Updated: Apr 14
When it comes to any physical goal that you want to achieve, whether it's improved health, improved fitness, improved performance, body composition changes, or some other goal, you have to consider nutrition. Now there are some people who say that you can out train a bad diet and to some degree that is true as long as that diet gives you enough of the things that you need to fuel yourself. That said, in the end you are going to be limited by your nutritional approach. The best path to any physical goa has a plan and for the best success, that plan includes some focus on nutrition. The more focused you are on nutrition for your goal, the better your success will be. The amount of focus varies based on what your goal goals are, varies based on the individual differences, and varies based on a number of situational factors. That said, if you have specific goals there are certain things that you need to consider to reach those goals. For example if you want to build muscle, you need to have excess calories get enough protein etc. If you are under eating you're probably never going to build muscle. The same idea can be applied to any other goal whether it is losing weight, improving performance, improving health, general fitness improvements, or whatever your goal is. While you can have some success with the physical goal without focusing on nutrition, your best success is going to occur when you incorporate a solid a nutrition nutritional strategy. Some people think that they have to get all weird about nutrition to be successful. Yes, we have actually had people tell us that before or use similar terminology. We are not exactly sure what people mean by weird, but what they might mean is that they feel like they have to count every macronutrient, count every calorie, that they can never have pizza or beer or sweets again. That is not how the process works. The best nutritional strategies allow you to still enjoy food while moving you toward your goal. We are not saying you have to go vegan, we are not saying you have to go paleo, and we are not saying you can never have a beer again or pizza or sweets or anything like that. Instead, we are saying you need to find a nutritional strategy appropriate for your goal that also allows you to have moderate amounts of the foods, drinks, or whatever the “bad” things that you enjoy nutrition is not an all-or-nothing. Most things in life are not at all or nothing kind of approach. In fact, we have never seen something that was all or nothing approach. Anyone who advocates that kind of approach is setting you up for failure. Success with nutrition or anything in life is about finding the proper line for you and balancing on that line giving you the things that you want and the things that you need to be successful Regardless of your goal, there are a few things you should consider. Have a defined goal Without a goal, you cannot begin to move forward. Planning, assessment, and modifications are depend on a goal. The goal should be simple and measurable, such as dropping a percent body fat or gaining a specific pound amount of muscle. You can have more than one goal, but need to limit being too varied. For example, targeting a specific weight loss goal and far loss goal makes sense, as both are related. Adding in couple performance goals, such as an improved mile time and stronger squat, is good as well. However, adding in 6, 7, 8, 9, 10+ goals is not ideal, especially if they are not interrelated. Interrelated goals are the weight loss and fat loss goals or improving strength in the squat and deadlift. Due to the close relation, working on them concurrently will be easier. However, learning to do handstands, getting your first muscle-up, and running a marathon are not related. While you might be able to add these goals if you have generous amounts of time to work on the goal or set the goal a significant time in the future, if you set all of these goals knowing you can only work out a few times per week, meal prep once per week, and want to achieve the goals in six months, you are setting yourself up for failure. Have a plan A goal without a plan is just a wish, just a dream. While the plan can be simple or highly structured, it must exist. For example, if you want to lose weight, you need ta plan for nutrition. If you want to build a strong squat, you need a strength plan that will allow you to do so. Stating you will just “watch what you eat” or “squat a few times per week” is not a plan. While wining it in such a manner can lead to progress if you are motivated, this approach is not the best path to success. You need a structure, even a loose one, to follow, that looks into the future at least a few months. If you can create the plan, great. There are many online and print resources that you can use to create a plan of action. However, if you do not know where to start or simply know you do not have the motivation to create a plan, then enlist the help of a professional. Put in the effort Progress toward any goal takes work. Put in the work. If you do not, you will never be successful. Putting in the work means completing tasks daily that will move you toward your goal. These tasks may be counting calories, measuring food, getting active by walking, joining a gym, speaking your goals aloud daily as a reminder, or many other possible tasks, such as joining a gym. When completing the tasks, you have to put in an honest effort. If you complete a workout and put in little effort, you can expect few results. If you only hit the gym once a week, you can expect few results. If you only count your calories once per week, you can expect few results. If you binge on beer and pizza every weekend, you can expect few results. Progress takes effort. Put in the work. Be consistent Consistency create progress. A goal and plan are ideas. Putting in work is effort applied to the goal and plan. With consistency, that effort will make the most of the plan and allow you to reach your goals. Without consistency, you will fail to reach your goals. One workout per week or one day of focusing on nutrition will yield few results. In that same line of thought, eating right and working out four out of eight weeks, but slacking the other four weeks will yield few results. You have to be consistent to see progress. Thanks for reading, If you are looking for an online diet coach, personal trainer at home, or someone to guide you through any nutrition, training, or fitness related goal, check out our services here.
Nathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, run coaching, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, and the International Sports Sciences Association. Nathan has 17 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA.