So much of fat loss and changing your body shape is revolved around calories, energy balance, training, exercise and recovery, but there are other important areas that often get overlooked.
One of these is your internal, and more specifically, your gut health. It is an area of your body that may well have been harmed in the past due to poor food choices but you may not have associated it with fat loss.
So, how does it relate? How can having a healthier gut improve your chances of achieving great progress with your goals?
One of the first things you need to address is your nutrition. You will have likely come from a diet that included foods that are highly processed, high in sugar, high in trans fats, and low in nutrition. Not only does this drastically increase your calorie intake, but causes inflammation in the body, leading to more water retention and therefore more body fat being stored.
By cleaning up your diet, you will be able to see noticeable progress in the first one to two weeks due to the lowering of inflammation levels in the body and therefore less water retention. It will also reduce cortisol and improve energy levels, which can lead to better performance. Make sure you are adding in high protein options, more green vegetables, and more slow-releasing carbohydrates into your meals. This is a great starting point to get you off on the right track.
If you want to train consistently and make progress in your sessions, you need to be in good health to be able to do so. However, internal discomfort will lead to a lower discomfort and a lower level of performance if you are able to train at all. Given that it is the centrepiece of your body, an inflamed or unhealthy gut can also lead to joint pain, further inhibiting your ability to make progress.
So, make it a priority to remove processed and intolerant food groups from your diet and replace them with healthier, more sustainable options such as lean meat, wild fish, green vegetables, healthy fats, slow releasing carbohydrates and fruit. Increasing your hydration levels will also flush out toxins in your body, leading to a healthier gut and less pain and discomfort.
Following on from the last point, a healthy gut can improve your training performance immeasurably. Over time, you will want to be making progress during your sessions, from lifting more weight and perfecting exercise execution, to increasing intensity and recovering quicker in between sets. This will lead to a higher calorie output, which is important for fat loss, and more muscle breakdown, which is vital if your goal is to increase muscle tissue.
However, if your gut is unhealthy and you are unwell, you will be unable to make progress with your training and ultimately your body goals. Therefore, even before tracking calories, improving the health of your guy will make you feel better, increase your energy levels and reduce the chance of any joint pain occurring in your body.
So, although calories in versus calories out will ultimately be the deciding factor in your results, improving the health of your gut and reducing inflammation in your body will improve your progress even more. This is through less water retention, less pain and better overall performance. Improve your internal health and you will be well on the way to achieving your goals.
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