“You can’t out-train a bad diet”
You’ve heard the sound byte before, but did you know its more than just content for double-tappable Instagram posts. The way you eat, the amount of sleep you get each night and your stress levels, all contribute to achieving your goals.
To see and feel results from your training you need to do more than hit the gym a few times a week. Investing in a lifestyle change also means prioritizing cooking your own food, moving daily and ensuring you are getting enough sleep, to name a few.
Are your choices outside the gym keeping you from achieving the results you’re chasing inside the gym?
To help you understand where you’re spending most of your hours and how to organize the time you devote to your health and wellbeing, we created a downloadable chart. The chart is broken down into seven foundational pillars and the time we suggest you allot for each.
- Sleep: Quality and quantity. Ensure you are giving your body time to recover by getting plenty of sleep. Why do you think babies spend so much time sleeping? They spend the majority of their time growing, and to do this their bodies needs to conserve energy and focus on growth. The same can be said for adults: after training your body needs to repair itself (a form of growth). Lack of sleep is also linked to weight gain. Getting too few hours of shut-eye can cause your metabolism to slow down and often leads to increased food cravings and poor food choices.
- Food Choices: Are you eating the correct foods to help you achieve your goals. (Green foods, slow releasing carbohydrates, protein, good fats including omega 3 and omega 6 food sources)?Are you aware of your choices?
- Preparing Your Food: Take responsibility for the food you are eating. The food you consume should be nourishing for your body. Unfortunately, the food industry's goal is to make food that sells, not food that is good for you. To do this they add sugar, table salt and poor quality fat to most processed foods. These additives are not going to help you to reach your health goals. To combat this and control what you eat, prepare and cook your own food.
- Cooking Method: When you go out to eat, you lose control over the way your food is prepared. For example: frying food is definitely a way to make it tasty, but it’s also a method of adding a ton of saturated fat which turns an otherwise nutritious food unhealthy. Eating at a restaurant instead of at home? Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how your food is prepared and to ask for substitutions.
- Quantity of Food: Are you eating enough? Are you eating too much? The amount of food you eat has as strong of an impact on your health and ability to meet your goals as the type of food you consume. You may know that eating too little can cause your body to store fat, but eating too much can have the same consequence. Examine the food choices you are making. If you are eating a diet based on real foods (green foods, slow release carbohydrates, protein, good fats including omega 3 and omega 6 food sources) it can be difficult to overeat, as your body won’t crave high calorie foods; instead it will look for more nutrient dense foods.
- Movement: You need to MOVE daily not just three hours each week. A great entry point is to work towards getting 10,000 steps a day (anything under 10,000 steps a day is considered to be leading a sedentary lifestyle). If you have a desk job try to move during the work day: get up and walk around at least every hour if not more often, take a ten-minute walk outside, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Stress: What are your key stressors? How do you handle stress? Stress impacts the hormones that your body releases, especially cortisol. Cortisol causes weight gain around the mid section because its job is to provide instant energy. To do this glucose or stored glucose (glycogen) is released to fuel your body to move ASAP. If this instant fuel is not used up, the body pulls the energy from your blood stream and stores it around the mid section. If you are constantly under going mini-stresses throughout your day, you maybe consistently storing fat around your mid section. Combat this by working on ways to combat stress, such as a mindfulness practice or reminding yourself to pause and take a deep breathe. Keep an eye out for an upcoming blog on how to manage stress!