Begin with the End in Mind
It's important to remember your transformation won't happen overnight. One of the biggest reasons people fail is because they haven't mentally prepared for the journey they are about to embark on. They set expectations too high and feel discouraged and deflated when they suddenly aren't in the shape they expected in only two weeks. Transforming takes time and dedication, but it will happen if you stick with it.
To succeed at Farrell's, and in life, it's essential to begin with the end in mind and set realistic goals. You must commit 100%. You must understand and acknowledge that you may have some obstacles or plateaus ahead of you, but have a game plan for how to push through those.
How can you succeed at Farrell's? Follow these simple disciplinary tips:
- Set realistic expectations. Set one big goal and divide that up into smaller, achievable goals. Make sure you can fully commit to these smaller goals both mentally and physically. If not, then readjust. Small changes can lead to big results.
- Keep it simple. Attending class every day is the easiest thing you can do to get in your exercise. At home, keep your meals simple. Don't overcomplicate to the point where you get frustrated. Find a few snack options and meal options you like and stick to those. Change it up every month for variety, but the simpler, the better.
- Stay positive. Temptations and obstacles are going to happen. From cravings, social pressures, tiredness, and schedules, they lurk, but staying positive and flexible will be key. You may have a bad day. Don't dwell. Stay positive and get back on track the next day or meal. Wake up each morning and tell yourself you're going to give everything your best.
- Seek support. From family, friends, fellow members, coaches, a personal or professional mentor, find a support network that can help keep you accountable. Share with them your goals and how you plan to achieve them. Communicate with them often and update them on your progress, especially on those days your motivation may be waning or temptations start to creep in.
- Focus inward. It can be difficult not to compare yourself to others, but don't. Every person is on his or her own journey. Yes, you will have similarities, but each is different. Focus on what you have control of and don't compare. We are all built differently, lose and gain differently, so don't add unnecessary stress to your journey.
If you visualize your goals in your mind, have a sound game plan and support network, you will achieve your goals. Remember, we are here to support you and your goals as well. If you're struggling with setting achievable goals, talk with your head coach or manager and seek help from others.
Carbs: Too Little or Too Much
Eating a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates, vegetables, and fats is important, but what happens if we don't eat enough or too much of these essential foods? How does it affect our bodies? We've already reviewed protein, so let's review carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are our body's main source for energy. There are simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbs are foods with single and double sugar molecules. This includes glucose, fructose and sucrose. Common simple carb foods include milk (also a protein), table sugar, and fruit.
Complex carbs are foods that contain multiple sugar molecules linked together by "starch". Foods high in complex carbs include legumes, grains, starchy vegetables like corn/peas, pasta, and bread.
The glycemic index (GI) is a measurement of how much blood sugar (fuel) increases based on carbohydrate intake. The higher the GI number, the more blood sugar increases. The Farrell's nutrition plan is designed to provide members with a low glycemic load that keeps them in "burn mode" throughout the day, avoiding cravings and overeating.
Too Little Carbs
Carbs are an essential macronutrient. Eliminating or reducing carbs from your diet can have some side effects that we've outlined below.
Energy Loss & Fatigue
Carbs are our main fuel source. Not eating enough healthy carbs reduces the bodies fuel source. If you don't have enough glucose from healthy carbs to burn, the body will begin burning fat. Doesn't sound bad, but for active individuals, fatigue and energy loss will settle in quickly and long-term effects could mean underperformance.
Our dietary fiber comes from complex carbs and is essential for bathroom regularity. A low-carb diet may cause constipation, so it's important to ensure you're eating enough healthy fiber, or "roughage" as they used to say to stay regular.
Carbohydrates have been linked to the release of serotonin in the brain, which is the chemical responsible for making us feel happy. Not enough healthy carbs can mean a drop in serotonin levels possibly bringing on mood changes like anger, sadness, and even mild symptoms of depression.
Not enough carbs can mean low blood sugar, which can lead to hypoglycemia. Signs of hypoglycemia include shakiness, dizziness, hunger, weakness and difficulty speaking.
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. If you don't have enough glucose (energy) from carbs to burn, your body will start burning fat, which is called ketosis. During this process, your body makes ketones for a fuel source. If you're eating a balanced diet, this isn't a problem and your body adjusts to your levels. Where ketosis can become unhealthy is when your body builds up too many ketones from lack of energy, which can lead to dehydration and a chemical imbalance in the blood. Many individuals follow a low-carb ketogenic diet for weight loss, but it needs to be balanced to assure you're still getting enough of what your body needs to function normally. Learn more about ketosis here.
Too Many Carbs
What could happen to your body if you eat too many unhealthy carbs?
- We've all experienced it. The blood sugar roller coaster of eating too many refined carbs and then suddenly crashing and feeling tired. Eating carbs high on the glycemic index can cause a spike in blood sugar because they are quickly digested versus carbs that are high in fiber that digest at a slower pace, releasing energy over time. When this spike happens, our bodies release hormones to adjust the blood sugar, which causes the crash. Carbs that are complex and rich in fiber will help avoid the carb spike and crash.
Type 2 Diabetes
While not an immediate effect of eating too many high glycemic carbs, a high-carb diet can increase the risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Portion control is essential for reducing risk of developing type 2 diabetes. While carbs, and the sugars from carbs, are necessary for proper function, they need to be portioned for what is needed. Excess from sugary drinks and foods is what puts you at risk.
Adding just one serving of a sweetened beverage to your diet each day ups risk by 15 percent, found a study from the Harvard School of Public Health, published in November 2010 in Diabetes Care.
Eating too many refined carbs or high glycemic carbs can also lead to weight gain, which could lead to becoming overweight or obese, which can lead to a number of additional health concerns like stroke, heart disease, and sleep apnea. Eating too many carbs, like any macronutrient, means we have an excess in our bodies. When we have this overload, our body stores the excess as fat.
When planning meals and grocery shopping, make a habit to read the nutrition label. Avoid foods that have added sugar and sweeteners and stick to water instead of sugary drinks and sodas.
If you're following your Farrell's nutrition plan, you're already getting the proper, balanced nutrition your body needs to work effectively and efficiently to perform your best in and outside of the gym.
If you have questions about good sources of carbs and what to eat and what to avoid, contact your head coach or manager for more information!