If you feel that you regularly put in a shift and try to eat all the right things but you are still not getting any closer to your goals, consider whether you’re doing some of the following.
Not eating enough fat
Many people remain scared of the idea of including fat in the diet. We have been conditioned to think that what we eat should be labelled low fat or fat free and if so we must be on the right track. The truth is including fats (good fats) from food such as avocado, nuts, seeds and coconut oil are good for sports nutrition and weight control. Fat delays stomach emptying, so you feel fuller longer; increase satiety, to shut off hunger hormones; boosts antioxidants absorption and ups metabolic rate, to help burn more calories. Fat is such a vital part of our diet that you cannot heal a cell or construct a new one without having enough in your diet. It is a vital part of the structure of a cell. A low amount of fat in your diet will result in fatigue, chronic hunger, depression, a weak immune system and increased risk of injury.
Drinking sports drinks when you are not doing enough to have the need to have one.
If you workout for over 90 minutes or exercise in hot, humid conditions, reaching for a sports drink rather than plain water is a smart way to keep hydrated, remain fuelled and replace the electrolytes lost in sweat. But if you exercise for less than 90 minutes in an air conditioned gym, plain water is more than enough to keep you hydrated.
Not eating after a workout because you’re afraid to replace what you have just worked off.
While this might be partly true not taking in an adequate amount of nutrients after a challenging workout will put the body in a catabolic state leading to a break down in muscle. Losing muscle will ultimately lead to a drop in your metabolism reducing the amount of body fat you will burn. So even though after your workout you shouldn’t sit down to a large plate of pasta or a dessert you should aim to eat something afterwards with the aim of delivering nutrients the body needs to recover. A mixture of carbohydrates and protein is always ideal at this stage e.g. a small sweat potato, vegetables and grilled chicken breast.