Are you putting 100% effort in the gym but still not seeing the results you had once envisioned? The problem may not be your workout routine, but simply proper nutrition. Most people will dedicate themselves to the gym but fall short of their nutritional program. The fact is that nutrition is about 90% of the battle when losing weight or gaining lean muscle mass. You will not see results without a proper balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and essential fats.
The most common mistake I see with today’s fitness enthusiasts are they will attempt to starve themselves. Psychologically they think if they consume less food they will lose the weight. By not eating enough calories your body will go into what us fitness professionals define as “survival mode.” This is where your body will begin to lose muscle during your starvation period. As a result, the majority of the weight you lose is muscle and water weight, which eventually slows down your metabolism. Unfortunately, women are notorious for losing the weight and not concerned if it is body fat or lean muscle. As women mature it is vital they maintain as much lean muscle as possible, which can help prevent Osteoporosis.
How many times have you been a victim of the yo-yo diet? You’ve listened to the infomercials and bought the new “miracle pill” (click in the news link above to read my report on miracle pills) that has guaranteed fat loss QUICK!!! After a short period of time of depriving your body, you begin eating more and eventually the weight comes back with a vengeance. You get frustrated and start the yo-yo diet process all over again.
The first rule of thumb is to begin your day by eating breakfast. I know it is a cliché, but it is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast kick starts your metabolism and allows the body to adequately begin burning calories for the day. For busy clients I suggest they eat a cup of yogurt, fruit, meal replacement shake or a nutrition bar. Remember, we want to get your day off to a good start. Consuming excessive fat and calories for breakfast can stagnate your metabolism and thereby yielding the effects of your body to burn significant calories through out the day.
You also want to make sure you are consuming 4-6 meals a day. I realize this may be difficult in the beginning but remember the more you exercise and become active the more your metabolism will increase. Three of these meals should contain 1 protein, 1 carbohydrate, and 1 vegetable. The other 1-3 meals can include a protein shake or nutritional bar. Make sure you register for our free grocery list so that you have the right ideas to add proper nutritional meals to your diet.
Portion size plays a huge role in your diet. I always tell my clients to use the fist rule. The “fist rule” is comparing your portions to the size of your fist. This method is much easier than keeping up with caloric intake. This is the problem with large meals: your body only needs a certain amount of food to keep you functioning healthily. Any amount in excess of this will be stored-as fat. With the 4-6 small meals, the aim is to give your body enough of the nutrients it needs to build lean muscle, while minimizing fat storage. Additionally, the body can only digest so much protein at one sitting. For an individual trying to put on muscle size, this allows him to get the extra protein he needs in a way that the body can efficiently utilize it. The constant feedings will also help maintain a stable blood sugar level, keeping your energy level constant throughout your day.
One of the most important things you can do for your body is to fuel it with water. Water provides many resources for your body including transporting nutrients, hydrating the body, and increasing energy level. It also aids in the digestion process and supporting your metabolism functions, which in turn helps the body burn calories and keeps the body cooled. I suggest drinking at least 1-2 liter’s a day.
If you are like most of us and very busy prepare your meals in advance. When you buy a pack of lean chicken breasts don’t be scared to cook the entire pack. Invest in a set of Tupperware and pack for 2-3 days in advance. This will also help to avoid hitting the drive-thru’s after working late hours or hanging out at your child’s soccer game. My philosophy is if you can get it at a drive-thru window, it’s probably not a healthy food. Make it a family affair and give the gift of health to your family and lead by example.
At Healing Strength Personal Training we teach you how to lose weight safely and most importantly, permanently. We customize a complete individualize program that is specific to your body type, goals, and lifestyle.