Eat Clean 80% Of The Time

You may not be eating as well as you think.

Sure Monday through Friday you may do well. But, then Friday night hits. You go out for dinner and order the grilled salmon with steamed veggies and skip the bread. But, you have dessert and a bottle of wine.

Or maybe on Saturday you feel that it would be nice to make your kids a big breakfast of pancakes and bacon. You tell yourself it’s okay because “it’s for the kids” and you’ll only have a little.

Then there is that stressful day that just needs unwound with a few drinks or a bowl of ice cream.

These are the small things that by themselves are perfectly fine, but added up can wreck your progress. To get results in the gym it takes eating clean 80% of the time. For most, it ends up only being 60-70% clean.

So what does 80% look like? Or better yet, what does the 20% look like?

To stay at 80% or above means you can have roughly 3-4 cheats per week. Every alcoholic drink that is a cheat. Every dessert that’s a cheat. Every piece of chocolate or candy another cheat. Fried and processed foods, a cheat again. Chips and salsa, you get the point.

Here’s an easy way to determine if you actually ate clean 80% of the time. Take a sheet and paper and make two columns. In column one write down all of your weeks “good” food choices and their calories, then in the second column write down all of your “bad” food choices and their calories. Now total the calories in each column. Then add those two numbers together. Finally divide the bad calories by the total calories of each column. If the number you get is less than 20% you did good if not, then you didn’t adhere to the 80/20 Rule.

Eating clean is the missing link to getting results. And many times what we think is clean eating isn’t clean enough.

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7 Habits of Clean Eating


You’ve probably heard before that results start in the kitchen and you will never be able to out exercise bad nutrition. This is true. It is simply too easy to consume calories faster than you can burn them. In order to lose body fat you need to make some changes to your daily nutrition, by incorporating the “7 Habits of Clean Eating”.

Nutrition is easy, everyone knows what he or she should and shouldn’t eat. Applying it is the hard part. 

By incorporating the following ” 7 Habits of Clean Eating” you’ll be on your way to making better nutritional choices and changing your body.

Clean Eating Habit #1 – Reduce Processed Foods

“If it was made to sit on the shelf for years, if will sit on your butt, belly and hips just as long.” Your goal should be to eat as much real, whole, unprocessed food as possible. This means if it’s in a box or a wrapper it’s processed and not the best choice.

Clean Eating Habit #2 – You Can’t Change What You Don’t Track – Keep A Journal!

At PNF we’ve seen repeatedly that those who achieve the best results keep a daily food log. Some prefer paper and pencil; others prefer an app, such as “My Fitness Pal.” What you use doesn’t matter as long as you track it. Simple but effective!!

Clean Eating Habit #3 – Eat More Protein

Eating more protein will result in greater fat loss and muscle gain than a low protein diet. Protein, which is found in red meat, pork, chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy, contains essential amino acids that act as the building blocks of muscles. These are needed to rev up your metabolism and help you shed fat. This happens through the process of building muscle tissue, which requires your body to burn more calories. Also, when you have more muscle on your body, it gives you a toned and sculpted looked. Aim to eat about 1 gram for each pound of goal bodyweight.

If you are following a vegetarian diet, your total daily protein will be slightly lower and you should try to eat a variety of nuts, seeds, and beans each day, along with a plant based protein shake after your workouts.

Clean Eating Habit #4 – Eat More Veggies

Not only do vegetables contain numerous vitamins and minerals, as well as high amounts of fiber. They are also very low in calories. Eat as many veggies as you can each day. We also recommend 1-2 servings of fruit each day. This makes a great dessert without all the added sugar.

 Clean Eating Habit #5 – Stop Drinking Calories

The number one way to gain weight is to drink calories. This means no soda, juice (even 100% juice drinks), sports drinks, and coffee drinks. The best options are water, green tea, coffee (no more than 5 cups per day), and other unsweetened teas. If you must have something in your coffee choosing either whole milk or full fat creamer is a healthier choice than skim or reduced calorie creamers. – See Habit #1.

But what about “diet” versions! The artificial sweeteners used in diet drinks trigger some of the same signals in your body as regular sugar and cause you to gain fat. The same can be said for artificial sweeteners such as Stevia, Sweet & Low, and Truvia.

And how about that nightly glass of wine? Wine, beer, liquor are a part of many people’s social lives and we don’t expect you to give them up all together. After all, we’d be hypocrites if we did, being that we are craft beer snobs at PNF. That being said we recommend keeping your total weekly drink to six or less. Now that doesn’t mean you should go out and buy bigger glasses, although we like how you think.

Clean Eating Habit #6 –Stop Eating Sugar

 Pass on desserts, candy, cakes and ice cream. These foods all contain high amounts of sugar and very little nutritional value and are a great way to gain body fat. With that being said, we don’t expect you to never eat anything bad again. Are you going to eat pizza and then follow it with ice cream? Sure you are, you’re human. You just are not going to do this regularly. Instead you will save these things for your splurges, or little indulgences to enjoy the good things in life. All you have to do is keep the splurges to only 20% of your diet. That means that 80% of everything you eat and drink is a healthy choice that will improve your body. The other 20% is where you eat and drink the stuff you know you shouldn’t, but tastes amazing.

 Clean Eating Habit #7 – Supplement for success

At PNF we are not big on supplements, but there are two that we find extremely helpful.

The first is a Post-Workout Recovery Shake. This is a shake that contains roughly 20 grams of protein (preferably whey protein because it is absorbed by the body better) and fruit puree. This natural sugar is beneficial to the body because it will replenish muscle glycogen stores that have been depleted during the workout. Also, post-workout is the one time that we always have control of our nutrition and the ability to get in good quality nutrition, during the rest on the day this is not always the case.

The second is fish oil. Fish Oil has numerous benefits including fighting inflammation and helping improving our body’s fat profiles. Our diets tend to be low in Omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA specifically. So we like to supplement with these each day. Our recommended brand is Nordic Naturals as it is one of the highest quality fish oils available on the market.

There you have it 7 Habits of Clean Eating to help you feel better and build a better body.


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5 Fitness Mistakes

With all the conflicting advice and information available on exercise it can be difficult to know what to do and what works best to get into awesome shape, feel good, and have a body that you feel confident in.

Using our 16 years of experience in the fitness industry here are five mistakes we see many people make in their workout and fitness plans.


You Use Exercise As Punishment

Exercise is intended to be a reward for your body. Exercise should be something that makes you feel better, more confident, and add to your life. It should not be beat down that leaves you laying dead on the floor, or as a punishment for what you ate or gaining a few pounds.


You Only Do Cardio and High Intensity Interval Training

While cardio and HIIT can be beneficial and have a place in fitness, when they are the only form of exercise they can hinder your results. Overtime they both will cause a loss in muscle tissue, which leads to increased body fat percentages, and HIIT tends to make you extremely hungry afterward causing you to overeat.

This doesn’t mean that you have to give up your cardio or HIIT, you just need to limit them to 1-2 workouts per week and get in 2-3 total body strength workouts first. Following this order will get better results and create positive change.


You Don’t Eat Enough

You cannot restrict calories forever. Your body needs fuel to power through your workouts and keep everything running like a well oiled machine. When calorie restriction goes too long the body begins to lose muscle and gain body fat, leading to the dreaded skinny fat body type.

Also, as you change your nutritional requirements will change. As you get leaner and stronger your body needs more daily calories and needs a higher daily carb intake.


You Don’t Allow Your Body Time To Rest

Working out every day may work for short period of time, but it soon leads to burn out and an achy, tired body.

Three to four workouts per week is optimal and if you want to add a daily walk or light mobility work that will help you recover faster between workouts. Again as you get stronger you are able to stress the body more each workout and that stress requires more time to recover in order to keep making progress.


You’re Only Focused On Burning Calories

How many calories you burn in your workout plays a very small role in the results you get. It is very easy to get caught up in the calorie burn of your workout and feel the need to do more cardio and HIIT, as those tend to create a higher burn.

You will never out exercise a bad diet. So thinking you can go out drinking and eat bad tonight and then burn it all off in the gym is a recipe for failure. Clean eating done 80% of the time with a few strength workouts each week will beat the pants off of cardio and HIIT workouts when in comes to getting results and decreasing body fat.

Hard work and consistency are important for results, but it has to be the right consistent effort. If you’ve been making any of the above 5 Fitness Mistakes correct them in your routine and watch your results take off!

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