NUTRITION FOR YOUR GOALS
If you want to reduce your body fat percentage, build muscle mass, reach a goal weight, or improve strength in the gym, tailoring your nutrition to your goals is absolutely essential.
When we start working with a new client, we want to know all about their goals so we can make sure their nutrition leads them in the direction of those goals. What we often hear is along the lines of “I want to lose 10 pounds and get stronger and faster in the gym. I also want to have more energy and get my body fat down to 15%.”
When defining your goals, it is important to recognize that different goals require different approaches. Wanting to lose weight is not the only reason to make changes to your diet; you can also change your diet in order to focus on improving performance, energy, or overall health. However, if you try to work towards all of those goals at once you could actually be setting yourself up for failure.
We often feel defeated when we see positive composition changes but aren’t feeling 100% in the gym, or when we set a PR but see the number on the scale stay steady. While it is absolutely possible to experience improvements in performance while actively losing body fat, eating for optimum performance and eating for aesthetics do not necessarily go hand in hand.
Individuals with the goal of building strength and improving performance will not be at their leanest, those looking to lose body fat will most likely also lose strength, and individuals prioritizing performance or aesthetics may not be the healthiest they can be.
Tailoring your nutrition to your specific goals all boils down to energy balance: good ol’ calories in vs. calories out. Your specific goals determine whether you should be eating in a calorie deficit, at maintenance calories, or in a calorie surplus.
CALORIE DEFICIT | A calorie deficit is when you are burning more calories than you are eating. If you have aesthetic goals geared towards losing body fat, a calorie deficit is absolutely essential. Being in a calorie deficit should be a temporary phase; because you are eating less, energy and performance may not be optimal and you may experience some hunger or fatigue.
MAINTENANCE CALORIES | You are at maintenance calories when you are burning as many calories as you are consuming, on average. If you want to maintain your weight and focus more on overall health and energy, this is where your focus should be.
CALORIE SURPLUS | A calorie surplus is when you are burning fewer calories than you are eating. Eating in a calorie surplus is absolutely essential if you want to put on any weight, especially if you want to build muscle mass. If you have goals geared towards improving performance you should be eating at maintenance calories or in a surplus depending on your training.
If your dietary approach doesn’t match your goals, chances are you will just end up feeling burnt out and frustrated no matter how hard you’re working. No one wants that! So, over the next few weeks we’ll be talking a bit more on how to make sure your nutrition is aligned with your goals so that you can make sure your hard work is paying off. Stay tuned!
Do you know if your nutrition is working for you? If you have questions, let us know in the comments below or get in touch!