It’s true that abs are made in the kitchen, but there’s more to achieving your fitness goals than just eating clean. Aligning your diet with your workouts depends entirely on your fitness goals, and the trial and error can be frustrating.

Having trouble getting your diet on point? Take a look at these common problems and find out how you can get yourself on the right track.

Gaining more fat than muscle on a bulk

When you’re intentionally eating in a caloric surplus, you want to make sure the weight you’re putting on is mostly muscle, not fat. But what do you do when the “fluffiness” gets out of control?

If you’re gaining too much fat on a bulk, then you’ve probably increased your calories too much, too fast. Calorie counting is just as important during a bulk as it is on a cut. Logging your food will help you to make sure your daily calorie increase is modest (no more than 500 calories), as well as find any hidden culprits that may be sabotaging your diet.

Of course, it’s equally important that you’re actually using those extra calories. If you aren’t lifting heavy, your body won’t know to convert those extra calories to muscle.

Feeling fatigued during fasted cardio

Fasted cardio is one of the most hyped fitness trends of recent years. By working out fasted, your body is forced to use up your body’s fat stores for fuel rather than glycogen— which apparently leads to more fat burned.

Unfortunately, some people find that fasted cardio leaves them feeling lightheaded and fatigued even early on in their workout. So what can be done?

While your body is tapping into your fat stores for energy during fasted cardio, it’s still important to fuel it properly. This means making sure you’re consuming electrolytes— that’s potassium, magnesium and sodium. Even adding a little salt to your water bottle during your workout can get rid of those dizzy spells for good.

If you’ve tried everything and still can’t get through that fasted treadmill session without feeling like you’re about to pass out, you might want to consider giving up on fasted workouts altogether. Having a pre-workout snack can help you to push yourself in the gym, which is going to give you amazing results anyway.

Not building muscle despite eating clean

You’ve been pushing yourself hard in the gym and have cleaned up your diet, but you still aren’t progressing. Where the heck are those gains you were promised?

Building muscle requires more than lifting heavy and eating enough food. You need to make sure your protein intake is sufficient.

Your body needs protein to build muscle. The general rule for anyone who works out is 1.2 — 1.7g of protein per kilogram of body weight, so start stocking up on cottage cheese now! You might just be amazed at the change in body composition when you up your protein intake.

Want to find a way to treat yourself without ruining your diet? Why not check out some of our functional training equipment! From workout accessories to mobility equipment, you can always treat your body without blowing your calorie budget. Get in touch with NC Fitness today and see how we can enhance your training.