Do you ever say this? A lot of people who I meet have this problem and here is the common reason why:
Exercise boosts your metabolism, yeah!:) BUT, it also takes energy to do that which makes you hungry! Most people don’t eat enough before they workout and then go hard and are naturally starving post-workout. Letting yourself reach the “starving” point leads to poor food choices and eating late at night. These two things will pack on the fat, sugar, and everything else that you are trying so hard to burn off in your workout.
So, what happens?….you “start over tomorrow!” You wake, eat something small if anything at all because you are “so fat from last night”. You make it to lunch and are once again starving because you have basically fasted for 12 hours….so you either a) over eat and hit a lull at 3pm or b) under-eat and try to go workout on an empty stomach after work (read: no energy to get through class). You make it home and dig into everything in sight or drink too much and fall asleep with the bag of chips!
Maybe you aren’t THAT bad, but, the point is that you can workout as hard as you want all day-every day but if you don’t take control of your nutrition, you will not see the results you want. period.
The ultimate goal for someone wanting to better their health should be to decrease body fat and maintaining muscle mass. Muscle burns fat so you want to keep as much of it as you can while losing the body fat on top of it. If you don’t limit your carbs, sugars, and over-processed foods and focus more on lean proteins and fats then you will continue to burn calories AND eat more calories, never making a significant change in your diet.
Bottom line: Put as much effort into your nutrition as you do your workouts and you will be able to find that happy medium where you don’t have to spend all of your time in the gym or all of your time depriving yourself of great food and wine in order to look or feel a certain way. I call it the 90/10 rule….if you eat well and workout smart 90% of the time then you can slack off or dig in to that pint of ice cream 10% of the time without beating yourself up and repeating the dreaded statement: “I will start over tomorrow”:(
Here are three things you can do today to start:
1. drink MORE WATER…..it’s like telling a kid to stop picking their nose, you KNOW it’ needed but you just don’t listen!
2. EAT (you like this one already :)) …within 30 minutes of waking up. Your body fasted at night so to get the metabolism started early you need to eat some protein and fat first thing. (peanut butter toast, eggs, yogurt, smoothie, protein bar etc.)
3. Close the kitchen. pick a time at night after you eat dinner to turn the lights off in the kitchen, clean it up and leave it until the morning. You are less likely to walk the kitchen picking at stuff all night if you shut it down like a restaurant does.
If you would like help getting your diet on track, I offer a Food Journal Auditing package that includes a 30 minute phone consultation and a week of email food journal auditing. Contact me for details.
Cara Weaver, Fitness Professional