As a trainer and Precision Nutrition certified nutrition coach, I’ve picked up on a few things over the years, so heck, I’ll share ‘em. 29 of ‘em. For free.
1) Showing up at the gym to say, “Hmm. what am I going to do today?" isn't the most effective plan and gets the least amount of results.
2) Resistance training (lifting weights or even using your own body weight for resistance) will transform your body and metabolism FAR more than cardio alone.
3) Yes, you should still do cardio. If you have a beating heart, it’s important. How much should you do? What kind? High intensity or long endurance? Depends on your goals. Want to run a marathon? You need to run. A lot. Regardless of your cardio choice, you need to prioritize getting STRONGER FIRST. Then continue to implement some strength training to reduce the likelihood of injury. Cardio training helps you recover between sets of strength training. Strength training helps your cardio to be more powerful and intense. Which is best? Both.
4)You can have the best strength training program written by the best trainer on earth. But if you don’t follow the program fairly consistently, it is useless. That said, sometimes it can be wise to let a program go if you are feeling beat up or injured. Know when to back off and know when it is ok to come back. It's also wise to know what exercises to sub if something isn't working well for your body.
5) You may need a trainer to help you with your form and programming. At least your trainer SHOULD be helping you with your form and programming. Any trainer can make you sweat. It ain’t hard. You need one who can make you better.
6) If you want to invest in equipment at home, get a set of dumbbells. And I’m NOT just talking UP to 15 or 20 lbs, ladies. That may be a fine START, more often than not.
7) You've heard you can't out train a bad diet. It's true. And there is NO diet out there (keto, whole 30, weight watchers, Jenny Craig, low carb, Isogenix, low calorie, specially blended energy drink or protein jug) that can do what "mostly healthy" eating can't do anyway. It won’t work for you long term if: A) you can't sustain it forever and, B) it contains false promises.
8) There are no magic foods or combination of foods.
9) Carbs are NOT the enemy. Carbs will, however, make you awesome.
10) Sugar has no evil powers. Sugar alone is not responsible for the obesity epidemic. An excess of calories from any and all sources can contribute to obesity.
11) Fruit does NOT make you fat. Again, excess calories from ANY source can increase your body fat. If you eat 8,000 calories a day in kale alone, you’re going to increase that body fat. That’s kinda a gross amount of kale, but just so ya know.
12) Don’t underestimate sleep. People wear their lack of sleep as a badge of honor. The truth is, it will impact your exercise intensity, fat loss, body composition, muscle building, digestion, mood and how many people actually want to be around you. 😊 That last one was a bonus.
13) REMEMBER, Ladies and Gentlemen: ANY FOOD (in the context of your overall diet) can be enjoyed and fit into your diet. NO ONE got skinny from eating a salad. NO ONE became overweight by eating a donut. MMmmm...donuts....
14) YOU ARE MORE THAN your weight or the size of your clothes or what you eat or don’t eat. You can’t make someone love you more (or less) by the percentage of body fat that you have.
15) SOME OF THE LEANEST PEOPLE OUT THERE ARE THE MOST MISERABLE. They won't tell ya now. But wait a few years. They'll write a blog about it. We can all learn from it. Bless those who share to prevent more of us from going down the same path.
16) For those who stay in a fat loss mindset continually, it goes something like this: Restrict. Binge. Guilt. Repeat. Not good for sustainable fat loss.
17) Hush your mouth if you are complaining about your body image or talking about your next diet around your kids or someone else's kids. DO THEY NEED YOUR STRUGGLES? That’s the quickest way to help them begin their own battle with food and body.
18) Consistency is more important with exercise (and nutrition) than intensity.
19) An effective result-producing workout has very little to do with calories burned during the actual workout.
20)There are more important things in life than diet and exercise. Spend WAY MORE TIME on faith, family, friends, sharing your strength (in the form of HELPING others around you), than you do on exercise. If nutrition and fitness are taking over your mind and life, you need to talk to a counselor or someone that can help guide you. You are missing out on life my friend.
21) Cellulite is normal. So are stretch marks. For ANY body type.
22) Pelvic floor issues (organ prolapse, leaking, pain, etc) are REAL and common in both men and women. That doesn’t make them normal.These issues can be worked through with a pelvic floor physiotherapist. You shouldn’t be doing any exercises to worsen this condition and you shouldn’t just “push through” or ignore it. There is help and hope for this. If you ignore it, it will worsen. Many postpartum moms need this info. Many haven't been told about it. Again, SO COMMON. But that doesn't make it normal. MANY trainers aren't helping your situation because they simply don't know, understand it, or they don't want to talk about it.
23) That “toned” look is muscle. It doesn't come from just losing as much weight as you can while eating as little as you can. You can also control, to an extent, how much muscle you put on your body through nutrition and exercise. The "look" you desire on YOUR body is just as legit as the different look someone else desires on their body.
24) You can weigh MORE and LOOK leaner (while measuring smaller) if you have more muscle. It’s really a thing. The scale is only a tiny piece of information. Take more faith in how your clothes fit, how you feel, if your measurements are going up or down, rather than the scale.
25) Some phases of life will be great for killing it in the gym. Other times are for taking it down a few notches to save your sanity or for different seasons in life. Both are OK.
26) Not every exercise is for everybody. Consider your current condition. Beginner, postpartum, injured? Produces pain? There's ways to work with them all. Your trainer should know or refer out when needed.
27)Save the butter for baking cookies, not the coffee.
28) Protein is a game changer. You probably should eat more. That doesn't necessarily mean low carb. But it can do wonders for your body composition and appetite.
29) Veggies- you don't want to hear it. But you should probably aim to eat at least 5 servings a day. Your mama wasn't wrong.