I’m constantly amazed by how many fitness gurus give nutrition advice that they can’t follow themselves. While recently reading a great book by a great trainer, I decided to look up some video of him online. He weighed 270 lbs and looked like he just swallowed a bathtub. This wasn’t exactly the physique I was expecting. The advice he was giving was sound. However, he was just regurgitating what he had read from other writers. Although he had some success with weight loss, he just couldn’t maintain it. And that really is the key, isn’t it?

We can all lose a significant amount by not eating as much, but can you keep it off or is it optimal for performance? Here’s a kicker: Optimum nutrition for performance leads to a lean, healthy physique. So stop telling me that you’re a “strength athlete” when you really just can’t bring yourself to push your gut away from the table.


So what brilliance am I going to shed on a topic that has been flogged to death, dragged miles behind running horses, and beaten beyond recognition? Well, I have competed in weight classes from 181 lbs to 220 lbs. I’ve dropped weight quickly and put it on quickly. I’ve also maintained less than ten percent body fat for years at a time. In other words, I’ve been on both sides, and I can practice what I preach. Let me share what I believe are the top things to have in place to get lean and stay that way.

Have a plan: I’ve never met a single person who has been successful at losing and maintaining weight who didn’t have a plan. I don’t mean that person plans to lose weight. I mean that when you ask that person what he will eat for dinner tonight, he can tell you exactly. Take the time to sit down and make a weekly food plan. Stop whining and just do it. If you don’t have a plan, how do you know if it’s working or not? By the way, if you aren’t losing weight consistently after two weeks on your plan, it isn’t working.

Learn: Most people who fall off the wagon going out to dinner or at a party do so because they have no idea what would be the best choice of what is available. Here are two books you need to read:

  • The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain
  • Protein Power Life Plan by Michael Eades

After reading these, you will know more about proper nutrition than 99 percent of the people in the US.

Stop making the decision: One hundred percent is easy; 99% is exhausting. I wish I knew who originally said this, but it is very true. When you choose to change your food choices, do it! Stop wondering if you can have the cupcake. You can’t! When you no longer have a choice, the choices are made for you. Stick to your plan and stop obsessing over the stuff you can’t have. Buckle down and get the results you’re looking for.

Losing weight and staying lean isn’t a process with an end. Proper nutrition is a lifestyle. You may have to give up some of the yummy stuff, but isn’t looking good, performing at your best, and living longer worth it?