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Focus on the most important things first.

If you're like many people who worry about the details of what to eat, you might ask questions like:

  • "I had two cups of carrots. I calculated that as 18 grams of carbs. Is that OK? What about three cups of carrots?"

  • "Is drinking a diet cola with a chocolate bar a 'diet meal'? The chocolate bar has peanuts, which gives it fiber... so that cancels out the sugar, right?"

  • "Is it OK to skip my veggie servings if I drink three greens supplement drinks a day?"

  • "How do you feel about chickpeas? Are chickpeas bad? What about black beans?"

  • "My weight loss has stalled. Should I eat 7 meals a day to kick-start my metabolism?"

  • "Is it OK to have four slices of gluten-free bread with my meal? It's gluten-free, so that's OK, right?"

Curiosity about food and eating is admirable. Yet, these types of questions are missing the point. They're examples of obsessing on details, while neglecting the bigger picture. They're analogous to mowing your lawn while your house is on fire.

There's so much nutrition information out there, and so many products that promise you the fountain of youth (or the fountain of asskicking), it's easy to get lost in details. It's easy to get sidetracked and focused on information that doesn't actually drive the results you want.

So let's refocus.

What to focus on

Here's a list of the basics, the practices that give the most pay-off for your energy and attention:

  • Eat slowly, to 80% full, consistently.

  • Learn and follow your body cues, consistently.

  • Eat good quality food, consistently.

  • Be active regularly.

  • Do the right things for your goals, consistently.

In other words:

  • Are you eating slowly and thoughtfully, making the best food choices possible, as often as possible?

  • Are you eating to a true 80% full? Or just kinda sorta, sometimes?

  • Are you eating real food instead of "diet foods" or other fake foods?

  • Are you doing your workouts as scheduled? Are you putting in a good effort?

  • Are you sleeping and recovering enough? Do you have a good sleep routine and are you using relaxation techniques?

  • How consistent are you with your nutrition? (If you want to be sure, try a few days of food journaling to check your memory.)

  • Are little snacks and "extras" sneaking in? Are you "forgetting" about your daily Frappucino, muffin, or beers? Are you nibbling off others' plates after dinner?

  • Are your expectations appropriate? Are you trying to do too much too soon... or do you have a clear understanding of what realistic, long-term deep health involves?

  • Are you focused on taking ACTION, right now, today? Or are you "wondering and worrying"?

Digging into the weeds of nutrition details—on details like supplements, precision in grams or calories—won't be substitutes for these basics. For sustainable results with lasting power, focus first on solid foundations.

The Moxie Weekly Fix

It's time to reflect. In a notebook or journal, or even on a post-it note, set aside a few minutes this week to answer the following questions.
  • What are the actions and behaviors that matter most for you?

  • What can you do today to make sure you do those things?

Source: Precision Nutrition ProCoach

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