So I am flipping the script on motivation Monday this week (note- I have also been known to bust a move once in a while) this week by touching upon two issues which have come up in our gym recently regarding nutrition. While most of us understand nutrition determines 90% of our results, one thing I feel slips through the cracks is how to properly plan for success.
Much as we change rep ranges and exercises to avoid stagnation with fitness, frequent changes to our dietary routine help us to avoid becoming stale. This means that all those that we work with should have a basic plan BEFORE jumping in to ensure you know what you are doing and avoid burn out.
Read on to learn how to do just that:
1. Nutrition Focus Training
Undoubtedly the first step in effective fatloss is figuring out the best way to wrap your head around dieting WITHOUT going insane. This means setting a defined timeline for how long you plan to diet and periods in which we eat normally to allow ourselves some release.
Rather than dieting long term without a set ending, this condenses our motivation by allowing us to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Otherwise, we begin to bargain with ourselves on the changes we make by including are items which sabotage an otherwise good day.
Here is an example of someone trying to go low carb:
7:00 AM- Breakfast:
- Turkey Bacon
- Skim Milk
- Kashi Cereal
- Egg white Omlet
9:30 AM- Mid-morning snack
- String Cheese
- Raw veggies
- 6 Inch Subway Chicken sub on wheat bread
- Green salad
2:30 PM- Mid-afternoon snack
- Protein shake
7:00 PM- Dinner
- Grilled Tilapia
- Mixed rice
- Steamed veggies
Notice the items highlighted in black. Usually these represent small portions of “comfort food” (bread/rice/grains/etc) which we include to soften the blow of dieting. While small amounts may not seem like a big deal, the problem is we tend to adopt this “in between” approach to our former diet and complete adhereance rather than committing fully to either one.
My challenge to you as a reader is to sync up your diet and training cycles in to short and focused periods of time. Commit yourself to 1-3 week “focus blocks” in which your focus is on 90% adherence to specific dietary and fitness goals. These blocks can become longer as you begin to see results and your goals become longer term.
The key here is these blocks focus on 1-2 important changes which will yield results. Following each block, allow yourself a few days in which you eat relax your diet rigidity.
Note: this does not mean you have carte blanche access to try and put an “all you can eat” place out of business.
By simply repeating this process, we can make progressive changes with frequent breaks to rebuild sanity/metabolism. Simply repeat this process as needed to achieve your goal.
Here is an example:
Two week focus block:
- Cut out all grains/pastas/cereals/rices and sugary beverages from my diet
- Eat 5 consistent times per day
- Lose 2-3lbs
2. New Age Accountability:
Accountability in the form of a nutrition log is something we have seen a lot of success with at our gym. Whether this means showing your log to a friend on a weekly basis or presenting this to your trainer during the last session of the week as we do at our gym, presenting your log to someone means you are around 75% more likely to actually follow through with your plan.
The problem here is that not everyone I train enjoys sporting a spiral bound notebook or ModelFit nutrition log at the office during the day.
Instead, applications such as MyFitnesspal are a great way to quickly log your nutrition via mobile app (versus facebook stalking your trainer) as well as “friend” one another to compare notes.
What I am now asking my more techno centric clients to do is to post their diet logs in the ModelFit forum on Fridays or “friend” me on MyFitnessPal (thespotter). This allows me to quickly send my feedback and know whether my soldiers are doing their duty.
So my homework for all of those out there struggling with diet and accountability is to pick a defined goal and keep your nutrition log.
Can anyone recommend some helpful apps for nutrition logging? What about easy to follow strategies for accountability? What are your goals for your next mini-cycle?
Feel free to post your logs/questions for feedback from our coaches and leave me some love below!