What To Sweat And What To Forget

What To Sweat And What To Forget


Hey Babes,


Lately, I’ve been focusing on having FUN and being FLEXIBLE. By doing this, I have learnt so much about myself and I have grown so much as a person! Although my top priority is my health and fitness, I’ve been in holiday-mode, so my food choices have definitely been a lot more flexible... And I’ve loved every bit of it! Ladies, It’s all about finding a balance.


Enjoying Your Food
 

This brings me to my next topic- let’s talk about priorities when it comes to nutrition. Not all eating strategies are created equal, and depending on your goals, some aspects of your meal plan and nutrition may be more important than others.


Remember that while these are the things that are the most important to me, your nutritional hierarchy may be slightly different. This is because we all come from our own unique background, experience, biology and goals! But if you want to get an idea of what I prioritise when it comes to my nutrition, and the order of my priorities, read on!


1. Calories in versus calories out: finding the right energy balance is what your diet should be built upon

 

When you’re aiming for a body composition goal, calories are important! They are the simplest, but most influential nutrition strategy when it comes to creating the body you want. If you want to lose body fat, or weight overall, then you will need to be in a calorie deficit. This doesn’t mean being in a calorie deficit for one day, or for 5 of 7 days of the week. Instead, think of it as an ongoing balancing act. If your body requires 2000 calories per day, and you consume 2100 one day and then 1900 the next, your calorie intake will average out at 2000, which means you will maintain your current physique (put in very simple terms). So, if you’re looking to decrease your body fat, then the goal is to slightly decrease your daily calorie average OVER THE LONG TERM. This means you don’t have to eat in a calorie deficit every single day to lose body fat. Your energy balance just needs to average out to be in a deficit.


Similarly, you’ll need to adjust your calories if you want to build muscle, which requires a calorie surplus. In order to build muscle, your body requires additional calories above maintenance level to support muscle growth. Hence calories in versus calories out, over an extended period of time, is the first priority when it comes to changing body composition.



2. Nutrients: Get your macros and micros from high quality whole foods!

 

The journey to improving your body composition is definitely not easy! Physically, you will be training to push your body, both in terms of strength work, as well as burning calories. This means you need to be fueling your body for performance, so your nutrition needs to be on point.


Start by getting plenty of the appropriate macronutrients- protein should be your priority, followed by carbs and fats. It takes some time to really dial in your macronutrient ratios, and they are a very individual thing. But a macro split of 30% protein, 40% carbs and 30% fats is what I recommend as a good starting point.


Once you have worked out how much of each macro you’re aiming for, fill your meal plan with foods that will support a high performance body. If you want to race a formula 1 car, you can’t expect it to win if you’re using low quality petrol. The same goes for your body. Yes, the low quality stuff will make the car go, but for how long and at what speed? And will that low quality fuel damage the internal mechanics of the car in the long run? This is the perfect analogy for our bodies- yes we may be able to get the job done on low quality food, but with high quality food comes better performance AND better health in the long term.


This doesn’t just apply to protein, carbs and fats! Our bodies also need high quality micronutrients in order to perform. You can get these micronutrients from eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, lean sources of protein, wholegrains, legumes, and various other whole foods. Now I’m not saying that processed foods don’t provide any nutrients, they just don’t provide the same amount of high quality, nutrient dense calories as whole foods.


So the second most important nutritional strategy I use is to eat high quality macro and micronutrient rich whole foods in my diet.


Heart Shaped Food


3. Special circumstances: Take into account illness, food intolerances, personal preferences, busy schedule, job commitments

 

Once you have your calorie level on point and you’re getting high quality macros and micros into your body, start to consider your lifestyle, your goals and what suits you as an individual. When you learn more about nutrition, you will realise that what works for one person may not work for you. We are all so unique in so many ways, especially when it comes to what foods and nutritional strategies suit our bodies.


So, the third most important nutritional concept is adapting your diet to suit YOU. Take into consideration that you may have food allergies, intolerances or sensitivities that mean you have to avoid certain foods or even whole food groups. This can really be challenging if you need to cut out whole food groups such as gluten or dairy, and in such cases it is always wise to seek out the help of a dietitian. If you suffer from food allergies, it is essential that you adjust your diet accordingly. Your food choices may be limited, but you should still focus on getting your calorie balance and macros/micros from high quality food sources.


However, as we tune into our bodies more and more, some of us might find that certain foods simply don’t agree with our bodies. They may cause bloating or lethargy, and may affect our skin or the way we feel. Whatever the sensitivity may be, listening to your body and adjusting your diet to keep you feeling optimal is challenging, yet valuable.


Another challenge is adjusting your eating habits to suit your lifestyle. For many of you that have several mouths to feed, are on a budget, or lead a busy life with a full schedule, the challenge is finding the time to shop, prep and cook high quality food. You will need to find a balance and work around these special circumstances to ensure that you can make healthy decisions.

 

Remember - ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup


Can't Pour From An Empty Cup

When you’re fueling your body with high quality food that suits your needs and goals, you will be able to get more out of each day. If you’re running on that low quality fuel, you will find that tiredness, grumpiness and a general lack of vitality (and lack of motivation) will get the better of you.


So there you have it ladies- the 3 strategies or concept I prioritise when it comes to my nutrition… Now let’s chat about a few things I try not to lose sleep over if they’re not on point!


What not to lose sleep over


1. Occasionally going slightly over or under your calories or macros


As I mentioned above, your calorie balance is more complex than just consuming an exact amount of calories each day. When you’re trying to keep your metabolism firing, fuel your body according to the demands of the days AND get trying to consume high quality whole foods, it can actually be beneficial to allow your calories to cycle up and down. Remember that your calorie average over an extended period, such as a week, a fortnight, a month and so on is the most important thing. So, if you go a little over your calories, don’t beat yourself up! Just make the most of the extra fuel by going the extra mile in the gym, go a little under your calories the next day and pay attention to how your calorie balance averages out over an extended period of time.


2. Measuring exact calories and macros of each and every food I eat

 

While I definitely do use scales and measurements to make sure I am getting the optimum nutrition for my body and goals, I don’t obsess over this kind of thing. For most of the year, I eat quite intuitively and I’m quite flexible with my nutrition. Yes, in the weeks leading up to a show I really tighten up my nutrition. But, most of the time I try to listen to my body and give it what it wants.


It is a common misconception that you can be certain of the exact amount of calories your body needs and the exact calories contained in the foods we eat. In reality, there are complex algorithms used to estimate these amounts, aka a very educated guess! There is so much variation in the amount of fuel we burn each day and the amount of calories, also macros and micros varies greatly in food. So, there is no point obsessing over the tiniest little things. I prefer to aim to get my calories and macros as close as possible to my goals, but I definitely don’t sweat the small stuff!

 

3. Having a little something ‘naughty’ now and then


I have worked very hard on my relationship with food, and I’m so happy to say that although I enjoy eating healthy food, I don’t beat myself up when I have a treat here or there. If you’ve heard about my fitness journey, you would know that in the past I punished myself with exercise when I ate indulgent foods. It has taken me a lot of hard work to improve this negative relationship with food, and part of that has been learning to listen to my emotional food cravings. Most of the time, I do feel like eating healthy foods that fuel my body, but every so often I get the urge to have something that doesn’t exactly support my goals. In the past I would have told myself no and I’d obsess over that food for hours and sometimes even days! Here are a few things that have helped me to make decisions and I encourage you girls to do the same:


    • • Think about whether you have been giving my body the nutrition it needs over the last few days and weeks.

    • • Consider what your goals are, how far you are from achieving these goals.

    • • Work out if having that treat is important to your emotional state.

    • • Take into consideration if you have any special occasions coming up, such as a night out or a birthday celebration. If you do, you should skip the treat today so that you can indulge at the upcoming social occasion.

    • • If you get through all of these mental checks and still want to have a treat, have it! This way you can enjoy it and get the most out of the experience. You’ll also be less likely to need another treat any time soon.

    • • Continue on with your next meal and your next workout as normal! No physical or emotional punishment!


What To Sweat

Remember that we have a physical AND emotional relationship with food, and it is very difficult to disconnect the two! Food satisfies our hunger and our emotions, so take this relationship into account when making your food choices.


Nutrition is a complex concept. It’s much more than just the foods you eat, but it’s also the way your body and mind respond to it, both physically and mentally.



Eating well is a form of self-respect


SO BABES, NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE IN YOUR HEALTH AND FITNESS JOURNEY, I WANT YOU TO TRY TO EAT WELL AND WORK TOWARDS HAVING A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD!


P.s. If you need support, ask for it! Whether it’s seeing a dietitian, GP or psychologist, invest in your health through connecting to an allied health professional, because you are worth it.


Love,

Loz xoxo


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