I think we have all been at that point where you’ve been making the changes, putting in the work, but feel like you have gotten nowhere. This can be extremely discouraging but it doesn’t mean you should accept defeat. This should be your sign to look closer at what you’re doing to pinpoint exactly what’s holding you back. Let’s look at some of the most common things that could be hindering your progress.
1. Nutrition: This is hands down, in my opinion, the number one reason people do not hit their fitness goals. Proper nutrition is so important! However, it can be tricky to get right, so let’s make it simple.
- Decide your goal (lose fat, gain muscle, or maintain).
- Calculate your macros (protein, carbohydrates, and fat). There are tons of macro calculators you can find on the internet to make it quick and easy. Here is one https://nasmbwpcalculator.com/.
You must choose a calculator that accounts for your BMR (basal metabolic rate) and your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). It is also very very important that you give yourself a realistic time frame to hit that goal. If you say you want to lose 10lbs in 1 week it will probably calculate a very small calorie intake which is extremely unrealistic and dangerous. For a guide, recommended calorie intake for adult women is 1,600-2,400 cal/day. Recommended calorie intake for adult men is 2,000-3000 cal/day. Again, everyone is different and requires different things so what may work for you may be outside of that recommendation.
- Choose foods that are going to help you hit your macros, and most importantly that you’re going to enjoy.
-For protein, prioritize fresh, lean, minimally processed sources: eggs & egg whites, fish, chicken, lean beef, plain Greek yogurt, etc.
-For carbohydrates, focus on whole, minimally processed sources with nutrients and fiber with a mix of starches and fruits: beans and lentils, oats, quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole or sprouted grain bread, bananas, etc.
-For fats, aim for a mix of whole-food fats and pressed oils: extra virgin olive oil, cheese, egg yolks, nuts (cashews, pistachios, almonds, peanuts, etc).
- Hit your macros and prioritize your protein! Following a high protein diet can preserve or increase fat-free mass, increase satiety, and aid in body fat reduction. This is especially important for those eating in a calorie deficit. A good guide is to eat 1g/lb of body weight. For example, Joe weighs 180lbs so he will eat 180g of protein.
2. Recovery: This is something that is often neglected. Recovery can include stretching, proper hydration and nutrition, proper rest, and even chiropractic or massage services.
Rest is essential for muscle growth. When you exercise it creates tiny tears in your muscles and during rest is when your body repairs those tears. This is how we build muscle. Each time the muscles tear and repair they get stronger. So, by not getting in the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night you could be killing your gains.
3. Patience, Consistency, & Adaptability: These things take time. You can’t do one cardio session or eat one salad and expect a six-pack. You must work hard and stay consistent. That’s where the food and exercise choices become so important. If you are gagging eating mouthfuls of kale and crying while doing burpees, then don’t ever eat kale or do a burpee again. My point is if it’s not something you enjoy, and it won’t aid you on your journey then get rid of it. Continuing to partake in things that are agonizing for you is just going to make it that much harder to stick to. Also, don’t be too hard on yourself, allow for the slip-ups. All that matters is that you get back on track as soon as possible.
Remember that we’re all different! What works for someone else is probably not what’s going to work best for you. This is your journey; make it about YOU!
Cheers to hitting your goals,