The JR CrossFit Nutrition Challenge is in full swing, and participants are seeing great results so far. This week, we talked with Coach Abby and Coach Bobby about how to stay motivated, tips for balancing weight loss with working out, and why it’s never to late to change your nutrition habits.
January is almost over, and that means it’s time to look back on the first month of your new year’s resolutions, including the progress you’ve made in the JR Nutrition Challenge. One thing many people have likely noticed is a change in week-over-week progress. At first, maybe you were losing upwards of 4 pounds per week; but that’s likely slowed down in more recent weeks.
This is completely normal! There’s no need to let it discourage you from future progress. The Mayo Clinic explains that as you lose weight, your metabolism declines, which can slow your weight loss even if you eat the same number of calories. Coach Bobby suggests dieting for a few months at a time to account for this:
“I generally like to have clients diet for 3 or so months at a time — some can go 4 months, then they need a little time – to allow the body to rest from dieting due to hormone balancing and the fact that this causes stalls in weight loss.”
Something else to consider is balancing losing weight with gaining muscle through CrossFit workouts. After all, we’ve been working hard throughout our snatch and pull-up cycle so far this year. This is part of the reason why we’re focusing on body fat percentage lost, not weight lost, but it’s still tricky.
Even if you’re not losing as much weight as you might want to every week, it’s incredibly important to remember to focus on your body fat percentage, which accounts for the muscle you might also be gaining. Coach Bobby explains:
“It is very difficult to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time. Usually, the best time for this is when a sedentary person goes from not doing much to working out consistently. But after 6 months – 1 year, this begins to slow down drastically. This is when people get frustrated.
Here is an example: Say you want to build a house. You need material to build that house, and we will call this material “calories.” You need these to build your house, so the more calories you take in the bigger the house gets! What you have to do to lose weight is reduce the material in the house. You almost certainly cannot do both at the same time. So the best thing you can do is diet down slowly, and the muscles you have underneath will begin to show.”
It’s never too late to start!
But what if you didn’t start tracking macros and nutrition on January 1st? Good news! It’s never too late, and Coach Abby has a few tips for getting started, including drinking more water, cutting out snacking and sodas, and more:
“Don’t wait for Monday to roll around or until you don’t have this or that activity coming up. Jump right in because if you wait you, will be waiting forever. If you were looking to lose weight my recommendation would be to keep lots of chicken and vegetables on hand as these will be your best friend. If you are looking not to have to track but want to get healthier and lose some weight another way to help would be to drink more water, cut out sodas, stop snacking, and eat only three healthy and nutritious meals a day. It’s never too late to start reaching for your goals.”
Now that we’re almost halfway through the JR Nutrition Challenge, how can you stay motivated to finish strong and continue throughout the year? Coach Abby says it’s really all mental, and it’s important to keep your head in the right place and focus on your specific goals.
One way to stay motivated, Coach Abby explains, is to have someone around to keep you accountable.
“It’s all mental. So if you can get your head in the right place and focus on your goals it becomes much easier. Having people you can reach out to and say “Hey I need some helping keeping myself accountable with my nutrition” will make a world of a difference.”
But what if you want to continue focusing on nutrition and take things to the next level? Coach Abby is a certified nutritionist and can help you reach specific goals, build meal plans, and talk you through the struggles you might face:
“One way to continue throughout the year would be to hire a nutritionist. As a nutritionist I am here to help people through the hard times, be their accountability, reach your specific goals, and navigate obstacles by bringing my knowledge of nutrition to the table.”
Ultimately, whether you’re participating in the JR Nutrition Challenge or not, it’s never too late to start tracking your nutrition. It’s important to stay motivated, have someone to hold you accountable, and not get discouraged when your numbers fluctuate week-over-week. At JR CrossFit, we can help you with all of this and help you tie it together with working out.
As Coach Bobby says, consistency is key:
“To finish this out, I would like to say that consistency is number one when it comes to changing body composition. Be kind to yourself the weight was not gained overnight and will not be lost overnight either. Seek help from a reputable source when needed but don’t stop no matter what!”
By Chance Miller