NutritionWhat are the 4 Principles of Diet Planning?

September 27, 2022by Mike Phoutrides0

What are the Principles of Diet Planning? 

Imagine the last diet you were on.

Where did it get you?

Chances are you’re here because it didn’t get you where you thought it would. But, because you are here, that means you still know there’s a solution for your weight loss challenges.

What you’re about to read is going to sound presumptuous, but it looks like what may have been your stumbling block is a misunderstanding of the principals of diet planning.

It is my belief -backed by many of my clients who have achieved lifelong weight loss success- that internalizing these concepts will get you to where you want to go. Additionally, going into great detail is not necessary for you to see results.

Let’s get to work!

A Weight Loss System 

“If you do something every day, it’s a system. If you’re waiting to achieve it someday in the future, it’s a goal.”

-Scott Adams, Creator of Dilbert

Let me make a confession to you.

There’s a lot of talk about goals on the Cornerstone Weight Loss Blog because it’s an easy point to get across to readers. What’s really the point of all the blogging, and the social media posting, and the meetings with clients, and the zoom calls, and on and on, is persuading you to develop your system for weight loss. 

You may have understood that as you should always be in a weight loss phase.

Not so.

Understanding how food affects your body in a common sense way that will put you in control of how you look means taking the foods and activities you naturally gravitate to and using them to your advantage. The advantage is having the body you desire and knowing how to change it at your will, forever. 

The principals of planning your diet are coming up next. They are going to be your map, legend, and compass for your weight loss journey.

Principal 1: Energy Balance

What’s the difference between knowing and internalizing?

You may know that getting eight hours of sleep per night is optimal, but you still stay up too late watching conspiracy theory videos and cut that number in half most nights.

On the other hand, you have internalized that getting eight hours of sleep per night is optimal if you have consciously made the necessary arrangements that cause you to get the targeted amount of sleep every night.

It’s not good enough to know that if you eat less calories than you burn you will lose weight. You must internalize it.

The reason is simple: when you are tempted with a weight loss shortcut that stands in opposition to Principal 1 via some guru-hack on YouTube, you’ll ignore it. The path that is biologically correct will be incorporated with what you know is right, both on an intellectual level and an emotional one. 

Getting tossed to and fro by every wind of dietary doctrine is an amateur move. It’s a sign that you haven’t internalized that you must consume less calories than you burn to lose weight.

Internalize Principal 1 and you’re off to a good start. Do the same with Principal 2 (coming up next) and you’ll be ahead of most.

Principal 2: It’s Natural to be a Cheater

The assumption you must make is this: if left unchecked, you’re going to cheat. And even when checked, you’ll still figure out a way to cheat a little bit.

Without a simple system to track what you eat, you’re not going to be able to control how you look in the long haul. 

If you’re the type who enjoys eating, you’ll eat more than you think you do without an accounting system. If you’re the type that doesn’t like to eat, it’s has the opposite effect. (Yes, somehow those people exist).

Additionally, it looks like the more weight you need to lose, the more you lie about how much you’re eating according to this article.

Principal 2 is about being wise enough to know you’re not trustworthy. You’re probably going to underreport on your tracking system, but that still more accurate than you not tracking at all.

Include this as a part of your life’s philosophy and you’ll go far in almost everything you do, even weight loss.

Principal 3: You’ve Never Used the Quadratic Formula in Real Life

Did you know you’re a human?

What equation is specific enough to take in your all your quirks? That would use so many variables it would be as unhelpful as Vince Sant.

Humanize your diet.

This is going to sound crazy to some, but let’s move away from equations that are used to describe your current physical state. I’m not saying that things like the BMR equation aren’t helpful. They have great utility in many scenarios. 

*Side Note: what is BMR? It stands for Basal Metabolic Rate. It’s the amount of energy in calories your body requires to be at rest for 24 hours. 

But those things don’t tell your story as accurate as other methods can. Also, who is normally at rest for 24 hours? The BMR equation is far from a complete picture of who you are and what you do.

When you landed on this page, you saw a pop-up that you probably shut down as fast as possible. 

First things first, I forgive you.

Second, reload this page, fill out the info on the pop-up, and download the free tool. It’s called “5 Steps to Make Sure You Don’t Kill Your Weight Loss Plans Before You Begin.” This is the exact method I use for all my clients to determine where to start their weight loss journey based on what they are used to eating everyday. Consider this a BMR equation that’s custom tailored to you.

Not following Principal 3 puts you at risk for a lot of wasted effort. The more accurate you are with this, the better things will go for you over time. To get a helpful picture of what it means for things to go well for you in weight loss, check out this blog post.

Principal 4: The System You Build Rises or Falls on Your Level of Consistency

“…You may run me for profit or run me for ruin – it makes no difference to me.

Take me, train me, be firm with me and I will place the world at your feet.

Be easy with me and I will destroy you.

Who am I?

I am Habit”

Whatever system you decide to build for weight loss -or any system for that matter- has its integrity directly linked to repetition. Additionally, the closer you are to the beginning of its creation the more damage a day of neglect has upon it. 

One day of forgetfulness within your system’s first week of life has the potential to destroy it totally. And yet, one day lost after one year of its construction will have a smaller negative effect. 

There’s another peculiarity of systems that’s profitable to discuss.The more difficulty you go through while successfully building your system, the heartier its infrastructure. 

Conceive your system when all is going well and the inevitable storms of life have better odds of leveling it. When your system begins and succeeds through a maelstrom, keeping on track is easier overall.

Finally, it’s better to remain consistent yet imperfect, rather than erratic yet flawless. You’re not going to get it completely right everyday, but you can get it somewhat right everyday. This will take you a lot further in the development of your weight loss system than you thought possible. Additionally, you will be able to course correct as you go, perfecting your system day by day.

“Success in neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.”

-Jim Rohn


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Cornerstone Weight Loss is a leading health and nutrition training company that helps people better understand how food affects their body in a common sense way that puts them in control of how they look, forever.
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To empower you with a clear understanding of how food uniquely affects your body, in a common sense way, that enables you to have complete control over how you look - for life.

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