During my 15-year career as a coach, nutrition has always been a hot topic amongst the people I coach. One of the most frequently asked questions is how many calories should they eat. My answer is always simple: I don’t know.
I’m saying this because not only is caloric intake highly variable from person to person, but there are several other important factors that should be addressed before looking at caloric intake. Very often addressing these other factors has such an impact that calorie counting becomes unnecessary for the general fitness client.
It all starts with changing your behavior. Changing behavior and creating better nutrition habits is the first step in changing your body. Everyone has limiting factors that affect their ability to change behavior. I personally recommend working on identifying your limiting factors rather than giving you a calorie number to obsess about.
A limiting factor is simply anything that stops you or distracts you from being able to have the nutritional habits necessary to reach your goals.
Here are some examples:
- Food choice
- Eating behavior
- Cooking skills
- Life skills
Grab a piece of paper, a pencil and do the following exercise:
- Write down your end goal.
- Identify your limiting factors to achieving that goal
- Prioritize your limiting factors.
Which ones are the most important to overcome in order to reach your goal?
Start with the “low hanging fruit”, the limiting factor that is easiest for you to change.
Once you’ve prioritized your limiting factors, write down your goal for the next day. This could be as simple as making sure you have a protein shake for breakfast.
Now write down your goal for the week. It could be to have a protein shake for breakfast 5 days per week.Five protein shakes per week times 4.3 weeks in a month, comes to 22 protein shakes for breakfast in a month. (It does not have to be a shake)
As you start to master your new habit and it becomes an automatic behavior, start to add another habit, then another. Little by little these new habits will become your new normal behavior.
This is how you change your habits, along with creating new healthier behaviors. This process leads to long term change and sustainable results. No quick fixes here.
In a nutshell, this is our basic approach to nutrition at Train 2 Xcel. There is a lot more to it, but this should help you get started.
Now that you have an idea of what to do but still would like further guidance on exactly where to start, you can contact us at (203)403-3526 (phone or text) or email us at [email protected]