However, putting too much emphasis on one area of your nutrition plan may mean making a sacrifice another. A sacrifice that in the long run could have very negative consequences.
Just ask any Olympic gold medalist that has test positive for performance enhancing drugs or any body builder who suffered a heart attack from steroid use.
I know us "average folk" aren't looking to make it to the Olympics or toss on a bikini and walk on stage to win a Miss Universe contest, but it is amazing the great lengths we will take to achieve a specific fitness or nutrition goal.
When your focus is only on ONE of these pillars it is typical to do whatever it takes to maximize your effort in one area at the expense of the other two. This unbalanced approach to nutrition will ultimately produce unwanted results and create limiting factors where you were least expecting.
But focusing on too much can have negative consequences.
Your probably saying to yourself "Joel, your full of shit! How can you focus on health too much?".
Hear me out for a minute.
While health should come first and foremost in your life you can get to the point where you worry about it so much that the stress you put yourself through outweighs any positive health benefits you are trying to achieve. Trust me...I have been there.
Many diets, especially fads, are built on a fear based system. You fear going out for dinner because there might be some wheat in your meal. You fear going over to your friends house because they aren't going to serve an organic chicken.
This fear based approach to health and nutrition will 100% of the time have a negative effect on your health.
In fact, stress can run so high in your system that it doesn't matter how healthy your meals are. Your adrenals are fried, cortisol levels through the roof, and your health will plummet.
Find the right balance with your health so that you do not tip the scales in the stresses favour.
If you want a piece of pie, eat it, enjoy it, and most of all don't stress about it!
Taking a performance enhancing drug probably isn't a concern for you or I. But, there still are many things that we do or eat with the intention of improving our performance that have negative consequences on other areas of our health.
Performance based supplements are of primary concern. The media blasts us with the latest and greatest all designed to increase your energy and boost results.
The new pre-workout pill, post workout shake, or energy drink, each promising that you will see and feel the awesome results. Hey it might even work!
The problem is that most of these performance based supplements are full of ingredients and substances that inhibit your health. You should not be taking something to improve your performance at the expense of your health...PERIOD!
Through proper nutrition, sleep, and high quality nutritional supplementation (NOT performance based supplements) you can see a huge improvement in your strength, endurance, and overall performance.
- Extreme calorie restriction.
- Fat loss supplements.
Extreme calorie restriction can work but there are a few issues with this approach. Over time you will mess up your metabolism, throw your hormones out of whack, and you will deprive your body of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients needed for optimal health.
Secondly, similar to increasing your performance their are thousands of different supplements that you can take in an attempt to increase your fat loss.
However the risks far outweigh the rewards when it comes to fat loss supplements.
Fat loss supplements are packed with caffeine, ephedra, and other dangerous ingredients which do in fact increase your metabolism and fat loss but at the risk of cardiovascular failure, frying your adrenal glands, liver damage, and gut problems.
Being lean and mean is great but doing everything in your power to get to single digit body fat percentages will inhibit your performance but more importantly it will inhibit your health.
It is all too common for us to look for the quick fix. We are an impatient species that wants results now.
Unfortunately fitness and nutrition doesn't work that way. At least if you are taking the healthy approach.
You need to dedicate the time, make the commitment, and focus on what is important.
Balance each one of these pillars in your nutrition program. Don't put all your eggs in one nutrition basket. If you are in it for the long haul you can optimize your health, performance, and body composition simultaneously.
If in fact you feel that your nutrition coach is putting too much emphasis on one area of your program. Ask questions. Challenge their method.
There is nothing wrong with learning why you are taking a certain approach. In fact I would highly recommend it.
Live Your Best Life!