Nutrition is a complicated topic, which comes with more emotional baggage and controversy than training. We have to eat, whereas we don’t have to train or exercise. Difficulties abound, including trigger foods, grocery shopping, mindless eating, misunderstanding and underestimating calories, certain times of the year, alcohol, family, food preferences, dietary restrictions, and much, much more.
Gillian does not have “a way” or “a diet” when it comes to nutrition coaching. The person or client must adopt consistent, sustainable behaviors. Dieting too often implies a limited time period, but what happens after that?
Ultimately, you have to create a caloric deficit one way or another. regardless of goals or approaches taken. You can decide to be more or less aggressive: do you want to compete in a bodybuilding competition or just lose some weight to get healthier? How fast do you want to lose weight? What are you willing to give up? Are you doing this to support training and performance or for health or aesthetics?
To move toward your goals, you’ll have to have metrics to evaluate progress. Bodyweight is one, imperfect measurement. Others include body measurements, for example waist circumference. Some people like, some hate, progress pictures. Another may be trying on your favorite outfit or pair of jeans and seeing how they fit compared to before.
You’ll also have to break down large goals into smaller goals. How did you do this meal? Today? This week? How do you feel about how you did and how you feel? You’ll have to be honest with yourself and your coach--especially if progress is slower or stalled. It may be that you’re following the plan but progress will come, you just need to be patient. It may be that you’re not including calories from an unanticipated snack, alcohol, or mindless eating.
Regardless, we eat for the long haul and to improve our lives. This may mean that we have some non-negotiables that we’re unwilling to forego, though we may have to limit these. This also means, however, that we adopt healthy habits, we get better, we move toward our goals, and we adopt voluntary hardship to improve our lives.
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