So, you’ve committed to a new fitness regime… This time you really mean it. Maybe you’ve invested heavily (both financially and mentally) into a programme or a gym membership. Perhaps you’ve gone one step further; you’ve bought some new gym equipment, or a 5kg sack of protein.
You start your regime well. On the Sunday evening you weigh your chicken breasts and sweet potato (a step probably not required by the way!); you’ve downloaded the Myfitness Pal app, got your 2-litre bottle of water ready, and diced all your peppers and cucumbers into small plastic containers. Finally, you’ve booked in online and packed your gym kit for Monday’s circuits class; you’ve even permanently blocked off ‘training time’ in your work calendar.
So what went wrong…?
I’ll answer this by calling upon a few examples I’ve experienced first-hand from clients who’ve struggled or failed to reach their goals in a very similar manner.
Paleo is Healthy
Ok, so please ignore the headline, as it was just to create intrigue.
I have no problem with Paleo. I actually quite like it (well let’s say 80% of it). I have no problem with many popular diets or eating plans; 5:2 or intermittent fasting can work great, but there is an ‘IF’.
Just because something is ‘healthy’ it doesn’t mean you don’t record it on Myfitness Pal, or that you can eat bucket loads of it. You must honest. Be brutally honest.
Foods like nuts, nut butter, protein bars, avocados, olive oil, coconut products and smoothies (all considered healthy and mostly Paleo) can all be very damaging on the diet front. They are all calorie bombs. So proceed with caution.
How much olive oil did you honestly pour over your salad? Pay attention to this.
You must factor in every calorie you eat. I don’t mean literally track every single calorie, but I do mean that if someone passes you a ‘protein treat’ that tastes great then be warned, it’s probably not as healthy as you hope.
“You found that hard? I found that easy”
This statement really chaps my hide.
I’ve actually taken part in sessions before with clients, but is not something I like to do, as I see it as my job to keep 100% attention on my client at all times. However, sometimes people need the proverbial rocket up their backside, so I get stuck in. Often with the vein hope that if they see me push myself hard, they’ll follow suit.
I remember doing a few sets of 1-minute work 1-minute rest, max effort burpees with a client (that’s a 6-minute workout). Instantly I got a muscle pump and lactic feeling throughout my body. My heart rate stormed past 180 bpm. My client looked at me and said, “Are you tired? I found that easy, it was only one minute”. It got to me. She was more interested in not looking tired. Ironically, I think she may have thought that by not looking tired I’d think that makes her fit… I wanted the opposite. I wanted a beating heart, sweat pouring and whole-body fatigue.
What get out what you put in.
Success breeds success. Those who show a good work ethic when training, generally have a good level of discipline in the kitchen. The opposite of this is also true!
In the above example I use the word “discipline”. I did not use the word deprivation or starvation. We don’t want our clients starving.
If you train regularly and eat adequate protein (as part of a calorie-controlled diet) then in time your body will become a furnace, i.e. your body will get far better (faster) at burning the fuel you feed it. How do you expect the furnace to burn if you fuel it with ‘slimming tea’?
We’ve all the heard the expression ‘you are what we eat’. Consider that; eat a donut – become a donut; drink diet soda all day, but don’t expect your muscles to have the tone and the definition of a fillet steak.
Some tips for accountability:
- Aim for protein in all meals
- Know all the ingredients in your food – Watch and log hidden calories
- Have a back-up plan (miss circuits – do burpees!)
- Get a note pad and log your best in-gym performances (strength and cardio)
- Listen to the trainer
- Don’t starve
And there you have it, some tips to stay accountable in your nutrition, training and wellness.
Yours in Fitness,