The Mechanics, Consistency, and Intensity of Nutrition
M,C,I stands for Mechanics, Consistency, and Intensity. This is a basic principle in the world of fitness and movement because you have to develop the mechanics first in order to perform a squat correctly or do a deadlift correctly or run without getting an injury. Without the proper mechanics you could injure yourself and not only will fitness be lost, it could have long term ramifications on your health.
Once you develop the mechanics then you need to be able to perform them consistently, rep after rep. If your mechanics break down, this is where consistency is lost and this is called your threshold. We have all seen it in movement(or experienced it ourselves), late in a race or competition someone is shuffling along, hunched over and maybe even leaned over to one side OR it requires a last minute hard effort and you see their body fighting rotation to basically break down. These are two extremes but once the mechanics cannot be performed consistently then the third element, Intensity, can no longer be applied. Intensity related to movement is how fast, how long, and how often you run. Too much intensity too quickly and injury occurs before adaptation can be made by the body. It’s the natural sequence of how you should develop anything in your life, first the mechanics of how something is done are practiced. You try things out, see what works for you and not only do you become more efficient, it gets significantly easier. This leads to consistency with the new system you are practicing. The consistency allows for habit formation and replacing of not so desirable existing habits. This is where time resembles compounding interest, the earlier you start these habits and practice them consistently, the healthier you become.
Once the mechanics and the consistency have been established now you can add intensity which is speed, duration, and stress. Yes, this is a nutrition article so let’s apply this concept to nutrition because everyone wants to add intensity to their nutrition before they have the basic mechanics or any consistency established.
Mechanics of your nutrition are related to this single statement, “eat real food, mostly plants, lean proteins, and not more than you need to support optimal function”
How do you execute the mechanics?
Eliminate processed foods so NO LABELS, NO fast food, NO added sugar..
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store and make 80% of your purchases whole foods.
Prepare your own meals 90% of the time.
Eat a variety of plants and proteins that are the color of the rainbow.
Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water daily.
Eat until you are full but don’t over eat.
Take your time, chew your food and learn your body's cues of hunger and satiety.
Plan, prepare and eat what you cook.
Simple doesn’t mean easy. We live in a world where food is available 24/7 and quality is often compromised for convenience. You have to know how to eat healthy and then work at it everyday. It has to be a lifestyle and not just an occasional practice. As you exercise those mechanics everyday you start to find that it’s easier and you feel better than you have ever felt before. Things are becoming a habit.
Consistency with your nutrition, this is the biggest challenge for people, especially long term. As the holidays roll around we start thinking over eating, lots of sweets, and family gatherings. Eating well all week, then eating terribly and drinking on the holidays or on the weekends is going to cause problems. Consistency over time is developed by putting good habits in place and executing week after week. Practice those mechanics and make them into habits. Once several of these habits work together then it starts to become a lifestyle. Now you can start to think about intensity.
How do you be consistent with your nutrition?
Daily habits centered around the basic behaviors of eating healthy.
Drink ½ your body weight in water everyday.
Eat 8-10 servings of vegetables and 1-3 servings of fruits everyday.
Eat just under a gram of protein per pound of body weight everyday.
Don’t eat 2+ hours before bed and don’t eat for at least 12 hours in a 24hr period.
Intensity with your nutrition is finding that balance between enjoying life, being healthy, and interacting “normally” in a social situation. Obsessing about every calorie and eating the same foods everyday creates an imbalance in your intensity. Fixating on blood biomarkers, taking a variety of supplements, and cycling through paleo, keto, and every other “specialty” diet is poorly focused intensity. Intensity is eating a diverse diet with lots of colorful veggies and focusing on how it makes your body feel and perform. Intensity is finding what works in your life week after week and then dialing in those aspects until they become a lifestyle you can live.
How do you add intensity to your nutrition plan?
Balance healthy eating with enjoying food- live the 80/20 rule.
Understanding food is what makes up every cell of our body, it’s for fuel, it’s for repair, it’s for performance, and it’s for longevity.
It might seem simple but the M, C, I’s of nutrition overwhelm people quickly and they give up. Don't do that, give us a call first and see if we can help. What do you have to lose, our discovery call is free.
Have a great week,