Nick Mitchell: How I manage my diet and health

When people ask Ultimate Performance founder Nick Mitchell how he stays in shape, his answer is simple.

For Nick, it’s not a chore…it’s a lifestyle. But it’s a lifestyle he constantly has to work at that is not without its challenges, pitfalls and vices.

There are some common rhythms that Nick has worked into his life with diet and exercise that keep him healthy, in good shape, and ageing well.

Here Nick talks about the way he engineers his environment, his habits and his routines to ensure he maximises his health, productivity and well-being by default.

BEN KENYON: You’re in very good shape for your age – for any age! How do you age so well?

NICK: It’s a lifestyle.

Am I perfect? No! Do I have weaknesses? Yes. Do I have vices? Absolutely.

Am I going to list all my vices here? No, I’m not. But I’ll give one easy acceptable vice. For me, I like to medicate stress with crap food. That’s my big vice in life.

So, if I’ve had a crap day and it’s eight or nine o’clock at night, the idea of me eating chicken and broccoli versus eating a bag of crisps, or a box of biscuits…if the box of biscuits is there, I’m going to eat it.

So for me, the best thing is to have the temptation away from me and not in the house. Do I eat bad food? Yes. I would say too much bad food. But I do other things hopefully, right. I try very hard. I don’t always succeed in ensuring I get at least eight hours of sleep a night. That means there are things I can’t do because I will prioritise my sleep.

Exercise is the easiest thing in the world for me because I’ve found a way to love my exercise. I ride a bike in the hills here where I live. I absolutely love it. It’s my release for the day.

And I love weight training. Weight training, for me, is controlled aggression. I get all my aggression out. Anything pent-up comes out. It’s meditation for me. It’s controlled aggression. And I just want to lose myself in the gym for an hour, four times a week. So for me, that’s very, very easy.

Eating during the day is no challenge whatsoever for me because I know how I feel when I eat bad food. I know how I feel when I eat well.

If I want to feel lazy, I’m going to go and have a pizza right now. If I go and eat a pizza now (I’m talking it’s two o’clock in the afternoon) it’s a disaster! I’m not going to go exercise. I’m not going to do any more work. I’m going to want to sit, put my feet up and watch Netflix. So instead, I’ll eat fat and protein during the day, and I’ll have not a lot of carbs. I’ll have some, but not a lot. That’s what gives me the best energy.

So I know how to eat to perform and feel the best. The best analogy I can give you is this… I’m from Yorkshire, and I grew up in a working-class area. I love fish and chips. Even when I go back home I don’t often eat fish and chips. And when I do, I instantly regret it because it sits like that horrible cannonball in the bottom of my stomach.

It’s the same thing with other foods but just maybe a slightly less profound effect. It doesn’t make you feel great – put it that way. Junk food doesn’t make you feel great. Chocolate doesn’t make you feel great. You feel great when you’re eating it, and then afterwards, you either want more or you want to be lazy.

So it’s really easy for me to not eat bad food during the day. But because my life is so hectic and I want to switch off in the evening, this is when I’m likely to eat bad food. That’s my personal challenge, and it’s a very common personal challenge for other people too.

Read more from Nick about how he manages his training and diet for better healthy and productivity.

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