My previous post was a progress update (nearly 5 % drop in body fat in 5 months: from just over 20% BF after my powerlifting meet to most recently, 15.4%). In powerlifting, I suppose you need more cushion for the pushin’, and while 20% is perfectly healthy, I wanted to return to where I feel most comfortable and healthy with my body which is where my body fat held steady before my competition days at around 16%. Regardless of body fat %’s, progress is the big point and we can ALL make progress towards our goals whatever they may be.
This post and the one to follow will highlight how I’ve accomplished this for the purpose of providing real life, practical, “you can do it too” tips. In honesty, progress came faster and easier when I was in competition prep answering to my coach on a weekly basis, but that required eating, drinking and sleeping the lifestyle. It’s not a lifestyle of balance...it’s discipline and dedication to the extreme, an extreme that’s unrealistic for most people. Now, away from the stage, it’s a little more challenging living a life of balance and maintaining my goals, but it CAN be done. There have been no extremes...only consistency and that’s what will work for you too. My lifestyle as compared to when I was in bodybuilding competition prep is much more balanced. My diet ranges from 85/15 to 90/10 now instead of a rigid 110%...as a result, I’m no longer ripped but I’m happy, healthy and fit...for me, that’s the ultimate goal. Let me emphasize this: unless you’re competing in extreme sports, extremes are not necessary and all extremes come with a price. I encounter people constantly who think the answer lies in seeking out the extreme: eliminating carbs; only eating this food or not eating that food; seeking out the next big diet fad. The answer is NOT in the EXTREME. The answer is in balance and consistency: progress boils down to what we do consistently...this is what these next few posts will be about. What helps us be consistent? Here’s what has helped me...
Today’s Topic: Tracking Tools ⌚️📱
🤷♀️Why track workouts or nutrition? We can’t manage what we don’t measure.
🛠2 huge invaluable tools:
⌚️Apple Watch for tracking my daily workout/activity calorie burn & heart-rate data
📱Cronometer -a nutrition tracker, which I like much more than MyFitnessPal.
I’m very visual...both of these tools put a visual on calories in and calories out and that’s what it boils down to. Move more, eat well, feel and perform better. 🚴♂️🏋️♀️🍎
Both of these tools promote consistency which I mentioned previously as a huge success key! For example: I have a daily calorie burn requirement that I strive to consistently hit 6 out of 7 days per week. Prior to using my Apple Watch, I was not consistent with calorie burn...I was overestimating my workout calorie burn. It was eye opening when I started using it and realized that I needed to sprinkle in more cardio. Now that I track my workouts, I’m consistent with my calorie burn on a daily basis. Some days I blow my goal out of the water and some days I just hit the mark, but I make sure I hit that mark consistently. When you combine this with consistency in nutrition, then you really see results. I’ve tracked nutrition consistently and I’ve NOT tracked nutrition so consistently and I always do better when I track. Cronometer perfectly syncs with my Apple Watch and tells me based upon my calorie burn and weight goal what my remaining calorie intake budget is. It tracks macros & micros; macros can be fully customized. Based upon your weight goals, it will calculate your calorie requirements. User friendly 👍
1. Stay on track by setting daily non-negotiables. These will help you stay focused and will give you specific daily goals to meet which will help contribute to the success of your overall goals. Some of mine include: meeting my daily protein requirement (cronometer helps me track this); food logging at least 5 days per week with a goal of 6 days; closing my 30 minute exercise ring on my Apple Watch everyday; hitting my calorie burn “Move” goal on my Apple Watch at least 6 days per week and no less than 5 days out of the week.
2. Know the 5 P’s of success: Prior preparation prevents poor performance. Plan meals ahead of time. Create a healthy weekly menu for yourself and prep food in advance. If you’re eating out, look at the menu online ahead of time if possible and plan what you will order. Plan to make good choices.
This tip will help you with the next tip...
3. LOG BEFORE NOT AFTER...
Most people enter their food into their nutrition tracker AFTER they eat it. Plan your meals ahead of time and enter them BEFORE you eat them. I log everything for the day that morning and if I don’t know what I’m having for dinner, then I at least know what my remaining calorie budget will be. If you PRE-log, you won’t go over in calories because you can make adjustments beforehand. There may be days that are spontaneous and we need those kind of days so don’t feel that you have to be pre-planned ALL the time. Remember, it’s consistency that counts so just strive to plan more often than not. It’s about progress not perfection.
Bottomline: Measure & manage. Consistent action creates consistent results.👌