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5 Things Harming Your Results

By Armada Nutrition Athlete & IFBB Bikini Pro Sarah Allen on November 14, 2014

5 Things you didn’t realise are harming your training and physique goals...

Many of us feel like we are doing the right things when it comes to our health and fitness, but we seem to be spinning our wheels a lot of the time. This comes down to a few simple little mistakes that we may be making and once rectified, will allow your body to reach its full potential. Here is short list of some of the most common mistakes made and they are also the easiest to fix! Armed with this knowledge you will get yourself out of the rut and start smashing those personal goals. Enjoy...

1) Sauces

Everyone has made this mistake at one point or another, not accounting for the calories that we intake from pouring sauces on our 'clean meals'. It’s very easy to turn a low carb, low calorie meal into something with way too much sugar and sodium by simply squeezing that BBQ Sauce just a little too hard. 

Yes it does make the food taste better but for every 15g serve of sauce usually comes about 7-8g of sugar and 1-2g of sodium. I have seen people in the past literally drown their chicken, brown rice and broccoli in so much sauce that they may as well just have downed a can of coke with their meal!

I'm not saying sauces are bad or that you shouldn't be having them, but just be mindful of the calories and sugar that they contain and maybe even opt for the new 'stevia sweetened' options of sauces that are now available at most supermarkets. 

2) Lack of sleep

Nobody likes to feel tired, but sometimes it’s just unavoidable right? Those extra few tasks that take a little longer than expected late at night or that TV show that you really want to watch before bed. Just be aware that as much as you don't like 'feeling' tired, your body doesn't like 'being' tired even more.

When your body is not in a rested state for days and days on end the following things are likely to happen.

a) Your appetite will decrease so you’re likely to miss meals therefore slowing down your metabolism and ability to burn fat. 

b) Your body will not utilise the nutrients that you’re in taking through your food, so you will not be receiving those health benefits. 

c) Your repair rate for your muscles from your workouts will rapidly decrease leaving you feeling sore and lethargic

d) Your immune system will plummet leaving you susceptible to cold and flu. 

e) Your cortisol levels will increase forcing your body to store more fat and actually waste away your hard earned muscle

These 5 points are more than enough reason to make your best effort to get those 6-8 hours’ sleep every night. 

3) Alcohol

The world’s number one most damaging drug. Need I say more? Alcohol has a more toxic and detrimental effect on your body than ANY other drug that humans use, be it recreational or pharmaceutical. 

After having 2 standard drinks the average sized human’s body for 24 hours will be completely unable to repair muscle and soft tissue and only has the ability to store fat! Yes that’s right for one complete day after drinking only 2 drinks all your body will do is get fatter! No matter how hard you get in the gym the next day and train, it will not undo the toxic effects of the alcohol on your system. 

A glass or two of wine every now and then on special occasions is fine, but don't expect to be able to train hard and eat well Monday to Friday and then spend the weekend drinking and get the results you want, because it won't happen.

Limit those few drinks every now and then for the high holidays and special occasions. 

4) Missing breakfast

We all know the saying 'breakfast is the most important meal of the day’; well guess what? It is! When we rise from 6-8 hours of sleep our bodies are literally screaming for nutrients and no better time to feed them a big healthy nutritious meal. 

Missing this important meal will not only put your muscle at risk of catabolism but will also force your metabolism to slow down leaving you feeling lethargic and slowing down your metabolic rate which will prevent you from burning fat. 

Don't wait until mid-morning to get that first meal in. If you know that you’re going to be in a rush in the morning, prepare something the night before so you can eat breakfast on the go. Remember 'failing to prepare, is preparing to fail'. 

5) Sushi

I love sushi, always have and always will! In saying this, most people see it as the healthy option for a quick meal on the go, I'm afraid they are sadly mistaken. If I had to put sushi in a category of foods that I eat during the week it would be at the top of the list in my 'cheat meal' pile of foods. 

Cheat meal you say? But I thought sushi was healthy? Well sashimi is healthy, being the raw fish alone, but the sushi that most of us eat contains sushi rice which is loaded with more sugar than you would ever imagine, as well as high fat mayonnaises and other high sugar sauces that are added in. Ever wondered why it tastes so good? Well there is your answer. 

Next time you're strapped for time and are thinking of a healthy option, steer away from the sushi train and try and find some plain rice with chicken and steamed veg, most Japanese restaurants will make this dish on request. 

I hope this list of small common mistakes that are made every day has educated you and gives you the knowledge to be able to reach those next health and fitness goals. 

Follow Sarah Allen and her fitness journey here.