2022 blog

Improve Your Nutrition Habits by Keeping a Simple 3-Day Food Log

Download our official tfc 3-Day Food Log for free!

Have you been hitting the gym hard and consistently, doing your best to eat well, and yet you still feel like you’re just not making progress?

Don’t worry – we’ve all been there! The good news is that there are usually only a few reasons that this could be happening; and the even better news is that there are simple solutions to each of the possible culprits!

If you are putting in the work but not seeing results, check to see if one of these top three progress-potholes are trying to trip you up.

1. you’ve hit a progress plateau

If you were initially experiencing successes and seeing results from your training program, and now have reached a point where the results have started to peter out or even reverse, you may be hitting a progress plateau.

The best way to beat a progress plateau is with the use of the exercise science principle of periodization. Your personal trainer can customize a periodized training program to help get you out of your plateau slump!

Don’t have a personal trainer? Contact us for a free consultation to see if personal training is right for you!

2. you are experiencing over-training symptoms

Training programs – both strength training and cardio-based programs – place gradually increasing stressors on the body that the muscles, heart, and lungs learn to respond and adapt to. If a training program is too intensive or does not allow for proper recovery time and workouts to take place, the body is unable to recoup and repair effectively. In other words, if your body is unable to return to 100% between workout sessions, you are essentially starting the next workout at less than 100% of your body’s abilities; and the next workout at an even lower percentage, and so on.

Make sure to never skip rest periods – between exercise sets and between workouts – and to take active recovery days. Check out Myth #7 from our prior post, 9 Exercise Myths Debunked by a Certified Personal Trainer, for more on active recovery days!

3. your body isn’t receiving the proper fuel for your workouts

The most common reason why your training program is not getting you the gains you deserve is due to nutrition deficits – not eating enough of the right types of fuel – or being in a caloric surplus – consuming more calories than your body can effectively burn in a day.

The most common reason why your training program is not getting you the gains you deserve is due to nutrition!

If you think that this may be holding you back, first off – it’s okay! Many people are affected by nutrient deficits, and this can easily happen – even when trying to eat healthy foods.

The best place to start is with knowing what you actually are – and are not – eating on a regular basis. This is where the 3-Day Food Log becomes a real hero!

Keeping a food log does not need to be as time-consuming or confusing as it often sounds or appears to be. If this is difficult for you, start simple and small; the most important details to capture are the foods and rough portion sizes of the foods you eat. For example; a breakfast food log entry could be as simple as “coffee with creamer, 2 slices white toast, 3 eggs.”

If you are able to invest an extra 2-3 minutes into your food log, we also highly recommend noting the time you ate, your hunger rating and mood pre- and post-meal, and where you ate this. Don’t worry about logging exact calories as you eat – if you can accurately capture the foods eaten and the portion sizes, you can always calculate the calories at a later time!

Taking the time to note how you were feeling around the meal or snack time helps to identify if you were eating out of true hunger, or motivated by another external factor; such as habit, stress, emotions, boredom, or social activities. This can also help you to notice if you are eating at times that make sense for your life. Are you starving everyday at 3pm when you eat a snack from the office vending machine? Maybe your lunch is too light! Or you might notice you are eating before bed every night, even though you aren’t necessarily hungry, just out of habit. These important insights help you to paint a bigger picture of what your day-to-day eating consists of, so that you can start to tackle any possible nutrition deficits.

If you aren’t sure how much you should be eating in a day, or how to break down those foods into the major macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fats), check out our nutrition services or request a consultation for more info!

Is the way your fueling your body holding you back? Download our free 3-Day Food Log below to start tracking, then send it to our ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist for further evaluation and next steps!

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