If you asked 100 different people what “good nutrition” or “healthy eating” means, you'd likely get 100 different answers.
Some think good nutrition means eating fewer sugary desserts. Others think it means eating more fruits and vegetables. Others think it means eating less meat or fewer carbs. Sure, all of these are simple and easy to remember. Yet all of them are incomplete.
At Moxie we measure the “goodness” of a nutrition plan differently. We ask one simple question – a question that you should be asking yourself right now:
“What do I hope to accomplish with my nutrition plan?”
In fact, not only should you ask this question now, but you should also revisit it every few months, just to be sure you’re remaining true to your goals. Hopefully you remember that whole “matching goals and behaviors” discussion from the blog post “10 Moxie Fitness & Nutrition Success Tips”.
All good nutrition programs must accomplish four things simultaneously:
1. IMPROVE YOUR BODY COMPOSITION
You want to lose fat, gain muscle, see your abs, and generally look great naked… but there are plenty of powerful drugs, invasive and risky surgeries and psychotic crash diets that can improve the way you look temporarily, often sacrificing your health, well-being, and athletic performance.
2. IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH
Maybe you have health issues that need to be resolved. Maybe you've got a clean bill of health. Either way, your nutrition plan should improve your health profile and keep it shipshape for a long, long time. From reducing your blood lipids to increasing your insulin sensitivity, from decreasing diabetes risk to increasing good cholesterol, from reducing body fat percentage to increasing your lean body mass, Moxie Fitness & Nutrition is not only designed to help you look better, but also to improve your overall health and function well into old age.
There are a lot of programs out there that cater to health-oriented people, including programs that restrict calories severely, eliminate all meat (even the lean kind), and / or supplement excessively with vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, some of these practices reduce metabolic rate and lean mass (both of which are essential for healthy aging), while others can create nutrient deficiencies or nutrient overdoses. Still others can decrease daily energy levels and performance.
3. IMPROVE YOUR PERFORMANCE
Whether you're an average gym goer who just wants higher energy levels, better stamina and a little more oomph in your workouts, or you're an elite, world-class athlete, Moxie Fitness & Nutrition will improve the way your body works.
People choose many ways to improve performance, including powerful ergogenic (performance-enhancing) drugs, crash dieting and diuretics to make weight for competition, loading up on pasta before a big competition, etc. Yet none of these are really ideal for long-term achievement, and some of these strategies compromise health and body composition.
4. IT MUST BE SUSTAINABLE YEAR-ROUND
Most people do not need (and cannot do) complexity (i.e., attempting advanced strategies like "keto", intermittent fasting, etc. when they are still drinking alcohol almost every night and / or not getting protein and veggies with most meals, and / or eating too many processed foods or not eating enough whole, unprocessed foods, and / or not prioritizing sleep, and / or not exercising consistently, etc). They need help with the absolute basics of a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.
Most clients need strategies that are realistic, simple, and fit with their everyday lives as “imperfect” human beings. So, at Moxie we do not believe in creating a bunch of strict rules. We are going to build a solid foundation by focusing on fundamentals.
Mastering the basics and doing them consistently is almost always enough for optimal fitness, health, body composition, performance, and life balance.
At Moxie, we also do not believe in those over-the-top “XX-Day Fitness / Nutrition Challenges” or super-strict diets. The biggest potential problem – one that’s true of pretty much all “XX-Day Challenges” – is that they tend to be extreme lifestyle changes for a relatively short duration in the grand scheme of things.
Although you will likely see some results with these XX-day challenges (if you are able to stick with them for the duration), the question is: What happens at the end of the XX days? Unless you have a sustainable framework for longer-term habit change, there is a good chance you will revert to old habits.
Simply put, whether your goal is to build a rock-solid physique or a million-dollar company, it’s going to take more than 30, 60, or 90 days. Given the demands of most of these XX-Day Challenges the overall program is too demanding for many people juggling a job, family, and other aspects of life which leaves them feeling like they must choose between their health plan and spending time with family and friends. That’s not fun or sustainable.
Thus, focusing excessively on weight loss, health, or performance alone while ignoring the other goals can cause problems. Let's consider a few examples.
LOW-CALORIE DIETS / CALORIE RESTRICTION
Sure, calorie restriction will reduce body weight. And yes, research studies show that extreme calorie restriction in animals can lead to longer life spans.
While calorie restriction may lower body weight and perhaps add a few years to your maximal potential lifespan, it has drawbacks. For starters, long term restriction can reduce bone density. Did you know that osteoporosis is rampant in our society, even in young female athletes? These diets can reduce muscle mass and strength, eventually leading to losing independence and mobility with age. Finally, low calorie diets compromise performance by robbing you of food energy and metabolic power.
Thus, while a low-calorie diet might help you drop weight, you will also see the declines in health and performance. The clinical evidence that low calorie diets may help you live longer just isn't well validated in humans, nor are these diets the only way to improve longevity.
VERY LOW-CARBOHYDRATE DIETS
Scientific evidence has shown that these diets can reduce blood sugar and cardiovascular disease risk, which is generally regarded as “healthy”. However, drive those blood sugars too low and you also drive muscle and liver carbohydrate energy too low. In sports, that's often a recipe for disaster. In an intermittent sport (basketball hockey grappling etc.) Or an endurance activity (long distance running), low muscle glycogen will kill your energy levels.
While very low-carbohydrate diets may be healthy in some respects, they will impair most people's physical and mental performance.
VERY HIGH-CARBOHYDRATE DIETS
High-carbohydrate diets that are full of simple sugars and devoid of fiber and micronutrients can improve short term performance in certain sports (especially endurance sports. In the long term they can also increase body fat, eventually induce insulin resistance, and even decrease performance.
So, why bother with restricted calories, or very low or high carbohydrate diets? With Moxie Nutrition, you can live healthier, perform better, and lose fat faster than you ever thought possible.
I know what you're thinking now: “Low-calorie, low-carb, and high-carb diets are out? Well then what can we eat?!” Don't worry. Moxie Nutrition is sound, scientifically validated, and very inclusive. I'll prove it to you.
But for now, just remember: all good nutrition programs should do four things simultaneously:
1. Improve your body composition
2. Improve your health
3. Improve your performance
4. It must be sustainable year-round
Keep these in mind as you browse through this site.
And keep this in mind as well: Good nutrition is outcome-based. Theory is nice, but results are everything. Remain appropriately skeptical of all new nutrition advice you hear (even from me!) Until you have tested it on yourself and proven that it can improve your body composition, health, and performance.
Theories that sound simple, short, and sexy usually don't produce the results you are looking for – making them very unsexy. Results are sexy. And Moxie Fitness & Nutrition coaching produces results.