Twenty years ago, I started my career in the fitness industry, but exercise had been an integral part of my life long before that. I have been exposed to a lot of formal and informal learning over the years, including tips, hints, tricks, methods, methodologies, and multiple schools of thought on all things nutrition and fitness.
But the best advice I received, and retained for the long haul, came from experienced, knowledgeable, and hands-on trainers and coaches, most early in or before my fitness career. Sometimes you hear something and it just clicks. Here are some of the words of wisdom that have been incredibly helpful throughout my personal fitness development and professional training and coaching career.
“Lean and green”
One of the first pieces of advice I received from trainer Dan Potts, in response to my question on how to lose weight (lose fat and gain muscle). This is the shortened version of “Lean Protein and Green Vegetables”. Born and raised a vegetarian, eating protein was never at the forefront of my fitness goals. I was eating healthy, yes, but my muscle gains were limited by a lack of protein. This was early in my career, and the first time I really understood the importance of targeted eating in achieving certain fitness goals. This was before counting macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fat) became mainstream practice. I’ve advised clients and reviewed it time and time again, making nutrient dense but low calorie lean proteins and (primarily) green vegetables the foundation of an eating plan to return to a leaner body composition.