One of my goals over the past year has been to get into shape.  No, not just shape…but fantastic shape.  My reference — Tony Stark in Ironman (some would know him as Robert Downy Jr).  Lean, muscular, and well proportioned.  On Friday, I got my body fat measurement — 10%.

graphI’ve lost 5% bodyfat over a year.  That’s 14 pounds (the graph only shows 9).  Doesn’t sound like much, but I’ve also maintained or added to my musculature (the curse of dieting is that you lose muscle, which makes your metabolism slow, which makes it harder to lose weight…yet easier to regain).

So how did I do it?  Well, I found a nutritional guru named John Berardi who has developed a program called Precision Nutrition.  PN is specifically designed to help people 1) look fit, 2) be healthy and 3) perform to their highest potential?

Geez, must be confusing.  Not at all.  He’s found seven habits that successful encourage change:

1. Eat every 2-3 hours, no matter what. You should eat between 5-8 meals per day.

2. Eat complete (containing all the essential amino acids), lean protein with each meal.

3. Eat fruits and/or vegetables with each food meal.

4. Ensure that your carbohydrate intake comes from fruits and vegetables. Exception: workout and post-workout drinks and meals.

5. Ensure that 25-35% of your energy intake comes from fat, with your fat intake split equally between saturates (e.g. animal fat), monounsaturates (e.g., olive oil), and polyunsaturates (e.g. flax oil, salmon oil).

6. Drink only non-calorie containing beverages, the best choices being water and green tea.

7. Eat mostly whole foods (except workout and post-workout drinks).
So what about calories, or macronutrient ratios, or any number of other things that I’ve covered in other articles? The short answer is that if you aren’t already practicing the above-mentioned habits, and by practicing them I mean putting them to use over 90% of the time (i.e., no more than 4 meals out of an average 42 meals per week violate any of those rules), everything else is pretty pointless.