7 Habits of Highly Effective Nutritional Programs

The other day I was reviewing John Berardi’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective Nutritional Programs. For the most part I follow the 7 habits, but not always to degree I should. Below are the 7 habits and my personal report card.

1. Eat every 2-3 hours, no matter what. You should eat between 5-8 meals per day.

This is the habit I follow exceptionally well. For well over a decade I’ve averaged 6 meals a day.

2. Eat complete (containing all the essential amino acids), lean protein with each meal.

I got this one down as well. You’ll rarely see me eating a carb-based meal. Pick your protein first, then the rest of the meal.

3. Eat fruits and/or vegetables with each food meal.

Got this one down as well.

4. Ensure that your carbohydrate intake comes from fruits and vegetables. Exception: workout and post-workout drinks and meals.

I’m guilty of having most of my carb calories come from pasta, potatoes and bread, but I still get the fruits and veggies.

5. Ensure that 25-35% of your energy intake comes from fat, with your fat intake split equally between saturates (e.g. animal fat), monounsaturates (e.g., olive oil), and polyunsaturates (e.g. flax oil, salmon oil).

Probably OK on this one since I eat a lot of seafood.

6. Drink only non-calorie containing beverages, the best choices being water and green tea.

Coffee has zero calories as well. The only caloric drink I consume on a regular basis is V-8.

7. Eat mostly whole foods (except workout and post-workout drinks).

I’m guilty of replacing 3-6 whole food meals a week with a non-post-workout protein shake.

Berardi concludes with why you need to follow the habits 90% of time before you do anything else.

So what about calories, or macronutrient ratios, or any number of other things that Ive covered in other articles? The short answer is that if you arent already practicing the above-mentioned habits, and by practicing them I mean putting them to use over 90% of the time (i.e., no more than 4 meals out of an average 42 meals per week violate any of those rules), everything else is pretty pointless.


Coffee for the win!

Legacy Comments


Excellent post. When I was doing the low carb thing, I was eating many more meals a day. Now that I’ve stopped, I’ve gained weight. Working at an office again has been a huge impediment, but I need to get back on the many-small-meals bandwagon.


The key to successfully eating many meals a day is making many meals at once. Tupperware can be your best friend.


Add yours

  1. Johan Lindén

    Apr 13, 2015 — 4:50 pm

    You still stand by these as “effective”? Effective for what then? Only bulk I would say.

  2. @Johan – This post is almost 9 years old. I disagree with #1 and #5. On the fence about a few of the others.

  3. Johan Lindén

    Apr 13, 2015 — 6:03 pm

    Yes I know, and that’s what I thought. Just wanted it confirmed since you haven’t edited the text with disclaimers.

    It’s good therapy to look back at old claims one made. Helps one to be more humble. Still let us hope that our new knowledge is worth something.

    Have a good one and enjoy your coffee!

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