Today we talk about your goal and your timeframe to achieve it!
I’m starting a cool series of articles here coming out once a week too.
These will be aimed at giving all the information, or at least giving you the tools to uncover the things, you’ll ever need to progress with nutrition. There’s no ‘one size fit’s all nutrition program’. There’s NO cookie cutter calorie amount you need to eat, you’re an individual who has vastly different life circumstances and histroy to the next person, physically and nutritionally, so you need to have a unique nutritional strategy.
I’ve cut it down to getting 9 processes down that I teach my clients, walking them through these processes on a weekly basis. These will take yu fromA where you are now, to B, where you want to be. Today is merely discussing step one.
Be it weight loss, muscle gain, fat loss, weight gain. Increasied sporting performance to bikini modelling, looking good naked or improving energy levels. Going through this process will allow you to develop your own strategy for YOUR goal, and establish permanent (not yo-yo) changes to come.
The most obvious but perhaps one of the more overlooked places to start is figuring out your goal.
Where do we start!? Your goal…
Ultimately it’s the make or break in a nutrition program, in my opinion anyway.
Too ambitious a goal in said time frame and you risk making drastic changes to see your goal weight or objective reached. The body doesn’t like huge changes, it’s a finely oiled machine in a fine state of homeostasis (hormonal balance) and changes to nutrition affect such balance.
Your body can adapt for sure, but each time you put a drastic change on your body you concurrently affect your hormone reserves as well as risking metabolic adaptation (the ability of your body to utilise energy as well for weight loss or fuel). Every time you inflict such a stress on your body you push your body ever closer to a tipping point where stress can lead to exhuastion. This is a place we don’t want to spend a long time in but the way individuals heavily restrict calories in today’s age, it’s no surprise a lot of people are suffering, either through inability to shift stubborn weight or poor energy levels.
Either way, it starts with identifying your goal and establishing a decent time frame to achieve this! Let’s dig deeper.
Identify your timeframe.
What do you want to achieve the most right now?
Lose weight around your midsection you’ve been strugglnig to shift for years, or even just reduce bodyfat %?
Gain lean muscle and get stronger in the process?
Increase your sporting performance using nutrition?
These are some of the most common goals I encounter with clients and they’re all great goals, however people approach them the wrong way.
For a start, a key goal I hear is ‘to lose fat and build muscle’. This is the MOST common one and one that frustrates a lot of people when I get real with them. You see in order to lose fat you need to be in a calorie deficit (burn more calories than eat) and in order to build muscle you have to sit in a calorie surprlus (eat more than you burn). This is 100% tried and tested. Calories are still king and dictate the entire strategy of your goal. However people want to do both at the same time, build muscle whilst burning fat. You can’t strictly do both, but I’d be lying if I said there weren’t a low amount of circumstances where this is possible.
There is a golden window when someone first starts training, generally in the first 6-8 months, where the hormonal adaptations are AMAZING and the body adapats heavily to the training and nutrional stimulus driving both of these goals, but outside this window it happens lesser to a degree. It’s a complex scenario where advanced nutritional programming and cycling will help you out but trust me when I say we’ll help you if this is what you want to do when we come to the nutrition (ps. it’ll require you to cycle between sitting in a calorie deficit and surplus every few weeks but more on this in later weeks).
Your goal… You need to identify a respectable timeline in which you think you can achieve your goal, as well as identify the markers which will dictate when you’ve reached your goal, i.e “I want to lose half a stone.” or, “I want to lose 5kg”, or, “I want to drop to 15% bodyfat”.
A ‘healthy rate’ to lose weight is generally a rate of 0.5lbs a week. I’d say if you’re going faster you’d be potentially sitting in a bigger deficit than your body would necessarily like, although if you have a lot of weight to lose, physically your body may well be in a better position than someone who has significantly less bodyfat.
Consider there’s 5000 calories in a pound of bodyfat. In order to lose a pound a week you’d have to be in a deficit of 5000 calories every week. Divide this number by 7 and that’s every day you need to be in a deficit of 714 calories. A fairly steep deficit and one where if continued for a significant length of time, nergative effects could arise such as a surpressed metabolism (and ability to burn fat), lowered immune system to compensate for saving energy, obviously low energy levels, and increased injury potential, let alone decreased performance.
Sure you can do this for a coouple of weeks and see great results, but any longer and you start putting your body under significant stress.
The way to go about it is establishing a respectable timeframe to acheive your goal. If you have 8 weeks to go till Ibiza, and you’re addressing your weight loss now, you’ve probably left it WAY too late and probably couldn’t done with doubling the time at least.
Consider this scenario: Who do you think will have better sucess in the short AND long term with their diet?
I need to lose 8 pounds in 8 weeks. I recognise I will need to eat significantly less and workout more to make a 714 calorie deficit DAILY.
I need to lose 8 pounds in 20 weeks. I recognise I will need to sit in a 285 calorie deficit daily and can make small dietry changes to do this.
Which situation wuld you prefer? If you chose number one you obviously have a holiday to aim for or something 🙂 good for you! But sadly that’s the route that, more foten than not, I see people relapse from due to a heavily restrictive diet.
If you chose option B you’re the savvy weight loss person. You’ve got real with the timeframe and seen that 20 weeks isn’t REALLY that long, it’s 4.5 months. You ahve weight o lose but because you’ve given yourself TIME, it’s less restrictive, more flexibile and as long as you hit a daily calorie goal more than you don’t, you’ll see signifant progress towards your goal weight.
I’ve been in situation number 1. It’s definitely possible. However you only come out of that situation with an unhealthy mindset of restricting food, only further driving the rewarding of binging at the end and increasing the liklihood of relapsing to heavy indulging as a result of being SO restrictive.
The key here is to choose your timeframe. You may have a goal in mind but before you even address your goal, consider the timeframe to achieve it. The more time you give yourself the more premanent a change it’ll tend to be. Consider this. I sat in a calorie deficit of 150 calories for 200 days last year. I lost a good amount of bodyfat (and sadly some muscle too, but I became the leanest I ever was and I’ve carried forward that body due to creating permanent, patient change.
I don’t want to drag this on. I really think i’ve given enough framing for you to have a think about creating a sustainable timeframe.
In summary, smaller changes over a longer timeframe will be SO much easier mentally, physically and from a compliance point of view it’s so MUCH easier.
Bigger dietry changes over a shorter time can easily be offset due to binges due to metnal lows, as well as impacting stress in a significant manner. Combine this with modern day stresses such as work, finances, personal and health stresses, the last thing anyone will want is stress over food…
Get realistic with your time frame. You owe it to your body…
Identify your goal.
Now we can think about your goal now you have your timeframe. I’ll reiterate some of the basics:
You won’t be able to add muscle without adding some degree of bodyfat.
And you won’t be able to lose bodyfat without tapping into a small portion of lean muscle tissue.
You have your timeframe you now just need to consider the approach to drive your goal. If you want to build muscle you need to eat more calories than you burn. The best way to establish this is to keep a daily calorie goal the same EVERY day, wheterh you train or not, hit that number on the nose every day and monitor your weight. If you’re accurate, an increase of weight will dictate you’re generally in a surplus (bare in mind water weight gain due to a heavy workout done yesterday can occur).
A decrease in weight will mean you’re sitting in a calorie deficit and losing weight as a result. You’ll need to increase calories by 5-10% (I err on the side of 5%) and assess how much weight you gained or loss the next week.
This is literally the most simple way to do this and I utilise this method EVERY DAY for all of my clients.
If you want sporting performance you need to fuel your body. To optimise this you need to sit in a calorie surplus, this is without a doubt. There will be the small gain of fat, but if you’re not in a surprlus you’re not giving your body the most optimal energy it requires to perform BEST.
Weight/fat loss requires, and can very easily work with, a small calorie deficit.
And truthfully it needs no further saying than that. At the end of the day, it all revolves around calories and only when you have the correct amount of calories nailed down for YOUR goal, should you ever consider advanced steps such as nutrition timing, macro specifics or other strategies. This was something I was admittedly blind at, personally, when I started out dieting and was looknig for the KILLER program or nutrition plan to help me out.
The problem is, these aren’t unique to you. When you start getting consistent with your own diet and monitoring your own calories based around your circumstances, then and only then do you start creating your unique nutrition strategy.
Get eyes on. Get realisitic. Choose the right timeframe before you start trying to drive your goal. You’ll set yourself up for MUCH more success in the long term.
Charge Up, team!
I want to put this disclaimer. There is so much to discuss hormonally, physically and mentally about all the process that will dictate your goals. This is only intended to aid someone with making their own decision and, truthfully, a more accurate one than the standard meal plans people pick up off a shelf. We’ll delve more into physiology and your genology in later articles but more now, most people need this basic advice.
If you want further help with this, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. We can discuss if we can wortk together ot if need be just give some basic advice for you to get cracking doing what you’re doing. Hit me up either through the “Nutrition Coaching” page at the top or facebook at the bottom.
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My #tastytuesday was good this week! One Havhe Steak (essentially beef patty), tomato and basil rice and 100g veg! # I've had a few extra carbs today so that's it for the day, however I have 35g protein to get later tonight! # This was a really low fat meal for steak so glad I got this squeezed in my macros when I had a very fatty breakfast. # 80gC/11gF/48gP. Got the balance on in this meal and some great carbs in for after my workout. It's rest day tomorrow so I'm looking forward to that! 🐒 # #chargenutrition #health #fitness #nutrition #iifym #iifymgirls #macros #macrofriendly #macrocoach #flexibledieting #fit #fitspo #fitfam #diet #fuel #training #gym #strength #cardio #workout #instafit #crossfit #nutritionist #nutritioncoach #determination #progress #instagood #cleaneating #mealprep #tastytuesday