We always put a lot of emphasis on calories here and whilst being in a calorie deficit will always be the the biggest influencing factor on any changes to your body composition.
There are many other factors that will also help you on the way to reaching your goals.
Here’s my top 5 questions you need to ask yourself.
1. Do you get enough sleep?
Sleep is massive for recovery so if your not getting enough sleep then you aren’t recovering properly. This will impact your ability to train hard and will leave you feeling lethargic. Over time this will eventually lead to burnout especially if your also in an energy deficit.
Aim for 8 hours and if this is impossible due to commitments try to find an hour throughout the day to have a nap and catch up.
2. Do you drink enough water?
I’m going to guess that almost everyone reading this is currently de-hydrated.
Being de-hydrated will stop you functioning at your best, think of de-hydrated fruit? Not exactly the picture of health is it.
You will feel better, look better and perform better when your properly hydrated. It’ll also help with appetite suppression as people tend to eat when their thirsty.
To roughly work out how much water your need to drink daily multiply your bodyweight in kg by 0.03. This will give you your recommended water intake in litres.
For me this works out. 105 X 0.03, so 3.15 litres.
3. How active are you outside the gym?
Ensure your daily activity is plentiful. Being active enough on a daily basis will be a bigger calorie burner than that hour you spend in the gym.
It’s also great for your mind as well as your long term health.
Aim for 10,000 steps a day.
4. Are you doing your health justice?
We all like to look good but more important than that we have a duty of care to look after our own health and well being.
Having a diet that is rich in Vitamins, minerals and fibre will make you feel great, your body will function better and you won’t get sick as much.
You’ll also thank yourself in the long run as you begin to age and your health naturally declines.
I know it’s difficult to get all your veggies in and fruit can be very high in calories especially if you are already scraping the barrel with your calorie budget.
So, whilst I always recommend you try and eat plenty of the good stuff adding a multi vitamin to your daily routine is a great way to cover your bases.
I also recommend a greens shake as well to ensure you hit your micronutrients as well as your macronutrients.
As for fibre aim for 20-30g a day minimum. My fitness pal already tracks this for you so no excuses.
Also if your on a high protein diet you’ll thank yourself for this one.
5. How stressed are you?
Stress will completely stop your progress dead even if your doing everything else right.
Stress will minimise your gains, prevent recovery and increase the risk of injury. Studies have also shown that high levels of stress can impede weight loss not to mention it will kill motivation dead.
Whilst some stress is unavoidable you need to make sure you remove all the other stresses that are avoidable.
I can’t tell you what these are but I’m sure if you think hard enough you’ll find them. I will however go out on a limb and guess that for most people social media will be in there somewhere.