How do I gauge the success of a nutrition plan?

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Most of us gauge our weight loss progress by the number on the bathroom scales. I don’t!  There are many more variables and better ways of knowing if your nutrition plan is working well.  It’s  amazing how many people quit after jumping on the scales and not seeing the numbers they expected.  When did we become so obsessed by scales?

I have many clients who fail to register a loss on the scale but still drop a dress size.  The scales certainly didn’t mark their milestones along the path to their body transformations.

Let me give you my top 5 reasons why your nutrition plan is not working:

You are not hungry

I remember when I used to eat ‘diet’ everything! My fridge was full of food products that were’ reduced fat’, ‘light’, ‘fat free’ and ‘low calorie’.

Ironically, I was fatter than I ever was before, yet I thought this was the key to getting slimmer.  I was “always hungry”, I felt disgusted with myself because I couldn’t “get control”, I couldn’t find “the willpower”.

I thought there was something wrong with me because I never felt full and I always obsessed over food, especially junk food.  I would eat good quality meals but then eat rubbish on top of it.  Now I realise that I was not alone, a lot of women repeat this cycle time and time again.  So I now use my experience to help my clients break free from this. I help them increase their satiety (feeling of fullness) levels , by eating REAL food again.

Eat real proteins, good quality fats, plenty of vegetables and dark coloured fruits.  Leave less room for processed foods. Imagine, for the first time, feeling “full”, not stuffed.  Imagine not being tempted by the chocolate goodies or the smell of freshly baked bread in the supermarket.  Your gut and brain are calm. No panic.  This is one of the first early signs of progress, even before you start to lose weight.

Increased energy

A lot of clients who come to me say they feel exhausted all the time.  They hit snooze multiple times every morning.  They are jacked up on caffeine, sugar and fizzy drinks to keep them awake.

This is what happens when you are not getting enough vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from your diet.  Even minor  deficiencies  in certain vitamins can deplete your energy and give you brain fog.

A good nutrition plan gives you energy, a constant steady drip feed of it, rather than a boom then crash!  This will then start to be consistent over time, even before the needle on the scale starts to move.

Better quality sleep

Do you struggle to fall asleep? Do you toss and turn in a fitful sleep?

I believe people really underestimate the importance of sleep.  Some reasons for poor sleep are stress, aging, hormonal changes, a new baby, blue light late at night and jet lag.

Good nutrition and exercise can really help.  Laying off the double expressos in the afternoon and cutting back on the alcohol help. As does eating fresh whole foods.  These contain fibre, protein and healthy fats which take time to digest, they keep you fuller for longer, stabilise your blood sugar and release various hormones needed for good sleep.

Your clothes feel a little looser

Do your friends often tell you that you look like you have lost weight, but you reply by saying no, the scales are saying different?  Your jeans feel looser but the scales may have stayed the same or even gone up?

Muscle and bone are denser than body fat. When we build this lean mass, we often get heavier but smaller (at least in certain areas).  This is why, in addition to tuning into how clothes fit, I suggest that a tape measure is used to track circumference of body parts.

Mood improves

I personally believe that when the emotions are under control and hormones are balanced, everything else falls into place.  Feeling self conscious about their bodies can lead people to feelings of depression and low self esteem.

I have experienced clients who no longer socialise and ‘house hatch’ because they don’t feel good about themselves.  When you start to feel progress like increased energy, your favourite jeans feel looser, you are getting a great night’s sleep, it increases your feelings of accomplishment and self worth.  You feel motivated again, you increase your exercise regime and move closer to your goals.

If you would like to know more about my new online ‘Six Weeks Better Bodies’ programme? Then simply follow the link at http://bit.ly/2dvPluU

This blog post was published by Belfast Live, where you can catch more useful health and fitness information from me every week at www.belfastlive.co.uk