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Review Of Tony Horton’s 11 Laws Of Nutrition

I recently stumbled onto an article from on Tony Horton’s 11 Laws of Nutrition. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the name, this is the man behind the popular home workout routine P-90X.

I’ve got a lot of respect for Tony and believe he’s the real deal. Regardless of your opinion on P-90X, I’ll be the first to admit the program isn’t for everyone, there’s little question in my book regarding Tony Horton as a fitness coach and expert in the industry.

More after the jump…

He’s been around a long time and from what I gather teaches old school, non-gimmicky or quick-fix principals for weight loss and fitness. Not one of these guys telling you things like…”you can eat all the ice cream and pizza you want and still lose weight if you only <fill in the blank>.”

Probably what I commend him on the most is his position of simply listening to your body. You do what works for you period. It’s not about being put in a box by a particular diet or way of eating.

While I haven’t read all 11 of Tony’s laws of nutrition, he’s revealing them over the next several weeks, the first rule could be the most important of all in my opinion.

Here’s an excerpt from the article in where Tony discusses rule #1:

Variety: “This one is pretty obvious. Based on personal experience, I can tell you that it’s important not to treat your food — your fuel — like a religion. For example, some folks are so into eating Paleo — avoiding grains, legumes and dairy — even if it’s not working for them.

They don’t feel right, they’re tired all the time, something is missing. Other people want to be vegan. They do great going animal-product-free for 20 years, then one day, like me, they wake up and realize something is wrong. They feel rundown.

They aren’t recovering from workouts as fast as they used to. When that happens, you need to be ready to adapt — and the best way to adapt is to add variety to your diet.

There’s a lot of biology at play here. The nutrients that fuel us are wildly complicated. First you have your carbs, protein and fat. Then you have vitamins and minerals. Next, you have phytonutrients (nutrients from plants) and zoonutrients (nutrients from animal sources). And heading up the rear, all kinds of enzymes, probiotics and other organic bits and pieces that scientists are still trying to figure out.

It seems like every day there’s a new study coming out about how some superfood is now super duper, or some food we previously thought to be awful might not be so bad after all.

On the other side, you have the human body, which is every bit as complicated as all that stuff we put into it — probably because it’s made from that stuff. And even if you completely understand your body and how it reacts to today’s diet, the same foods might not work tomorrow.

My body thrived for years as a vegan. Then, one day, that no longer worked for me. Luckily, you don’t need a Ph.D. in nutritional biology to sort this all out. In fact, you don’t need to sort it out at all. The key is simple: Eat a variety of foods. The more varied your diet, the more you improve your chances of getting the right combination of nutrients to suit your needs.” Go to article.

While it’s too early to tell if I’ll necessarily agree 100% with his remaining 10 laws of nutrition, I’d say we’re off to a good start.

He expresses my exact sentiment with law #1 on variety. I really do believe that variety with natural foods is a key component to long-term success.

Many of you know I’m a proponent of a Primal Blueprint or Paleo type diet. While I’m not 100% primal, it serves as the foundation of my diet. My body simply works best with this type of diet as the foundation. The thing is I don’t overly sweat it if I stray from the principals on occasion.

I’ve seen a lot of people jump from one diet or way of eating to another because of an all or nothing mindset. This just increases the frustration element.

I believe so much in a Primal or Paleo type diet because it’s based on variety with whole natural foods. Granted there are those who would argue you’re not really “paleo” if you ever consumed grains or dairy. This is where we have to be careful that eating doesn’t become like a religion as Tony discussed.

Everyone is simply different and will respond differently to various foods. This can even change as you get older. Bottom line is to listen to your body and let it be your guide.

If your body does well when you pull out the wheat gluten and grains for example, roll with it. You won’t know though until you do it. If your body feels better and you recover from workouts better, etc, when you have some additional starches from rice, potatoes and the like on occasion, then listen to your body.

Each side has their fair share of arguments and intellectual rationale for backing up the belief that everyone would be healthier if they followed their plan.

This would assume that everyone is the same….they all have the the same tolerances, allergen sensitivities, needs, energy demands, etc, etc.

Anyone who follows my teachings knows that I start with “God’s foods first” and only then narrow down simply based on bioindividuality (what works best for each person). This way variety is part of the diet and foods aren’t omitted indefinitely just because.

The vegan is led to believe the struggle and cravings for animal proteins is a natural part of the growth process or “enlightenment” instead of a maybe just a signal from their body. Many are afraid if they give in it mean’s they’ve failed, broke ranks, etc.

The same thing can be said for the Paleo dieter who wants an occasional glass of milk, or what have you.

You have to ask yourself why you’re putting yourself in a box? Because your body does better with “X” way of eating or because those are simply the guidelines.

Go natural then adjust as needed for your body. Cultures from various parts of the world have managed to not just survive but thrive on a wide variety of diets, but they all had one thing in common…

Unprocessed and refined foods!

The standard American diet or (S.A.D.) is failing us and actually causing the demise in human health because it’s built on unnatural foods and over-consumption. But I digress.

More to come…

I’m looking forward to reviewing Tony’s remaining 10 nutrition laws and will update this post as they come out.

In the meantime feel free to leave your comments and share your two cents worth.

Shane Doll is a certified personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts Fitness Training Studios. If you’re looking for a personal trainer in Charleston, you can receive a no-obligations personal training trial and consultation without risking a dime. Over 1000 Charleston area residents have transformed their bodies following our unique burst training workouts and simplified nutrition programs. Experience the Shaping Concepts difference today.

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Category: Shane's Commentary.