Nutritional Guidelines


By Rob Shaul

Updated March, 2021


Fundamental Principles

  1. What you eat is more important than how much you eat
  1. Any diet or nutritional plan that makes you constantly hungry isn’t sustainable
  1. Eat whole foods (nothing processed) and you’ll eat smaller portions, eat less often and still eat to satiety
  1. You can’t outwork a shitty diet. 95% of fat loss is diet-related


Guideline Goals

  • Increase Lean Body Mass
  • Decrease Body Fat
  • Build High Relative Strength (Strength per Bodyweight)
  • Increase speed over ground for work capacity and endurance
  • Improve mission performance
  • Keep it simple


How Much Should I Weigh?

This depends on your job, and height. See the chart below for the general approach, and click MTI’s Ideal Bodyweights for Mountain Athletes, Mountain Professionals and Tactical Athletes for specifics.

Guidelines for Athletes Under 40 Years Old – 6 Days/Week …

Eat only …..

  • Whole Foods – Nothing Processed
  • Start each meal and each snack with whole food protein (poultry, fish, beef, pork, eggs)
  • Vegetables that grow above the ground – leafy veggies, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, etc.
  • You can eat these in moderation – nuts, nut butters (no peanuts), seeds, seed butters, nonfat unflavored greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, berries, dark chocolate (85% or more cocoa)

Drink only …..

  • Coffee, water, bubble water, diet drinks
  • Alcohol – only hard liquor or low carb hard seltzer. No beer or wine

Don’t Eat …

  • Any processed sugar or corn syrup – candy, pastry, condiments with sugar/corn syrup, etc.
  • Grains of any type or format (wheat, corn, oats, rice, bread, rolls, tortillas, pasta etc.)
  • Beans – including peanuts/peanut butter
  • Vegetables that grow beneath the ground – potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, etc.,
  • Fruit other than tomatoes, cucumbers, or avocados (all technically fruit) and berries in moderation. Especially avoid tropical fruits – bananas, mangos, pineapple, etc
  • Limit processed/reduced-fat (oils, butter) to only what is needed for cooking or in typical oil & vinegar salad dressing

Don’t Drink …

  • Milk or cream
  • Calories – surgery soda, fruit juices, etc.

As well … 

  • At every meal, aim to eat more protein than energy (veggies + fats) based on weight.
  • Eat protein for snacks.
  • Eat to satiety – there is no caloric restriction. You should never be hungry.
  • 1 Day/Week – Cheat like a mother … eat/drink anything you want!


Guidelines for Athletes Over 40 Years Old – 7 Days/Week ….

    • Same as athletes under 40 years old, but no cheat day.
    • Sucks for you old-timer!



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