What is Nutrition Periodization and Why You Should Do It

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When it comes to leaning out/fat loss one of the biggest mistakes you are making is not being fully committed and having the right process and structure in place. 

You are one foot in one foot out. This half in half out mentality is what gets you in trouble. 

You stay committed through the week, but then when any challenge comes up you give in and erase all progress made. 

So you end up in this never-ending cycle of moving forward then going backwards. Without realizing you are in the same place year after year. 

You are in the “I’m trying to lean out” purgatory. 

I know this because I used to do it myself. 

Until I started to periodize my nutrition for myself and online clients. 

What is nutrition periodization? 

“A periodized plan progresses in a logical, organized fashion with a specific goal in mind. Nutrition periodization means that diet phases are not random, they are strategic and purposeful. Periodized nutrition is absolutely necessary in order to maximize the chances of achieving any long-term fitness goal.”

-RP Diet Book 2.0

With nutrition periodization, you are fully committed to one goal for a shorter amount of time, give it your all, and then back off for a bit. 

Does this mean it may take you a little longer to reach your end goal? Maybe. 


You will reach your goal and it will be sustainable in the long run. 

Some people will say it doesn’t need to be complicated (it actually makes it less complicated and more sustainable) and nutrition periodization is just some fitness jargon.

However, I beg to differ.

Here are my top reasons why nutritional periodization works with online clients. 


1. The longer you work towards something the tougher and less motivated you get to reaching your goal. 

You’re motivated before you start and at the beginning. 

That’s why you do great for a couple of weeks, and then fall off. You rely on the motivation that you had in the beginning to continue, but it doesn’t. 

So then you see results for a few weeks, lose motivation, and then when that motivation inevitably declines you think something is wrong and don’t make the same choices anymore. Over and over again. 

When you periodize your nutrition you:

 2. You have a clear end date.

When I know something isnt forever and just temporary it allows me to push harder. Maybe this comes from going to school for so many years.  Or doing multiple bodybuilding shows. 

But having a clear end date makes it feel more temporary and that you won’t always have to do this. 

Fat loss is not an easy process. But we complicate it when we aren’t clear on where we are going and how long we are going to do it. 

If you are miserable with no end in sight, yeah you are going to steer off the plan and fail. It just isn’t sustainable. 

3. You can lose weight but are terrible at maintaining that weight loss. 

With nutrition periodization, it educates online clients on how to diet for life. Always being in the midset of im “leaning out” will all but ensure you will never actually lean out. Our body does not like to lose body fat. 

When you either lose a good amount of body fat or spend a long time dieting for fat loss your body slows down. 

You get more tired, more hungry, more stressed, crabby, etc. That doesn’t sound too fun, does it? 

With nutrition periodization we have online clients aim for losing body fat for a certain amount of time (6-16 weeks) then you pump the brakes and then learn how to maintain that new bodyweight and/or get rid of all of those nasty diet symptoms listed above so you can again have another productive cycle of leaning out OR then shift your focus to building more muscle.

Speaking of….

4. Building Muscle.

When prospecting clients want to lean out, what they usually mean is that they want to look better naked, or in clothes. So you want to improve your appearance. 

The best way to shape your body is by building muscle

And no, im not talking about looking like a drug-induced bodybuilder. That’s the misconception when people hear building muscle. But that “toned” look you want, thats more muscle. 

Just like with losing body fat, the body isn’t a big fan of building muscle. It requires a good amount of energy to maintain and build. The body would rather use that energy towards other important processes. 

So in order to put your body in the best position to build muscle you need to be giving it plenty of energy (food), and being in a low-stressed state. 

When you are always trying to lean out you are not putting your body in the best position to build muscle. 

Thats why you will hear of people who are always trying to lean out complain of being skinny fat and never being satisfied with how they look. 

What nutrition periodization does is gives you the structure, time,  and resources to build muscle and shape your body. 

The truth is, this is where you want to spend most of your time.  

Why? Because you actually get to eat food (and let’s be honest, food is everywhere) and it’s just a healthier place to be long term. 

In my experience with myself and with online clients, the more muscle usually means an easier time losing body fat. 

I hope this article taught you why nutrition periodization may be your missing link to your goals. 

If you have any questions about this topic send me a message on Facebook, Instagram, or email (jhfitness1991@gmail.com). 

Or if you are ready to take your nutrition and training to the next level fill out this online coaching application form

In my next article, I am going to go over how I have periodized my nutrition as well as sample fat loss and muscle gain periodizations. 

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