healthy food

SOF 7 Steps To Eating Success

Succes in Eating

When it comes to exercise and nutrition success, I use the phrase from Dan John; “Simple but not easy.”

There are not many secrets or hacks that you need when it comes to improving your eating. There ARE some solid steps that I feel almost anyone can benefit from. At SOF, we like to use the 7-Steps to Eating Success to help someone find which area they need to work on first.

If they are not drinking enough water and not consuming any omega-3 fatty acids, we have them increase their water intake and take a fish oil supplement.

When we go through the 7-steps and find that they are, in fact, consuming a ton of superfoods and quality food overall, but are still not losing weight, it may be time to track some portions.

Use this guide to see which gap you need to improve, tackle it for 21-days and reap the benefits.

Reduce Nutritional Deficiencies 

In order to see if you are deficient in a nutrient, you can utilize blood, saliva, and urine testing with your doctor to uncover specific needs. But you can start here with a simple intake with what we call the Big 4 Nutrients

  1. Water – if you have a low level of hydration, simply drink more water.
  2. Vitamins and Minerals – Eat more fruits; vegetables and possible take a green food supplement to help.
  3. Protein – This is noticed a lot of women or men with low appetites. Eat more foods rich in protein and considered a whey or plant-based protein powder to help.
  4. Essential Fats – 95% of the population is deficient. Eat more foods that contain essential fats and consider taking a fish oil, algae oil, or plant-based fatty acid supplement to help.
Choose High-Quality Tier I Foods 

Eating highest-quality food is much more important than the amount (calories and macronutrients). Yes, you do need to monitor your portions (see below), but the quality of your food will make a larger impact on your overall cellular health than simply cutting calories and carbohydrates. If you increase the quality of your food you increase your chances to have a more permeable cell wall. This will allow key nutrients to penetrate and nourish the cell and help increase the overall metabolism by feeding the powerhouse of the cell: the mitochondria.

Reduce Low-Quality Food 

After you start to increase the quality of your food and reduce nutrient deficiencies, start to ditch low-quality food such as:

  • Candy
  • Soda
  • Processed grains
  • Fried foods
  • Low-quality protein sources
  • Foods at restaurants

You do not have to eliminate these types of food completely or forever but on a day-to-day basis, they should be limited. The good old 80/20 or even 90/10 rule works well here. Get the good stuff in the majority of the time and save the cake, ice cream and pizza for the special occasions. That way you don’t always have to be the person that is on a diet at a birthday party.

Use Your Hand For Food Portions, Not Calories

Trying to keep track of the calories and macronutrients using some type of calculator can be tough. There is a possible 20-30% error when counting calories and macronutrients and it can also backfire since it can lead you towards focusing just on food quantity rather than food quality. We feel the following method adapted by Precision Nutrition is a better way… The hand measuring system!

Your hand is proportionate to your body, its size never changes, and it’s always with you, making it the perfect tool for measuring food and nutrients – minimal counting required.

  • 1 serving of protein = 1 palm
  • 1 serving of vegetables = 1 fist
  • 1 serving of carbs = 1 cupped hand
  • 1 serving of fats = 1 thumb

First, men should consume 2 servings of each category and women should consume 1 serving of each. You will need to adjust your portion sizes based on activity level, goals, previous health history and other factors.

Choose Your Meal Frequency

When I am presenting at a workshop or conference, I will ask the audience what they think is the most important meal of the day? The majority of them will say breakfast. My answer to them is that ALL of your meals are important. No meal is more important than the other because all of the food you put into your body leaves an imprint, and it is the total intake in the day that really matters.

As long as we eat the right foods in the right amounts, meal frequency is a matter of personal preference. You could eat smaller meals often or large meals less often. Intermittent fasting can also be an option for you. There isn’t a specific meal frequency that science has found to be the best way for everyone. In the end, you need to find what works for you!

Workout Nutrition

Anyone can benefit from having a solid workout nutrition protocol since, after all, if you have good workout nutrition, you most likely are paying attention to what you are putting into your body anyway. But it is not a must to see results. Workout nutrition really doesn’t matter for most people except elite athletes training specifically for maximal muscle adaptation and/or training with high volume and intensity (potentially multiple times every day). For those individuals…


Eat an appropriate meal with a balance of protein (chicken, fish, grass-fed beef), fats (nuts, seeds, avocados, etc.), and carbohydrates (veggies, rice, potatoes), based on your individual needs (see


Have water, a branched-chain amino acid drink (5-15 grams mixed in 1 liter of water), or a protein plus carbohydrate drink.


Consume 20-40 grams of a high-quality protein powder. We like grass-fed whey protein. If you are someone that has a high-activity level or are looking to put on some muscle, 20-60 grams of carbohydrates would be helpful to consume. Finally, for fat loss, ditch the carbs after a workout.

Plan, Shop, Prepare

This is where everything comes together. You could even argue that this is the most important component of healthy eating success. As they say, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” To summarize, here are the steps we suggest to stay on top of meal preparation:

  1. Look Ahead – For which busy days in the coming week will you need pre-prepped meals?
  2. Make a Menu – Jot down ideas for your pre-prepped meals. Keep this general; nothing five-star.
  3. Shop For Your Food – Buy the ingredients for your pre-prepped meals.
  4. Cook For The Week or Next Day – Cook time-consuming meal components: chicken, veggies, potatoes, etc. We like to use the crock-pot and one-pot meals like chili, soups, stews and the like.
  5. Store it Where You Can Use It Easily – Pack your prepped food in stackable clear containers and make them accessible in the fridge.


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