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So there you are: sweating profusely and literally working your buns off with HIIT training. You're motivated, focused and ready to get it done. Then you have a look in the mirror or step on the scale and realize that nothing has changed on your body inawhile. Wait, WHAT? Well, calm down, friend. It turns out that there are some things you're doing in the kitchen ( more like NOT doing) that are hindering your exercise results. The good news is that these are fixable!
- Not pre-planning meals It would help your success in weight management to know what your pre and post workout meals will be. Sure, it would be even better if you could cook in bulk a couple times per week BUT let's start small. Have a plan of attack of what healthy foods will be fueling your workout and which ones will be replenishing you when you're finished. Have them ready to go, otherwise you are likely to be ravenous and reach for the 1st thing you get your hands on. Hint: each of these meals should be have a complete nutrition profile i.e. protein, fat and carbohydrates.
Eating 5 NON-small meals per day Good for you for trying to maintain a balanced, healthy blood sugar level with those 5 small meals ( that IS the reason for them, by the way). Except, are you sure those meals are really small? Each of those meals counts towards and should total out into your daily calorie requirements. Check with a nutritionist if you need help figuring out what you need.
You rely on protein bars/shakes a lot Have you SEEN some of the ingredients in some of those meal replacement supplements? Many are just glorified candy bars! Be very careful when incorporating these into your meal plan. If you are using them as snacks then they should be less than 250 calories while meal replacements can exceed that number. As a rule, choose real food 1st and a supplement second.
You really restrict your day time calories Ever heard the saying " Wake up like a Prince/ss, go to bed a pauper"? Keep it in mind for your daily eating pattern: eat most of your calories in the day when you most need the energy and eat lightly at night time as your body winds down. Being too stringent with your daytime calories can lead to bingeing in the evening when your willpower is weak and you are tired.
You are inconsistent with your "cheat" patterns. As a Nutritionist & Fitness Coach I thoroughly believe in "cheat" meals and cheat days. You have taste-buds because food tastes good and eating can be fun! That being said, choose a cheat day, OR a cheat snack per day, OR a cheat meal per week. Decide on which best suits your personality and lifestyle then be consistent; randomly choosing all three can lead to weight gain. Why? we tend to over-estimate how much exercise we are really doing to really work it off and how much we can get away with.
Do you recognize any of these habits in yourself? Which ones do you have the most trouble with?