One of the most difficult areas to manage when preparing for a physique competition is staying focused on your preparation all while trying to manage the other areas of your life.
Life’s daily challenges in and of themselves will stress most people’s ability to stay focus. But when you add in the multiple day training sessions, meal prep and posing practice your emotional threshold and mental focus can quickly turn to mush. As we all have experienced the further, we get into our prep and the closer show day looms, the more our emotions and focus fail us.
Our emotions swing wildly, and our focus resembles a hazy fog and coined in the fitness community as carb brain.
No Carbs=No Brain
Carb brain is a byproduct of low carbohydrate consumption. The brain needs about 75 grams of carbohydrates a day simply to function properly. So when you begin depleting carbs and ramping up your training, the carb deficiency is felt not only in your overall energy reserves but the area of cognition and emotional well-being.
Here Are Some of The Telltale Signs of Carb Brain:
* Lack of general clarity in thought
* Slow, sluggish cognition
* Low mental energy
* Losing your train of thought
* Overall fatigue, both body and mind
* Inability to recall words and thoughts
The key to managing all the demands of your life is to nurture and energize your mind, but that is easier said the done. You have to implement a plan and incorporate foods and emotional, mental breaks into your prep that support your brain for improved focus and emotional well-being.
It’s been proven that a fatigued mind will give out long before the body, and we know this to be true every time we stop a training set because our mind quits before the body is ready.
And in many cases our fatigue is often caused not by all the training and dieting, but by emotions that harbor worry, frustration and anxiety.
So you have to protect your mind and mental focus on two fronts. First by nurturing your brain with nutrients proven to help with focus and secondly through meditation breaks that heal and soothe your emotions!
Here’s My Best Advice For Laser Like Brain Focus
My best advice for managing carb brain and disempowering emotions is to carve out a 15-30-minute window every day, preferably in the morning to focus on all the great things in your life. I call it my 15 minutes to thrive and you can read more about it here.
The 15 minutes to thrive is a dedicated space of time first thing each morning where you will ONLY FOCUS on things that you are grateful for, goals you are working towards and motivational quotes that inspire and move you. Negative and disempowering thoughts are not welcomed! 🙂
If you complete the 15 minute to thrive correctly, you will flood your mind and body with uplifting endorphins that heal your brain and soothe your emotions all while putting you and your day on turbo charge!
This simple morning ritual will do more for your mental and emotional well-being than anything else in my opinion. Make the 15-minute to thrive the foundation of your brain support plan all while adding in the nutritional advice that follows and you will grow into a mental, spiritual and physical powerhouse!
So Just Do it!
After all, you train hard, eat well, have a strong work ethic and are determined to reach your goals. But with-out a focused mind and a strong emotional constitution all that effort and commitment will cower every time to a fatigued mind that is succumbing to negative thoughts.
Superfoods That Help You Focus and Feel Great!
Now to take your brain focus to another level you can add in powerhouse foods and supplements to your prep that supports your mental focus and emotional IQ. Fortunately, many superfoods feed your brain, providing the fuel it needs to keep you running at peak capacity. You can easily work these foods into your prep either in its whole state or as a supplement, here are a few superfoods you’re going to love.
Below is an infographic from Daily Superfood Love that list four superfoods to help feed your brain with the right nutrients and minerals for improved focus and mental acuity. Add these foods to your prep along with your morning 15 minutes to thrive and watch your mental focus and mental acuity take off:
In addition to those powerful superfoods you can also incorporate some of the following very rich and dense foods, that not only help with focus and emotional support but also is fantastic for energy, skin and digestive health.
7 Of The Most Nutritious Foods on Earth
1. Spirulina-Has more antioxidants than any other foods on earth and is loaded with brain promoting vitamins and minerals. You can pick-up some of the best spirulina in either powder or tablet form here. Alternatively just about any health food store and some grocery stores will have it in stock.
2. Hemp Seeds-Is a brain food powerhouse. It provides a combination of protien, fiber, esential fatty acids, amino acids, and antioxidants. I sprinkle the seeds on my salad and oatmeal. A little goes along way, be caredul with these because they are calorically dense and derive the majority of there calories from fats. You can pick up some good quality hemp here or at your local health food store.
3. Brocolli-Not only is a great source of brain boosting flavinoids but it also acts as healthy digestive aid and cancer fighting warrior. Incorporate as much broolli in your diet as possible and go organic.
4. Wheat grass powder-Is considered one of the most potent leafy green vegetables available. Wheat grass powder is a concentrated food source of beta-carotene, calcium, chlorophyll, fiber, iron and vitamin K. It is also a source of protein, vitamin C, vitamin B-12, folic acid, vitamin B-6, trace minerals and contains all essential amino acids. When I drink a glass of wheat grass I just feel incredible. Now not all wheat grass is created equal,in my opinion the best available is made by amazing grass. You can pick some up here or at your local health food store.
5. Spinach-Popeye was on to something here. Spinach is a super food loaded with antioxidants and jam packed with brain nuturing nutrients.Spinach also is very good for your skin and hair all packed in a low calorie package.
6. Chia Seeds-Loaded with omega fats and fiber are similar to hemp so you need to use jusdiciously. Chia seeds has been known to improve training performance at the same level of an exercise drink.You can pick up chia seeds here or at your local health food store.
7. Blueberries-Now even more great reasons to enjoy blueberries! This little fruit softens dry skin, boosts your brain power, and may even prevent cancer. I love my blueberries. When my prep calls for no fruit I get my blueberries in supplementation form here.
Note: I do not profit from any of these suggestions. These are products I have used with good success and simply want to share.
It’s no secret, success all starts between the ears so take the time to nurture your mind. A healthy mind is a catalyst for healthy thoughts, and healthy thoughts manifest healthy emotions that ultimately leads you to take the right actions. So in short, when everything is clicking upstairs, everything else falls right in line!
So there you have it a plan that will keep your mind and emotions in tip-top shape along side your physique!
Protect your mind and work towards “A healthy body, within a healthy mind”.
Questions? Comments? Did you find this post helpful? Let me know in the comments section.Thanks!
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