Nutrition is the most important element of reaching your fitness goals. Unfortunately, it is also the most overlooked. Most people simply don’t realize how much their nutrition can derail all of their effort. You can put hours into fitness everyday, but if your nutrition isn’t right, you will never see any progress. Furthermore, this goes for just about any fitness goal you might have: lose weight, gain weight, lift more weight, run faster, bike for longer, etc.
When we talk with clients about nutrition, we try to explain its importance this way: Most fitness goals can be reached with diet alone. That’s because most fitness goals involved a change in weight (usually lose weight). Most fitness goals can be reached when combining nutrition and fitness. However, fitness goals will not be reached if you are focusing solely on your fitness. That is why nutrition is the most important element.
Why Nutrition is Often Ignored
We follow the CrossFit hierarchy of fitness. It is pictured above. It outlines the proper stages of progression in fitness demonstrating where you should start and how much time should be put into each element. However, assuming your fitness program even follows this progression, most gyms cut off nutrition. They never talk about it and never place an emphasis on its importance. This is usually for two primary reasons:
- Nutrition is very personal: Never talk about politics, religion, and diet. Everyone we meet has his/her opinion about what the best diet is. Some will gravitate to meat filled diets (paleo, carnivore, keto). Some will gravitate to more plant based diets (vegetarian and/or vegan). Even inside those broad categories, there are sub categories. For example, some vegetarians will eat fish, but avoid dairy. Additionally, people develop strong opinions and ethical logic in support of their chosen diet.
- It is hard to get by-in for nutrition: Not only does everyone have an opinion about the best diet, but also everyone thinks his/her diet is better than it actually is. Ask someone to describe a week of his/her eating. Chances are, it will sound pretty good. Get that person to write down what he/she ate, and chances are you will see a different picture. Furthermore, we often hear phrases like, “I know what to eat, I just have to do it.” Most people also assume a nutrition coach will give them some kind of super limited food chart.
What To Do
We aren’t afraid to drop serious money each month on our fitness. Between fitness clothes, shoes, and gear, we can drop hundreds of dollars. A good gym membership will start around $150/mn for group classes. Personal training is more expensive than that. Personal fitness coaching is everywhere and we will pay for it. However, ask someone to pay for the most important element to reaching a fitness goal, and they clam up.
Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t waist your time and money in the gym and then sabotage all your hard work in the kitchen. You cannot outrun a poor diet. Find a nutrition coach and sit down for a consultation. If the nutrition coach wants to make small improvements to your diet and work it around your lifestyle, give that coach a try.