Let’s be real here….

You want to be lean and strong to perform your best for the rest of your life.

Falling into old habits is the quickest way to lose your progress.

You need to create a lifestyle built off of habits you can maintain.

That’s why these 6 nutrition rules are key to staying lean and strong for life!

Rule #1: Don’t Ignore Your Gut Health.

Very rarely is gut health the first thing that comes to mind when you think about staying lean.

But if our gut microbiome is healthy, the rest of our body will function optimally. 

It helps reduce inflammation, keeps our metabolic rate higher to burn more fat, and helps reduce cravings.

An increase in “bad” bacteria has been shown to trigger an overproduction of insulin, leading to insulin resistance, which causes your body to stop burning fat and start storing it. 

The more insulin sensitive you are, the more likely it is that you’ll have a leaner body due to insulin’s anabolic properties — replenishing fuel stores while reducing the rate of protein degradation or breakdown.

Taking care of our gut health can actually help us feel fuller and balance our appetite. 

When the bacteria in our gut ferments fiber, it releases leptin which can help suppress appetite and help us feel more satisfied.

Aim to consume 25-30 grams of fiber per day and consume foods rich in probiotics and prebiotics, like yogurt, fermented foods, garlic, potatoes, bananas, and legumes. 

Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is also important, as research shows that consuming at least 30 different types of plants per week can lead to a stronger and more diverse gut microbiome.

So have some fun with that meal prep over the week for great tasting dishes and a lean, strong body! 

Rule #2: Don’t Diet Forever.

If you’re still thinking of your dietary changes as something you’re doing until x date, you’re never going to actually create lifestyle changes you can maintain long-term.

You can’t maintain habits you hate for long.

If you feel restricted and hungry and deprived, at some point your willpower is going to run out. 

Find new ways to do the minimum if you want to create baseline habits that keep you consistent.

This is how you maintain the results you’ve built.

An easy way to do this is to pick a calorie range and a protein minimum. 

By having these clear guidelines, we can make sure we are allowing 012 – guidelines ourselves to enjoy the foods we love with guidelines to keep us in check! 

Life is unpredictable and there may be times when our priorities change.

It’s okay to reassess and adjust your approach.

Whether you’re juggling a busy work schedule or taking care of a new family, you can still make changes to your nutrition by constantly assessing your priorities and setting boundaries with tracking. 

Rule #3: Fuel Your Training.

Too often we sabotage our long-term success by NOT focusing on our performance while adjusting our nutrition.

We just accept low energy levels and sucky workouts. 

Because let’s face it…if we feel crappy, it impacts our nutrition choices.

Feeling strong and powerful and fast…well… it ROCKS.

If you want to maintain your aesthetic results, you need to make sure you’re fueling to be able to train the way you’d like. 

Properly fueling our training makes it so much easier to maintain our results long term! 

Fueling to build lean muscle is really the secret to being able to look leaner for the rest of our lives! 

You can’t stay in a deficit forever.

Focus on fueling your workouts to make sure you have full energy stores to perform at your best!

And if you’re doing any endurance training do NOT fear carbs! 

They are key even if you went lower carb to initially lose the weight! 

Rule #4: Set Meal Prep Staples.

You need flexibility to enjoy any of the foods you love or go out to eat if you’re in this for the long haul.

The more restricted we feel, the harder it is to stay consistent.

It’s key we have flexibility but If you want to maintain your physique for life, you need to have those meal prep staples always on hand.

Find delicious recipes you love to prep in bulk and freeze. 

Find easy canned goods or frozen foods you can always have to prep in a pinch. 

Create some go-to meals you can eat consistently that are always there for you in a pinch.

Create a few different variations of those meals like a higher and lower carb option so you can make adjustments based on other things you had that day. 

Went out to an unplanned lunch and had more carbs?

Use version B of your taco bowl and make it a taco salad instead!

Have some simple staples you always know you have on hand to make life EASY while keeping you consistent.

Rule #5: Embrace Change

Your priorities in life will shift. Your body is going to change with age

Even your lifestyle and activity level may shift season to season. 

Your routine during the holidays will be different than over the summer. 

Nothing will work forever.

So staying lean and strong for life will mean being open to constantly learning and adjusting.

You wouldn’t do the same workouts forever…so you can’t approach your diet as you’ll do the exact same thing forever either.

Don’t be afraid to adjust your macros or portions over time.

Try new foods and recipes. 

Experiment with including different supplements to help you work toward other goals or even make your lifestyle more convenient during busy days. 

Embrace that you can constantly make changes to find a balance.

Maintaining doesn’t mean you won’t fluctuate or that you won’t set goals to focus on.

It just means you have those boundaries to keep yourself in check and doing the minimum to maintain the hard work you put in to get these results in the first place! 

Rule #6: Put Protein First.

The simpler we keep things, the more sustainable the habits are.

Too many things to focus on splits our attention and with more balls up in the air, it is much easier to drop one when life does it’s best to get in the way.

Maintaining your results is about finding out the minimum you can do.

I like to think of it as a challenge to see how lazy I can get away with being.

Give yourself one focus.

Getting about 30% of your daily calories from protein will keep you dialed in enough to maintain your results.

This puts your focus on whole, natural foods and keeps your metabolism humming.

Paired with a calorie range this makes sure that you’re never getting too far off track even as you work in other foods or travel or enjoy cocktails out with friends. 

It also allows for more flexibility so you don’t constantly feel restricted or like you have too many habits to focus on repeating!

Focus on these 6 simple nutrition rules to stay lean and strong for life and don’t sabotage yourself in constantly overcomplicating things!

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