Is Your Progress too slow
THE BIGGER PICTURE
At this point in your nutrition journey you know what to eat, when to eat it and what strategies to use to make these things happen. Now it’s time to start looking at the bigger picture of your lifestyle. When many of us start a new way of eating we place all our [free range] eggs in that basket and expect our goals to start being met pretty quickly. Now whilst nutrition is a huge piece of the puzzle there are several other elements that can slow your progress if left unattended. In this post we’ll look at the big 3 when it comes to your lifestyle and some easy wins you can find to optimise them.
A lack of sleep can upset our hormonal systems, increase our hunger and reduce our willpower, all of which are bad news for our new dietary approach. Prioritising 8 hours of sleep is one of the simplest, yet most effective, things we can do to support our goals. If 8 hours sounds a huge leap from where you are currently at then focus on making incremental improvements. Think how you would encourage your children to sleep – set bed and wake times, a wind down period in the evening and a bedtime story if you so wish!
The common mistake made with training is to chase calories. We go down the high intensity route in the hope that this will give us maximum calorie burning for our time. Whilst the idea is sound there is a much easier and efficient alternative. It is worth remembering that our metabolism is largely determined by the amount of muscle mass we carry. If we train to promote muscle and strength then not only do we get the benefits associated with that but we are also increasing the amount of calories we will burn throughout the day, keeping us lean. A simple strength program is also a lot less stressful on our systems than the high intensity alternatives and is therefore a much healthier addition to your busy and stressful work and home lives. With a kettlebell you can perform some squats, swings, deadlifts, pulls and presses which is all you need to start building some precious muscle.
Stress can derail our progress on multiple levels. Hormonally the increased cortisol and adrenaline can raise our blood sugar and blunt our fat burning, on a psychological level I’m sure I don’t need to say that stress can make us crave sweet foods and ‘reward’ ourselves with more treats. Thankfully there are many things we can to tackle stress from simple breathing exercises to changing the way we think about our stressors. You can read more about managing stress in this post: http://mmbmagazine.co.uk/getting-friendly-with-stress/
Hopefully this post has provided some food for thought and allowed you to take a step back and reflect on where your lifestyle is currently at. I will be covering all these areas in more detail and with more tips in future posts.