I will start off by saying I am not a nutritionist or a dietician, nor am I qualified to provide any advice in regards to nutrition.

I am however, a young female who has fallen victim to the belief that calorie restriction is not only healthy, but a normal part of growing up. In conjunction I believed I should spend hours hitting the pavement and focusing on the number on the scale, rather than concentrating on my health and wellbeing. It took a long time to realise I needed to be fuelling my body correctly in order to perform the way I wanted to. Sounds pretty logical doesn’t it?

However many women tend to forget about eating for recovery. I’m talking about the ones who spend hours on cardio machines, then fail to eat a meal afterwards due to fears of ruining all the hard work they’ve just done.

Ironically, you’re ruining the hard work you’ve just done by failing to replenish your body properly. While this may work for a period of time, your body will begin to adapt. When your body adapts to this routine you’re no longer able to shift the weight as easily as you once used to. Instead, you’re likely to either give up, start bingeing, or potentially develop depression and anxiety amongst other things. If this sounds like you, listen carefully, being in a calorie deficit will do more harm than good!

These days I don’t count calories. Instead I assess how I am performing over the week, how I am feeling, both mentally and physically, and how I am recovering. Only then will I assess my food and make changes accordingly.

If I am tired and sore, I will add more food.

If I cannot train as many times a week as normal, I will reduce the amount of food. However, very rarely does this happen. Why? Because it is generally okay for your body to have a surplus of food every so often. This not only helps your body recover and refuel, but it prevents your body from being in the same monotonous routine – which makes it harder for it to adapt! 

Again, it sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? But it’s hard work.

With many women failing to understand that ‘portion size’ doesn’t necessarily mean reducing size, it means eating the amount of food that is appropriate for you at that period of time. This is something that is best worked out with a nutritionist or coach with adequate training in this area who understands the stressors you are putting your body under day in and day out.

-Emily Cavell
Ambassador For Primal Health Products
Owner at M.O.V.E. Movement Evolved
Coach at CrossFit Box Hill

For more info on Primal Health Products click here: https://primalhealthproducts.com.au/

For more info on Emily Cavell & Gymnastics sessions click here: https://www.crossfitboxhill.com/mov-e-gymnastics/