You’ve heard it all before. Nutrition is 4000% of the equation. Abs are made in the kitchen. You can’t out train a bad diet. (Insert other witty saying here.)
While my percentages above might be off, there is something to these old fitness cliches for most people. We are in the gym for typically an hour a day, so those other 23 hours are very important. Of course, what we fuel our body with and how often we do so plays a big role.
When people start to make a change, sign up at the gym, focus on their sleep, start to eat better, there is a lot of information coming at them and sometimes it’s hard to put it all together. I’m not going to recommend a certain nutrition plan to follow here but let’s take a look at ways people tend to go off the rails with their nutrition, even though they think they’re doing the right thing.
- Not Eating Enough – Cutting too many calories out of your diet will not lead to weight loss. Instead people tend to actually gain or maintain weight. Can consuming less calories help? Sometimes. But make sure to work with a nutritionist (yes, we have those at Apache) to assure you are eating the right amount.
- Eating “Healthy” Recreations of Unhealthy Food – You see it all over… “fat free this,” “low fat that,” “paleo chocolate cake.” Guess what? Most of it is still junk. Why? These items are almost always full of sugar no matter what they’re made with. And physiologically, since it says one of those “healthy” catchphrases on it, you think you can eat tons of it. Not true. I don’t care if all the ingredients are natural, it’s still a huge plate of sugar and will wreak havoc on your goals.
- Consuming Handfuls of Nuts – Yes, nuts are a great snack and a fantastic source of fat. Because of how small and delicious they are, you may not even realize how many you eat. Take a look at the nutrition label next time you pick some up and notice the amount of calories you’re consuming. It’s not uncommon for someone to eat 1000 calories in one sitting without realizing it. Just as an example, 100 calories is about 20 almonds or 12 cashews or 20 pistachios. I know…crazy!
- Eating Tons of Fruit – I know, fruit is healthy, packed with essential nutrients and super tasty. But relying on it as a big part of your diet or snacking constantly on fruit can also slow down your efforts. Fruit is high in fructose, a simple sugar, that will create an insulin response in your body and could have a negative effect on your goals. Eat fruit but don’t go crazy with it.
- Celebrating Too Much – When a celebration comes up, lighten the reigns a little and enjoy some great food and drinks with friends but don’t do it all the time. What are we celebrating? That you followed your nutrition plan for 3 days? That you haven’t had cake in a week? Going off the rails to celebrate how well you’re doing is just going to make you crave the stuff you’re keeping out of your diet even more. Like I said, celebrations come up, don’t be weird. But don’t look for random things to celebrate just so you can cheat on your plan. Nothing will taste as good as you feel.
A big group at Apache is taking on the Whole Life Challenge right now. (Not too late to SIGN UP if you’re still interested in crushing the next 6 weeks with awesome people!) I hope this helps a little to anyone that is just getting started with the WLC or with whatever plan you’re following. You made a decision to get healthier, don’t let these common mistakes get in your way.
Coach Mike N
Currently counting his cashews because he always seems to eat way too many.