In honor of the one of the greatest hip-hop artists to ever touch the mic, The Notorious B.I.G. – I’m a HUGE New York hip-hop fan, even though I’m a born and raised West Coast guy… Who’s never even been to NY…
Yeah I know, kind of weird but I’ve always drawn to the big city of New York, the New York Gangster movies and history, music scene, and everything about that.
Anyway, Biggie had a great song called “The 10 Crack Commandments” and since I love the song but I deal nutrition tips online, rather than crack on the streets, I figured I’d spit 10 solid rules to nutrition for better health, fat loss, and muscle gain for you.
#1 – Thou Shall Eat Sufficient Protein
Pretty basic and well known, if you want to build muscle and/or burn body fat you just need an adequate protein intake. It is going to help you rebuild more tissue for more muscle growth, help fuel your training recovery for better performance, going to help metabolism stay up while keeping you satiated during a diet which makes things MUCH easier to diet and lose body fat, and it has many other functions from helping immunity to cell growth in the body.
The point is simple, get your protein in and to be exact, when improving body composition is your goal, it’s best to stick with .8-1g per lb. of bodyweight. Some can bump protein up as high as 1.2g per lb. and it has ZERO negative effects, but it isn’t necessary unless you’re dieting for a show.
Reason for this being #1 is simple… 75% or more of clients who hire me struggle to hit this marker and don’t realize it. Easiest way to make this happen is to plan out each meal with a serving of protein first and don’t let a meal skip it!
#2 – Thou Shall Drink Plenty Water
Another basic yet VERY overlooked principle in nutrition. Many of us think, “Yeah I drink a lot of water each day…”
Try tracking it, majority of us are not actually hitting a gallon of water and for anyone over 100lbs I usually suggest getting that in regardless of your goal.
So get with the commandment and hit a gallon a day. I don’t need to explain why it’s beneficial!
#3 – Thou Shall Plan
One of the biggest struggles I faced when I first started tracking my macronutrients and calories was that I’d add things into my tracker as the day went.
But the issue kept arising that I would be stuck with barely any room left and I was still hungry!
Many people have the opposite as well, where they end the day with a ton of room left to hit their calories and aren’t very hungry at all or lack the knowledge of what to fill them with.
[For those of you like this… You’re crazy, or maybe I’m just a fat boy at heart but I never miss a single calorie 😉 ]
So what’s the solution here? Just plan your day ahead of time! So take out your notepad or food log app tonight and add in your foods for tomorrow. That way you don’t over eat, under eat, or have to guess on what you will eat.
If I could give one single piece of advice that applies to all of this dieting guidance, it’d be to plan ahead because it relates to it all and helps consistency and adherence a ton.
#4 – Thou Shall Partition Calories
This one may confuse you, because of the fancy diet lingo – my bad.
But it’s simple, your biggest calorie meals, which usually should contain the majority of your non-veggie carbohydrates, should be placed around your training.
During the pre and post workout period, specifically post workout (especially during a fat loss phase), your muscle cells are like sponges to carbs. They’re much more readily available to take in glucose (carbohydrates) and turn them into stored glycogen to replenish fuel, repair tissue, and fuel performance.
By placing your carbs and big calorie meals around your training, you’re more likely to use your calories to build muscle and not store it as fat.
Now we all know the genetic outliers who can eat carbs whenever and seem to build abs on top of abs, but that’s the 1-3% of the population – AKA most likely not you and sure as hell not me. So this is a fantastic principle for the majority of us to practice. For you outliers, grub on my brother.
#5 – Thou Shall Get Omega’s Weekly
This is a commandment towards better health, but that health will lead to better insulin sensitivity, heart health, and a gang of other benefits that will lead to better performance – which leads to less body fat and more muscle/strength.
The easiest way to get your Omega-3’s in is to take fish oil daily; I recommend 2-3g of EPA/DHA to anyone who does not eat fatty fish 1-3x per week.
That being said, I’m always a food over supplement type of coach and I do recommend just eating salmon or another fatty fish a couple times per week. But I also realize that doing this is uncommon, so fish oil works just fine.
#6 – Thou Shall Go Green
Too many people simply just don’t eat enough veggies and without doing so, you’re lacking many micronutrients and fiber. Without either of those things, your health from the gut to your hormonal balance is off and that will make your gym results suffer big time.
Easy thing to shoot for is 3-4+ cups per day of green veggies and 1 cup of colors, which could be colorful berries/fruit and/or colorful veggies like peppers.
If this is hard for you like most, I definitely suggest a solid greens supplement drink to add to it – this doesn’t replace your veggie intake, but definitely will speed up the process of getting in the nutrients you need.
#7 – Thou Shall Stay Away From “Low Diets”
What I mean by “Low Diets” is anything that is low on any one specific macro or micronutrient. Low carb, low fat, low protein, etc.
This isn’t me saying a low carb diet doesn’t work, because it does. But it is only a TEMPORARY diet or solution, sooner or later performance and hormones will suffer and results will suffer because of it.
I provide low carb diets and have done them in the past, for a short period of time – almost as a “mini-cut” for an event or to burst through a plateau.
If you do function better and get better results from a low carb, while still feeling GOOD, then I do believe it is ok – assuming you raise protein and fat to bring calories up to a healthy level.
Going to long on a low calorie diet will hurt us in too many ways, which is why it is important to focus on the long term plan and not on the quick fix crash diet mentality.
This leads me to the 8th commandment….
#8 – Thou Shall Not Restrict
I’m not the “If it fits your macro’s” guy… But I do believe in its principles, if approached properly.
The key is following the 90/10 rule – 90% of your food should come from real, whole, nutritious foods that this earth produced. 10% of it should be whatever you enjoy that “fits your macros” so to speak.
Restricting leads to one thing – Bingeing. We’ve all been there, diet hard all week or even longer sometimes, then the weekend “cheat meal” comes and goes from a slice of pie to an entire pizza with some ice cream for desert.
But we fail to realize that we’re MUCH better off having a healthy dinner with a small bowl of ice cream multiple times per week than we are to have a full blown cheat meal or day. Calories are calories and if we manage that, fat loss will happen.
#9 – Thou Shall Not Supplement
Ok maybe I could word this better… “Thou Shall Not RELY on Supplementation”.
Simply put, supplements are not the answer. Whey protein isn’t better than real food, fat burners do not work, real food is much better than multi-vitamins, and anything that says “Hardcore” or “Extreme” on it is bullshit.
The key with this commandment is simple, supplements are meant to do one very obvious thing – SUPPLEMENT the diet.
So take the fish oil, greens drink, and creatine each day, that is fine and great. But focus on the big rocks first and the big rocks are your nutrition.
#10 – Thou Shall Get a Coach
This is just reality here guys; everything in life becomes easier and more successful when you have a coach or mentor.
Want a great relationship? Talk to someone with a long lasting happy marriage.
Want to make more money, learn better marketing, or grow your business? Get a business coach or mentor with someone who has made a lot of money.
The best basketball players in the world, guess what?? They all have coaches.
And just like all of the above, if you want to achieve better results in your body – You’re going to need to hire a coach.
Not only do they have experience and knowledge that you do no possess in the nutrition and training realm, but they also have an outside perspective and an unbiased opinion.
And I wouldn’t be telling you this unless I 100% believed it.
I pay a business coach who teaches me the in’s and out’s of marketing, branding, sales, and everything I need to know on how to grow my fitness business.
I also have a coach who does my nutrition and training as well because at the end of the day, I have a bias opinion and do not have an outside perspective on what I personally need to get the results with my body and strength that I’d like.
I know nutrition and I know training, but having the support, accountability, and honest, expertise, of a coach from the outside is a HUGE reason for my results.
And anyone I know who has achieved outstanding results, they have a coach too.
Don’t skip out on the most crucial commandment, get yourself a coach.