By Ashley Harris
What’s happening? You’re working out hard! You’ve been eating cleaner than ever before. You’ve seen a few pounds drop and a few inches in various places but you question why you’ve come to a slump. Sometimes we don’t consider other possibilities when it comes to why we just aren’t losing the weight. We need to ask ourselves questions to try to figure out the possible reasons why we may not be progressing the way we think we should be.
What am I eating? What am I not eating?
We can all relate to some sort of diet either attempted by ourselves or by a relative, friend, or co-worker. These diets could say that we eat very little amounts many times a day or plan out pre-portioned meals that we prep before time. There is no one major diet or workout plan that works perfectly. Our main concern is changing our eating habits to help us reach our goals.
Nutrition plays a bigger role than some give it credit for. A lot of fad diets and beginners to the workout world tend to reduce their calories so fast and so strictly that it causes them to possibly gain weight instead of losing it. This is because you shock your body and you see results for only a short period of time. You hear the term “starvation mode”, which really means your body is undergoing a natural response after a long duration of caloric restriction. It, in return, slows down the burning of calories that your body uses for energy. Your quick restriction caused you to actually gain back what you originally lost. With all the box jumps and burpees on the way, you better be fueled to have the best workout you can have.
Eating is half the battle. The other half is what you eat and when. Food is the fuel to our bodies. It’s the gasoline that gets you and your vehicle from point A to point B. If we’re trying to lose weight, we need to give our body the nutrients and vitamins we need that will work with our bodies to help burn that stubborn fat. When it comes to more physical activity, protein is always needed. Regardless of the type, it needs to be consumed more when your body is at work. The golden rule of protein is to digest some right after a workout, either in food or a protein shake, so that your body can absorb the nutrients to grow and repair the muscles. There are some great protein powders out on the market like Fuel X30 by Atomic Strength Nutrition that can give you all the protein you want per scoop without all the extra ingredients that just aren’t needed. That means no extra sugars, fat, or lactose.
Ever hear that phrase “It’s 80% nutrition and 20% gym” or “Abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym”? Well, they are definitely true. Find what works best with your body and cut down on junk food/treats. Learn to treat yourself after a long week of sticking to your plans.
Rest is optimal!
Getting adequate rest and sleep helps your body recover after a long day. Your body is put through stressful situations often through the day without our acknowledgment. Short sleep cycles can cause our insulin sensitivity to decrease causing cortisol levels to rise, slowing down the process of burning fat and even leading to a higher risk of diabetes (Tasali, Leproult, Spiegel, 2009). Lack of rest can result in metabolic effects later on in life especially if the amount of sleep continues to be low.
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) can help us recover a lot quicker after a long workout. During your wod, your body uses protein and amino acids that aren’t used any other time of the day. When you take an amino acid supplement like Fallout by Atomic Strength Nutrition, you are allowing your body to recover quickly by giving it the tools it needs to repair damaged muscle and speed up your metabolism
Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s) can also be very beneficial as a fuel source for your workout that uniquely triggers fat oxidation. MCT’s are also found in Fallout!
If you’re still having trouble with stubborn fat, try something more aggressive like a fat burner. A strong thermogenic fat burner, like Inferno or Firestarter will speed up your metabolic rate and raise your core temperature, almost like you’re working out for hours throughout the day.
Are you ready for change?
- Revisit your diet. Ask yourself if the way you eat helps you or holds you back from achieving your goals. It’s important to be honest with yourself because your answer can be the difference you see in your body.
- Get the rest you deserve. Give yourself the time to rest and get the sleep your body needs. It’s important for the way you function the next day. We need to keep our bodies running adequately.
- Supplements can help. Find the ones that match up to your goals and give them a try!
Wisdom and hard work will get you far when you do it with #allyourmight.
About the Author:
Ashley Harris is a Nutrition Coach
Alghadir, A., Gabr, S., & Aly, F. (2015). The effects of four weeks aerobic training on saliva cortisol and testosterone in young healthy persons. The Society of Physical Therapy Science. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4540811/pdf/jpts-27-2029.pdf
Tasali, E., Leproult, R., & Spiegel, K. (2009). Reduced Sleep Duration or Quality: Relationships With Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes. Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases , 51(5), 381-391. Retrieved from http://ac.els-cdn.com/S003306200800090X/1-s2.0-S003306200800090X-main.pdf?_tid=cc8dc348-7c4f-11e5-a3fc-00000aab0f26&acdnat=1445911968_6b98db1d01d0e44e7f4fd5b004e94108