I have seen a variety of athletes in the beginning of my career. From weekend warriors, to triathletes and rugby players and soldiers, to people on their weight loss journey. The top level athletes tend to just need a little tweaking to their diet. But newer athletes or younger athletes can require more attention as they learn how to build their performance plate. Here are five very common challenges and stories that I often hear.
Client #1: "I have been eating healthy for so long and I haven't seen any changes in my body weight."
I'll take a look at their eating habits and grocery shopping. Most of the time it is true, that they are actually making very good food choices. Often I see that snacks are not being utilized to support their weight goals. Meaning that sometimes I see snacks turn into meals, and while they maybe healthy foods, they are healthy foods in excess. Ill recommend eating a high fiber or high protein snack in between meals or every 2-3 hours and portioning those snacks. They may also have a slightly incorrect view of what is a healthy food. Limiting animal products, like meats and dairy, especially highly processed ones can also help to improve body composition and performance.
Client #2: "I hate cooking. I never even use my kitchen."
Depending on availability in their area, I'll get them set up with a meal delivery subscription that fits their athletic needs and together we will create a grocery list to stock their fridge with low-prep snack options. No cooking required, they now have healthy snacks on hand at home, to keep them from ordering take out.
Client #3: "I have been busting my butt working out and I eat so much but I can't gain any weight or muscle."
I'll take a closer look at their pre and post workout foods. Too often I see that they are concerned with protein intake but are missing getting healthy carbs in. Following workouts with a protein shake and an extra snack, like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, can support the muscle growth desired.
Client #4: "I have been a vegetarian for years and my coach is worried about my protein intake."
This is a common concern for many vegetarians and vegans, but they are usually surprised to learn that they are actually getting plenty of protein. Together we will build a shopping list to include more plant proteins like beans, quinoa, spinach, nuts, or green peas. Plants have protein too people!
Client #5: "I am recovering from an injury and am only allowed very limited workouts. I'm worried this is a huge set back towards my fitness goals."
I'll go over their new training program with them. In this scenario, I have seen people give up, but we just need to make adjustments rather than throw in the towel. I'll look at their protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake and re-balance them as their new workouts require. I also take a look at their total caloric intake and reduce it based on their reduction in training. This can be tricky but with proper rest and nutrient dense foods we can get back on track.
Do any of these stories sound familiar?