You can train as hard or as often as you want, but without the correct nutrition plan, you will struggle to achieve your goals.
Despite this, consistently adhering to the nutrition plan is something that many people struggle to do.
Ultimate Performance CEO, Nick Mitchell, puts it best in his article on Diet vs Training – ‘diet is simple, but it’s not easy’.
In this article, we have asked ten of our transformation clients to share their top tips for staying on track with their diet.
I use the app recommended for recording my meals every day – it’s called MyFitnessPal. You can scan the barcode on the food, so you don’t even need to record down yourself the different nutritional elements like calories and protein.
You can also set targets and monitor how you’re doing against them throughout the day. That keeps you in control.
When I got used to using the app, I was able to start planning my diet for the next day in advance. Doing this made it easy to stick to the plan, as I already knew what I would be eating.
It was slightly difficult using the app when having a meal out in a restaurant. You can’t just scan a barcode, but what you can do is make a rough estimate of the size of a piece of meat or fish and work out roughly what it contains.
I would say two things:
One, keep your diet interesting!
If you’re bored with the meals you’re eating, speak to your trainer about it. Don’t just suffer in silence, because you will end up cheating on your diet.
Two, accountability. Find something or someone to be accountable to – whether it’s a person or a goal.
I took pictures of every meal I ate on my transformation, and if I didn’t take a picture, I would send my trainer a detailed written record of what and how much I ate.
That really kept me on track. When I was thinking ‘I’ll just have a small bit of mayonnaise on this’, I’d stop and think, ‘well, I’ve got to take a picture of this, what will my trainer think?’ You realise where you’re cheating yourself because you have to question it just before you capture the image.
For me, the most important thing was to consciously commit to the statement that there are no cheat meals as long as I’m doing my transformation.
By ruling out eating anything at all that wasn’t on my meal plan, it meant I wasn’t constantly waiting for an opportunity to indulge, which could have easily spiralled out of control.
Sugar cravings only become worse when you have some anyway, so completely abstaining seemed easier to me than trying to find ways to fit things in or around my meal plan.
If you make the right choices 80-90% of the time, you’ll do fine, and I think that’s about right.
Don’t beat yourself up too badly for that other 10-20% or it will be too big of a drag on your willpower!
I planned everything and calculated what food I needed to eat to hit the nutrition targets set by my trainer. Once I had prepared my food for the next day, I just followed it, so it wasn’t difficult, to be honest.
The best tip I can give is always to know what you are going to be eating the next day.
Before my transformation, I’d never thought of food as fuel. It was just an inconvenience that I had to do in between trying to do everything else.
Looking at the nutrition plan, and understanding that every choice I make is for my benefit has utterly changed my priorities.
Before, everything was for my career- ‘get a good job, work for a big company, earn lots of money’. That doesn’t help your health at all.
It’s a game-changer. It puts you in charge of your diet and allows you to make very clear and specific decisions that will help you achieve your goals.
I would tend to cook veg as close as I can to when I eat it, even if that means quasi-steaming it in the microwave at work. Eating crunchier veg is my preference taste-wise, but I find it also fills me up more.
Equally, when cooking chicken, I will always try and flavour it with something, even if it’s just chilli or herbs -12 weeks of plain steamed chicken is not going to work for anyone.
Having some go-to meals that taste good and that you enjoy is the best way to stay on track with your nutrition plan.
It’s been my salvation. I was just eating plain chicken and veggies at first – and I was thinking ‘oh god, I can’t do this for 12 weeks’.
But, then I found that I could fry it up with a bit of chilli, peanut butter and veggies and it was amazing.
The chicken with peanut butter, ginger and veg has been my favourite food on my transformation – plus turkey burgers with curry in.
I just fill up on it all the time. Once you find something you enjoy, then why not? It’s all healthy food and fits within the nutrition targets set by my trainer.
My best tip is to go off what you need as opposed to what you want.
You’ve got to think that you’re eating to fuel yourself, and not just to fill a hole or satisfy your appetite.
Re-evaluate what you put in your system. Start to think, ‘is this something that’s processed and full of crap, which will be a quick fix? Or, is it something that’s been grown, is fresh and nutritious, which will make me feel great?’
For me, the best things that fuel me are eggs, salmon, rye bread, oats with fresh fruit, almonds and things like that.
I always think if something roams, grows, swims or flies, then I can eat it; if it doesn’t, then I don’t. If anything has a label on and I can’t pronounce what’s on the back of it, then I don’t really want to eat it.
Two huge things for me during my transformation were ensuring that I was always properly hydrated and that I got enough quality sleep.
Drinking 3 litres of water a day kept me feeling full and not feeling like I needed to eat all the time (yes, people often mistake thirst for hunger).
Sleep is obviously important for rest and recovery, but it also has a big impact on your ability to stick to the diet. Just see what happens to your appetite when you’ve not had enough sleep.
When you’re tried and low on energy, you tend to experience more cravings as your body wants a quick fix of energy. Never scrimp on sleep
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DISCLAIMER | Results may vary | Results are based on individual circumstances | Timeframes for results are not guaranteed | Willpower is always required!