You may be at a point where you feel you’re not making as much progress as you would like, despite putting in the effort. Instead of throwing in the towel, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
If you’re still moving in the direction that you would like, whether that is in physical body composition, performance or simply healthier habits, don’t be too hard on yourself. Slow progress is better than no progress, and progression is better than regression.
If your goals are body composition related, sometimes it can be harder to notice these physical changes if you’re looking at yourself everyday. It may take a comparison of ‘progress pictures’ from a few weeks ago to really notice things changing. Additionally, using progress pictures in conjunction with like that of an Inbody Scan can be helpful to see any comparisons.
You might think you’re on track with your eating and training but you may be having some extras, which are adding to your total caloric intake for the day. Items such as coffees (especially with syrups or sugar), juice and alcohol are often forgotten when thinking about total daily food intake.
For example, if you weren’t considering the 2 medium sized coffees daily (approx. 240ml each), that’s around half a litre of milk (plus any sugars or chocolate toppings) not accounted for. Whilst milk isn’t ‘bad’, that’s approximately 300 ‘extra’ calories on top of your daily intake, which over the week can add up. It’s important to be brutally honest with your intake and see if there are any patterns emerging with potential unaccounted food. This can be a good strategy to do, as it can be as simple as unaccounted food and drinks that aren’t getting you towards your goal.
Nutrient density refers to how many nutrients are in a particular food per calorie. Energy dense foods refer to how much energy a food yields per calorie.
For example, common takeaway foods would be considered as nutrient poor and energy dense. Foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains are quite nutrient dense. The rationale of including more nutrient dense foods are that they ‘tend’ to be lower calorie, have a higher water and fibre content, which can contribute to feelings of fullness (as well as the nutrient benefits). Aiming to include a good balance of these foods can be a great start:
· Green leafy vegetables
· Whole grain breads, pastas and rice
· Lean meats
· Sweet potato
Overall, see if these simple strategies are being met before giving up or changing strategies altogether with your nutrition and training. For other helpful training and nutrition tips, visit our blog.