By Naomi Rabon, NW Fitness Team Trainer
What is the best cardio for fat loss? What are the best carb sources? How much protein should I eat? How many times a week should I lift weights? Is it bad to have a little fat free creamer in my coffee?
These are typical questions I hear from people looking to lose belly fat, see more muscle, increase their exercise endurance and improve overall health. All are important in working toward a common goal.
THERE IS NO EASY ANSWER
I wish there was. But, the truth is, it takes everything working toward a common goal to make your goals a reality. It isn’t just one thing that you add to your diet, or one thing that you take out, or doing strength training instead of cardio or visa versa.
I cringe when I see articles with the headline “What is more important, exercise or nutrition?” Or infomercials that promote losing 10 pounds without ever needing to exercise or diet. There is no one magic element that will help you achieve your goals. It requires all of the elements – strength training, cardio, good nutrition, proper rest and recovery.
It takes village made up of healthy practices to create a strong, healthy, fit body.
Your “village” in the sense we are talking about here is made up of – well, pretty much everything in your life. Why? Because everything in your life affects you, and everything that affects you can affect your mood, your desire to exercise, your ability to stick to your goals, appetite fluctuations, sleep patterns, your behavior, your actions, your follow through, etc.
The “village” is also made up of your fitness program, which includes how much and what type of strength training you’re doing; how much, what type, and for how long you are doing cardio; and what your daily nutritional intake looks like.
So when someone asks me if it’s ok to put a little sugar free creamer in their morning coffee, it really isn’t a simple yes or no answer (which I know is what they are looking for). It really depends on so many different things, primarily what that person’s goals are. I can tell you that if someone is looking to build more muscle and lose body fat, the little bit of coffee creamer is probably the least of the issues preventing them from achieving their goals.
IS IT TIME TO REASSESS?
About three to four times per year, I reassess my goals and the goals of all my clients. Sometimes we forget what our goals are, or as things in our lives change, which they unavoidably will (an injury, an illness, a move, a job change, a death in the family, a growing family) our fitness goals may change as well. We frequently need to reassess our goals, and our life, and take a close look at all of the elements in our village.
Is our life, and most of the elements in our life, consistent with our fitness goals? If not, the village is broken and it will be difficult – if not impossible – to reach your goals.
A WORK IN PROGRESS
It is so important to remind yourself that this is a journey, and a long one at that – hopefully a lifetime journey. What does your village consist of? Are all of these things working to help you achieve your goals, or are there some elements that are contradictory to what you are trying to achieve?
Ask yourself these questions. Some of these will require you to work your fitness goals around them, if they are not flexible:
• Does my work schedule allow me to exercise? If not, how can I work my exercise around my work schedule?
• Does my family support my healthy lifestyle? My gym time? My nutritional choices? If not, how can we work around this so it is not an issue for either them or me?
• Do my food choices – everyday – support my goals? If not, how can I change my food habits to support my goals? What areas of nutrition can I do better to work toward my goals?
• What do I need to strive for with my weekly exercise? Am I skipping cardio sessions? What are ways I can be motivated to do cardio? How can I fit cardio in at home before or after work?
When all – or most of – the elements in your life are congruent with and supportive of your fitness goals, your little village will become an unstoppable fitness powerhouse.
And so will you!
Tip Me Tuesday: Muscles Matter Most
Tip Me Tuesday: Gaining vs Losing
Tip Me Tuesday: How To Work Out Better
Tip Me Tuesday: Become A Dieting Expert
Tip Me Tuesday: Trust The Process – And Your Trainer!
ABOUT NAOMI RABON
One of the trainers on Nicole’s elite NW Fitness Training Team, Naomi is a certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She is a NPC Figure competitor who has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 12 years.