Whether you have been training for years or you are new to the health and fitness game, nutrition is going to play a huge role in the results that you get from training sessions. They say that ‘abs are made in the kitchen’, and that is not far from the truth!
If you are just beginning your journey, then it may be tempting to jump straight in and make drastic changes, however, that is definitely not advised. Similarly to training, changing your routine drastically will cause some discomfort with your body. For example, if your goal is fat-loss you will need to be in a deficit. The problem many people face is that they will drastically drop their calories to well below maintenance. Why is this a problem?
Firstly, your body will be fatigued very quickly, in turn likely lowering the amount of energy you are outputting every day (which means you are in less of a deficit). You want your body to have the ability to recover from sessions to become faster and stronger for next time, this is how we progress. The other issue faced with drastic changes is that it leaves you with nowhere to go. If you instantly halve your calories, your body is going to adapt to that number and you will need to drop the calories once again.
By finding your maintenance calories and creating approximately a 20% deficit, you will still have enough energy to train, recover and live your day to day life. When your body adjusts to this, you can lower by another 10% (and so on), which means you will be on far higher calories while still seeing results!
Fitting fat loss in with your lifestyle may seem difficult to begin with, and as though you will need to change many habits and avoid social events. I do not believe this is true at all, especially if you are flexible dieting! My Ebook 2: The Flexible Dieting and Lifestyle Guide provides many tips, tricks and actionable strategies to implement a training or physique goal into your lifestyle without the hassle or pain.
If your goal is muscle gain, it is a similar process. At least maintenance calories, or preferably a surplus, is needed to build muscle as your body needs the extra energy to not only recover but grow! Start small with your surplus, as you will likely want to be minimising fat gain, try 10-15%.
Monitoring your surplus and starting with a conservative approach is important, for the same reason as fat-loss. Your body will adapt to these calories and you will then increase again, therefore you should keep track of your consumption so you can strategize the increments! I have written my E-Book: Mastering The Basics Of Nutrition so that you are able to have a comprehensive understanding of not only how many calories you should be consuming, but also why.
When training for strength and performance, some may think that calorie consumption is not as important since there is no specific physique goal, however, this is far from the truth! We are putting our bodies under very heavy loads when training for strength, therefore tearing down a lot of muscles. These muscles need to recover to become stronger, and eating enough will greatly assist recovery.
Don’t let all of your hard work in the gym go to waste by ignoring your caloric and nutrient needs! If you need some help with your training and nutrition specific to your goal, my team at firstname.lastname@example.org would love to assist you!