4 Signs Your Nutrition Plan Is Working.. Or Not!
Sometimes changes in health and body aren’t so easy to recognize. DNA’s nutrition program was developed with the intention of being a long-term lifestyle modifier, focused on sustainability. For most of us this means being patient and waiting for changes to occur from the inside-out, and sometimes those changes could take longer than we’d like them to.
A huge problem we create for ourselves is that most of us only focus on certain “problem” body parts, such as belly fat, while the parts we neglect to pay attention to, might be ones that make impressive changes but fail to get noticed. But, it’s those stubborn problem areas that are usually the last to change. That’s why it’s important to get measured once monthly, or at least take some pictures for comparison.
If you are on a fat loss plan, the most difficult time that EVERYONE goes through is “The Ugly Stage”. The Ugly Stage is a point during fat-loss, when fat starts to get soft and saggy, resulting in fat that looks unusually flabby. The good news is soft & squishy fat is an indicator that you are in fact, burning fat! Unfortunately because of this temporary saggy fat, many people think they look worse and lose heart, when in reality holding out for just a little longer would have resulted in a “Whoosh”.
Whooshes seem to happen over night; when after an extended time (sometimes several weeks) of seemingly zero progress, a big drop in fat/weight occurs, as if out of nowhere. The reality is, sometimes cells have already burned the fat off, leaving behind a water filled cell (water is heavy). As long as one remains diligent, eventually the body signals many of these cells to purge this stored water, and the whoosh results in huge drops!
Becoming a scale-junkie is another common problem. Constantly getting on the scale is not a great motivator. Especially for the beginner to a strength and conditioning program. Lean mass consisting of muscle and bone are good and heavy. Realize that if you’re a beginner, your body probably needs to add some of this good “machinery” to get stronger and healthier. The exchanges of fat and muscle result in less movement on the scale. Step away from the scale! Get rid of it!
To know if your current plan is working, answer these 4 questions:
- Are You Seeing Increases In Performance?
- If you’re consistently getting stronger, moving faster, and are generally getting better in your training, those are all signs that you’re eating an adequate amount of nutrients.
- If you aren’t sure whether you’re seeing progress, then you obviously haven’t been using your log book!
- If lately your training sessions haven’t been what they used to be, or you feel sluggish and/or unmotivated to train, this could be a sign of nutritional inadequacies. This often happens to those that have trained for more 6 months or more, as their energy expenditure begins to exceed their energy intake, creating a large caloric deficit. As you become capable of doing more, you should also be adjusting your intake to get more fuel too!
- Are You Regularly Feeling Good/Better?
- From the moment you wake up, do you feel like all is good? Do you have energy throughout the entire day, and usually sleeping well?
- Junk food will make you groggy, gassy, bloated and interrupt sleep.
- Are You Looking Good/Better?
- The answer is a yes if:
- Your body fat % is getting better (we test this anytime before class, just ask us).
- You’re receiving compliments from people who haven’t seen you in a while, or even better, getting compliments from people you regularly see!
- Your clothes are fitting looser.
- The answer is a yes if:
- Is Your Blood Panel Good/Better?
- Not everyone has regular access to their blood work so the general rule of thumb here is; if your answers were “Yes” to the rest of these questions, then this one could probably be a yes too.
If you answered “No” to more than one of these questions, then you might consider joining the DNA Nutrition Challenge, or at least re-evaluate your nutritional situation.
More than two “No” answers could be a sign of too many stresses, ill-health factors or worse. We’d recommend you to seek help to remedy these issues. The potential for more serious health problems could result from prolonged stresses, and might be caused by adrenal fatigue. Sarah Cotten, one of our instructors, is an Adrenal Fatigue Expert, and DNA is also partners with Quality Of Life Medical Research Center. Together, we can help you figure it out and/or refer you to the right people.
If you answered “YES” to at least 3 of these questions then you’re doing something right. Keep on keeping on, and you’ll reach those goals as elusive as they sometimes seem.