Let’s face it, in today’s knowledge-starved health and fitness industry, sourcing high quality, evidence-based, important nutrition tips is difficult. I have seen countless people (including myself) fall prey to pseudo-science and extravagant marketing claims, which ultimately leave us out of pocket and physically/mentally worse for wear.
Having committed a significant chunk of my life trying to understand the complexities of human health, body composition, and performance, my desire to learn and pass knowledge on is greater than ever. The sole purpose of this article is to help you become more successful.
So here are some quick simple tips to improve your nutrition, training, and mindset.
- Calories Count
A calorie is a measure of energy. Its true definition is, “The approximate amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius.”
Overall calorie intake plays a crucial role in terms of your ability to gain or lose weight. Being mindful of calories is something that many people know of, but few are truly aware of what it means to practice these important nutrition tips.
A good place to start is matching your energy intake to energy output for the day. Once you have established a baseline level of calories to maintain your body weight, you can begin a drop in calories for weight loss and an increase in calories for weight gain.
Don’t go in too hard or too fast. Small, fine-tuned increments/decrements are the way to go. Utilize visual appearance (photos) and performance (strength/fitness), along with key measures to ascertain if you’re going in the right direction. If you’re seeing negative results from such assessments, it would be wise to reassess your approach.
- Failure–A key ingredient in the recipe for success
Depending on how you perceive failure, it can be viewed as a springboard to opportunity, learning, and continual personal development. On the other hand it can serve as a huge burden endorsing fear and lifelong stagnation.
Maybe you’ve made a mistake with your training, diet, or even personal life. Realize that failure, no matter how big or how small, serves as one major learning curve on how not to approach a particular task/goal.
Real change involves failure! Working past fear of failure is one of the best ways to achieve success.
- Do I eat in the ideal state of digestion, assimilation, and calorie burning?
This is quite possibly one of the most important questions anyone could ask themselves when it comes to getting the most out of your nutrition.
You could be eating the healthiest food on the planet, but if you’re not eating in an ideal state of digestion and assimilation (what we term as the parasympathetic nervous response), there is no chance on earth you are going to be making the most out of your meal. Subsequently, this jeopardizes your ability to recover from hard training or improve health for that matter.
Eating whilst stressed (think munching down a meal in the car whilst being late for work) causes your body to excrete nutrients, impair digestion, and elevate hormones such as insulin and cortisol (above normal), which may promote unwanted fat gain and weaken the function of the healthy gut bacteria.
In order to process nutrients optimally, we must be in a state of parasympathetic nervous system dominance–a fancy term for relaxation.
The next time you sit down to a meal, be mindful of these important nutrition tips when you eat. Eating is about more than just filling your stomach.
- Learn to BACK OFF
The human body loves being in a state of balance or “physiologically” speaking – homoeostasis. In layman’s terms, the body doesn’t like extremes, especially when it comes to training with maximum effort for prolonged periods of time.
Even though your body is an incredibly adaptable, robust, biological machine it needs to be treated with respect. You can’t push extremes for long; realize your system needs down time both physically and mentally. If you approach your training with constant aggression and desperation, you are undoubtedly going to let training dictate your life, not the other way around. As a result, you’ll wind up either injured or truly burnt out!
Building a quality physique is a lifelong journey. The longevity of your training is crucial in dictating your overall level of success. You can promote longevity by structuring scheduled periods of rest or de-training, which involves reducing training volume.
Not only will structured rest help recharge your system for better progress upon your return, it will also allow you to focus on other endeavors in life such as family, friends, and business.
Realize exercise must serve to enhance overall quality of life, not destroy it.
- Lose the Ego
This is something I see in the gym every day: ego training. If your goal is to simply improve the look of your physique (body composition) you have absolutely NO NEED to be attempting a world record in bench press, deadlift, or any other exercise for that matter, unless you’re a competitive powerlifter or strongman where the overall amount of weight lifted dictates success or failure.
Learning to train with sub maximal weights (60-70% 1Rep Max) for the correct time under tension (25-40 seconds) will do so much more for your body composition related gains, never mind keeping injuries at bay.
At Ultimate Phitness, we understand that health is complex. That’s why we focus on nutrition and working out, as well as mental health.