There are not too many times that an answer to a fitness related question is simple or straightforward. Most of the time there are multiple solutions to a problem, a million different ways to look at or treat the same thing and even sometimes the exact same exercise/movement is called something different depending on whom you ask. So when we start to look at something quite complex, like eating habits, nutrition and if it affects your training, you can expect a complicated answer, right?
I’m going to make this VERY simple. YES. Yes, your eating habits are absolutely affecting your training!
Ok great, but how? Now isn’t that the million-dollar question! In fact, there’s a multi-billion dollar industry out there trying to answer that question. “Try this protein shake”, they say, “it’ll make your muscles HUGE without even lifting a weight!” They want to sell your pre-workout powders, post-workout powders, during workout powders and ten weeks before working out powders (ok, I’m exaggerating a little bit here but you get the idea). There are so many different philosophies on eating & training: intermittent fasting, eating before bedtime, carb cycling, large meals vs. small frequent meals, gluten free diets, dairy free diets, vegan diets, the list goes on & on. One-day fats are the enemy then the very next day a professional tells you that no, actually carbs are the enemy and to avoid them at all costs. There are scores of literature about every single nutrition & training theory out there. So how DO you navigate how your eating habits are affecting your training?
Go old school and keep a journal. Begin to track your food and your workouts. Write down how you felt before/during/after your training and throughout the day. Then begin to piece together the puzzle. If you need help figuring it all out, get a professional to take a second look to find out what works best for you, your training and your lifestyle.
Try not to get too caught up in the all gimmicks. Eat when you’re hungry. Make smart choices. Drink tons of water. Be consistent. But most importantly, do what works for you— and just YOU. It’s great that Sally across the street lost 20lbs in one month by drinking blue algae shakes that she harvested in her aquarium. Will that work for you? Maybe, maybe not. Ultimately the best guide to figuring out how your eating affects your training is YOU.