It is really hard for me as a trainer to work with clients over a period of let’s say 6 months and see changes in strength, but not changes in their overall body composition. I continually say that in order to reach their goals, they have to change how they eat. At least 70% is diet and maybe 30% physical training.
I cannot undo in 2 or 3 half an hour sessions what you put in your mouth on a daily basis. I know everyone has heard it before, but I will repeat it. You may burn 600 calories in a hour of training, but then head down to Starbucks for a Mocha with whipped cream and you just imbibed 400 of those hard earned calories.
It is so much easier to attain fitness goals by changing your eating habits. That doesn’t mean to stop going to the gym. Quite the contrary, the more muscle you have, the more energy you need, the more calories you burn. Training will increase your metabolism which will, in turn, burn calories more efficiently. Most importantly, training will help change the composition inside your body, not just the outside. Lower cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and increase bone density just to name a few.
However, back to my point, you cannot continue to eat poorly and expect different results. The best way to get ahead of this is to begin to journal your food or use an app like Loseit to help you track your calories. Until you are noting everything that you put in your mouth, you may be missing some crucial things that are getting in the way of your goals; like the handful of nuts that you ate 4 times whenever you passed the fridge, or the container of M&M’s in the break room. It all adds up.
Also, try and get rid of the idea that because you worked out, you earned a little something extra. That something a little extra can compromise the in-gym training sessions.
If you are really training hard a few times a weeks and not seeing results; it is time to step back and reassess what is inhibiting your progress. I can almost 100% guarantee it is your food.