Whenever we have an inquiry from a client interested in training at Okanagan Peak Performance Inc we sit down and do a strategy session with them. We want to learn about their goals, their training history, where they have aches and pains and what their recovery is like. Once we know these things we can much more effectively provide a personalized plan for that individual to help them achieve their goal(s) in less time.
And one of the most common areas people need help with achieving their goals is with regards to their nutrition. After meeting with hundreds of clients, athletes and teams over the years I can say there are a number of common areas where people get tripped up with respect to their nutrition.
With that in mind here are the Top 7 Nutritional Fails.
1. Not Eating Enough Fruits & Vegetables
This should come as no surprise to anyone. Yet what is surprising is that even though most people are aware that they aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables they are surprised that they haven’t achieved their ultimate physique or performance. On the one hand they recognize how vital these foods are to attaining their goal but then they fail to make the connection between this and the fact they are in poor health, obese or under performing in competition as a result.
2. Missing One of D/Q/T
This one doesn’t mean you are missing a Dairy Queen treat. Instead it refers to Dose, Quality and Timing. Most people do two of these really well. For example, they may eat the right amount of calories, and it’s all high quality nutrition but it’s all at one meal and so the timing is not ideal.
Or someone might eat quality foods at the right times but just not eat enough total calories.
Lastly, there maybe a situation where someone eats the perfect amount of calories at the right times but it’s low quality.
3. Not Enough Protein
To sustain a resistance training program there has to be enough protein in the diet. Besides providing amino acids to form proteins and build new muscle, protein is also great because it fills us up. The lack of protein in the diet is partly due to the prevalence of cheap carbohydrates in the market. Pasta, rice, cereal, grains and bread are usually less costly than meat, fish, pork and poultry. And when you consider vegans opt out of all animal products there is even more of a need for quality protein in the diet.
4. Too Many Carbs
For the reasons just given carbs are prevalent in North American diets due to the low cost. And typically carbohydrates can be eaten ‘as is’ or with minimal preparation. For example, it’s easy to have some cereal or a piece of toast. Ground beef, pork loin, fish and seafood typically require more time and effort to prepare.
Plus many people are still of the opinion that as long as they are eating low fat they can consume as many carbs as they want. The problem is that for sedentary individuals there isn’t the same requirement for carb loading. Think of carbs as the precursor to the fuel your body uses to move, work, exercise, play and compete. If we aren’t doing many of these things we probably don’t need huge sources of fuel.
5. Not Enough Carbs
This is not meant to contradict the previous point. Instead what it indicates is that different plans are needed for different people. For some there is the opinion that carbs are evil. And the only way to achieving a lean body and toned mid-section is by eliminating them from the diet as much as possible. This usually goes hand in hand with cardio kings and queens who love to get on their machine of choice for an hour or two per day.
This typically leads to a disrupted metabolism, problems with hormones, a difficulty losing the ‘last few pounds’, intense cravings and mood swings.
6. Eating Out
A nutritionist colleague down South is known for saying ‘the more you cook, the better you look’. I think this is great as eating out is an area where many people get tripped up. Even when we think we are ordering healthily at a restaurant we don’t know many of the variables involved. We can’t control the quality of the food, the portion served or the manner it was prepared. There may be extra flavourings added to punch of the taste of the meal at the expense of adding extra calories.
7. Not Enough Water
As with the point regarding fruits and vegetables we all know we are supposed to drink water. About one cup per fifteen pounds of bodyweight. So a 150 lbs person should drink 10 glasses per day. Very few people achieve this. And if you train your requirement is even higher. Recognize that there are a number of benefits to increasing your consumption of water, it is a relatively inexpensive (or even free) habit to change and you can start now.
There are number of other areas people get tripped up with respect to their nutrition. And often times people that feel they are eating healthily are making one of the mistakes listed above.
Going forward look to the incorporate the missing element into next week’s nutritional plan. And if you’re missing more than one element pick the one that is easiest for you to start doing.
For more nutritional tips, strategies and overall solid content make sure to attend our Nutritional Seminar Series with Dr. Susan Kleiner on Saturday March 7, 2015. Tickets for this event are $127 and are completely free for all current Okanagan Peak Performance Inc training clients.