These factors are almost always ignored when determining progress from week to week.Yet are extremely important pieces of data when deciding what adjustments should or should not be made moving forward.
RATE THE FOLLOWING ON A SCALE (0-5):
- Sleep Issues - (0=high quality sleep, 5=insomnia and/or constantly waking up )
- Stress Levels - .(0=no stress at all, 5=nervous breakdown)
- Hunger Issues - (0=no issues at all, 5=extreme hunger 24/7)
- Fatigue/Lethargy - (0=no issues at all, 5=extremely fatigued all or most of the day)
- Sleep Quality - has a massive effect on training performance & recovery. Because of this you'll likely burn less calories and your ability to build/retain muscle mass may take a dip. So, If you are very hungry most of the time, your performance in the gym has been shitty (energy & strength), or you're feeling very lethargic but you see that your sleep quality/duration has been poor of late, you might want to reconsider adjusting your macros (or by how much) and focus on improving your sleep.
- Stress - can not only negatively effect training performance, but it promotes increased water retention leading to a probable increase in weight. So, if your weight hasn't been trending downwards over the last 2-3 weeks, but your stress levels are very high (4 or 5), then increased water retention from stress may be the cause. *This is of course only viable if you've been hitting your macros fairly closely (using ranges)*.
- Hunger Issues - a calorie deficit is essentially controlled starvation. so being a bit hungry from time to time is normal. But, if your hunger levels are through the roof most or all of the time then you're likely in too large of a calorie deficit and thus should increase. Note that your food choices play a huge role in hunger/satiety so if you're not consuming high fibre/volume foods then this is the more likely cause.
- Energy Levels - affect training performance and the amount of calories burned throughout the day. Not only will you burn less calories during your training sessions (if energy levels are low), but you'll also burn less through NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis) which is calories burned through every day things that are not sports or exercise related. Naturally when your energy and sleep quality are poor you'll decrease your NEAT unknowingly. If you notice that your energy levels & training sessions have been awful, it may be a sign that your calories are too low. Note that this could also be due to sleep quality.
Take 2 minutes out of your day to log your sleep, stress, hunger, and energy levels. If at the end of the week there's one or more that's consistently high it's very likely its skewing the data on the previous 3 tools.
Well, there you have it - that was the last of the 4 tracking tools you should be using to measure progress.If you haven't been using them, start now and thank me later.
These are all used by my online clients, whether in a one on one environment, or within our 14 Week Ex-Athlete Transformation Program - The Game Changer.
Take the guessing game out and focus on the fun stuff while leaving the boring (but integral) components to me.
Inquire about 1 on 1 Online Coaching or VIP membership into the Game Changer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org