Nutrition

Nutrition Coaching: Why is it Important?

We are asked at least once a week "what is more important: working out or eating well?" That is basically equivalent to the chicken or the egg conundrum because they are both important and hard for one to exist without the other.

Every person that walks through our doors is ready for a change; that is why you start working out, but eventually there may be a need for more because the exercise isn't quite enough to either offset the "bad diet" or to reach goals that have been set. Changing your work out habits can be challenging, but that is a once-a-day-decision. You mentally decide to go to the gym, you physically go to the gym and then done, check going to the gym off your list of "to-do's" for the day. Diet on the other hand is all about making better choices with what you decide to put in your mouth and that is a 24/7 job. That is why many people enlist the help of a Nutrition Coach. 

A Coach helps you figure out your WHAT (what the goal is: to lose weight, gain weight, maintain your weight but gain muscle) and then your WHY (why you want to achieve this goal). Whatever your goals are and reasons for them, your Nutrition Coach is there to help you achieve those goals through your diet. This week's newsletter comes in the form of a letter written to us by one of our nutrition clients and gives you some insight on what happens when you have a Nutrition Coach.

“Working with Anne was the dramatic reset that I needed to re-evaluate my relationship with food and nutrition. I finished my first year of law school feeling really lethargic, tired and self-conscious - I had gained more weight than I ever had in my life and the number of “wearable” clothes in my closet kept shrinking. I had been doing CrossFit on and off for over 5 years, seeing little results in my body apart from gaining muscle mass and building strength. I had always refused to focus on my nutrition, assuming that I exercised enough to burn the extra calories from sugary treats, takeout and alcohol. I also thought I was eating healthily and being body-positive, even though I was ignoring the signs that I was using food and alcohol to manage day-to-day stress. I realized that I was 100% dependent on sugar and caffeine for a boost of energy, and I was becoming more and more concerned about how my student social life revolved almost entirely around patio beers and late-night pizza. I felt really ready for a significant change in May 2018.

Focusing on my nutrition was a big adjustment - I had never tracked my food, thought about macros or calories or had anyone do basic measurements. Honestly, I maybe weighed myself once or twice a year! After a very uncomfortable 2 weeks of sugar withdrawal, I found a better rhythm where I was better able to focus on increasing my protein intake, drinking enough water, reducing my alcohol consumption and prioritizing whole foods. Nutrition coaching made a huge difference for me because it helped me become more mindful of stress eating and think about food as fuel for physical activity (rather than just pleasure). Within a month, I felt like I had re-adjusted my concept of what a “typical day” of eating should look like. Focusing on nutrition over the summer hasn’t been easy, but Anne was very supportive of striking the right balance so I could enjoy BBQs, weddings and social events with friends without feeling guilty or frustrated.

The hard work pays off, too. I lost over 20 pounds and 17 inches in my first 3 months and I quickly felt faster, stronger and more energetic at the gym. Sugar and alcohol feel much more manageable in my life, and Anne has been really helpful for developing habits that are sustainable and focused on the long-term. It’s a bizarre feeling when a wardrobe of work clothes - that was once too small - are now WAY too big, but it’s a clear sign that something is working. I’m now (much to my surprise!)  a nutrition convert, and I’m really grateful for Anne’s support this summer as I developed healthier habits for the long-term."

To provide a little back story, our nutrition client, is a law student and knew she needed to have better eating habits in place before entering her second year of law school. What better time to give nutrition coach a try than over entire summer. Her goals when we started were to lose fat, gain lean muscle and successfully complete a 10k run. During our 5 months together, she lost 29 lbs and 22 inches. She has been continuing on with maintaining her healthier eating habits without nutrition coaching now and we couldn't be happier for her. The entire premise around nutrition coaching (in our opinion) is to provide our clients with the knowledge and tools so that they are able to continue on without our help. Of course, we are here if you need but at the end of the day it is a very liberating experience to be able to do this yourself! 

Just know that everyone's goals, process and journey are different. Do what is right for you! If this is something you’ve been thinking about, book a free no-sweat intro to start the conversation!

What's Our Take On Nutrition

"You cannot out train a bad diet" and on the most part that statement is true. However, we prefer not to think of food as either good or bad. There are some foods that are more ideal and some that are less than ideal but to categorize food into either "good" or "bad" is the mindset we should all attempt to shift away from. We are all human and there will be times when we want food that is less than ideal AND THAT'S OKAY! The important thing is to be able to find that delicate balance that allows us to indulge and then bring ourselves back to our consistent eating habits.

Diet in our books is a word used as a verb and not a noun; your diet is the type of food that you habitually eat, not a process of restriction over a set amount of time. So when people ask us what our take on nutrition is, the answer is short and simple: eat quality foods, in the amounts that support your goals and lifestyle in a sustainable manner. 

Great...but what does that mean?

QUALITY FOODS:

Ideally, the more food you are able to eat that most closely resembles that food in it's natural state, the better (ie. attempt to avoid processed foods as much as possible). Why? Because very often there will be many additives that prolong shelf life, or there may be added oils and sugar to keep the flavor consistent and pleasing. Additives can be difficult for our bodies to digest and extra unnecessary fats and sugars contribute to weight gain. 

At the same time, if I want a treat, I am going to make sure that it's delicious and I actually fully enjoy it. There are so many instances that we speak to our nutrition clients and somehow 1 oreo turned into 8, or a handful of chips turned into the entire bag. Why does this happen? Because these processed foods are designed to be hyper-palatable and we don't even realize that we've eat so much of it.

AMOUNTS THAT SUPPORT YOUR GOALS AND LIFESTYLE:

We talk about goal setting A LOT and it's for good reason. Your goals may be completely different from the person next to you, so it would be unreasonable for you to follow a plan that doesn't facilitate achieving YOUR goal. We meet many people that are unknowingly  over eating or under eating for the amount of training (or lack thereof) in their day-to-day life. When we are able to determine a goal, we can then quantify how much and of what we should be eating to reach those goals, whether it is to lose weight, gain mass, or stay the same but increase performance.

SUSTAINABLE MANNER:

It should be no surprise that our mission statement has been to train with the intent to increase and maintain our fitness level as we grow and age so that we can continue to do everything we love such as picking up our children or hiking in the Alps when we’re silver haired and enjoying retirement. Our sentiments with respect to nutrition is exactly the same, we want our athletes and clients to develop the knowledge and a relationship with food that is healthy and are able to maintain this for the long-run.

This is our take on nutrition in a nutshell. If you are interested in learning more book a Nutrition No Sweat Intro with us!