I received a few emails last week about the type of diet I eat to stay lean that's a great compliment to Kettlebell Training.
The honest truth of the matter is that there is no real “diet” that I follow or that I think you should follow to get lean using your kettlebell workouts.
I think, sometimes, it's just a matter of logic.
The whole purpose of the TT Kettlebell Revolution is to help you simplify your workouts, your nutrition and your lifestyle. It isn't about carrying around a scale to measure your protein portions or walking around with a glycemic index chart so you can refer to it before you make the decision to have an apple from Ontario or an apple from upper NY State.
So, in saying that, I like to follow an “UN-DIET”. I eat whatever I want, whenever I want.
Now hold the boat! That doesn't mean that I'm over-indulging in pizza, fries, cake & beer all the live-long day. (Although I will enjoy a good slice of cheesecake every now and then).
Eating “whatever you want” and still staying lean and in great shape means that 1) you need to have a good relationship with food and 2) you have to have a healthy consciousness towards food.
Let's try to break down both of them…
Having a good relationship with food. If you grew up in the bodybuilding and supplement era of mid-90s like I did, then you know all about the guys that would show up at the gym with their portable electronic scales measuring how much boiled chicken breast they should be eating.
Over the summers when I was young, I used to work at a gym where one guy (he was the 35+ year old manager with 2 kids) would consistently buy a case of tuna each week and store it in his locker. He wouldn't touch rice (brown or white), pasta, apples (most fruits in fact) or any type of oil or fat. Any time he would break down and have an apple or a piece of fruit, he would be enraged and upset with himself, feeling guilty that his will power had failed him.
The guy was in what he called a “cutting” phase. And he was miserable.
That same winter, I quit the gym training job and decided to venture out on my own as an independent trainer. The day I left, that same guy walked into the gym, about 20lbs heavier, with 3 bags of McDonalds and would devour Big Mac after Big Mac in the hopes of getting bigger (READ: fatter). He, apparently, was in a “bulking” phase.
Needless to say, this guy's relationship with food was messed up. And his systems were getting all messed up from “cutting” and “bulking” every 3 months.
Any time you eat clean and then decide to reward yourself with a piece of cake, AND THEN feel guilty that you had the cake and went on to have the pie, cookies and ice cream … I'd say it was time to examine your relationship with food.
Let's say we had 2 individuals – Rob and Mike – plan out their perfect day.
Rob's perfect day is sleeping in until noon, skipping breakfast, lounging on the couch watching TV and then inviting his buddies over to watch the game while they eat pizza & wings and drink some beers until they pass out on the couch 'til the next morning. Sound familiar? I think that was me in college.
Mike's perfect day involves getting up at 6 and meditating for an hour. Then enjoying a breakfast of eggs, fresh fruit and yogurt. After that he takes his kids to school and then heads down to the ocean with his wife for their surfing lesson. He and his wife then enjoy a lunch of fresh grilled fish and a salad by the beach. They head over to the gym to workout together and then they pick-up the kids and spend the rest of the night together as a family enjoying dinner and then an evening walk.
Who's got the healthier consciousness towards food and LIFE?
Each of them mapped out their perfect day. The only difference is that Mike's consciousness of health (and food) is a lot healthier than Rob's.
So when I say that I eat “whatever I want”, it needs to be stressed that, more often than not, I don't want the greasy, fried and battered stuff. It wasn't always like that. But now, being a little older, (arguably) a little wiser and knowing that there is always someone watching every decision I make (ie. my 4 girls), my consciousness of health has developed over the years.
Now, I “Jones” after good, fresh food.
Mind you, this past Sunday, my wife and I enjoyed some Buffalo chicken wings while we were watching the game (no beer or pizza though). And I enjoyed it – the company, the experience – and I didn't feel guilty afterward.
So back to the original question, “what diet should you eat when you're on the TT KB Revolution“?
My answer, after you've examined your relationship with food and your consciousness towards health/food is…
Eat REAL FOOD.
Eat when you're hungry.
Stop eating when you're satisfied – not full, not “stuffed” – when you're satisfied.
Train with intensity 3 times per week.
And Be Conscious and Enjoy the process.
-Chris Lopez, CTT
P.S. We just got back from the doctor. The baby will be here either today or tomorrow … or so I'm told 🙂