I believe that every single fitness journey can be split into phases. We all start out at the very bottom, knowing nothing and getting nowhere, but I also believe that we all have the power within us to end up knowing a great deal and getting exactly where we want to go. All it takes is constant curiosity and a will to not give up neither physically or mentally. I am here to tell you that I PROMISE YOU that you can get the exact body you want and that getting it doesn’t have to be as miserable as you think. You and I are no different than the people with great genetics and awesome circumstances because if there is one thing we all share, it is the ability to obtain knowledge. To put things into perspectives, here are the four phases I have gone through so far on the way to obtaining the body I always wanted…:
Phase 1 – What is this “nutrition” you speak of?
“I had stagnated for pretty much an entire year and it wasn’t because of my effort in the gym, it was because of my lack of effort in the kitchen.”
My first encounter with the word nutrition came when I was about one year into working out in the gym, and that should definitely tell you that just about every single person in fitness starts out knowing nothing about nutrition. Well, I was one of those people, and I had been working out for about a year without really seeing any real results in my body composition. I was perplexed. Sure, I was getting stronger, but how come my body wasn’t changing when I looked in the mirror? I felt like I was doing a lot in the gym, somewhat pushing my limits and working out hard, breaking a sweat for the most part, so how come I wasn’t getting the results I wanted? I quickly realized that it takes two to tango and that working out goes hand in hand with nutrition. I had stagnated for pretty much an entire year and it wasn’t because of my effort in the gym, it was because of my lack of effort in the kitchen.
Phase 2 – Nutrition you say… So, lots of broccoli and chicken, yes?
“Naturally, I started with the one thing that everybody starts with once they first dip their toes into the mysterious waters of the nutrition world – the green stuff.”
This realization I had pushed me into phase two. Now I knew I had to do something about what I was choosing to fuel my body with, but where would I start? Naturally, I started with the one thing that everybody starts with once they first dip their toes into the mysterious waters of the nutrition world – the green stuff. Basically, if we want lean beach bodies, washboard abs and popping muscles our nutrition need to be as bland and boring as humanly possible, right? Well, that was certainly what I thought, so I immediately began chucking down the greenest of broccoli, the palest of chicken and the brownest of rice. I did that for the next year and still nothing really happened. I gained some more strength, maybe began to see a bit more muscle, but the numbers of my fat percentage still weren’t very kind to me and I certainly didn’t have washboard abs. So, what was going on? I now felt I was giving it my all both in the gym and in the kitchen, and I was eating all this healthy stuff, so why was I still not seeing results?
Phase 3 – Do calories count…?
“After some time combing through the mess that is the internet, I came across a couple of big words called calories and macronutrients and thank God I did.”
Well, after being miserable only stuffing myself with the likes of chicken, salmon and sweet potato for a good amount of time I decided I needed, for once, to head down to the well of eternal answers – Google. I started making the searches that everyone makes at some point in the fitness ventures, you know, the typical “how to burn fat” and “how to get a six pack” searches. After some time combing through the mess that is the internet, I came across a couple of big words called calories and macronutrients. And thank God I did. These two words really made me realize that there is so much more to nutrition than just green stuff. I found out that calories consist of macronutrients, and these macronutrients consist of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, of which protein builds and rebuilds the cells in our bodies, whereas fats and carbohydrates act as important sources of energy.
Phase 4 – Macronutrients, micronutrients and caloric intake – yes, they all do count.
“I began to understand that it is not necessarily the foods we eat, but more so the amount of those foods.”
Once I had discovered the world of calories and macronutrients, it really opened up a whole new world. I began to understand that it is not necessarily the foods we eat, but more so the amount of those foods. One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to obtaining your dream body is that you will only get it if you eat healthy foods and nothing else. That is simply not true. To a certain degree, health and looks are two widely different things. Now, don’t get me wrong, I would always advise nutritious, organic whole foods over fries and burgers from McDonald’s, but I am a big advocate of balance. Within the new world I discovered after learning about macronutrients, I found the concept of flexible dieting and this is really what helped me get the body I had always wanted. I discovered that you can eat 70% “clean” and 30% “dirty” every single day and STILL get the results you want. Imagine that! It almost sounds impossible, right? Far from it. Once you begin to understand calories and macronutrients, you become the master of your own body and you’ll come to understand that all nutrition is, is really just numbers. In fact, it’s a numbers game and the more you learn about calories and macronutrients, the better you’ll become at playing that game. If I were to advise one thing, it would be to watch at least one video about flexible dieting and IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros), respectively. Nobody has to be miserable on the way to great results, you’ve gotta love the process. And loving the process in this world comes down to learning ways on how to work fitness into your life, avoiding at all costs having to try to work your life into fitness.
If you want to know more about flexible dieting, check out these links:
- My previous article: Eat what you want and lose weight
- The basics of flexible dieting, explained by Matty Fusaro: Flexible Dieting 101
- The detailed explanation, by Steve Cook and Layne Norton: Flexible Dieting Explained…
Also, give my latest podcast on this very subject, Nutrition Basics, a listen below:
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