By Jessica Sunier
This particular conversation about adherence was given by Dr. Mike Israetel of Renaissance Periodization, and is specific to nutrition and training. However, it can be altered to most goals you set for yourself. The first thing you need to remember is that adhering, which is the commitment to a person, cause, or belief, is multi-layered. There is a timeline, and it reveals itself at very specific moments along that chronology.
This is your "WOW" moment. That kick in the butt to get you started. Inspiration can be positive or negative. You may have seen a picture of yourself and thought, "I don't look very healthy, and I need to change", or you saw a movie with some excellent dance moves and you were immediately inspired to look up local dance studios. Either way, it got you moving in a different direction than the path you were currently on.
The downfall of inspiration? It is so short lived. Inspiration is literally that JOLT that stirs you to move, and it can die in as little as 24 hours. How can you help inspire yourself and others? First, be a leader by setting the example. Second, don't humiliate someone or down play a goal they may have. It is not your place to drag others down because of an insecurity you may have about the other persons intent. Third, educate yourself on the risks of not pursuing this purpose. Specifically, diet and training. Finally, research other people's success with this similar goal and make sure these stories are realistic and parallel to the goals you set for yourself.
Motivation is the desire to do something about your goal. This is where movement happens, and it can last as little as a few days, to as long as a few weeks. Motivation has many highs and lows, so it is very important that you write specific goals down at this stage. When writing your goals, remember to be S.M.A.R.T.
Our form analysis consult contains a goal sheet at the end of an extensive questionnaire that allows me to really see how serious new clients are about their goals. I am a big believer that the more depth and texture you give your goals, the more realistic and reachable they become.
If motivation is a feeling, then intention is a commitment. The word goal is a noun, and can become flat without given intent. To do something with intent gives that goal more gusto. More oomph. Intention fills in those adherence gaps when motivation gets low, and motivation will get low. If you think everyone is incredibly motivated all of the time then you are only observing their highlight reel. It is exhausting to be motivated 24/7, and it is unrealistic for many, if not most, people. Your lows need to be embraced, and you need to call on intention to push you over that hump. This is why writing down very specific goals is important. They serve as reminders as to why you started this journey. But goals alone aren't enough. You need a game plan, because the world will not replay itself the same way, day in and day out. Learning how to roll with the waves and applying back up plans to rougher days is how you stay strong even in your weakest moments.
These are the steps that everyone goes through. Constructs of Adherence: Part 2 will uncover steps 4-6 which include discipline, habit, and passion. These are our destination steps, and as intention and motivation wanes, steps 4-6 become harder and harder to reach. But it's doable. I suggest for this week you think of things that have inspired you, motivated you, and what intent you put behind those goals. Think back to the precise moment you stopped adhering to your purpose, and why you gave up. If you didn't give up, how long did it take you to start again?
This article was cross-posted from www.jessicasunier.com after attending a seminar in August of 2018. Some views have evolved but the foundation of adherence outlined in the article remain the same.
By Jessica Sunier
Before you dive too deep into this article there are a couple key things about nutrition you should understand prior to attempting nutrient timing. The first is energy intake (consuming food) and expenditure (daily activity level). We measure our energy intake in the form of kilocalories, and we manage how much food we need daily using “calories in vs. calories out”. If we are speaking in simple black and white terms of weight loss, weight gain, or weight maintenance* it looks like this:
Calories Consumed > Calories Expended = Weight Gain
Calories Consumed < Calories Expended = Weight Loss
Calories Consumed = Calories Expended = Weight Maintenance
There are a few ways to calculate your estimated Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), and the most accurate calculations include your height, weight, biological sex, and age. For those individuals in the process of transitioning and taking hormones we use the “destination” sex as the deciding factor. Of course, as with all human made calculations, there are inaccuracies. This is simply the best tool we have at the moment short of a DEXA scan or BodPod.
The second piece of nutrition information you have to know is not all food is created equal. We can do a deep dive into macronutrients in a different article, but the three macronutrients you need to know and understand are proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. In a nutshell:
For now, view proteins as your repair tool, carbohydrates as your recovery tool, and fats as your transport system getting those vital vitamins and minerals to their cellular destinations.
Nutrient Timing 101
There are many excellent resources available that will break down the how’s and the why’s of nutrient timing, and I will provide you with the links at the end of this article. For now, I am going to make this straightforward and pretty shallow. If you’d like to discuss your specific timing needs please head to our Contact Us form on the website and I will get in touch. Keep in mind when I discuss nutrient timing, and food intake in general, you should always consult with your physician, especially if you have had any previous surgeries or are on medication that restricts certain foods. Furthermore, I am not taking the following into consideration:
Let’s begin with proteins, as they are the easiest macronutrient to spread throughout the day. Most active adults function best on 0.8g-1g/lb of body weight. The more active you are, specifically strength and high impact sports, the more you will want to lean toward the 1g/lb of body weight. Protein feedings are generally spread evenly throughout the day in 4-6 meals.
Athlete weight: 180lbs
Protein Intake: ~180g/day (720 kcal of total daily caloric intake)
Athlete prefers 5 meals per day: 36g Protein/Meal
Carbohydrates seem to be the macronutrient that throws everyone for a loop. Do I need carbohydrates? Short answer, yes. Your body, especially if you are an athlete, needs and wants carbohydrates to provide energy to your muscles as well as aid in your overall recovery. How much you need depends entirely on your daily activity. I keep some athletes between 60g-100g on rest days or low intensity days (tempo training, L.I.S.S. cardio, light drilling, or body weight training only), and 150g-250g on high intensity days (sport specific training, lifting, or the two combined). The amount of carbohydrates needed depends entirely on how many calories the athlete needs that day, minus the amount of proteins and fats.
Now that you understand how many carbohydrates you may need lets put them in their appropriate place. If your day is a non-training day or a low intensity day you can spread your carbohydrates evenly throughout each meal. If your day is labeled as high intensity you want to put a larger allotment before your training session. You need enough glycogen storage in your muscle to fuel your highest performance during that training session.
Carbohydrates are also needed during a training session if your training is going to last an hour or more. We call these intra-carbs. If you’ve ever seen our powerlifters train you notice they usually have something simple to digest in between heavy sets like gummy bears, as well as a protein shake. This helps the lifters keep their blood glucose levels elevated and helps “refuel” the body as they lift. By refueling during the lifts the athletes are able to do more work. More work equals more adaptations to stress (in their case stress is the weight being moved on the bar). More adaptations means they get stronger.
Finally, you want a bit more carbohydrates after your training session, especially if you’re training twice per day. Your muscles are more absorptive after a session, so get that fuel in and let it get to work. An approximate ratio of carbohydrates to protein post-training is 3:1 (3 grams of carbohydrates per gram of protein for that meal).
Now that we know how to place carbohydrates around a training session where do the rest go? A good rule of thumb to follow is the further your meal is from a training session, the less carbohydrates you need during that meal. However, if you want carbohydrates further from your training don’t feel that it’s cheating. Just make sure that you optimize the carbohydrates around your training so you can get the most out of that session.
Something to keep in mind about carbohydrates is they can affect the quality of your sleep. Eating carbohydrates before sleep, or later in the evening, may help promote healthier sleep and relaxation habits. However, there is a catch. Other research suggests that eating carbohydrates earlier in the day and less at night promotes better sleep long term. So what is the verdict? There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to carbohydrates and your circadian rhythm. Do what feels best for you.
We have arrived at fat. Fat is best calculated by using the remaining calories from your daily caloric intake and dividing it by 9 (there are 9 kilocalories of energy per gram of fat). A key factor with fat intake is to limit fat before, during, and after a training session. Fat can interfere with carbohydrate absorption, and it takes energy away from training in order to digest. Higher fat foods before a training session may also make the athlete feel nauseous. The good news is that meals further away from training sessions can be higher in fat because carbohydrates are lower.
*FitPOWER is not a weight loss facility. We do not promote or hold weight loss challenges or anything of the sort. Weight is one factor out of many that make up your health, and it is not our primary focus. Our goal is to get you moving and make you strong.