When George Washington was 16 years old, he wrote 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. This is a list of guidelines that governed how George lived his life in a variety of situations he might find himself in. Having an idea of what he wanted to do before he entered a situation allowed him to ensure he made the right choices, and was consistent in his actions.
How does this apply to you? While you might not have much interest in fathering a modern super power, having a set of rules to help guide your nutritional decision making can help you stay on track towards your goals. Here are three guidelines that apply to anyone trying to get leaner or avoid putting on weight:
Protein with every meal: No matter how many meals your eat each day, strive to include protein with each of them. Some examples include poultry, steak, fish, a protein shake, eggs, or plain yogurt. Aim for a palm size piece or about 25 grams.
Vegetables with every meal: Some how, some way, try to include a leafy or crunchy vegetable with every meal. This can be raw or cooked, fresh or frozen. Some examples include a salad, a side of broccoli, or even a little frozen spinach added to your protein shake. Aim for at least a fist sized portion, but more is always better.
Easy on the carbs: Carbs are not inherently as evil as we are sometimes told, but we do want to avoid too much of a good thing. If you’ve had your servings of protein and vegetables and you’re still hungry, then go a head and have some. The key is not to eat these instead of the items listed above. Let your appetite be your guide, and try to eat less of these if you’ve not been very active that day.
While you could certainly do much more to see an advanced rate of results, keeping just these three rules in mind for most of your meals should be enough to see results. Knowing what your priorities are nutritionally before enter a situation like a party or going out to eat will help you avoid making a spur of the moment decision you might later regret. Sticking to a few simple guidelines will keep you consistent and prepared, two of the most important keys to nutritional success. If George Washington found a list of rules to live by to be useful, then maybe we can all benefit from a similar system.