Balancing Frequency and Intensity
The relationship between frequency and intensity is delicate and very misunderstood. Not balancing these often leads people to burnout and giving up on their health and fitness journey.
Frequency is the how often of the relationship. The number of days you workout and number of meals you eat are examples of frequency.
Intensity is the how much or how hard side - how hard you are working during your workout and how much food you are eating at each meal.
When most people find this relationship getting out of balance, it's usually because they are attempting to turn both up at the same time, not realizing that for long term success, the relationship needs to be like a seesaw: when frequency is high, intensity must drop, and when frequency is low, intensity can come up.
For example, if you were going to workout seven days per week, you couldn't bring the same intensity to your workouts as if you were working out three days per week. While you might experience quick initial results, you're setting yourself up for burnout and, if you're new to it, ultimately quitting.
The same is true with your eating. If the frequency is the number of meals and the intensity is the size of that meal, you need to balance them. If you like having bigger meals, you need to eat fewer times throughout the day. If you are okay with small meals, you can split your calories up over more meals. If your daily calorie goal was 2000, you could split that up into two large 1000 calorie meals, or 4-5 meals of 400-500 calories each.
As you go pursue your stewardship goals, make sure to balance intensity and frequency to give you long-term results.