By Miguel J. Ortiz
Balance can be defined as a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.
Balance to one person can also be an extreme condition for another, so understanding where you are and where you want to be is very important. Whether you have been exercising your entire life or just starting, your goals may not change but how you get there absolutely will. Age, lifestyle, random habits, environmental changes and more can all have an effect on how you reach your goals. So, your balance will in some ways be relative along your journey.
In the last two articles, I discussed training with a busy schedule and understanding whether your food is helping or hurting you. So, let’s combine the two. Schedule plays a significant factor in how we balance out our health and fitness goals. We need to make sure, regardless of how extreme we may push ourselves, that we maintain a strong and positive attitude. If you’re not very good at doing that yourself, continue to practice but also start listening to more motivational podcasts or music to keep you inspired. With a good attitude, let’s break down how we can drop weight by focusing on balance in areas of diet, exercises and stress.
Diet is absolutely the most important factor in everyone’s weight loss and fitness goals. Because it’s so critical, it will have a profound effect on stress and exercise when done with consistency. It will help keep the unnecessary weight off or help you jump back into harder workouts.
Focus on water only, immediately start cutting out processed foods and sugars, and start making better choices. More greens, less breads, more water, more natural fruits and veggies, less chips, don’t over pour sauces, learn about the dirty dozen, eat more organic and talk to a professional.
When dealing with weight loss, cravings can be very severe and the detoxing process of cutting out more then 50 pounds or so can also come with diarrhea, nausea, headaches, etc.
If you’re looking to build more muscle or compete in demanding sports, your diet will still play a huge factor in your performance. I would consider someone who understands a great deal about nutrition, like a dietician or nutrition coach, as they can be very motivating and inspiring during diet changes.
For weight loss, before jumping into heavy exercise focus on more activity. Yes, it’s great to get a good workout in, but the body may not be ready for that yet. We want to shoot for consistent days in the gym, not just going once a week. This is important because if someone is already feeling stressed from life’s troubles then exercising too hard can cause more stress that the body may not need. Go for longer walks, and general stretching and yoga throughout the day can be very helpful. It will loosen up joints and help with more activity in the future.
For athletes or people who love pushing themselves physically, making small and consistent changes will be the best way to understanding how your body is truly preforming. Whether you’re trying a new breakfast routine to fuel your body differently or adding extra protein to support the muscle increase you’re shooting for, pay attention to how your body is feeling. You can even take daily notes depending on your goals. This will help you determine what is working and what isn’t so you can make quick and quality pivots along your road to success.
Regardless of your weight-loss and muscle-building goals, neither will be achieved consistently without proper rest and sleep. I know some people who don’t sleep very long, but make time to take a nap because their schedule allows it. It’s important to do what is right for you. One must understand we cannot continue to function well without proper sleep. For quality cellular, brain and bodily functions sleep is not just important, its necessary. Seven or eight hours of sleep each night is ideal and highly recommended.
Good luck and keep pushing forward.
Miguel J. Ortiz is a personal trainer in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a member of the National Personal Trainer Institute and a Certified Nutritional Consultant with more than a decade of professional experience. He can be found on Instagram at @migueljortiz.