When changing our body composition it is highly likely that we are going to need to get uncomfortable. This is why we always start with ready, willing, and able and eating slowly. The conversation of ready, willing, and able and the habit of eating slowly helps a us start to respond to threats instead of reacting to them. The ability to respond to threats instead of reacting to them is going to help us make logical decisions when we experience discomfort with changes in our nutrition to change our body composition. We need discomfort in order to grow, improve, and change.
For Fat Loss:
We need to get hungry and get in a calorie deficit. Hunger puts us into a fat burning mode. We have been conditioned to think that hunger is a bad thing. We’ve evolved to release adrenaline when our brains notice our blood sugar dropping. This was convenient when we had to hunt for our food. This adrenaline spike doesn’t do us any favors in the 21st century where food is everywhere we go. We need to work on getting comfortable with hunger. It’s not a tragedy to be hungry.
“Hunger for success is perceived as positive. Hunger experienced when eating to improve body composition should be perceived the same.”
Try sitting with your hunger for a little while. Hunger comes in waves, and soon we realize that hunger is not an emergency. You can use a 1-10 scale. One being not hungry at all and ten being the hungriest you have ever been. Try getting a little hungrier before you eat. Try to get to a 7 on the hunger scale before you eat. This doesn’t need to be precise, but we do need to feel hungry in order to be successful in losing weight.
When we do eat, eat only to “80% full” or “just satisfied.” You may be asking “what the hell is that?” That’s where eating slowly comes into play. By eating slowly, we have become more aware of what hunger is, what being full is, and what overly full are. Eating to 80% full is eating little less than full.
Eat slowly and pause after each bite. Ask yourself if you are still hungry? If not, stop eating. If you are still hungry, take another bite.
Over time, eating to 80% full will give you and your clients some freedom. You will start feeling leaner and lighter instead of heavy and bogged down. This “lightness” might give yourself and your clients the ability to respond to threats instead of reacting to them even more. By practicing some behaviors around nutrition we can make ourselves and our clients more resilient. By sitting with our discomfort a little more and getting hungry, we can have more control over our lives.
But what if I’m trying to get GAINZ?
Many times men (or women) who are trying to gain mass get frustrated that their efforts in the gym are stunted by not consuming enough calories. The reason these men and women have trouble gaining mass is often that they don’t eat enough and they skip meals. For someone who skips meals, simply telling them that they need to eat more and specifically eat a certain way can be frustrating. They have to first experience and listen to what their body is telling them it needs. They have the ability to ignore their hunger all day and maybe only eat one meal a day that is under their caloric needs.
If we, or our clients, want to gain mass, we need to be in a calorie surplus. By creating awareness around their appetite, we can become aware of caloric needs to gain mass. We can become aware of our tendencies to ignore hunger and start taking steps to eat when hungry.
When we do eat, for people who want to gain mass, we eat to 100% to 120% full or eat to full or overstuffed.
We may think it’s simple to just eat more, but for those of us that are naturally smaller it can be quite difficult to take the time to eat instead of focusing on other things that grab our attention. We will need to figure out what we are ready, willing, and able to do in regards to consuming more calories. One of the simplest ways to get a client to consume more calories is a Super Shake. This can be convenient in getting calories in for young athletes, plus a super shake adds some nutrients to a teenager’s diet.
Super Shake Guide:
Step 1: Pick 4-8 oz of a liquid
Step 2: Pick a Protein Powder 25-50g.
*If recommending to an athlete make sure the protein powder they are using in Certified for Sport. We don’t need any of our athletes peeing hot.
Step 3: Pick 1-2 handfuls of a Veggie
Dark Leafy Greens like kale or spinach
Step 4: Pick 1-2 handfuls of a fruit (Fresh or Frozen)
Step 5: Pick 1-2 thumb size portions of a Healthy Fat
Flax, hemp, or chia seeds
Step 6: Add 1-2 handfuls of ice and blend to desired consistency
Appetite awareness is going to be crucial with either a fat loss goal or a mass gaining goal. Once a client becomes aware of their appetite more, then they can have the mental capacity to adhere to nutritional habits that change what they eat later on. They have already done the difficult task of conquering their mindset. Practicing mental skills should be done first to put the client in the right mindset. The mind is most often the most crucial limiting factor to address when it comes to nutritional success.
As always, to truly understand what your clients are experiencing, it’s important to experiment and practice on yourself. Pick a habit based on your goals. For fat loss, practice letting yourself get hungry and sitting with that for a little while and then when you do eat practice only eating to 80% full. If you want to gain mass, practice eating to 100% or 120% full. If you are a meal skipper and want to gain mass, practice noticing when you are hungry and eating when you feel hungry.
- When changing our body composition we are going to feel discomfort
- We need discomfort in order to change, improve, and grow
- For Fat Loss:
- Get comfortable with getting hungry
- Eat only to 80% full or just satisfied
4. For Gaining Mass:
1. Take time to notice hunger and not ignore it
2. Eat to 100% to 120% full
3. A Super Shake may be the simplest way of adding calories and nutrients to a diet.
5. Before we change what we eat we must first change how we eat
– These mindset habits get us prepared to change what we eat because we already did
the hard work
6. Mindset is most often the limiting factor when it comes to nutrition success
7. Practice on yourself to understand your clients
1. Get Hungry
2. Eat to 80% Full
1. Do not ignore hunger
2. Eat to 100-120% Full
3. Add a Super Shake