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To stay on track, follow your baseline.

Life—and nutrition and fitness—operate in a range, or a spectrum, from "better" to "worse" choices.

It's important to think in these shades of gray, rather than being black-or-white, all-or-nothing.

Your baseline

To stay lean and healthy, you don't have to be an exercise nutrition expert.

You can get very far by simply eating the right foods in the right amounts. However, you do need to pay attention and be mindful, consistently reviewing and refreshing basic daily practices.

To do that, you need to define your baselines.

Your baseline keeps you in-bounds of where you want to be, and protects you from letting practices slip. Your baseline is a "safety harness" that protects you from rationalizing all kinds of poor choices.

Your baseline is the line you don't go below—the bare minimum you are willing to do.

Of course, you can go higher. The baseline is there to always prevent going lower. If you do go lower, you can immediately notice and you re-evaluate.

Define your baseline

Your baseline reflects your boundaries of the level of "good health" that's within tolerance for you. At what point do unhealthy practices start to feel intolerable to you? At what point does feeling unhealthy get in the way of your other values and responsibilities? That's your baseline.

Your baseline is unique to you: what you know of your body, your life, your mindset, and your daily practices.

Your baseline reflects what you need, value, and want. What you're willing to trade off and do.

Each person is different. And each choice has trade-offs. For instance:

  • You might choose to set your baseline as one hour of activity daily. The benefit is that it'll be easier to stay lean and fit—but you'll have to shuffle your schedule and make that a priority.

  • You might choose to set your baseline as two restaurant meals per week. It'll be cheaper and better for your waistline—but you might have to revise your social calendar and find other non-restaurant activities if going out is important to you.

Ask yourself:

  • What do I value?

  • What is truly important to me?

  • What am I willing to trade? Why/why not?

  • How will my choices affect my health and body composition? Am I OK with that?

  • Does my expected input match my expected output? If not, do I need to revise one or the other?

  • Once you set your baseline, organize your schedule and your life around meeting your minimums.

Successful maintenance requires a clear understanding of a baseline.

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 is your baseline?

  • For exercise?

  • For eating?

  • What key habits will you be most stringent about?

Source: Precision Nutrition ProCoach

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