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Week 2.5 - How to set nutrition goals

Today we will be covering nutrition goals, this should be your priority in all goal setting hence why we are covering it first. In particular we will be looking at the following:

. What types of nutritional goals are there?

. What should be my priority?

. How to tailor it to my goal

. How to set the goal

. Adherence, accountability and monitoring

What type of nutritional goals are there?

I will repeat this numerous times throughout the beginner course but nutrition is the most important component of change, in particular total daily calorie consumption. I will lay out some examples with who it would benefit in brackets:

Total calorie consumption (Everyone - especially fat loss and muscle gain)

Protein consumption (Individuals participating in exercise plans)

Carbohydrate consumption (Endurance or higher level athletes)

Water consumption (Everyone - especially if participating in exercise)

Takeaways (Fat loss or fitness goals)

Micronutrient (High blood pressure or other medical conditions)

Food intolerances (Medical conditions)

What should be my priority?

Your priority should be the closest in relation to your long term goal (refer to blog 1.6) and should always be related to calorie consumption. For most goals I would suggest the following order of priority:

#1 Calorie Consumption

#2 Protein Intake

#3 Water Intake

#4 Any additional related goal

What I am saying is that calories, protein and water should always be your focus. Every single day should be focused on achieving your goal on each of those three at a minimum.

How to tailor it to my goal

Calorie consumption - Each goal will require different priorities or figures, in blog 2.1 we laid out some fundamental facts about energy balance (in vs out) therefore based on your goal you should have a total calorie figure following the task set in blog 2.2.

The calories set in blog 2.2 should be your priority, going over or under the set calories will impede your desired results

Macronutrient splits - We will be covering this in more detail in blog 2.7 but you should focus on hitting each of your 3 macronutrient goals on a daily basis - especially protein.

Not all goals are daily - you may have an additional goal to reduce takeaways, this will be a weekly/monthly goal but this should relate to your calorie consumption goal.

How to set a goal

Firstly establish your priority which should be calorie consumption - write down your goal in a formal way so you can refer to it, for example:

I will consume my set calories of 2145 every day in the week for 4 weeks, this is the total of 28 days and will finish on the 23rd April. I will measure this goal by filling out a food diary daily and marking completed days on my calendar in the kitchen. I am doing this goal because I would like to lose some body fat and feel less bloated, achieving this will make me feel amazing!

Note - most personal trainers use a SMART goal setting process which is fantastic but slightly impersonal so I suggest writing a short paragraph as this is a goal you are setting. Make sure to include numbers, dates, reason, who it will benefit and how you will feel after achieving it.

Make it personal!

You should do this with any goals you set as it is a reminder how and why you are doing it.

Adherence, accountability and monitoring

Now you have set your goals, you need to think about how to measure it. Adherence, accountability and monitoring are all very closely linked as it is the act of ownership of the goal. It is very easy to write down a goal but living it is far more difficult.

I will now list a few tricks to help adherence and place in brackets which of the 3 aspects it relates to:

. Writing goal down (Accountability)

. Placing the goal somewhere you see it often (Adherence and accountability)

. Starting a food diary (Monitoring)

. Measuring food (Monitoring and adherence)

. Telling loved ones about your goal (Accountability)

. Getting others to join you in a similar goal (Accountability and adherence)

. Making a tracker (Monitoring)

. Creating a forfeit/punishment for missing a goal (Psychopathic but I guess accountability)

Be your best!

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