We had a Personal Training client that has been working with us the last 90 days. She has been busting her ass in the gym 2-3 x per week and making some great changes when it comes to her nutrition. Changes such as switching from processed foods to real food, cutting out sodas etc.
So after 3 months we do our usual body composition check and low and behold she gains 4 lbs. I could see the disappointment on her face. She mentioned “this is why I stopped last time”. And who could blame her. She is doing everything right and still not seeing her hard work pay off.
So it got me thinking, I could only imagine just how many other people go through this but don’t have anyone to explain what’s going on here and end up quitting. I would like to spread some light on what’s happening here and maybe, just maybe we can keep people on track.
What are the 3 Phases of Nutrition:
In our Nutrition program we see people go through 3 phases. 1.The Habits phase. 2. The calorie phase. 3. The Macros phase. Today I am going to talk about the “Habits Phase”.
The “Habits Phase” is the absolute most important phase of the 3. Without developing the proper habits, the next two phases will NOT be successful and a client usually will revert back to their old ways.
What is The habits phase? During this phase, we will develop Healthy Nutrition habits. Things such as, incorporating more “real food”. Foods such as meats, veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds, etc. We will work with them on lowering the number of sugary drinks they consume. We will try to develop consistency such as eating 3 square meals per day and even a few healthy snacks if necessary. We also try to help clients cook more meals at home and eat out less.
These habits alone make drastic changes to overall health. During this phase we are NOT concerned with weight loss, or any other numbers on scales and machines. The main goal is to develop these habits. That’s it!
Oftentimes, weight will actually increase during this time (Just like the 4 lbs our client put on above). This is due to an increase in quality calories. A lot of the time clients are skipping meals before they start with us. Now that they are eating 3 full meals, total calories go up causing weight gain.
Another reason for the weight gain will be an increase in muscle mass. This doesn’t mean they are bulking up like a bodybuilder. It just means they went from a sedentary lifestyle to working out consistently which creates adaptation, such as muscle gain, increase in bone density and increased endurance. These are all amazing things. It is exactly what we want as humans. To be fitter, stronger, faster. Only the number on the scale says otherwise.
So what did we do in this case? We looked at all the amazing bright spots. Within the last 90 days, even though this client put 4 lbs on, she had increased strength tremendously, her endurance was much better, her knee pain had disappeared, and she had noticed her midline starting to trim up. Boom, these are all great bright spots that we love to see.
We also sat down with her and explained exactly what is happening inside the body and talked about each specific phase of nutrition. This way she understands all her hard work isn’t for nothing. She is doing exactly what she needs to do and it’s just part of the process. Now that she has laid a great foundation, by developing healthy habits, we can start to dial in a bit more. Phase 2, Calories. I will talk about phase two on my next blog.
If you have ever found yourself in this situation. You know working your ass off but not seeing the results, please don’t quit. Come talk to us. This health and fitness journey is never ending and we would love to be your guide.