#138 – Change Your Habits, Not Your Macros: The Nutrition LP with Robert Santana
SSC and Registered Dietician Robert Santana returns to the show to discuss how his approach to nutrition coaching has evolved over the years. Santana has developed, in essence, a nutrition linear progression emphasizing incremental habit changes over counting macros.
Many people try to overhaul their diet by “white knuckling” their way through major changes, like cutting out sodas, cutting all refined carbs, stopping all fast food, eating more vegetables, etc. While these are noble and worthy habits, trying to acquire them all at the same time often constitutes a huge change in the person’s habits. This might work in the short term — two or three weeks — but inevitably it fails as the urgency of the catalyst for change begins to fade. White knuckle discipline is not just a bad idea for the dieter, it’s also a bad plan for a nutrition coach because even it does work, it doesn’t provide much data about what variables drove the change.
Therefore, Santana has found that small, incremental habit changes over time not only stick better, but also provide good data on what works for the trainee. Habit changes can be as minor as switching from sugary sodas to diet soda (really not that minor a change when you think about — a person drinking 4-5 sodas a day could cut nearly 1,000 calories by switching to diet sodas — even though it’s an easy change). Each habit change is treated like a PR in the nutrition LP, and celebrated accordingly. And just as adding 5lbs each workout in the novice LP quickly adds up to big strength gains, accumulation of positive eating habits adds up over time to major body composition changes. Most importantly, they are sustainable and lasting body composition changes.