Periodizing Your Nutrition
I’ve said it hundreds of times over the last 5 years, training is the easy part, and the challenge is being consistent with food 24 hours per day over the entire week.
Whilst all of you would have spent an amount of time training, therefore gaining experience and knowledge of different lifts and training protocols, how confident are you when it comes to nutrition and tweaking things to suit your goals/circumstances? How many months or years would you say
you’ve spent teaching yourself nutrition protocols and applying them?
In my experience, planning and consistency when it comes to eating is where many people will fall. So this week I’ll cover a few nutrition tracking methods which will hopefully give you some ideas which you can put into use.
Periodization will come in different forms for most people. So for powerlifters or physique competitors, at its basic level there’s an off-season and on-season, this could be expanded to include pre-competition and post-competition.
What if you’re not a powerlifter or physique competitor? This concept should still apply to you, think about it…
For the general public and those who enjoy keeping fit, social events and holidays would take the place of competitions. Again, think about it…
The women I’ve seen put in 200% effort pre-wedding and relax once it’s passed, or people who train their asses off pre-holiday, I’m sure you know a few…
So as I’ve shown, you don’t have to be a competitive athlete to apply periodization. Each phase of the year will have different requirements and demands, once again have a think…
10 months until your wedding, you can afford to relax somewhat.
10 days until your beach holiday you’ve been looking forward to…you’d want to keep things tight on the training and nutrition side especially.
As I’ve shown, different times with different requirements. With different requirements comes the need to alter eating…hence the need to periodize nutrition so to speak.
So let’s get to it, a few different tracking methods I’ve trialled with myself and clients:
Habit Based Tracking
I’ve found this to be simple and effective method, where you choose two or three methods to develop which will be sustainable. You will ultimately develop consistency by adhering to these on a daily basis.
This could be as simple as deciding to…
Have 3 servings of vegetables everyday, including a protein source with breakfast, and drinking a large glass of water with all meals.
Pick no more than three here, become consistent, master them, once they’re become habits pick another set to develop.
I’ve found this to be a good method, especially for those who are new to tracking, or have other stresses from work etc and are looking to tighten things up on the nutrition front.
Eat using your good judgement, but take pictures of every meal…in fact, take pictures of every single thing that passes your lips!
This can be done on an irregular-regular basis, so on the weekends, or 2-3 days during every week. Use the photos to reflect on your eating, and consider ways in which you can improve both quality and quantity.
Portion Controlled Tracking
Another simple yet effective method, use your hands as portion measuring guides. At each meal, males aim for two fists of protein, two cupped handfuls of carbohydrates, two fists of vegetables and two thumbs of fats.
This method can be altered to suit each person. For example, if aiming to build muscle, add another cupped handful of carbohydrates.
Whilst periodizing training may be common for some, and easy to apply, doing the same with nutrition is yet to be mastered my many, but it’s a case of practise and becoming consistent, developing habits.
My favourite term, “science and art” (has anyone actually claimed this?!) – the trick is to find and apply the appropriate method to your current circumstances.
This is not a definitive list, I could easily write a 3000+ word essay on this as there are loads of methods, however what you can do is think about your own current approach, pick out what’s useful to you from this newsletter, apply it to yourself for 14 days and re-assess.
Keep us posted on your progress!
Alternatively get in touch with us if you have any questions, or would like to book a free consultation to discuss your training by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org