Clean Eating And Life

Part Four Of The Nutrition Series 

After I have worked with a client for a couple of weeks, I will have them write down what they eat for me for a week. I check out their log book and if the food consumed is maintaining the client’s weight I will change the same baseline calorie level for clean healthy foods.
Just doing this will yield fantastic results, the client will find they are eating a large amount of food as you can eat more clean food for the same calories as what is classed as an average diet. Roughly translated you can eat so much more rice and vegetables for the same calories as a mars bar.

The client is now eating clean food that the body processes cleanly and efficiently. At first it acts like a detox for them, they crave the foods they were addicted to but then as the system cleans, those cravings give way to new tastes for sweet fruit, honey, oats, natural food and natural sweetness and tastes.





Appetite balance

Over the years of working with clients I have noted what I call the appetite balance.

This will sound a bit odd —but I am telling you it is true—I have seen it time and time again – that I could guarantee if I worked your calories out over a week. It will be bang on to the 100 or so calories. Get this—each and every week-month in month out.
Yep, we don’t know it but we tend to eat the same amount of calories, over a week –month each and every month.

But ahh—I here you say, no way, I go all day some days and not eat anything as I am busy at work. But I say—I bet you eat like a man or women possessed when you get in from work. It is, most often than not- something high calorie. You basically eat your day’s calorie allowance in the last few hours before bed.
You may hardly eat anything for a few days—then double your food intake for a few days.
Or you top out at the weekend.
I can now see you nodding in agreement.
So I am saying that over a month or two month a year if I was to work out you calorie levels each day and did that for a year—each year would be more or less the same.
Your body dictates your appetite and asks for the fuel it needs to do what it has to do.
Think of the logic in this—do you think the body after all these millions of years of evolution it can not set point ‘you’- a fuel intake level?
So why do we get fat and not keep muscle tissue?


When we do not eat regular and at odd times the body does not process the fuel as well. It has gone hours with no food so it will drop your metabolism and store some of the meal in the fat cells.
If we eat like this all the time –no structure-wrong foods—wrong times—over time you will build up more and more stores in the fat cells.

As the years roll on, so does the fat—it may be only a pound or two each year—but go from 30 years of age to 40 and you find yourself 20lbs over weight.

Add to this you work more and do less sport and you start to lose muscle tissue, lose that and you lose your metabolism.

So you could in affect be the same weight on the scales, but 10 years on have a belly or big bum—or both.
So how do we beat this and have the health and body you want for life.



Again this is simple—simple to do- but again you have to do it.

Here are the basic rules again.

Eat clean food—as I have mentioned countless times.

Eat regular—every few hours –spread that fuel out over the day.

Eat to your appetite, never stuff yourself and never eat till you are topped out.

Eat till you feel satisfied –never full-I never eat till I am full.

Your body will tell you when to eat and how much—clean natural foods, will do that for you.

So can you see here, that if you eat clean and with the same appetite as you have, your body will take care of it’s self.

Put this type of eating hand in hand with workouts and the client’s body-fat goes down and lean tissue goes up. Their metabolism runs red hot and best of all- the client is never hungry. The weights work builds tissue and stops degeneration of tissue, so you have the metabolism of your youth.

The hard all body programs I prescribe to, incinerate masses of calories and builds tissue- that- in turn burns more calories.

This is so bloody simple. I can not get my head around why people make a fuss about it.

Eat clean –train hard—just do it and think nothing more of it—your body will and has to look like that is what you do with it.

Let me give you an example eating plan- this has no weights and measures outlined and would need to be balanced to your own food intake baseline.

All I do with a client is look at how they eat over a week and change the foods they eat for good clean food.

If they have a sugar type cereal for breakfast—I will replace like for like size, to a bowl of oats with berries and cinnamon.
If they have a choc bar and crisps mid morning I will replace that with nuts and fruit to about the same appetite balance.
Lunch is a bad sandwich with all the crap on white bread.
I will give them a huge chicken salad and a small amount of whole wheat bread.
If they eat nothing all day and eat badly at night, I spread the night time appetite over the whole day.

Nothing fancy just common sense eating based on that clients appetite.
For a few weeks you may rebel against this way of eating—you miss the choc and crisps and the odd bad food will sneak back in.
But keep with it and as the results come to you, you are rewarded more and more for your efforts. Eventually, you neither want, or like the rubbish foods and cannot tolerate them in your system.

You will never be hungry as you will be always eating –clean life giving foods.
It gets to the point where you are always eating!

As the client gains lean tissue I will add foods and build it up to their appetite and working out/life- metabolism.
You must do the same because as you become leaner with the body-fat to muscle ratio changing, so your metabolism becomes faster.


I have women clients that eat a heck of an amount of food for their size. They’re not pigs, it’s just that they need that amount of food to function.

Jenny for instance has to eat every three hours- she can feel her energy levels drop as eating time approaches and is on the lookout for food. Jenny carries a lot of lean tissue on her frame and has a fantastic metabolism because of that and so in turn can eat plenty and always be in great shape.

To give you some idea of the amount of food Jenny eats, a few months ago I balanced Jenny’s diet for upcoming shows that year. To bring in ultimate condition I reduced her food intake slightly to create a deficit. We don’t count calories, but I did a quick tot up- I reduced them to 3300.



Debbie is another who can process lots of food. We once did a quick sum up of her calories, up to break time at work she had eaten up to 10am in the morning 1200. Again Debbie is lean all the time and just has to eat when times up.

All my clients lose body-fat on more food than they have ever eaten in their lives. It’s as simple as changing bad foods to good.

When competition time approaches we just reduce slightly and take out any little cheats that may have crept in and body-fat lowers even more.

Here is an example eating plan- I wrote for Debbie recently

Deb is a busy mum, who works full time, takes care of the home and trains to compete also.

Oats, 1 scoop of protein powder XGF—raisons.

Raw food bar—made with nuts seeds honey and fruit—apple and banana.

Chicken breast, sweet potato, large salad with everything.

Nuts, seeds and dried fruit.

Fish, chicken or turkey—baked potatoes or rice—lot’s of vegetables.

Fruit and yogurt.

This works well for a busy person as meal choices can be eaten anywhere.



Here is another, this diet was for Ryan.

Ryan is a client I have worked with recently, who had a good build and has trained for many years –But when he came to me we just worked harder and ate cleaner.

He made a fantastic transformation.

Ryan’s metabolism is way up there now and he needs a lot of good food to fuel the muscle he has and the hard days of work he does, not to mention training with me.

Poached eggs, whole-wheat toast, 3 eggs, 3 toast, organic butter.

XGF protein and fruit, 2 scoops 3 pieces of fruit.

Chicken, large baked potato and a huge salad, olive oil.

Large handful of mixed nuts and seeds 3 pieces of fruit.

Salmon, sweet potato and lots of vegetables.

Yogurt muesli and fruit.


Remember eat clean, train hard, that’s what you will look like you do.

The eating plans are very simple, easy to follow and taste great.

As you can see above I keep a good mix of foods together, I believe that the body will process food more as nature intended. You will have better energy levels and food will be digested better if combine foods- again, very simple.



Mix your meals

Eat protein, fats and carbs at each sitting. This will allow for better utilisation of the meal and be better on you metabolism.

Many would argue, that nutrients have to be separated, protein away from carbs and what- not. This is supposed to allow the body to only deal with one nutrient at a time.

My take on this is-
When we were cavemen did we eat only meat and not take in any other food for a few hours?

Would we have said, “hmmm tell you what I will just eat this steak on its own and then in a while I will eat some roots and fruit”
How do you think we have survived all these millions of years as a species?

Do you think this awesome machine we have can not process protein, carbs and fat at the same time?

In my experience of working with thousands of clients and gym members over the last 25 years, this works the best.

Keeping the mix of nutrients together is better.

You feel satisfied, your digestion is good –energy is balanced out over the next few hours till you feel it’s time to eat again.

If I reduce food intake a little as in if I have a client getting ready for a show or has a lot of weight to lose –I will reduce the carbohydrates intake at some meals—I don’t take them out just reduce.

I may increase the intake of good fats –so in affect the appetite affect of the meal is still the same.

I will cover this in the Shape of your life section.



Just eat

So, let us just set our stall here for life.

Let us summarise eating clean.

We keep going over this, but I want it ingrained in you.

Live by these rules.

Eat clean food as nature intended.

If you eat meat-make sure it is organic and drug free and do not eat too much of it.

Drink plenty of fresh clean water.

Vegetables-are life giving, eat plenty of them.

Eat plenty of fruit and dried fruit.

Eat nuts and seeds

Eat only whole grains –oats, brown rice, whole-meal bread.

Eat when you are hungry and eat regular-remember the conveyor.

Mix your food groups-protein, carbohydrates and good fats, each and every meal.

Always have food on hand, when you go out take a bag of nuts and seeds and some fruit and a bottle of water.

You will always eat right and when you need too.

Buy the best you are the best, all the money in the world could not replace you-so feed yourself right.

Don’t fad or worry about what to eat and when –just do it. Set your meals out for a few days and get on with it.

Live your life and give food no more thought.



1 reply
  1. peter yates
    peter yates says:

    Ian, i have read al of your nutrition articles several times and an always struck by how on point and simple they are. I would say the best nutritional advise for anyone,competitor or just training for overall health and strength.


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