…and that’s great – but it doesn’t necessarily mean it will help you reach your goals. Making sure you have a base level of understanding around what you need to hit your goals is key so you don’t get sucked into the hype and empty your pockets while you are at it.
What are you really after?
First and foremost, you need to actually take a step back and figure out what it is you want to achieve. It is all too easy to jump from one fad diet or craze to the next without actually stopping and thinking what it is you want. Everyone goes on about SMART objectives – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound – this isn’t a bad approach to put towards health and fitness. Saying you want a body like Margot Robbie, the arms of Arnold or the strength of Eddie Hall isn’t THAT helpful. Or, if you want to ‘get healthy’ what exactly does that mean?
Understanding your needs
Once you have identified your objectives, you then need to take time to understand the process of how to get there. In any other walk of life or even in work, this whole process of goal setting and planning is a no brainer – when it comes to something personal (and often emotional) like our physical appearance, we often don’t think as rationally. Take time to learn about what you need to do. Talk to a professional or research above and beyond the insta celebs or fashionable fixes, what it is your body needs to get there and how to do it in a way that works for you.
Calories are king
Nutrition-wise, and training aside, whatever your body transformation goal – muscle build or fat loss – calories are your number one priority. Calories are not always front of mind of the marketing gurus for health and wellness and we need to be aware of that. Terms like ‘raw’, ‘unrefined’, ‘organic’, ‘healthy’, ‘protein packed’, ‘clean’ and ‘natural’ are all buzz words at the moment plastered across products on the supermarket shelves. Unless managed and measured within an overall consistent calorie strategy these foods are not going to make a dent in your ambitions.
Macros also matter
Whilst arguably you can lose fat without your macros (macronutrients – protein, carbs and fats) being on point, you can’t build muscle. Fat loss without the correct macro breakdown can result in the ‘skinny fat’ look you often see with lack of definition and shape. If it is an athletic, lean physique you are after (and no I don’t mean ‘bulky’) – macros really do matter.
Don’t take things at face value
Just because that bliss ball claims it’s ‘raw’ and ‘protein packed’ – it doesn’t necessarily mean it is going to help you track towards your targets in any way. Often, a lot of these so called ‘health foods’ or ‘good foods’ contain a larger amount of calories than expected due to large amount of healthy fats (think nuts / seeds etc) or sugar (carbs) due to dried fruits. Often, they also contain a smaller amount of protein than you think due to the use of vegan proteins versus whey which generally have a lower protein yield per gram. Shakes or smoothies are also an area to watch as you can come away with a ‘green shake’ as you mid afternoon snack which, absolutely is full of vitamins and minerals and other good stuff, but packs a punch at 500kcals as it contains almond butter, avocado, banana and chia seeds.
So in summary, ABSOLUTELY enjoy and nourish your body with ‘health food’ style food and treats but just make sure you are mindful or what you are consuming and if it fits your needs! Eating from the trendy aisle of the new raw supermarket alone won’t get the job done on achieving your ambitions if it’s not part of a wider strategy.