UNHAPPY WITH MEASUREMENTS? CHECK ON THESE FACTORS
We are all training with the intention of improving movement, strength, and aesthetics.
Working out is important, but is not the only factor. So what are you missing?
As I've said time and time again, consistency is everything. This includes being consistent on workouts (especially strength training), but also with healthy nutrition, staying hydrated, getting an adequate amount of sleep, and keeping stress low.
For overall health all of these are very important, and they each play a role in seeing improvements with your body composition.
Take a look at the body fat chart to see where you're currently at, and where you want to be.
Everyone is busy!
Life is crazy, and there will always be something that tries to come in the way of you reaching your goals. There is no way around this, and we are all jam-packed with endless things to do every day. So try to aim for these things as consistently as possible! If you get off track, don't punish yourself; the best thing you can do is get back on track as quickly as you can. Prioritize your health and work to build good habits; the longer you try, the easier it gets as you will find your own shortcuts to save time, and it will all become a part of your routine.
This is what to aim for as much as possible:
Getting quality sleep of 6-8 hours/ night.
Sleep is when the body recovers and relieves a lot of stress from the day. Come up with a good night routine - cut out phone usage at least 30min before, try to not drink, and do something calming to relax and prepare for bed. This could be reading and having some tea, doing a short night-time Yoga or stretch session, or taking a soothing hot bath.
Keeping stress low is important for overall health and wellness.
Try finding things you enjoy to relieve stress such as reading, taking a walk (getting vitamin D), a relaxing Yoga session, or starting a new hobby like dancing, painting, or writing. A few deep breaths and some calming music, a quick walk, or some stretches are great ways to revive yourself during work.
Aim for 0.5-1.0 oz of water per pound of body weight per day (more if you workout or sweat, especially in this heat).
It is a great habit to carry your water with you everywhere and drink it often!
Nutrition: aim to eat meals every 3-5 hours to keep blood sugar levels stable.
You want meals to consist of veggies & fiber, protein, healthy fats, and some starches.
You should eat your starches and high-glycemic carbs last. This ensures you are getting the important nutrients you need first, keeps your blood sugar level, and helps to not overeat on carbs. Remember protein is our building blocks, veggies & fruits are full of micronutrients, and healthy fats support our hormones, brain, and cells, and provide cushion for our organs and joints; other carbs and starches provide energy for activity and also store in the muscles, which is optimal for muscle growth.
Cut down on processed and artificial foods. Try to eat as close to natural as possible.
In a perfect world, we would grow our own food and raise our own animals to eat from, but do the best you can by at least cutting out the processed BS and junk foods. Most of your grocery store items should come from the edges. If you have sensitivities to foods (such as dairy), you’ll most likely know as you will have an adverse reaction such as skin issues, bloating, or diarrhea. Obviously you want to cut out any foods that do not agree with your body, as this will just cause more inflammation.
Cook from home as much as possible! It is crazy what unnecessary ingredients are added to restaurant foods making them have a much higher calorie amount. Cooking from home allows you to know exactly what and how much is going into the food you're consuming. As far as fast food goes (I know we are all busy), I do prefer Chipotle or Chic-Fil-A when necessary (I'm sure there are others too - feel free to ask me).
Take a quality multivitamin, like the one we have partnered with from NutriDyn, which has been third-party lab tested and is pharmaceutical grade.
Try to cut down alcohol and look at alcohol as a treat that you only have sometimes.
Regular use of alcohol leads to brain deterioration, memory problems, fogginess and hard to focus, changes in mood, and worsens your sleep quality. It takes the body at least 3 days to recover from alcohol. Alcohol also dehydrates your body, causes inflammation, and interferes with protein synthesis (making it harder to grow muscle).
Alcohol alone has 7cal/g (not including mixers or sodas), and is considered "empty calories" as it provides no nutrients.
If you are really serious about seeing some big results, the best way is to track your food on an app like Avatar Nutrition (there are other good ones also, this is just my personal favorite).
Avatar will ask your goal, and give you the exact calories and macros you need in order to stay consistent to hit that goal. In regards to body composition, you can eat whatever you want as long as it fits into your numbers. Tracking makes sure you are getting the nutrients your body needs, while also keeping you from under-eating or overeating.
Avatar also allows more flexibility by giving you options to set high/ low days for if you know the weekend will be full of events, and has the option to edit carb to fat ratio each day, as these are both energy sources. Watch this video I made on how to set up Avatar along with how to do the ratio edit and set high/ low days.
You want to track everything as close as you can. Make sure to include oils (these add up quickly), and any alcohol.
You can choose to take one day off from tracking. This is definitely OK and will not ruin results as long as you don't go too crazy. Taking one day off is a nice mental break too, which can go a long way by preventing you from a burn out!
If you do not want to track, at least try to have balanced meals and stay consistent. This chart shows an easy way to deal proportions.
Planning your meals for the week, or meal prepping is a great way to be prepared and stay on track when life gets busy through the week. I do this by cooking for 2-3 days at a time, although many of my friends cook for the whole week every Sunday. You can also cook in bulk, and measure as you eat (example: cook pot of rice and a ton of chicken to pull from). Even though it may take a couple of hours to do this, it saves time overall by cutting down on cooking time and doing dishes every day. Instead you can just grab your prepped meal from the fridge and heat it up to eat!
I am also a huge fan of smoothies as they are a great way to hit your protein goal, or get a high dose of veggies without having to chew them all
Protein smoothies right after workout are optimal for protein synthesis, muscle growth, and recovery. This should include protein + simple carbs (such as fruit or juice), and is best if consumed within 15min post-workout (or at least within 30min after).
Be sure to check out this blog article I posted a while back that has charts telling you exactly what to do - one chart for weight loss, and one chart for muscle gain.
For more information on each of these important factors, take a look at my other posts (great material for a short night-time read):
I'm always here to help! Reach out if you have any questions.
Keep going and aim to do better each day! You've got this!