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Putting it all together

Having now given you all the information in the nutrition series to help you understand about nutrition and its impact on your body, it is now time to put it all together. Let me also start by saying that this and the previous articles in this series have been put together to provide you with the knowledge and tools to help yourself design your own nutrition plan. I’ve provided you with those tools as a blueprint and now it’s up to you to do the work – get to it! – Let’s get started

Introduction and forward

Everyone is different, they have different genetics, metabolisms, body types, needs/wants and different levels of motivation. With that in mind, this section will be a generalisation of how to go about turning the information from this series of articles into a useful part of your body transformation or general healthy lifestyle change.

Following a nutrition plan that requires adjustment based on results will take a while to both get used to and to work out what best suits you and your needs. You simply just can’t go cutting everything out nor just guess, it just won’t work effectively, it does require some planning and preparation. Therefore planning a long term nutrition plan takes time to get to grips with, it’s a process of adjustments each week until you get the calories and macronutrients right. Make small changes and record the results, yes it will take a while, but we’re not doing short term crash dieting here. You can’t do this if you don’t know what you are eating, sorry there is no shortcut to this part.

You will need to try to be less sugar and fat obsessed, our prehistoric bodies haven’t quite caught up with our fast changing diets that seem overloaded with a variety of sugary/fat foods. Following a nutrition plan to help keep excess weight off and/or building muscle needs to be something you can continue to do, a lifestyle change, a metabolic change if needed and it is best done slowly to avoid the body fighting back against the changes. You will need to disconnect your emotional side to food. Have the will power, self control and overcome impulse and temptation.

Don’t expect results straight away, it takes time for your body to adjust. Do this slowly to avoid your body reacting and slowing down your metabolism. There is no short cut to long term health and fat loss. Yes there are short term ones, but we are not interested in that here.

The great thing about getting leaner and fitter, is the more you become those, the easier it gets as a leaner healthy body burns more fat calories and the more your body gets efficient at using it for energy the leaner you can become and so it goes on.

How efficient we are at doing this will be determined by our genetic, hormonal makeup, but also by how much effort we put into making changes to our diet and activity level. Our body weight is a result of the amount of energy we release into our bodies minus the amount of energy our bodies use up. So although there are many obstacles in our way, we can still have an impact on it by do something about it ourselves with guts and determination.

Help with planning your meals

Firstly you want to split your food intake into several meals. Ideally in order to control hunger, insulin, nitrogen balance and adjustments to the nutrition plan, you will want to split it into at least four meals and as much as seven. What you are trying to do here is not let your bodies fire burn too bright and then fad out fast and be hungry for more fuel again. Don’t panic however the seven meals include pre and post workout nutrition. So you might have, breakfast, early lunch, pre workout nutrition, post workout nutrition, dinner, a late evening meal and pre bedtime nutrition for example. Of course this will depend on your goals, the time you workout and/or when you can conveniently get the time to eat. If you prefer to not eat like this then four meals spread out would be the lowest number I would go for.

So what should each of your meals consist of? Well you need to supply a good mix of protein, carbohydrates (complex and fibrous) and fat (mostly mono, some polyunsaturated and small amount of saturated) in each of your main meals. For pre and post workout nutrition, please see the Pre and post workout nutrition article if you already haven’t done so.

On average most people will need to get around 30-40% of their food from protein sources, 35-50% from complex carbohydrates and 20-30% from good fats. However the ratio of each of your macros will vary depending on your goals, activity level, your weight and body type and can be altered as required. It maybe a good idea to know what body type you are also at this point, so if you haven’t already read the Introduction to your body article, check it out and see what body type you are.

If you know what body type you are, then for:

Fat loss:

Mesomorph – macro ratio 30-35% protein, 30-40% carbs, 30-35% fat

Endomorph – macro ratio 30-35% protein, 20-30% carbs, 35-40% fat

This is just a rough guide, once you set your nutrition plan out and start to monitor your weight or go by how you look in the mirror, you can then start to adjust your portion size. If you feel your not losing enough body fat, but losing enough overall weight per week, lower your carbs down a little and increase your protein intake a little. If you are wanting to lose a little more weight, just lower your carbs and leave the rest alone. If you are struggling to lose body fat, gradually lower both your carb and fat intake.

Muscle gain:

Mesomorph – macro ratio 30-40% protein, 35-45% carbs, 30-35% fat

Endomorph – macro ratio 30-35% protein, 30-40% carbs, 30-40% fat

Ectomorph – macro ratio 30-40% protein, 40-50% carbs, 30-40% fat

Again this is a rough guide. Adjust the carbs for more fat loss and replace with more protein, keep the fat level steady unless you are losing weight.

Now having just written the above macro ratio’s, don’t get hung up on them. As you can see there is quite a bit of overlap between the body types, as we all react differently to the ratio, they are just a very rough guide. It is far more important that you are eating good quality food and monitoring your portion size against your records from your weight/measurements/mirror.

Avoid foods that raise or lowers your blood sugar rapidly, such as simple and refined sugars, cut out junk food and other man made processed foods and try to eat most of your food as natural as they come and combined the foods from all three macros each time you eat.

If you have to skip a meal, just spread it out into the others. There is no real pressure to get it exactly on time, it is the overall food consumption for the day, week even, that is important. But remember for best results i.e. insulin and muscle breaking down purposes it is best to try to get those regular meal times in.

Some additional help with the nutrition plan

Remember you don’t need to count calories here, but just be calorie aware. If you eat the foods I have suggested throughout the series of articles and avoid the bad ones you should find it easier to control and monitor.

Reducing certain foods in your diet

This is one that many people struggle with. Some foods are addictive, not just mentally but physically as well. When creating my own personal nutrition plan, I had reduced my general carbohydrate, sugar intake and caffeine intake quite a bit. The first 2-3 weeks left me a little tired, a slight upset stomach, headaches and much more. It is unbelievable just how much your body gets addicted to such foods. I actually thought I was doing something wrong. However I stuck it out and after around the 3 weeks period my body quickly got over the reduction and use to my new nutrition intake. If you are starting a change of the type of foods you would normally eat and cleaning your diet up, in all likelihood you will go through the same. Be strong and you will get there in the end.


Another one that many struggle with, including me, if I’m honest – temptation. The temptation to eat the foods you know you shouldn’t, to snack, to get into the bad habit of cheating far too often. The problem is your brain wants fat to feel good, as it was our primary source of energy and more modern times has also made us more dependent on sugary foods also. It is setup to feel pleasure as a reward for eating these foods, due to the importance of them for survival in the past, however we no longer have the need for this much stored energy and yet it is more easily available to use in these modern times.

The number one rule to avoid this, is to not have those foods in the house in the first place. I know it’s difficult if there are others living in the house with you who are not on the same nutritional lifestyle you are. But where possible try to avoid buying the wrong foods, avoid the smell of these tempting foods and try to shop when you are not hungry. Also see my off day below.

One thing that keeps me able to follow such a nutrition plan and why this diet has the potential to work for others, is that I allow some cheating. But not in the strictest sense of that word. I have the more healthy cheats, such as I allow myself to have a small block (1″) of dark chocolate or a few raisins on occasion, as an alternative to wanting less healthy sweet options. I also normally have these treats straight after my workout, when the body can use them to replace lost glycogen, instead of wanting to convert it to body fat.

If you have a sweet tooth and really can’t do away with the need for something, try to find healthy options to replace the not so healthy options.

My one day a week off the nutrition plan

For one day of the week I somewhat go off my nutrition plan, yes I’m human, just like you. But hold on just one moment, let’s not get too excited. This isn’t a free for all, eat as much as I want food fest bonanza. I still start the day off with my bowl of oats and finish the day with my pre-bed drink. The rest of the day will still consist of some of the regular foods I eat during the week day. However I allow myself the luxury of having other foods, such as bacon and toast with lightly fried eggs mid morning and even a piece of cake/ice-cream around the afternoon time, but I don’t go overboard, just a treat and a change. You still need to be vigilant, not get carried away, keep your calories close to your normal average for the day, just have a change of food.

Why do I do this? well to follow even a well planned and even a nice tasting nutrition plan can still get a bit tedious and boring eating the same things over and over again, you will last much longer if you can break out just very occasionally. Just don’t go overboard and make sure it’s just once a week max! If however, you feel you can do without this day, then all the better.

Dietary calories don’t follow a 24 hours cycle, your body doesn’t reset its calorie count at midnight. As mentioned in the about calories article, I don’t feel you need to count calories, unless you are a professional bodybuilder or physique competitor. But one thing you must realise is that for most of us an excess of total calories can make a person gain fat. Reduce this and you will lose weight. If you want to lose more fat than body weight then you will need to add exercise to burn even more body fat.

Most weight loss diets don’t work long term for the majority of people – why? because people just simply can’t continue the strict regime required by them. Most people will give into temptation or struggle to continue such strict diets, eventually either giving up on the diet completely or start cheating on a regular basis. The best way to diet for long term health and weight loss/maintenance is to find healthy foods you like, eating them in the right ratios and then adjust the amount you eat based on the results of your weights and measures feedback.

Really struggling to lose fat?

Fill up on fibrous foods, drink plenty of water, but avoid sugary foods and fat laden junk foods. You can also try eating most of your food in the early part of the day and gradually reduce your eating towards the evening, as this has been shown to help to keep blood sugar levels balanced in time with your body clock. Also I have a separate articles with more information in this area here: Body fat and here: The three areas of fat loss.


With all this talk about nutrition, one of the other things that has an impact on your bodies composition, is exercise. Work gradually into exercise, don’t be tempted to run before you can walk to rush the results. There’s no doubt in my mind that working out will help increase your metabolism, help convert more fat cells to energy use, increase muscle for even more fat burning and build a healthier body. See the workout section.


We are all busy, but how difficult is it to throw some frozen vegetables in the microwave and a chicken fillet and a sweet potato in the oven? Don’t listen to negative people. Get motivated and turn yourself around, you deserve it, be committed to a behaviour change, a commitment to good nutrition and regular exercise. The biggest obstacle is your will power. Your will power to continue and carry on. Without this you will simply end up back at square one. Self control is key. The ultimate factor is can you control yourself. Train your brain to accept the change and train your body both internally and externally to be healthier.

Stick with it, once your body gets used to its new nutrition plan, you won’t get hunger pains, a rumbling stomach, in fact you will feel much better, more energy, have less headaches and much more.


Take your time. It’s important to realise that small changes at a time are preferable. Your body is used to a different diet and therefore your gut bacteria and microbes will be setup differently. Too much of a change too quickly can lead to an upset stomach, constipation, headaches and more.

Don’t forget to follow the Nutritional tips, tricks and general information article to help you on your journey to staying on track.

Please also see my personal plan for the final stage of this series. It will show you how to put the plan in a spreadsheet.