Hey and welcome to part 2 of our guide to the nine things you need to do in order to drive your nutrition yourself- Considering Your Circumstances (past and present).
As we discussed last week it’s a 9 part guide on the things you need to implement if you want to produce a solid nutritional strategy for your desired goal.
There’s no need to sweat when we talk about ‘strategy’ though, all strategy means is ‘a plan or action to achieve a long term or overall aim’. And even if you’re thinking a small bit about your personal circumstances and then using that to best set yourself up for success, you’re already doing so more than most people.
This week we talk about your past diet history and looking into your own personal circumstances that we can use to better produce a plan. So let’s get into it 🙂
Many people don’t give enough thought to what they’ve put their bodies though in the past, or the current physiological state they’re living in.
When it comes to dieting or trying to add or lose weight, more often than not it’s an emotional decision that people dive head first into without any consideration for much, other than they know they want to lose weight so cut out calories. Often this is for lack of education or just pure impatience, and it’s no-ones fault, we’ve all been sold the kool-aid that celebrities can lose weight in 6 weeks and get abs, but sadly they’re them and you’re you, and there was probably a LOT many other things going on behind the scenes than you realise.
In order to lose weight we need to sit in a calorie deficit, that’s the one rule. Of all the clients I work with who wanted to lose weight though, not one has ever really come to me sitting in a respectable calorie deficit for their lifestyle or goal.
It ultimately comes down to education but, as an example, I work with a lovely client who worked 40 hours a week on her feet all day, only to go into 2 hour training every night and be committed to a large range of physical activities and endeavours in her spare time in extra-work. Her deficit was way too high for her lifestyle and in the end affecting her metabolism in ways which prevented her end goal being driven!
The truth is people need to take a step back, or at least a step sideways before they make changes to their diet or nutrition. And I mean by that that if you’re doing this yourself you need to reflect about your circumstances and specific route you want to go down, which we’ll cover in a few weeks. You’re completely unique, we can agree on that, right? 🙂 So why would you follow the exact diet a celebrity 3 stone lighter than you and 5 inches smaller has done or is doing. The principle may be good stuff, but often if they’re delivering specifics they’re NEVER going to consider your personal circumstances.
- Your level of physical activity
- From work life
- From training/other physical endeavours.
- Your current work/life balance.
- Your level of stress.
- Your financial position.
- Your responsibilities to family.
- Your personal issues.
- Your business responsibilities…?
- …the list is truly endless, just insert a major faucet of your life here.
When I work with a client the first thing I EVER talk about are these aspects of their life. If I don’t then I’m doing not just them a major diserveice but also me as a coach, in order to deliver the best strategy possible for you. And in fact, it’s our responsibility as coaches to educate people more permanenetly on the range of factors they need to start considering in order to make long-lasting change. That’s my aim, for you to know exactly what you need to do to do this yourself, if you ever wanted to…
Let’s go a bit deeper!!
Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash
The deep dive.
In a recent chat with a client coming onto my program we discussed his personal circumstances in depth.
We found out he used to follow The Body Coach 90-day program. And we got some KEY information.
Part one, an apparently more-carb heavy approach seemed to go ok for him. Part two of the program (week 5-8) then took an extreme, with no real consideration for him. All of a sudden carbs were slashed and left with pretty much minimal carbohydrates for his lifestyle needs. And ultimately he couldn’t follow up on the rest of the program due to crashing out as a result of under-fueling.
This is an example I believe the majority of the population experience in going through program which aren’t personal for them or aren’t giving much consideration about you as an individual.
So with this client we kept diving deeper into his past, eventually uncovering that the majority of his life he’s eaten a relatively low carbohydrate diet (low is generally considered less than 140g a day). And then going further we looked at his current diet over a week and found it was higher in a ratio of calories from fats as to calories from carbs.
We can’t conclusively call it, but it seems this individual due to his low carb past may be well more versed to eating fattier foods and utilizing the specific energy pathways that metabolises fat for energy more efficiently. Again, it’s just data, but it’s such a better idea of where his circumstances are.
In order to make his goal more successful we want to build his nutritional strategy over time to incorporate more carbs than he has had previously, over a long-slow period of time, whilst also preserving his efficiency to use fat as a fuel.
By using this approach and making very small increases in the range of 10g of carbs a week increases, we can slowly train his body to get used to more carbs rather than gonig the all-out approach most people incorporate and jumping caloric intake by +/- 30% total calories at a time.
I keep my notes from all my clients and seeing the specificty I go to is interesting. His previous injuries, his preference to exercise intensities – it’s all amazing data that with an educated mind can look at that and establish what may or may not be working for the client, and why he’s possibly experiencing what he is.
Even their preference to the food they like to eat or avoid is important. If we understood a client ate a donut every day without fail and we remove ALL donuts from the diet completely, the sudden act of restriction will impact success of the strategy. Instead knowing what food we need to omit or include should be weened out over time if need be, or implemented in gradually. This is understanding personal circumstances and desires correctly!
Photo by Roksolana Zasiadko on Unsplash
As we discussed before, decisions to lose weight are often met with emotion and as such are met with drastic changes in an effort to lose weight. We often don’t take the patient approach when slashing calories, jumping right in at going from a very consistent (albeit unhealthy) diet at 2500 calories a day, to completely ommitting a whole food group (carbs potentially) and gonig to 1400 calories in one fell swoop in an effort to lose weight.
This will see brief success at the start but will ultimately lead to metabolic complications if not managed properly, and this is where yo-yo dieting comes in.
Instead when you decide to jump, DO IT. Just do it properly and patiently. Sadly if you’re coming to me with 8 weeks to go until your holiday in Ibiza, and you say what do I need to do with you to get a 6-pack, I’ll turn around and say ‘nothing’. You’ve left it too late to do in the most healthy way possible. Yes it can be possible, but most likely due to drastic changes and extreme metabolic adaptation you’ll probably put on more weight than you lost when you come back from Ibiza if you don’t manage it right afterwards – no one wants that.
I reccomend every client as their first step to get a consistent caloric intake daily, literally every client. This way when they come to me and I can see that they’ve eaten exactly 2500 calories every day and theyre hungry come the end of the week with some slight weight loss over that week, then it’s an obvious cue that they need more calories for their lifestyle, unless they were aiming to lose weight – then we’re succeeding.
I don’t want to get too deep on examples or nutritional strategy, but I think I’ve proven a point where you can see individual circumstances completely dictate the route we need to take.
Yes, a portion of the population may see good success with a certain diet, but one group of people won’t, and what works for someone else most certainly doesn’t always work for you.
The whole idea of this post is to draw attention to the lack of self awarenss i believe is prevalent in the industry and as a population of dieters.
If you can look analytically at what your past or present looks like and build your nutritional strategy around where you are NOW and not where you want to be you’ll set yourself up for much better stead.
So going forward…. Put down your past experiences on paper, look at any trends you see in your diet history or food choices. Personal circumstances are personal but should ALWAYS be considered when building an efficient nutrition strategy.
At the end of the day you want to be succesful, so why haven’t you been building your diets around you rather than a C-list celebrity who is probably starving herself anyway…
Just some food for thought. 🙂
Next week I’ll give a few examples of case studies for where clients could take their nutrition in order to direct their goals, and I’ll use a few real world examples of what I’m doing with clients currently!
For now, give consideration to your circumstances and going forward consider your energy requirements for you’re everyday life, chances are if you’re restricting calories you’re probably doing so too much. And I hope this has served as an insight into why you may not have been succesful in the past if you’ve given anything a shot, or what you could potentially do different to aid your lifestyle or goal.
Until next week and some more actionable content, stay strong! 🙂
I’m looking for two more committed people in August who want to drive their goals through nutrition. Spaces are going fast so get in touch through the picture below or click here if you want to finally start making progress with your goals!