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Life Performance Blog: How To Find Your Nutritional Level

Updated: Jan 6, 2023

When it comes to nutrition, exercise, and healthy choices:

  1. What do you know?

  2. What can you do?

  3. What can (or will) you do... consistently?

  4. Where do you want to go?

  5. What's realistic for you right now?

Take a moment and think about these questions.

There are no wrong or right answers.

But getting a clear idea of your responses is important because it will give you an idea of your nutritional level.

And once you have a sense of your nutritional level, you can focus on what matters most for YOU. Why is this important? Knowing your nutritional level will help you:

  • determine what you should be doing and why

  • understand what’s important to you and what isn’t

  • set realistic expectations and match behaviours to them

The best part is: It never has to be complicated. In fact, most of the time, basics are best. Unlike in video games, you never have to advance to a higher level. (Personally, we think that's a bit of a relief. You can get great results... while keeping things simple, relaxed, and easy.) Level 1 At Level 1, you’re a regular guy who’s just trying to improve things. You want to "get in shape" — lose some weight and/or add some muscle. This is probably where you’re at (and where 99% of other people are, too). Level 1s can have incredible success and make “holy crap!” changes by consistently doing very simple, easy, doable nutrition habits. (In fact, Level 1s should not do complex nutritional plans. If they try to over-complicate things, Level 1s will feel confused, stressed out, and eventually "fail".) We all start at Level 1 and most of us stay there for good. Most of the time, Level 1 habits are all we need. We do enough of the right things to get dramatic results, and we leave the complicated and time-consuming stuff to pro athletes. Level 1s should get good at doing the basics regularly and consistently. Focus on the big picture and essential behaviours rather than small details. You'll get a dramatic transformation and lasting change without completely overhauling your life. Level 2 At Level 2:

  • You’re a dedicated recreational exerciser or high-performance athlete.

  • Your diet and exercise habits are consistently solid, and your body and lifestyle choices show it.

  • You're in great shape, feel good, and perform well. You walk the walk.

To be honest: That’s probably not you. (Yet.) But even if it is, you can still keep things relatively simple. At Level 2, you'll focus on:

  • getting really, really good at the basics; and

  • expanding your range of choices and skills (like food prep).

Level 3 Level 3s are professional performance or physique athletes. These nutrition and exercise ninjas make their living from exercising and eating a certain way. They need detailed custom programs and diets because their job depends on it. Level 3 programs are necessarily short-term (for instance, cutting weight for a professional boxing match). Even pro athletes don't and can't eat at Level 3 for more than a few weeks. Figure out your level Maybe you can already guess where you fit. (Hint: Level 1 is a strong possibility, even if you're an experienced exerciser or nutrition researcher) But if you’re not sure, ask yourself a few questions. And answer them honestly. Ask yourself 4 questions about your nutrition

  1. What do I know?

  2. What do I do?

  3. How well do I do this consistently?

  4. What evidence does my body show me about my choices? Am I lean, strong, healthy and mobile? Do I feel good and full of energy?

Ask yourself 4 questions about your exercise

  1. What do I know?

  2. What do I do?

  3. How well do I do this consistently?

  4. What evidence does my body show me about my choices? Am I powerful, mobile, and uninjured? Performing well athletically?

Ask yourself about your goals 1. Where do I want to go? Work with your nutritional level There's no right or wrong level to be at. What's most important is that:

  • You know where you fit best.

  • You work with your own abilities.

  • You keep it as simple as possible.

  • You focus on being as consistent as possible.

With new habits and tasks, we'll give you a couple of options to try.

Level 1: Simple, basic, and doable. A Level 1 option is a fundamental skill. A basic, yet essential action. Start here.

Level 2: A little more challenge. A Level 2 option is something you can try on a day you're feeling confident or if you're at a more intermediate "nutritional level" and looking for something tougher. A Level 2 option is a game to play, a risk to take, or a fun challenge. Keep it simple Work with the level you're at. Take it one day at a time. No need to rush. Before you run a marathon, you have to learn to crawl. And even if you're an experienced runner, you still have to practice the basics. "One foot in front of the other" applies to everyone. Build a strong foundation, step by step. Let yourself be a beginner. For now.

Your Health Coach, Chris

*Information provided by Precision Nutrition

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