Eat real food? That’s crazy!

Steps to Eating REAL food for REAL results

Sergio Maldonado

This program is meant to be used in conjunction with a smart training program designed to maximize fat loss or performance. Everything works in synergy and your results will compound with your effort. Take 45 mins each week to check that you are eating the right foods in your level and see if you can or would like to progress to the next level.

Always give yourself a check to see how you look, perform and feel. If it isn’t fantastic then we need to keep tweaking something.


This booklet is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment.  Programs outlined herein should not be adopted without consultation with your health professional.  Use of the programs and dietary suggestions herein is at the sole choice and risk of the reader.  The author(s) are neither responsible, nor liable for any harm or injury resulting from this program or the use of any diet, exercise, or lifestyle suggestions described herein.

Steps to Eating REAL food for REAL results

This is the most concise version of what you should eat and why that I could come up with. The key is to make it a lifestyle (I know you here this all the time but it’s TRUE). For fat loss I would say its 80-20 or even 90-10, nutrition/lifestyle factors to exercise in fat-loss. Meaning NO PROGRAM will ever trump out a poor diet. You can get fast, strong and skillful with the program but it won’t necessarily get your body fat down to elite levels 8-14% Men, 10-18% women depending on body type and activity.

Bottom line, you will NOT capitalize on your fat loss and performance measures/gains to the extent that you will with a sound nutrition protocol.

You can do all these steps at once or try one at a time a progress, the idea is to make this change permanent.

You really only need to follow steps 1-3, only after if you CHOOSE to do you have to do the following steps or if you are not seeing the desired results. For the majority steps 1-3 works fine as long as you realize your mouth is not a vacuum cleaner.

Step 1)

Food Awareness: know what you are eating! Start a food log, a month a week even a day! From what time you ate, what it was and how much. Everything that goes in your mouth! Either use a small notebook and paper or even better log it in Fitday where you can share the info and get caloric values for a variety of foods.

Why? Simply knowing what you are eating will help you make better choices and give you the awareness of the type of caloric/nutrient density.

Step 2)

Food Quality: read the Core Performance Foods and New Rules Foods and incorporate as many those quality driven foods into your diet and follow the hierarchy of foods. (I will email those recommendations upon request or when you begin fitness program.  Bottom line eat  lean quality meats/proteins and tons of vegetables as well as quality fats such as olive oil, avocado, almonds, coconut oil/milk…

Depending on how you eat now, start with the level 1 reading and recommendations and progress to level 2 and 3. These levels take you through the common “clean” diet (less processed foods, leans meats, fruits, veggies.) Level 2 and 3 involve integrating the Paleo diet (unprocessed food the majority of the time, certain lean meats, veggies, nuts, some fruit, little starch and no sugar.)

Why? Quality in your nutrition should be your first priority. 100kcals of McDonald’s is not equal to 100kcals of lean meat and veggies. It’s more than calories in vs. out!

Step 3)

Food timing: Frequency, schedule,  pre/post-workout. These recommendations can also be found in CH 13 of Core Performance. These include integrating 4-6 meals per day, eating within a half hour upon waking, pre/post-workout nutrition. If you eat twice a day then start eating 3, if you eat three then eat 4. Workout days include pre/post snack = 4-6 meals.

Why? The easiest way you can increase your metabolism is by eating more! The thermic effect of food means you will get a metabolic increase by just eating, eat more often then you increase this effect and are less likely to overeat by eating until you are super hungry. Capitalize on your food timing!

Step 4 )

Food Quantity: The food quantity recommendations that should be followed are in the New Rules chapter 21.  Also you can follow Robb Wolf’s recommendations of 15-17kcals per lb of body-weight to lean out, 18-19kcals to maintain and 20-21 kcals to add mass. 1.0gram protein per pound of bodyweight Males 50-70 grams of quality carbsFemales >50 grams of quality carbs Quality fats will fill in the rest of the calorie deficit

Remember QUALITY first. Again, it’s more than CALORIES in vs OUT.

Why? 3500 kcals per pound of fat is the accepted estimate for how many kcals = a lb of fat. If you eat an excess then you gain and if you create a deficiency through nutrition, muscle mass and exercise you lose.

Step 5)

Continued Education: Continue to educate yourself on proper nutrition to ensure you are fueling your body in the best possible way. Things to learn about are: the glymcemic effect or load of food. What foods are acidic vs. alkaline balancing. The ratio of omega 3 to 6 you are eating. What you are actually eating when anything is in a BOX!.

Real Eating Level 1:

start with the clean diet foods in the pdf’s  read it all or just:

Core P Ch13: headlines and summary

Core P Ch 14: pages2-4 pdf foods

New Rules Ch 21: pages 9-10 for kcal recommendation

New Rules Ch 22: pages 3-14 headlines of food

Real Food Check list:

1.    Eat smaller portions more often (4-6), spread evenly across the day.

2.  2. Your carbohydrate intake should be relative to your activity level. Eat “glycemically correct” carbs, high in color and fiber. Reduce the amount of refined carbohydrates in diet.

3.  Select a lean protein source with each meal, along with some “fabulous” (nuts, fish oils, seeds) fats.

4.  Choose carbs that are rich in fiber.

5.  Drink a pre-workout shooter(3:1 carb to pro) or post workout recovery shake (2:1 carb to pro)

6.  1,000mg of fish oil to balance your omega 3 to 6 ratio and add a multivitamin and antioxidant complex to your daily routine if you are not getting adequate veggies.

7.  Stay hydrated, drink a cold glass upon waking.

8.  Eat breakfast everyday (1 hour within waking).

9.  Eat the rainbow often (fruits/vegs), and the less legs the better (meat)!

10.               Mix foods for variety, nutrient density and glycemic response.

Bottom line: eat lean proteins, TONS of veggies, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Eat with small 2-3 hour breaks in between, eat til you are full and workout hard and often. Sleep, smile and play everyday, just BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE.

Nutritional Resources

Robb Wolf – Excellent information on Gluten Free and Intermittent Fasting. Co-creator of the CrossFit Football Diet.

SoCal SC – Paleolithic Nutrition and Eating for Performance.

The Paleo Diet – Loren Cordain, Ph. D.. Author of The Paleo Diet for Athletes

Protein Power – Dr. Michael Eades and low Carb Living and Healthy Eating

Reading list:

In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan

Paleo Diet, Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

Paleo Diet for Athletes, Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

Core Performance, Mark Verstegan

New Rules of Lifting, Alwyn Cosgrove

Athletic Body in Balance, Gray Cook


About MaxOut Performance Fitness
Sergio Maldonado is a Sports Performance and Fitness Coach in the San Francisco Bay Area. He strives to be the best at what he does through training, professional development courses, and practice. The purpose of this blog is to get out some of the knowledge that he obtains to better help others in their pursuits towards fitness and a better life.

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