Many people in our society fail when trying to lose body fat, and keep it off for life. Yeah, the resolutions at the beginning of a new year push you to lose weight. And many people do. Unfortunately, many people jump into some sort of diet fad that will not be sustainable for their life. They only pay attention to weight dropping on the scale as a unit of measurement for success. While many go through this process their sleep, energy, mood, and motivation ALLsuffer. In order to have long term adherence to a nutritional protocol, you NEED to be tracking biofeedback.
The very first thing you should begin to track is sleep. Sleep is the most important factor when it comes to productivity throughout your day, digestion, energy, losing body fat, building muscle, recovering from training sessions, having optimal hormone balance and much more. Tracking sleep is as simple as writing down how you slept, ranking it on a 1–10 scale (10 being the best sleep ever, 1 being the worst). The next step is paying attention to your nutrition. Eat whole foods most of the time. This will allow you to have better quality sleep because blood sugar is more stabilized. One of the biggest game changers for my own personal sleep has been trying to limit technology leading up to, and right before sleep. No TV in the room (if you have one make sure it’s dimmed). No cell phone in the room. These are huge distractions and the research behind what the light does to your circadian rhythm is shocking. Making sure you’re sleeping somewhere that is cool and dark is also going to be best for your body to get the best sleep possible.
The next big marker you should begin to track is your nutrition. This also includes hunger and cravings. Simply put, if you’re not tracking your calories and macronutrient intake (most people never have) odds are you are very unaware of what you are putting in your mouth. This is very common and many people are not getting the proper nutrients their body needs to perform in the gym, recover and sleep well. When this happens, typically people say they’re “not hungry” often, but get cravings for very palatable processed foods that are sugary and/or salty. This leads to higher inflammation, and poor sleep and recovery. As you can see, these all work together. Just like with sleep, track hunger and cravings on a 1–10 scale on a piece of paper daily. Soon (being edited as we speak), I’ll have a free guide on my website to teach people how to count calories and macronutrients. In the meantime, if you’re interested in having your nutrition 100% customized to your needs/goals AND you want a coach to teach you how to track and hold you accountable, you can fill out my online coaching application HERE.
The final three important things to begin to track are motivation, stress level and mood. These things can all go hand in hand and can be directly related to sleep and nutrition quality. BUT these should not be ignored. If you’re working on a project at work that is super stressful, it will not benefit you to be having these crazy “beastmode” workouts that jack cortisol even higher so you’re unable to recover. You’re still in a bad mood from work so you don’t want to cook and just grab something through the drive through. Then you only get 4 hours of sleep because you’re stressed, and your hormones are out of whack. Then you begin to become unmotivated to train because you’re not seeing results from these crazy workouts. Get the picture? Track motivation, stress level and mood daily, just like sleep, hunger and cravings. This will give you an idea of where you can make changes in your sleep routine, nutrition protocol AND your exercise programming to benefit your lifestyle and have less stress.
Again, this can be a lot. And many people need the help of a coach/trainer to help them with nutrition protocol, exercise programming and accountability for tracking biofeedback. So if you need individualized training, (and/or nutrition) and access to a coach 24/7 click here to apply for online coaching. Or if you’re interested in training with me in person, shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.