Abs are made in the kitchen.
This is only one of the phrases you might have come across in regards to diet and training. Another one is ‘you can’t out-train a bad diet’. Many of us think that if we train 3 times a week that’s all we have to do in order to achieve our dream body. If it was that easy most of us would have the physique of a body builder by going to the gym a few times a week.
….Let’s take this back to reality, shall we?
There are two components to a healthy lifestyle and these are activity and nutrition. Depending on your performance/fitness goal, your nutrition should be adapted to support that goal. Here are a couple of simple examples:
- Your goal involves weight loss
If you want to reduce your body fat percentage, you need to be in a calorie deficit. That means consuming fewer calories than you are burning. And while exercising will support your goal (you are burning more calories), it won’t be enough to create the deficit needed for shedding those extra pounds.
- You want get stronger
If your goal is strength focused i.e.: you want to squat 100kg it will be incredibly difficult to achieve this goal without proper nutrition to aid muscle growth. You will need to make sure you are fuelling your body in the best way to support that goal. In a nutshell that would be eating adequate amounts of protein and being in a slight calorie surplus to promote growth.
But I realise that sometimes pictures speak volumes so here are 3 of images to illustrate my point:
The top image is me going to 6am high intensity spinning classes and essentially living for cardio. In terms of my diet I was consuming fewer calories than I needed a day and most of it came from sugary snacks. At the bottom you see some progress pictures, I had adjusted my training to a combination of HIIT and weightlifting. I started tracking my calories, making sure I eat enough and get adequate amounts of protein each day. While some might think the before picture looks better, I can tell you that I felt better in the below – more energy, stronger and more toned (newsflash: you need muscle to be toned!). The combination of diet and a good training program helped me reach my goal.
That’s why I ask all my clients to track their calories and macro-nutrients, once you get into a routine with it tracking becomes like second nature. I use MyFitnessPal to track my nutrition but there are plenty of other tools available. If you want to know how to adapt your nutrition to best support your fitness goal, get in touch and I will support you on your journey.