Fed up of not seeing the results you want following all your hard work in the gym?
Tried to focus on nutrition but been left feeling frustrated with your efforts?
Here’s SPC’s guide to finding the right nutrition plan for you.
Many of us have experienced one of these situations before; you see a photo that a friend posted on Facebook or you’ve used one of those dressing rooms with three-way mirrors. Guess what? It showed you parts of your body that you you hadn’t quite seen that angle before.
And you didn’t like it.
So what to do? You decide to change things up; try a new nutritional approach, read the latest diet craze sweeping the internet and speak to your friend that lost 20lbs on meal replacement shakes. Eventually you come to a conclusion that you need to go on a diet.
So big question – what diet to chose? Choose incorrectly and you’ll be left feeling unhappy, frustrated and you’ll stay in the same shape as before. Here we will try to help you understand some different dietary approaches; how different people respond to different diets, how much each approach depends on your personality type and most importantly, how you need to be honest with yourself.
As you can see, each diet works in different ways but ultimately they all focus on the same end goal – creating a calorie deficit. Without a calorie deficit, through diet, exercise or a combination of both, you will NOT lose weight. This isn’t to be debated, this is scientifically proven. If you’re not losing weight, you’re eating and drinking more calories than your body is using on a daily basis.
Step 1 – Being honest with yourself
The first step to starting any diet is being open and honest about your exercise/eating habits, your downfalls, your temptations and your previous experiences.
- Have you been keeping a rough track of your calories each day?
- Have you been focusing on eating quality sources of protein, carbohydrates, essential fats, fibre and hydration status first and foremost?
- Before changing anything ask yourself “have I been consistent with everything?”
Step 2 – Understanding how many calories you need to eat every day
Now there are plenty of equations (well known) that can be used to work out the amount of calories you need to consume each day. However, in my experience, people often get confused and rarely stick to this method of calorie monitoring.
My suggestion? Sign up to a macronutrient and daily calorie tracker: Why? They work everything out for your specific body type. They allow for accountability. They help you monitor your calories to ensure you are staying on the right path for your goal. I recommend Avatar Nutrition (https://www.avatarnutrition.com).
3) Choosing your dietary approach
There are multiple diets you can choose from, but the best one is the approach that you can stick to (see diagram above). From our experience, whatever approach you chose, it is worth following these simple steps when implementing a new diet:
- Make one change per week – focus initially on improving the quality of your food choices.
- Focus on a diet that fits in with your preferable eating habits – for example, feel bloated on carbohydrates? Reduce them gradually over time. Find it hard to feel full? Eat more protein with each meal.
- Find it hard to be strict with a diet? Implement cheat meals (not cheat days!!) where you can enjoy your favourite foods without ruining all your hard work.
- Don’t stress! If you have a bad day diet-wise, do not worry. Aim to get back on track as soon as possible.
4) Cooking enjoyable meals
At SPC we regularly are asked about tasty and nutritious meal options. None of us profess to be expert chefs, so here are a number of online resources/books to choose from:
The key to changing your nutritional habits is to be honest about your downfalls, your personality traits and evaluate your current situation and mindset. Are you truly ready to make a change? If the answer is yes, follow these tips, find a diet that works for you and speak to your coach.
For those of you wanting specific nutritional advice and training structure to find the best fit for you, check out our personal training page.