When starting on a new nutrition and exercise routine it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers on the scale as the only means of tracking progress. It’s natural to feel defeated when numbers aren’t progressing at the pace we expect them to with all of the changes we are making. It’s at these times I encourage my clients to look at the big picture and see how their new eating lifestyle and workout routine is effecting other parts of their life that they may not even notice. There are 5 major areas that are already reaping benefits from your new nutrition plan and exercise routine that you may not have even recognized.
You don’t feel ravenous all the time. This is the most frequent feedback I get from clients when they are eating the right amount of calories and macro breakdown for their lifestyle and goals. Very often clients are not eating enough food or the right kinds of food, so they always feel hungry. This hunger usually drives them to seek out unhealthy foods as a means to calm the cravings. Once they start eating nutrient dense foods in the portions they need they no longer experience the insatiable hunger they once did.
You have more energy throughout the day. You start to notice that it easier to get out of bed in the morning. You may not be as reliant on your afternoon pick me up of diet soda, or coffee. When you get home from work you have the energy to do some chores around the house, and on the weekends you can actually keep up with your kids at the park. Your mental sharpness has improved at work, and your memory, well let’s just say you can remember where you left your car keys. These are all signs that you are getting enough calories and vitamins and minerals from your diet. It’s also showing that your exercise routine is providing your body with natural energy and stamina to push through the day.
You sleep better at night. You used to have a difficult time falling asleep and staying asleep through the night. You would make up feeling unrefreshed and drag through your day. Now you are finding it easier to fall asleep at night, and you actually feel bright eyed and bushy tailed the next morning. That isn’t a coincidence. Many times poor sleep is a side effect of poor nutrition habits, too strenuous exercise programs, and disruptive evening routines. Once these issues are fixed the body has an easier time winding down at night, and staying asleep.
Your mood improves. When you fuel your body with the right balance of macronutrients and nutrient dense food your brain chemistry improves. I have had clients battling with anxiety and depression become able to get off of their medication over time by improving their nutrient intake. There is a strong connection between what you eat, and the emotional and mental state you find yourself in. When you fill your diet with healthy foods and much needed supplements, anger, impatience, sadness, anxiety, and stress become less of a problem.
You are stronger and have more endurance. You find yourself being able to do everyday tasks that used to be a challenge. You can climb a few flights of stairs without getting winded, you can carry all your groceries from your car in one trip, and you can pick up your kids with ease. You even find that you aren’t quite as sore from your workouts anymore, and when you do workout you find that you can push yourself harder, and perform at a higher level than you ever thought you would be able to.
All five of these benefits are a sign that you are on the right track with your nutrition and exercise program. If you are finding that you are not experiencing these positive side effects, then now maybe the time to reevaluate your food intake and exercise routine, especially if you have been at it a couple months or more.