weight loss

Listen To Your Body For Better Results

Just listen to your body. Sounds easy right? It may sound easy but I can assure you it isn’t! As a coach, I have found a great way to see where athletes are at. Difficulty of an exercise, intensity of a workout, how much weight to add to the bar, etc. But athletes should learn to also listen to their body because the coach can’t be around 24/7! So here are my few tips on how to listen to your body and what areas you should look out for.

How To Listen To Your Body

First, you should do this sitting. You can have your eyes closed or open. Then, do a mental scan from the top of your head all the way to your feet. Focus on each individual part of your body one at a time. This will highlight any areas that feel off or need specific attention.

Another method to do this is to stop periodically throughout the day and take a mental note of your body. Clear your mind completely and just let whatever emotions/internal issues arise. We can get caught up being so busy that we don’t bring any attention to how we are feeling internally.

Key Areas to Listen

Here are some areas that you should look for and identify right away.

1) Fatigue: Both mental and physical fatigue are very important. Don’t try to push your max weights if you are either mentally or physically burnt out.

2) Hunger: In terms of eating, your body will always tell you what it wants. If it wants more, you will feel it in your stomach. A lot of times, habitual and overeating are very mental. I have found that listening to your body is a great tool for moderating how much food you actually need to eat. This includes junk food!

3) Aches and Pains: If you are feeling tightness (more than usual), it may be a good idea to take it easier on that specific area. The mental scan would be really good to highlight any of these areas.

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Not All Calories Are The Same

Flexible dieting has been a booming trend recently. Things like IIFYM (If it fits your macros), intermittent fasting and other methods of losing weight. I agree with specific aspects of each philosophy, there is one point that sometimes can get lost in these methods. The fact that the type calories that you are consuming differ between foods. Let’s dive deeper into this.

Each day, your body consumes a certain number of calories. If you consume above your maintenance calories, you gain weight. If you eat below your maintenance calories, you will lose weight. IIFYM is great because it helps people learn about tracking their food. But the part that can get tricky is where people will store their calories for bad foods. Meaning they will eat 3 donuts if they have money left in the calorie “bank”. The issue that I see with this is that yes you may be under the number of calories you have for the day, but these calories are not providing the micronutrients and vitamins that your body needs to have improved performance. So if you are filling yourself with junk and losing weight, it may work for weight loss but your workouts will eventually suffer. Your body wants good food to fuel it through whatever activities you have.

There are similiar problems with intermittent fasting. Some people will fast extensively so that they can save their calories for one meal where they go nuts. Not only does this have the same effect as above, but this is cauasing bad eating habits that can have long lasting effects.

What I like to do is eat for performance. If I feel my body needs more food to fuel me, then I will give it that food. If I feel like my workouts are getting slow and sluggish, I will try to cut down things like processed sugars. Treat yourself when you need it, but don’t only rely on bad food to fill up your calorie intake.

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