Are you feeling like your weight loss has stalled? Are you working out 5-6 per week and still not seeing results that you hope for? The answer probably lies in your nutrition. A common misconception about fat loss is that if you exercise most days and have a really active lifestyle you get to eat whatever you want. Although that sounds great, it’s not as accurate as most people think.
If you really ramp up your activity levels and exercise every single day, chances are your metabolism is going to skyrocket and you’re actually going to be hungry more often. It makes sense as your body is naturally going to require more food, when your fuel is used up for extra workout sessions. Depending on what you eat, it can either stall or help your fat loss, but exercising too often is not recommended because it can lead to overtraining and put unnecessary stress on the body. Also, if you go hard at the gym most days and won’t let your body recover, it can have the opposite effect, hinder your fitness gains, and make you feel tired and fatigued (nobody wants that!).
Our advice to clients reaching a plateau or struggling to see the results that they want is to really focus on their nutrition habits.
It starts with becoming a little bit more aware of what you’re eating. Core Principles recommends using a 3-day nutrition log where you list everything you eat and drink for 3 consecutive days.
Logging or tracking your food is a great nutrition tool because it can really help you recognize some patterns you may have when it comes to eating. For example, you may notice that you eat more when you’re stressed out, or that you tend to skip breakfast most mornings. The point is not to track your food forever, but only a little while so that you become mindful of your eating habits and identify the problem areas you need to work on to really enhance your weight/fat loss program (see below example).
Once you figure out what it is exactly that you need to improve, we recommend focusing on modifying one nutrition habit at a time, so that you’re not overwhelmed by changing too many things at once! Going back to our example, if you notice that you’re consistently missing breakfast and overeating when you’re stressed, you would pick one of those to work on for the next week or two.
Say you observe that when you’re really busy and feeling tense you reach for additional snacks even though you’re not hungry. You could learn some stress management techniques and instead of turning to food for comfort. That may mean taking some time to meditate, try a relaxation breathing technique or go for a walk to blow off some steam. If you feel like you’ve made progress and learned to manage stress better, you could then move on to working on incorporating breakfast into your daily menu. Maybe the first week you set a goal to eat breakfast 2-3 days out of the week. Once that’s doable, you go up and eat breakfast 4-5 days, and so on and so forth.
The key is to gradually build healthy nutrition habits overtime that are long-lasting, practical and will help you stay on track with your goals.
Contrary to what many people believe, nutrition is a really important step when it comes to weight loss and getting the desired results. If you feel like you need some help in that department, make sure you check out our website to learn more about the CP nutrition and accountability programs and/or contact your coaches at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!