Can you send me a copy of your meal plan? I get asked quite often from friends and family. They’ve seen my transformation of gaining 48 pounds, and then losing 60 pounds. People are naturally curious what I’m eating. Yes, I’m not proud to admit that I’m a personal trainer who was once 218 pounds…However, I have learned so much through my own personal transformation. I’d like to share my journey, in order to help others who are struggling…
Here’s the truth: My current nutrition plan won’t necessarily work for you.
My nutrition continues to change and evolve. My first nutrition plan is far different than what I’m eating now. My nutrition has changed several times during my 60-pound weight loss. Going from 218 pounds to 200 pounds, required a different nutrition plan. My nutrition plan also changed going from 200 to 180 pounds, from 180 to 160 pounds, and so forth.
Going through my own personal body transformation, my views on nutrition have also dramatically changed. Due to my own experience, this has also changed how we deliver nutrition at our personal training studios.
Nutrition is quite misunderstood. It can be confusing. Even personal trainers sometimes give out confusing nutrition advice. I’ll admit early on in my career, I was misinformed and confused about nutrition. We were given the old Canada Food Guide as a tool, which had very general and broad guidelines. We all know what we ‘should’ be eating. It’s the implementation that can be so confusing. That’s how coaching helps. Coaching helps you with implementation by providing you with action steps to get your closer to your goals.
It’s not your fault if you’re confused on what ‘diet’ to do. There’s a lot out there. Detox, weight loss challenges, Keto, Intermittent fasting, the cabbage soup diet, etc. You name it. I’m not going to knock any ‘diet’. You see, diets all work at least for the short term. They work, but you must be prepared to be on that ‘diet’ life long. We all know this logically, but I’m going to say the obvious. You can’t do a 30-day diet, lose the weight, and then go back to your previous dietary habits. This also applies to working out of course…
Diets stop working once you’re off the so called ‘diet’. It doesn’t have to be keto or intermittent fasting. They’re quite popular because they’re sexy. Everyone wants quick results. Yes, you do see great results with Keto and intermittent fasting. If keto or intermittent fasting is working for you, then keep doing it. However, you don’t have to do keto or intermittent fasting. I’m proof of it.
I have a confession. I love food! I can enjoy, rice, potatoes, chips, cookies, and cheat with cake and still lose weight! So can you! My transformation happened over a period of several months, as the goal was to preserve muscle and to give my body a chance to adapt. Without giving your body a chance to adapt, it’s so easy for you to binge eat, fall off the wagon, and even worse damage your metabolism. I get it. I also wanted fast results in the beginning. But having permanent results is a greater incentive for me. It took 3 years to gain 48 pounds. So, does it really make sense to lose this weight in only 2 or 3 months?
You can’t sprint to the finish or you’ll quickly sprint to failure…
As a martial artist, this analogy comes to mind. If you’re new to martial arts, you’ll start with a white belt. A ‘white-belt’ wouldn’t learn techniques that are for ‘black-belts’. You first need to master the fundamentals of stance, balance, power, speed and so forth, before learning more advance techniques. A white belt would have difficultly learning a jump 360 spinning hook kick, if he or she hasn’t even mastered the balance for the basic front kick.
This analogy applies to nutrition.
Everyone has a different starting point when it comes to nutrition. If you’re currently consuming 3,000 calories daily, going to a 2,000 caloric ‘diet’ will shock your body. Your body will hate you. It’s natural. You’ll blame it on will power. It has very little to do with will power. Your body needs a chance to adjust. If I gave you my current meal plan without getting to know your past and current history with nutrition, I’m shooting darts blind folded and most likely setting you up to fail.
Action Steps for Success
- Track at Least 3 days of Your Current Nutrition: You need to collect data. We do this with our finances to assess our income vs. expenses. Nutrition works the same way. Numbers don’t lie. I know sometimes we don’t want to know the truth. You may feel that your diet is horrible, but we must find out how horrible it is or not, in order to determine your starting point. Or sometimes you may think you’re eating healthy, but your body is telling you otherwise. So, collect data to determine your current nutrition and starting point.
- You can use fitness pal to evaluate your current caloric intake and macro-nutrients. Where do most of your calories come from? Do most of your calories come from carbs? Protein? Fats? Eg. Do you lack protein?
- Make Gradual Adjustments: After you’ve collected some data on your current nutrition plan, make gradual adjustments. It’s not all about calories. However, for example sake, if you’re consuming 4,000 calories, then cut your calories by about 300 calories to give your body the chance to adapt, instead of doing a crash course diet. Your body has cravings for a reason as it’s accustomed to eating a certain way. Give your body a chance to adapt without feeing miserable! Follow your new 3700-calorie plan for the next couple of weeks and re-evaluate. But once again, it’s not all about calories. You have to also determine what your current macro-nutrients are: carbs, protein, and fats.
- Determine Your Biofeedback Each Week: What’s your mood, hunger, energy, sex drive, sleep, stress levels like? All of this comes back full circle and starts with nutrition. For example, did you know we carve carbohydrates when we’re stressed? Stress elevates our cortisol level. Having carbs help regulate your cortisol levels. What if you’re able to plan for these carbs in your daily plan, instead of impulsively eating whatever you see in sight? You’ll be in control and be in a better position to regulate your stress levels. By managing your nutrition, you’ll better manage your stress levels. By managing your stress levels, you’ll be able to have better sleep! See how it works?
- Get Professional Help: The information especially on social media can be quite confusing. Find a coach. Just getting a cookie cutter meal plan isn’t the solution. There are essential steps you need to learn depending on where you’re starting from.
To this day, I still work with a nutrition coach for my own nutrition as it continues to evolve. I have learned so much about nutrition. I also need someone to hold me accountable. We also adjust my nutrition every month so that I continue to see results every month.
I also continue to attend workshops to learn how to better serve our clients. In fact, we also offer nutrition coaching as a separate business model. We’ve launched it as a pilot project for the last year. Participants have been seeing some phenomenal results!
If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to reach out: https://calendly.com/erf/free-strategy-session-info-session