squat 250+lbs. BULK is achieved by eating...and a LOT of it. For me to put on size, I have to lift VERY heavy and eat 3k+ calories. I can promise you that 2000 calories and some weights are only going to help.

And know this. Heavy is relative. "Lift heavy" isn't code for "lift so much you hurt yourself or falter on form". "Lift heavy" means "lift heavy enough to create a desired stimulus for muscle growth". Lifting to fatigue, adding tempo and pauses, and using proper form are all ways to "lift heavy". Your heavy MIGHT be 100lbs on a deadlift, so I'm not expecting you to walk to the gym and pick up 300lbs. BUT that 100lbs should feel tough not like you're picking up a cute 1lb kitten.

There’s also a NUMBER of benefits to being strong. You’re healthier. You have other means of measuring progress (besides a number on the scale). It increases your caloric expenditure. It builds muscle where undesired fat is. It’s a huge stress relief. It’s rewarding.

Does that mean you can’t do cardio? No.

Just include lifting at least 2-3x/week.

Not sure how to get into weight training? HIRE someone. Work with a trainer. Hire a coach.

5. Weekends matter.

For a number of reasons.

If you over-indulge by 1000 calories in total over the weekend (500/day), you’re not going to see desired body composition changes and will continue to stall in your progress.

On the flip side, if you eat NOTHING over the weekends (very common especially if you sleep in and don’t indulge at social events) then you’re starting your upcoming week off at a deficit and in recovery debt making it much harder to sustain long periods of time.

You may not overindulge calorie-wise but the quality may falter. This may not cause you to gain or lose any body fat but it will affect the scale, temporarily. Carbs retain water. For every gram of carbohydrate consumed, 2-3g of water is retained. SO even if your calories are in check but you eat more carbs, you will retain water.

A big problem with weekends is the LOSS of routine. Keep as much routine in there as possible. You may not be tracking your calories or macros, but it doesn’t mean you should skip meals or only eat junk and processed foods. Keep that nourishing breakfast and a satiating lunch to get in quality proteins and veggies *hey micros!*. Still aim to get ~8hrs of sleep, roughly at a similar schedule/timeline. You can still be fun and social, but don’t use weekends as “fuck it” mode to quit making you, your body, and your progress a priority.

6. Consistency trumps perfection.

The little stuff will make the difference.

It’s more important to sleep 8 hours than to have the perfect macros every single day.

It’s more important to walk 30 minutes daily than get one hard workout a week.