I’m sharing a post today written by one of my clients. The path to a balanced view of nutrition is very difficult in the world of fad diets, “clean” foods and restrictive cycles that can lead to muscle loss and the complete destruction of metabolic function. If you have a phobia of any food, it will take time to recover. Be kind to yourself and find a nutrition specialist that can guide you.
I’m afraid of carbs. There I said it.
Here’s the thing, I don’t make the mistake of thinking you can out-train your diet. I understand after years of working out that what you eat makes up 80% of your physique. But somewhere along the line, I figured out how to maintain a lot of lean muscle mass, continue working out a high intensity and keep my carbs dangerously low. This is another version of burnout. And it usually reveals itself in the form of a massive plateau that is nearly impossible to break through.
As an Accelerate client, Brandon noticed my plateau very quickly and identified the source almost immediately as my (lack of) carb intake. To test it out, I weighed myself, took body fat percentages and got back on My Fitness Pal to diligently track my intake. Brandon gave me a very basic plan that kept my carbs at a lower rate than normally allocated for my size, mostly because he knew I wouldn’t follow it if they were too high (that’s a good nutrition counselor!).
Every time I start tracking my food, I realize (again) how much we underestimate our calories and macro nutrients. I love all things fat and my 45 grams per day was usually consumed by 3pm. Keeping my fats low forced me to up my carbohydrate intake which we set around 120 grams per day. After three solid weeks of tracking and hitting the numbers, I broke my 3-minute row record, hit a personal record dead lifting and lost 2.5% body fat. I gained one pound.
Any time you make a whole sale change to your nutrition, you have to be prepared for your body’s response. During the first week I swore I was putting on weight. My body was so unaccustomed to regular carbohydrate intake that I held in massive amounts of water resulting in bloating. It went away after four days.
Now that I am on a routine, I’ve started playing with consuming my carbs before and after workouts. Once you see the drastic impact food has on training, it helps to shift your mindset to see food as a source of energy vs. a source of calories. I’m only at the beginning of using nutrition as a lever for improved fitness. The first step for me was overcoming my phobia. The mental anguish we often put ourselves through with regard to food is something that takes time to overcome, but with practice you can do it.