In 2018, the depth at which one can source information on a given topic on the internet is never-ending. You can pretty much read material on any subject you are interested in with the simple click of a button / touch of a screen. This however can be a gift and a curse as you have to know where to look to find credible sources of information.
As passionate as I am about researching all things Health and Fitness related, it is understandable how the general public can become frustrated & confused by the constant stream of conflicting information available to them, especially when it comes to dieting and nutrition.
I feel a lot of the information out there is overly complicated for the sake of it & while I personally appreciate the detailed science heavy blog posts, I understand that some are hard to read, tend to be too technical at times and in some cases hold no actionable value to the reader.
So to help educate those of you that are interested, I have decided to adapt a short series of nutrition blogs taken from the Nikafit Members Only Facebook Group to boost your understanding of the basics of nutrition. It is written in an easily digestible format, starting from the ground up.
In it, we will touch on all the fundamental principles and information that EVERYONE should consider if they want to achieve & sustain their ideal body composition goal.
In this initial 4 part mini-series, we will give a broad overview of:
1. How all Diets work off one fundamental principle
2. Why most diets fail (restrictive eating)
3. The Clean eating fallacy & understanding the 1 fundamental principle to succeed
4. Are you a Weekday Warrior? (The real reason you never see progress)
So now that the introduction is out of the way let’s get into our first topic:
Principle of Fat Loss
(Picture 1 - Hierarchy of Fat Loss - Eric Helms)
Like anything, it's important to understand the principles by which a given topic is governed. If you’re here for real long lasting results (which you should be), we first need to talk about the Hierarchy of Fat Loss.
There's no doubt that if you join Nikafit, we have you covered regarding a comprehensive training program the moment you enter the gym. In those few hours a week you train, we can monitor your progress and push you session to session and make sure you are progressing.
Although we provide a bespoke nutrition coaching service as part of membership at our gym, we unfortunately only see our clients for approximately 3-6 hours per week. Assuming you are awake 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, that is just 2.6-5.3% of your week, which is not a lot…
It is what you choose to do outside of the gym on a consistent basis that will dictate whether or not you meet your goals.
Typically, when people embark on a healthy lifestyle they become more active; start training, running, weight training, classes etc. While exercise and nutrition are essential and go hand in hand with each other, ultimately if your NUTRITION is not in line with your long-term goals, then you will fail to get the results you desire. This in turn leads to lower motivation and more frustration for the efforts we put into the gym VS the reward at the end.
It's can be difficult to keep things going when in that frame of mind, so it's best to get your food in check as early as possible.
The two phrases I say quite often are:
This means that you can progressively do more and more WORK in the gym, running, cycling you name it, pushing yourself hard session to session, day to day and you will get results at first but ultimately, if your foundation of nutrition is not in place, your gains will slow down, and your efforts become unsustainable.
The second thing I typically say is;
2) “You can get far better results from a mediocre training program and excellent nutrition than you ever would from the best training program and a terrible diet”
Now I'm not saying that you don't need a good training program, but what I am saying is that people commonly look at the results a person gets and put it solely down to the training they are doing, when realistically the results are from a combination of increased exercise levels and a significant change in food habits.
Nutrition Underpins Everything that we do and should be your primary FOCUS! Hence why it is the base of our pyramid.
A common question we get in the gym;
"How do I set up my nutrition I don't know what to eat?"
We will go through that in the next few posts don't worry, but for now, we need to collect some data…..
(Picture 2 - Calorie Counting)
For a lot of people, tracking is an entirely new concept and not in line with their current habits or anything they have done before.
This doesn't have to be a long-term thing that you do (see picture two), but it is CRITICAL you understand the calorie amounts that you consume every day.
There is only one principle that dictates whether you lose weight or not; ENERGY BALANCE
IF YOU CONSUME MORE ENERGY THAN YOUR BODY REQUIRES YOU WILL STORE THAT WEIGHT AS EXCESS BODY FAT.
IF YOU CONSUME LESS ENERGY THAN YOUR BODY REQUIRES YOUR BODY WILL TAP INTO YOUR FAT STORES TO MAKE UP FOR THE ENERGY DEFICIT.
This is called a calorie deficit, and is 100% necessary to succeed. That my friends is a FACT.
Most people have a smartphone nowadays, and the easiest way to track your nutrition is to download the app “My Fitness Pal", set up an account and scan the barcode of absolutely everything you eat.
From there, we can start to develop a picture of your current food intake and move forward armed with this information.
Without this knowledge, it is pure guesswork!
For some, this takes took too much time and appears like too much of a hassle. So I'll finish this post with another analogy...
If you find yourself overspending month to month, you are most likely going to have a look back at what you spend your money on and see if things can be manipulated or scaled back somewhat! #budget
In the same vein, if the scale is not trending the way you would like, we need to have that information available to us to be able to make the necessary changes.
If you haven't started tracking your food give it a shot and let us know how you are getting on!
Thanks for reading guys, I will be back shortly with part 2 of this mini-series so keep your eyes peeled to make sure you don’t miss out!