Its two weeks until New Year’s Eve! Those New Year’s resolutions are becoming more pressing in our minds as the countdown to the New Year gets closer, and we want to empower you this year to successfully change your body and reach your goals. Last week we discussed the importance of recording your efforts on your journey to a healthier body. In particular, the importance of recording your workouts was covered; however, that’s only part of the puzzle here. It’s just as important to record your nutrition and eating habits, as well as accurately recording the changes in your body.
First, let’s tackle recording your nutrition. As many of you who regularly read this blog may know, keeping a nutrition journal is the secret weapon to fat loss. A study involving 1,700 people found that those who kept a food journal actually lost twice as much weight than those who didn’t. Would you rather lose ten pounds, or twenty pounds? Twenty of course! Keeping a nutrition journal is not that hard once you get in the habit.
However, keeping a nutrition journal isn’t just for those looking to lose weight. I’ve been trying to gain muscle all of my life and I wasn’t that successful until Patty convinced me to keep one. I found that I was eating about two thirds of what I needed to eat to reach my goals, so of course I wasn’t making progress. After I started keeping a food journal I started gaining muscle again for the first time in years, and I actually put on about ten pounds of muscle.
Why is keeping a food journal so important? Here are several reasons:
- You learn about nutrition and the foods that you eat. You learn how many calories are in your favorite meal, that there are too many calories in four servings of ice cream, and that there is twice the amount of fat than protein in almonds (yet we still consider almonds “protein”).
- You learn about your own eating habits. Maybe you find out that you eat way too much at night, or that you skip breakfast three times a week, or that you eat at restaurants more than you thought.
- It keeps you accountable. How likely are you going to eat a whole bag of chips if you know that you have to write down 1,000 calories worth of chips in your book?
- You learn what works. When you do lose those twenty pounds, don’t you want to know exactly how you did it? Recording your eating habits and calories will tell you exactly how you did it so that you can stay at that healthy weight, or if you somehow slip in the future (which we all do), you’ll know how to get healthy again.
You’re now recording your nutrition and your workouts, and your body is changing. That’s awesome! But what exactly is going on in your body? Isn’t it important to know how much muscle you’re gaining, or how much fat you’re losing, as opposed to just seeing a number go up or down on the scale? It is! Research has shown that the more muscle you have, the longer you are likely to live. Also, having more muscle will keep your metabolism high. If you were to lose twenty pounds, but half of it was muscle, then you would be setting yourself up for failure in the future because of your decreased metabolism.
The Inbody 570 can help you with learning what changes are going on inside of your body. The InBody 570 tells you exactly how much muscle and fat you have, as well as your hydration levels, basal metabolic rate, and visceral fat. For the clients (and trainers) who are looking to change their body this is one of our most important tools. Here are a few success stories with the InBody:
Bill (for the sake of the blog we’re calling him Bill) was unhappy with his weight. He had slowly been putting on weight for the past few years and was now at the heaviest he had ever been, so he decided to come to Rock Solid Fitness to train with us and do our nutrition program. Instead of just using the scale to measure his results, we put him on the InBody every few weeks and guess what happened? He actually gained two pounds of muscle, while losing 17 pounds of fat! It was great to see that his efforts in the gym and in the kitchen had led him to lose just fat, and even gain some muscle.
Lauren (for the sake of the blog we’re calling her Lauren) was a tiny woman who had gained 4 pounds. Although it was not much, she was a little discouraged and confused, as she had been feeling better, her clothes were fitting better, and she was living healthy. The InBody cleared this up for her: she had actually lost two pounds of fat and gained four pounds of muscle! (The other two extra pounds were water).
For myself, I’m on the InBody every few weeks. If my results are going in the right direction, then I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. However, if my results are not what I want them to be, then I know what I’m doing isn’t working and I need to make a change in my eating habits or my workout routine. This is the InBody’s power of keeping us accountable.
You need to let a device such as the InBody 570 be your gold standard of measurement for the changes in your body. If you’re not looking at your body composition and just numbers on the scale, you can be missing half of the story, and your results could be misleading, such as Lauren’s.
This may be a daunting thought for some of you (empowering for others), but you are now fully in control of how you look and feel. Once you start recording your workouts, what you put in your body, and then learn how that affects the changes in your body, you have the power to take the reins in your health journey. Want to lose twenty pounds? You can make controlled changes in your diet and then see what works and what doesn’t. Want to gain five pounds of muscle? You can make deliberate changes in your workout routine and food consumption, and then see what the effects of your changes are. You are in control! Happy early New Year’s!