The amount of fiber you get per day is very important to living a healthy lifestyle and appropriate for a healthy digestive system. As you can imagine, it also helps you 💩.
If you read these posts, you’ll know I always talk about having too much of something or too little of something is never a good thing. You always need to find a balance. You can probably see where I’m going with this, but fiber is the same way. Too little fiber can cause issues and too much fiber can also lead to its own issues. You need to find the proper amount to eat per day.
Let’s go over why fiber is important, the different types of fiber and how much you need in your diet.
Why is Fiber Important
Dietary is a very important part of our diet. Without fiber in our diets it can lead to symptoms like constipation or even diarrhea.
Fiber has also shown that it can be protective against colorectal cancer as well (1). Including fiber has also been shown to help with improving blood sugar levels and improving cholesterol levels as well. If you want to learn more about this check out this article and how fiber can improve cholesterol.
Which Fiber Should I Get More Of?
There are different types of fiber, but the 2 you’ll probably see the most is Soluble and Insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber gets dissolved in water. It also can bind to cholesterol and sugar which slows down carbohydrate digestion.
Insoluble fiber absorbs fluid. This type of fiber makes stool larger and easier to pass as well.
Having both fibers in your diet is important. As having too much of one and not the other will cause issues. Most sources of fiber will usually have a little bit of both in there, so this isn’t something you would need to map out. However, here is a picture of foods that are Insoluble and Soluble:
How Much Fiber Do I Need?
Getting enough fiber is important but also consuming too much can be an issue too. So how much fiber should you get?
The general rule is to intake 10 grams of fiber per 1000 calories. For example, if you’re intaking 2000 calories a day, you should be getting at minimum 20 grams of fiber a day.
However, eating more than 70grams a day is too much and usually not advised.
If you’re concerned and about how much fiber you should be getting a day though, you should speak to your doctor.
Fiber is an extremely important part of our diet. Lack of it can cause minor issues like constipation and diarrhea but can potentially lead to other serious complications if it’s consistent enough. Including it can also help with some issues you may be currently facing like high cholesterol levels or blood sugar levels.
Too much fiber can also cause it’s own problems as well, so consuming the right amount of fiber per day is important.
Masrul M, Nindrea RD. Dietary Fibre Protective against Colorectal Cancer Patients in Asia: A Meta-Analysis. Open Access Maced J Med Sci. 2019;7(10):1723-1727. Published 2019 May 30. doi:10.3889/oamjms.2019.265
The western diet specifically lacks fish. I’ve met so many people who don’t eat any fish by any means. If I ever travel to Europe or other places, fish is the main staple in their diet though. I personally grew to like fish more and more throughout my adulthood and now I try to have at least 1 meal that includes fish a day (usually a can of tuna, but it’s something!).
It not being a staple in an ordinary western diet can cause issues, but also like anything too much of something good can be a bad thing as well. We’ll go into the benefits and dangers of fish and what might be the sweet spot for you.
Benefits of Fish in Your Diet
Great Source of Protein
It’s very easy to lack proteinin an ordinary diet. Eating fish is a great source of protein and can also be a relatively cheap option for protein as well. 4oz of Salmon cooked has about 25g of protein. 1 can of Tuna Fish contains about 20g of protein.
Fish has many important factors too, this all comes from the macro and micronutrients the fish contains. Different fish will have different macro and micronutrients but one of the staples of fish is the fact that it has omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can help with many risk factors in your life. This can include, lowering blood pressure, raise your HDL cholesterol level (good) inflammation, and even blood clots.
I’ve had many issues with joint pain in the past and any time I’ve either started consuming more fish or taking omega-3 or krill oil supplements, the issues seem to have subsides and any joint-related injuries tend to have dissipated. Now, that’s just my account. This doesn’t mean the same will apply to you. However, if you’re having joint issues and don’t have any issues with eating fish or taking supplements, it doesn’t hurt to try.
As we know, too much of a good thing can always be a bad thing. Even though most of us probably don’t intake enough fish, let’s also go over the detrimental factors of eating too much fish can have on us.
Too Much Fish Oil
Too much fish oil / omega-3s is can have negative effects on your health. It can cause many things like acid reflux, hypotension (low blood pressure), diarrhea, nose bleeds, and even high blood sugar.
Ideally, you would want to consume a maximum of 5,000mg of omega-3s per day. Anything over that (unless prescribed by a doctor) won’t really benefit you in many ways.
Depending on the type of fish you’re eating, you would need to look out for mercury poisoning. Some fish sources are high in mercury and others, not so much. Here is a chart that describes fishes and their mercury level
As you can see, some of the common fish most eat is on the medium to the low side. However, it’s still something to keep a note of.
I personally eat canned tuna fish about 4-5 days a week. I’ve gotten my mercury levels tested and they were in the normal range.
Final Thoughts on Fish in Your Diet:
Fish is not the most common food source in most people’s diets, especially in a western diet. Fish can have many benefits it that can overall improve your quality of life. I would highly recommend if you’re not eating fish to start doing so (unless you’re not eating for medical reasons). If you’re someone who doesn’t eat fish due to the ‘fishy’ taste, you can always find recipes and ways to cook fish that will make it taste much better.
As mentioned above, I love canned tuna fish. My favorite brand of tuna is the Rio Mare brand (affiliated link). It’s a bit on the expensive side, but it’s so good and probably the best-canned tuna I ever had. I’ve even had people try it who hate tuna fish and still love this brand. Sardines are another cheap and great fish option that you can incorporate into your diet.
Of course, eating too much fish can cause issues too. So be cautious of how much you’re actually intaking.
Extreme diets tend to seem like it’s a fairly dominant within the fitness community. You’ll find someone who looks ‘healthy’ or is in good shape and plenty of times, they’re on a fad/extreme diet. Usually, this correlation makes it very easy to see if you need to get in shape or be ‘healthy’ then you need to follow an extreme diet.
First, let me define what is an extreme diet in this context. How I define an extreme diet is a diet that usually tends to cut out major macronutrients or food groups to be healthy.
Now, we know this is simply not the case overall. We know you can create a perfect dietfor yourself without going crazy and cutting out macronutrients or food groups.
Even with this knowledge, can extreme diets provide any real benefits? Or are they usually more harmful than good?
Appealing to People Who Want to Get into Fitness
I don’t think I’ve ever encountered someone who when they first started to diet or get into shape, didn’t try some type of extreme/fad diet. When I first started to work out and bulk, it had to be all ‘clean food’ and when I was cutting, it had to be low carbs. From trial and error and plenty of research, I realized I didn’t have to do this anymore.
I will give credit that extreme diets tend to bring in new people which is always great. I do think though that newcomers should be educated though that extreme diets aren’t necessarily needed though.
To me, this is probably where extreme diets can either be truly beneficial or can lag your results and only make you frustrated through the process.
People who are educated about extreme diets, sometimes know that it’s not needed for them to be healthy. Why do they keep doing it though? Simply because it’s sustainable for them.
There are plenty of people that having the choice/option to eat whatever they want as long as it fits into their macros, which actually causes them to not sustain their diet because they easily go off the rails. Extreme diets, tend to cut out a majority of the items you may normally binge on, so people who do follow an extreme diet, may find it more sustainable to follow.
Now, this can also cause issues too. I’ve noticed others who go on extreme diets simply can’t keep up with it for a couple of weeks and then start to binge. They feel guilty, go back on the extreme diet, and then again can’t keep up with it. This process is unsustainable and will leave a person feeling defeated. In this case, a more flexible diet might be a better approach.
If you have trouble sustaining your diet due to too many choices of food items and having it be overwhelming, then an extreme diet may be more beneficial to you.
However, if you feel like you keep yo-yo dieting from an extreme diet, maybe you need to have a more flexible diet.
First, I’m not a doctor. You should consult your doctor if you plan on changing up your diet in any regards that can impact your health.
From what I’ve witnessed, extreme diets can sometimes be beneficial for underlying conditions coupled with a healthy supplementation and being at a healthy weight. For example, someone who is type 2 diabetic may be better off going on a more low carb diet/ keto diet. I’ve heard other stories of people who use the carnivore diet for their underlying conditions.
I don’t wish to dwell on this subject too much as again I’m not a doctor and this isn’t my place to say whether an extreme diet can benefit you and your underlying condition. These are just situations i’ve witnessed or heard from others. Again, if you have any underlying condition and plan on trying a more extreme diet, please consult your doctor.
A Tool to Meet Your Goals
Even though you can probably achieve your goals without an extreme diet, that doesn’t mean you won’t get results from an extreme diet. You can see some great results and lose weight (specifically not saying fat because at first, most water weight sheds off first) fast in some cases. It can be a great tool to utilize to meet your goals and potentially help with sustainability or lose those last extra pounds fast.
Extreme diets can have some benefits that can help you. The main issue is that too many people preach that it’s the only way to get results, which isn’t true. I do think it can potentially benefit you depending on if you have issues sustaining a more flexible diet. It also can help bring more people into the fitness community in general, which is always a good thing. However, more people should be aware of the potential side effects of extreme diets and the fact they’re not needed. They can be used as a tool to meet your goals, but there is no one diet to cure-all. If you plan on changing your diet and want to go on a more extreme diet, I would highly advise you to consult with your doctor first before making any changes.
The amount of protein you intake per day can alter your results whether your goal is to gain muscle or lose fat. Protein can play a vital part in both preserving muscle mass if you’re trying to lose fat. It can also help you build muscle if you’re in a caloric surplus.
Many people too often consume less protein then they really need. On the other hand, sometimes you have people who eat too much protein per day and it’s not really doing much for them. We’re going to go over just how much protein you need per day and how to properly allocate protein in your diet.
Protein is possibly one of the most important macronutrients. Protein is responsible for building, restoring, and maintaining muscle. It’s also responsible for creating healthy blood cells, enzymes, hormones, and much more. Protein is made up of amino acids.
There are 2 categories of amino acids, essential amino acids, and nonessential amino acids. Essential amino acids can’t be made by the human body. You can only get them from food. Non-essential amino acids can be made by the human body.
The recommended amount of protein to make sure you’re not in a deficient is 0.8 grams per kg or 0.36 grams per pound. For someone who works out regularly you want around 1.5-2.4 grams per kg or 0.65-1.1 gram per pound. Protein is broken into 4 calories per gram.
So if you’re let’s say 150lbs (68kg), you should be having around 130-140 grams per day. You can also always use the Macro Calculator to get your other Macro Nutrients
What Happens if I Don’t Eat Enough Protein
Intaking an adequate amount of protein is highly important. There are multiple things that can happen if you aren’t intaking enough protein per day:
Potentially Weaker Immune System
What Happens if I Intake too Much Protein
On the other hand, taking too much protein can lead to some other issues. If you’re intaking too much protein, it can start to break down into sugar and can lead to weight gain. This can be an even bigger issue if you’re on the ketogetic diet considering this can throw you out of ketosis.
Don’t Intake All Your Protein in One Meal
Having more then 20g of protein per meal can increase amino acid oxidation.(1) This isn’t always the case, but it’s best to eat around 0.2g/lb/meal. Note: This may be more then 20g of protein per meal, but that’s okay.
In my general opinion, as long as you’re not trying to get a majority of your daily protein in one meal and have it broken up into 3-4 meals a day is ideal for optimization.
Protein is essential to building and maintaining muscle as well as overall body functions. Try to intake around 1.5-2.0 grams per kg or 0.65-1 gram per pound. You should divide your daily intake of protein into about 3 -4 meal (or more) meals per day.
Schoenfeld BJ, Aragon AA. How much protein can the body use in a single meal for muscle-building? Implications for daily protein distribution. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018;15:10. Published 2018 Feb 27. doi:10.1186/s12970-018-0215-1
One of the main issues I’ve heard from clients over the years is that they don’t want to track macros and calories every day. I get it, it seems like a fairly daunting practice to do every day.
You’ll know, I always advise people to track their macros and calories. Especially if you’re trying to lose weight easily and effectively. I also talk about changing your mindset on food, and why tracking is an important part of that process. Just because it’s an important process though, does it mean you need to track macros and calories every day though? Let’s go over quickly why tracking your macros and calories are important and then we’ll dive further into that question.
Why is Tracking Macros and Calories Important?
Whether you’re gaining weight, losing weight, or even maintaining weight, tracking macros and calories is an important factor in all of these. We know that macros in general are something important to look out for. Calories are as well when it comes to weight management.
When it comes to weight management, it mainly comes down to CICO (Calories in and calories out). This is true for gaining, losing, or maintaining weight. If you intake more calories than you’re burning, you’ll gain weight. Whereas if you’re burning more calories than you’re intaking, then you’ll lose weight. Intake just as much as you burn, and you’ll be maintaining weight.
Why Tracking Calories is Important
Tracking calories is important because depending on your goal, you’ll need to track to ensure you’re hitting your goals of calories and macros that will determine if you hit your goal weight. If you have a calorie range of 1700 and you just assume you’re eating 1700 calories a day and you gain weight, you’re going to think that you need to lessen your caloric amount. In reality, though, you might be eating more than you were expecting because you weren’t tracking your calories or macros. Then you might really start eating way less than you need to and you’ll drop weight, but you also may start dropping lean body mass as well.
Why Tracking Macros is Important
Macros are extremely important to track as well. When losing weight, the main goal should be to drop weight while limiting the amount of lean body mass being lost. Losing lean body mass is inevitable when losing weight but you would want to limit that. One of the main components of that is by eating enough protein throughout the day. Getting an adequate amount of protein throughout the day when cutting will help you preserve your lean body mass as much as possible.
If you’re just starting out, tracking macros and calories is extremely important to find out where you’re at and how your body is responding to the new calorie intake. Maybe you hit your target of 2000 calories a day for a week but it hasn’t made a difference. GOOD, now we know we can effectively cut some calories and try again the following week. We do know that 2000 calories weren’t getting the job done and losing at the pace you wanted to lose. You can cut down to 1900 calories and maybe your body starts dropping .25-.5 lbs by the end of the week.
Only Eating What You Need to Eat
One of the main reasons I advocate to track macros and calories besides the reasons mentioned above is that you should only be eating what you need to be eating. If you’re on a cut, and you can lose a steady weight of 1900 calories a day, there is no need for you to eat less than that. Why would you eat at 1600 calories a day unless you wanted to really speed up the process but this will also leave you being cranky and potential to lose more lean body mass? The same goes for gaining weight and bulking, if you can gain a steady weight at 2400 calories a day, why jump up more then that? You can eat 2800 calories but you’ll only gain more fat in the process and not tack on that much more muscle.
Ah yes, the question we’ve all been waiting for. So the question is, do you need to track macros every day?
Short Answer: No
Long Answer: Well, it depends on your goals.
When You Don’t Need to Track Every Day
If you’re following the same diet and you eat the same things every day, it does become rather useless to keep on tracking the items you’re eating. If you intake something that you normally wouldn’t you can probably gauge if you’re going over and under pretty easily.
The more time you spend tracking calories, the better you get at gauging if you’re over or under for your maintenance. It honestly becomes second nature at some point.
When You Need to Track Every Day
I would say though if you’re planning on just dropping weight for a competition or for a very specific goal, it might be worth to track every day to keep yourself in check. This will also keep you prepared and if you won’t have any slip-ups.
Another reason to be tracking your calories every day is if you aren’t making progress towards your goal. You may need to reevaluate your caloric and macro goals then. After you reevaluate, you would need to start tracking your calories and macros again at least for a week to see if everything is matching up and you’re making progress towards your goal now.
Tracking calories and macros is relatively important, especially when you’re first starting out with weight management. Whether if you’re trying to gain muscle, lose fat, or even maintain. If you’re starting with a new caloric/macro range it’s best to track everything to make sure the range is good for you and you’re meeting your goals. If you’re following the same diet and you’re eating the same thing every day, you can usually stop tracking until you hit a plateau.
However, if you’re someone who is doing a competition or trying to hit a specific weight goal, it might be best to track your weight every day to not have any slip-ups and stay on track.
A sustainable diet is one of the keys to having major success with your diet and overall health. If you’ve read my other articles on How to Sustain Weight Loss and Principles to Create the Perfect Diet For You then you know I always preach about it and why it’s important. If you haven’t read those articles, I would suggest it as they both go into detail on why having a sustainable diet is so important. I go into some information on creating a sustainable diet, but not too much detail. This post will go into more detail about creating one and common issues people have with creating one.
When your diet is sustainable, it means it is consistent and it’s also easy for you to follow. Many people fail to stay consistent with their diet because it isn’t easy. Why is that though? It’s easy to say that you’ve missed a couple of days of “eating right” and then now it’s hard to get back on. However, the point I want to make though is that your sustainable diet should be your day to day diet that’s not hard to get back on.
It should be something that you just jump back on the next day instead of having to force yourself to get back on track. So how do you create a diet like this? Let’s go over some ways you can do so.
Calculate Your Calories and Macros
If you don’t know your calorie or macro intake, I would suggest you find that out. Depending on your goals, knowing your macros and calories can play a very important factor in achieving them. Whether it be losing, gaining, or sustaining weight. Once you figure that out, you will easily find your baseline and can go from there. For example, you may want to lose weight, but for you to lose weight you need to eat 2000 calories a day.
You may not know it, but you may be eating well over that. So knowing your caloric range and keeping track of it for a period of time is important. I say a period of time because you don’t always need to track your calories and macros. It definitely plays an important part in the beginning but once you’re on a sustainable diet, you will easily be able to know if you’re overeating or undereating. I digress though, you need to find out your calorie and macro range to have a baseline to go off of.
Flexible Dieting, Extreme Diet, or Something in Between?
A sustainable diet is unique to you. Even though it is unique to you, you may be still following a base diet. Maybe you’re doing keto? Maybe you’re doing Paleo or flexible dieting? If you haven’t done though, you’re probably wondering what is best for you.
I’m a person that believes there is a dichotomy in everything. I believe that when it comes to dieting too. You go on any extreme diet, you will most likely be lacking in something. Now that doesn’t mean you always will be. You can be a vegan and supplement properly and you’re good to go. I go into more detail about this in my article Supplements vs Whole Foods, Does it Make a Difference?
However, I always think having a good balance of a diet is best. What does that mean though? A balanced diet, in my opinion, is something that properly distributes macros and calories over the whole day. As well, is packed with foods that have great sources of vitamins and minerals. Even though that’s my personal philosophy, a diet like that may not be sustainable for you. You may find it easier to do intermediate fasting. You may find something like keto easier for you, which brings me to my next point.
Use Fad Diets to Create a Sustainable Diet
If you’ve had trouble sustaining your diet, I think the best thing for you to do is to do experiments. You most likely wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t have a sustainable diet.
All these fads diet out there are just tools for you to use. Bruce Lee has a quote that says, “Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own”. I believe this is especially true when it comes to diets. You should look into fad diets and note what is sustainable for you and implement it.
Using myself as an example, my main issue with my diet was actually not eating enough or not getting enough protein. I also had a problem getting certain micronutrients. So I borrowed some elements of a Paleo diet into my own. I stopped taking so many multi-vitamins and tried to get more micronutrients from food. This also led to me getting more protein and eating more. It’s also the food I enjoy which is a huge plus.
I want you to look a some of the most common fad diets:
Keto – Low carbs, high fat, and protein (Protein should be at an amount that benefits you. Use the Macro Calculatorto find your correct protein intake.
Paleo – Eating whole foods and eliminating processed foods, grains, dairy products, etc.
Flexible Dieting – Eating what you want as long as you consistently hit your macros.
Look into all these diets and see what you like out of each one.
Maybe you like the idea of flexible dieting, but have trouble controlling how much you eat throughout the day. So doing something like intermediate fasting + Flexible Dieting is best.
You may want to implement some of the principles of a Paleo diet while also doing Keto at the same time.
It’s up to you.
Look at the pros of each one and what’s easiest for you to follow on a day to day basis and implement it. If you must, implement it gradually.
Note: You may have noticed I’m not naming things like a vegan diet or carnivore diet. The reason being is because I don’t believe those are healthy diets and I wouldn’t recommend them to people. I don’t have references for it as of now and will write more about it in the future. Nonetheless, it’s not something I would recommend unless you’re absolutely supplementing correctly.
I may be missing other diets, but they all follow fairly similar guidelines to the ones I mentioned above except for some minor changes.
Write Down What Makes You Feel Good
This is a big one for me. Dieting is more sustainable if it makes you feel good and energetic. When you’re eating foods, I want you to write down how it makes you feel afterward.
Do you feel satisfied and a good full after you ate that piece of Salmon? Awesome, write it down. Maybe that donut made you feel bloated and lethargic, probably not best to keep incorporating them.
This is kind of like an elimination diet but you’re mainly doing it for how it makes you feel on a day to day basis. With any new food I eat, I will always be mindful of how it makes me feel within the next hour. If I’m feeling tired or low on energy, it’s probably not something I’ll continue to eat. However, if I feel great and even have energy afterward, then I’ll incorporate it more.
Write down what you eat for a couple of weeks. Even take note of how your body is digesting it. If all is good, keep it in your diet. If it makes you feel bad or your body can’t process it well, maybe it’s best to scrap it.
If you’ve followed some of the tips above, you should be able to create a sustainable diet for yourself.
If you’ve found your caloric and macro range. You’ve also found foods that you like to eat within that range and you’re eliminating foods that don’t make you feel great overall.
Following those steps will allow you to have a sustainable diet overall and be consistent. You’ll notice that it won’t be hard for you to fall back on your diet after a crazy party you may have had on the weekend.
Finding a balance is key to a sustainable diet. Note, anything to any extreme end may be more difficult to follow.
The ability to sustain your weight loss is probably one of the most important things when it comes to weight management. The principles of losing weight isn’t something that’s too difficult to grasp, However, the problem most people face is that they go down in weight and jump back up in weight. Usually, this is accompanied by extreme diets. Sometimes it’s not though. Let’s go over how to sustain your weight loss and why it’s the key to success.
Why Sustain Your Weight Loss and Why it’s the Hardest Aspect
Many people at some point came to a realization that they’re overweight and they go on a diet and drop the weight and they look great! Maybe holidays come around or something happens when you kind of lose control a bit. That then bleeds over in time and months past by and then you’re back to where you started. Now you need to diet again. That alone is a pretty daunting task in and of itself, especially for people who drop 30+ pounds. This is also known as ‘yo-yo’ dieting.
The problem is, eventually if you keep going back and forth with losing weight and gaining and so on, you eventually may get burned out and discouraged and just say “I’m done with this!”
To be honest, it’s understandable. Even if the principles of losing weight can be easy, the process still takes patience, time, and discipline.
Now, imagine if you dropped the weight and you were able to sustain it? You would be happy with yourself overall. Maybe you’ll do mini bulks or drop weight here and there sometimes, but it’s much better than having to try dropping a huge amount of weight gain. Keeping at a steady weight and maintaining it will make youhealthier and happier. It will also make you feel in control of your diet and yourself.
So you want to sustain your weight loss, how do we go about that?
Identifying Why You’re Yo-Yo Dieting
Like all issues, you need to discover and identify why it’s happening.
There may be so many reasons for yo-yo dieting. Maybe you’re stressed at work. The holidays could be coming up and with all the family gatherings, you just don’t have time to train or eat correctly. It could be many things, but you need to identify what’s causing it.
Once you identified the issue, you can now tackle it head-on.
Sustain Your Weight Loss by Changing Your Mindset on Your Health
Depending on what your issues are and why you’re yo-yo dieting, it’s most likely that your health is taking a back seat for a bit.
Let me ask you though, where would you be without your health? Whether it be physical or mental health, you don’t get too far without either of those things.
I believe 85% of the week should be dedicated to doing at least something to keep yourself in shape or better your overall health. Whether this is eating at a caloric range that helps maintain weight or just to keep training normally. You should always make it a goal. I set this goal for myself and I do believe this is a reason why I never had an issue sustaining weight.
So where’s that other 15%? Usually, this will probably be a day off of some sort. I’ll be honest, my Sunday’s (Especially during Football season) doesn’t consist of much except cooking and watching and screaming at my TV. We all need a break here and there, so I think this ratio is personally good.
Let me ask you though, have you done something today that has a positive impact on your physical or mental health? If not, will you be aiming for tomorrow?
Setup something for tomorrow and make it a priority to do at least one positive thing to improve your health. If it helps, even mark it down in your calendar. Set it all day if you must. As long as it keeps you in check.
If you’re stuck and just don’t even know where to start, start as simple as going for a quick run or even running in place or doing some jumping jacks. It ain’t much, but it’ll be something that benefits you. Sometimes starting off slow may be best to get into a rhythm.
Consistent Training and Programming Leads to Sustaining Your Weight Loss
Okay, so you identified why you’re yo-yo dieting. You’ve made a conscious decision to change your mindset on your health as well and that it should take priority. Now what?
Now we need to get into the training.
The definition of training is: is teaching, or developing in oneself or others, any skills and knowledge or fitness that relate to specific useful competencies.
Now I just want to point out, I’m saying training and not exercising. The reason being is because training has a goal you’re working towards. You can be training for a marathon. Maybe you’re training to reach a specific deadlift weight. The point being is you should start training and not exercising.
Training will keep you goal-oriented and focused. You’re more likely to keep up with a training regimen than to just exercise and call it a day.
If you don’t know what you want to train for, take a look at what you think would be fun for you. For me, weight lifting and powerlifting are fun. For you maybe running is fun and something you can do consistently. Whatever works for you, look into a training regimen for it. Most importantly, look into a training regime that is sustainable and will make you consistent.
If you want, contact me and we can talk about creating a training program for you.
Consistent Dieting and Finding out Your Calorie and Macro Intake
I did an Instagram poll recently about what people have trouble with the most. Most people voted on dieting/nutrition vs training. Now dieting is a bit more difficult to be consistent with and it makes sense that this is probably why people struggle to sustain your weight loss. Especially if you’re doing something that you’re unhappy with.
I believe a reason there is a struggle to sustain your weight loss is that the diet you’re following is not sustainable. A diet should beeasy for you to follow and sustainable. I don’t like extreme diets for the main reason that it’s very restricting in what you eat and will tend to lead to you most likely falling off the bandwagon.
Now, this isn’t always the case. I also know plenty of people who do keto or vegan diets and they can easily sustain it and achieve their goals. In cases like this, the more restricting it is for some people, the better.
You need to choose a diet for you that makes you happy and you can follow easily. If you don’t know what diet that is, explore your options. Experiment and see what works for you.
I do want to mention though, with nutrition regardless of your diet, what it comes down to losing weight is calories in and out. If you intake more calories than your burn, you’ll most likely gain weight. Simply, if you’re intaking fewer calories than you’re burning you’ll lose weight.
To sustain your weight loss is a difficult task. What happens is a lot of people succumb to yo-yo dieting. However, identifying what causes you to yo-yo diet is one of the main factors of stopping it. Once you identify the issue, you need to identify how to solve it. In most cases, things like work get too busy or you may have just too many stressors going on. Now, sometimes other things take all of our time in life and I get that.
A change of your mindset on your health might need to be made and realize that without your health, things will probably go downhill in the long run.
Once you identified these issues and made a mindset shift, you can now go on finding a training regimen to stick with and figuring out your calorie/macro intake that works for you. If you feel like an extreme diet is best for you to sustain, more power to you.
Sustainability should be what is easy for you to follow and makes you happy. Whether it’s an extreme diet or something flexible, do something that makes you happy and is easy to follow.
Supplements vs Whole Foods, does it make a difference? Many people just throw down protein supplements or multivitamins in their daily diet.
Obviously, all things you get from supplements you can get from food though. Usually, we take supplements because maybe we don’t like the food that it usually comes from or we just don’t have enough time to eat that food. Do the pros of having whole foods though outweigh the pros of convenience of supplements though?
Pros of Taking Supplements
One of the main benefits of supplements is that it’s convenient. You can take them at any time that benefits you and usually, you can get them in forms that taste better than the whole food.
So if you’re traveling to work or just getting out of the gym and you need to throw down a protein shake, that works perfectly for you. It’s usually much easier to do something like that than take out a container of cooked chicken breast and eating it on the spot.
Another plus to supplements it that you can isolate the things you need and take what’s needed. For example, if you’re deficient in vitamin D, you can easily just take a supplement for it without having to worry about eating foods that contain Vitamin D that can throw you over your caloric intake.
Cons of Taking Supplements
You might think of things listed in the cons here would be artificial sweeteners. Which I do agree is a con, but I don’t think they’re so negative to have an overall negative impact on your health (unless it’s paired with unhealthy weight and lifestyle) So we know that the main benefit of taking supplements is that it’s convenient for use. So let’s go on to some of the reasons why supplements aren’t too great. So what’s the real issue with supplements?
Too much of nothing
If you ever look in the back of your multivitamins, obviously there is plenty of vitamins in there. However, most of the vitamins that are in there you don’t even really need, and the stuff you do need you probably need to supplement with for somewhere else.
For example, according to a 2011 study, 43% of Americans are vitamin D deficient (1). A great majority within the African American and Hispanic communities. However, if you’re taking a multivitamin you’re probably not getting the RDI (recommended daily intake). Even if you are, if you’re deficient in vitamin D, you most likely need to take over the RDI to have normal levels of it.
Nutrients aren’t Normally Paired Correctly
To piggyback off the example I used previously with vitamin D, let’s say you are taking a vitamin D supplement or your multivitamin contains enough vitamin D to help you keep you in normal ranges.
Vitamin D in general needs plenty of other vitamins and micronutrients to work correctly. Vitamin D will deplete your magnesium levels faster than normal. You also need vitamin K2 for vitamin D to ensure calcium is absorbed optimally. However, you’ll notice that your multivitamin most likely doesn’t contain enough vitamin K2 or enough magnesium to help with this situation, so guess what? You need to start supplementing those too.
The main problem with supplements is that in a lot of cases, it leads to a domino effect (usually in a case if you’re supplementing vitamins and micronutrients). You start supplementing and you’ll realize whatever supplement you may be taking is missing X and then you go to supplement Y to realize supplement Y is missing Z and so on.
Pros of Eating Whole Foods
You’re going to find here that most of the cons of supplementing are the pros of eating whole foods. However, let’s go in more detail on what whole foods can provide.
Having a More Nutrient-Dense Diet
Having a nutrient-dense diet is one of your best options when taking foods into consideration. A Nutrient-dense diet is a diet that contains foods that are packed with nutrients.
Here is a small list of some foods that are considered nutrient-dense and why that is so:
Packed with Omega-3s
A good source of vitamin Bs, Magnesium, Vitamin D, Potassium
Liver (Organ meats, in general, are some of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat)
High in Vitamin A, Vitamin Bs, Iron and Copper, Phosphorus, Riboflavin
Good source of zinc and selenium
Good source of protein
Packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K1
Good source of magnesium, copper, potassium
Good source of fiber
Great source of magnesium, iron, and potassium
High in fiber
Eggs (Mainly egg yolks)
Great source of protein and healthy fats
A decent source for vitamin K2
Good source of vitamin D
High in Vitamin A and Iron
Good source of magnesium and potassium
With all that mentioned in the list, we didn’t even cover all the other benefits those foods have but just some of the high nutrients they have. Mind you, there is plenty more nutrient-dense foods out there but that’s just a small list of foods compiled for you to get the idea.
Nutrients are Naturally Paired Correctly or are Easy to Do So
The pairing of nutrients is often fairly overlooked. Did you know something like Iron should be taken with something like Vitamin C to help absorption? How about vitamin B12 and folate?
You may already know all of this, but one of the cons I mentioned above for supplements is that nutrients aren’t paired correctly usually. However, with whole foods, nutrients are either naturally paired together or easy to pair together to provide extra benefits.
So for the example that we used earlier that Vitamin D should be paired with magnesium and vitamin K2. If you have a serving of Salmon, you’re already paired with vitamin D and magnesium including the benefits of a good amount of omega-3s and high in vitamin B and selenium content. Now the only thing you’re missing is vitamin K2, which you can get from something like egg yolks.
So something easy for breakfast like eggs, spinach, and lox (smoked salmon) can easily pack you with plenty of the nutrients you need, some are paired naturally, and provide more benefits than you would get from just supplementing all of those individually.
Even with that breakfast in mind, let’s look at the nutrition facts for something like that:
Vitamin K(not k2)
Now if you look at that, that’s a small breakfast that easily covers a lot. We also aren’t looking at the other individual benefits each food direct has to it as well. That’s what makes eating whole foods that much more impactful.
Cons of Whole Foods
Even though there are many benefits of whole foods. Sometimes eating whole foods is just too inconvenient or it’s too difficult to pair foods with what you actually need.
Not as Convenient
If you have to cook all your meals, it can take up a good portion of the day. Especially if you don’t like cooking, it just becomes a chore at that point. Some people may work long hours and don’t have time to make these nutrient-dense meals for themselves and supplementing at this point is the better option.
Can End up Being Expensive
I do think supplements, in general, are expensive. However, in the day and age, we live in now, I feel that any whole foods you want to buy are always jacked up in price. It’s more of a privilege to eat healthily than anything else now in days. So when trying to find and buy foods that help with your diet, especially with nutrients you’re missing, you may end up spending a lot of money. For example, if you were just eating steak for the protein and that’s it, it will be more cost-efficient to get yourself a protein supplement and call it a day. However, you should be eating steak for the range of benefits it has and not just the protein alone.
So Does it Matter? + Final Thoughts
So to answer the question of Supplements vs Whole Foods and if it makes a difference, it does. Mainly going off supplements can lead you to not truly get all the nutrition you need and usually give you more of the nutrients you’re already good with. Eating whole foods will always be superior to get your nutrients due to its nutrient density and the benefits it has.
Supplementing isn’t bad though. I believe, you should supplement as necessary.
If you can’t go out in the Sun due to the wintertime and you can’t get enough vitamin D from food? Okay, take a vitamin D supplement. You’re supplementing for something that’s missing and you can’t get enough of it from food.
You should supplement as necessary. I do believe it’s very difficult to get all your nutrients from whole foods. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try either.
Principles to create a perfect diet is one of the first steps to create a diet that leads to good health. A good diet can make you feel good, feel energetic, and a feeling as if you can take on the world. A bad diet can make you feel terrible and even potentially lead to mental health issues. (1)
So what’s considered a good diet? More importantly, what’s the perfect diet for you? Is it just calories in and calories out and maintaining a proper body weight? Is it eating “clean foods”? or is it a fad diet that you’ve come upon but haven’t really tried? We’re going to break down the principles of what makes a perfect diet for you and how you can achieve it.
Principle 1 to a Perfect Diet: Calories In and Calories Out
Calories in and calories out is a basic measure of how many calories you’re putting into your body and how much you’re burning off.
Why is calories in and calories out important? Well, the main purpose of it is to determine if you’re gaining, losing, or maintaining weight.
Simply, if you intake more calories then you burn, then you will gain weight. If you intake fewer calories then more you burn, you will lose weight. If you intake around the same amount of calories that your burn, you will be maintaining weight (or gaining/losing by a small amount)
I can go into more depth and consideration in an equation like this, but it’s usually broken down as simply as this.
Figuring out though if you’re trying to gain, lose or maintain weight is important. This will give you a key to how many calories you have to intake. If you don’t know how many calories you have to intake, check out my calorie calculator.
Summary: Figure out how many calories you need to intake to meet your goals.
Principle 2 to a Perfect Diet: Figuring out Macronutrients
Okay, so you figured out how many calories you need to intake.
Here is where things get fun and the fad diets start to come into play though.
Macronutrients are broken down into the following:
Protein (4 calories)
Carbohydrates (4 calories)
Fat (9 calories)
Macros play a very important part of your nutrition and will dictate the foods you intake. They also play an important part in how your body functions.
Note: I wrote an article stating Why are Macros Important. It goes into more detail about macros then I will be going in this article. So if you wish to find out more, please read that.
As well, if you already read the article, feel free to scroll down a bit more to see what macro range is perfect for you.
Protein is one of the main building blocks in terms of building muscle.
Someone who is doing a vegan diet, may not get the adequate amount of protein they need and will also probably be deficient in some micronutrients. Not having the correct amount of protein, for example, can lead to muscle loss, weakness, and other issues.
However, someone on a keto diet, who intakes low carbs, high protein, high fat may sometimes intake too much protein. This can also lead to issues like protein being broken down into sugar (taking you out of keto (2)) and can lead to weight gain.
The recommended amount of protein to make sure you’re not in a deficient is 0.8 grams per kg or 0.36 grams per pound. For someone who works out regularly, you want around 1.5-2.0 grams per kg or 0.65-1 gram per pound. (Assuming you’re working out)
So correcting your protein intake is the most important step.
Carbohydrates are something else that plays a big role in your bodily functions, especially when it comes to Fiber.
Someone who’s doing a keto or vegan diet may get a lot of fiber in their diet which is great for them. Someone who’s doing flexible dieting, may not get as much fiber as they really need.
Fiber can play an important role in your vitals too. Fiber (Soluble) actually binds to cholesterol and sugar which slows down carbohydrate digestion. Fiber also helps with stabilizing your blood sugar levels and protect against heart disease.
A good rule of thumb is to intake 10 grams of fiber per 1000 calories in your intake. So if you’re intaking 2000 calories a day, you should be getting 20 grams of fiber a day.
Fat is the macronutrient that gets a bad rep mainly cause of its name. We think fat will make us fat which is not true. We know excess calorie intake will cause weight gain.
What makes fat dangerous though is that 1 gram of it is worth 9 calories. More then carbs and protein. So it’s a bit easier to go overboard with fat and accidentally intake too many calories.
Fat isn’t all that bad though, especially when you intake the correct ones. Like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Healthy fats can also play a part in helping with other vitals as well.
What Macro Range is Perfect for me?
So the question is, what macronutrient range is best for you? Well, it all depends on what’s sustainable for you and your health status. We already stated, having a specific amount of protein is important. So you should know that already. If you need to figure out your protein range (or range of macros in general), check out the macro calculator to get your range.
Now how about fats and carbs? When adjusting your fat and carbs, you should consider the following:
Principle 3 to a Perfect Diet: Sustainability
A sustainable diet is a diet that is easy for you to control your calorie range and not make you fall too short or too high of your calorie goal. To me, sustainability isn’t achievable without having foods that also make you happy as well though.
I know plenty of people who do keto diets because it’s sustainable for them. They don’t do flexible dieting because they can easily go overboard and eat too much. And you know what? That’s perfect for them.
They like the food they eat, and they manage to be able to easily keep in their calorie range with feeling in control.
For me, flexible dieting is perfect for me. I don’t like limiting my carb intake. If I do keto or something else, I’m not happy with the foods I intake, then I’ll “cheat” on my diet and be mad at myself. That’s not right and will only lead down a slippery slope.
If your diet is not sustainable, you won’t be happy with it because you won’t be able to follow it and you probably won’t be hitting your calorie range.
For me, my current macros are:
That’s good for me and easy to hit those goals. However, if I feel like too many carbs allows me to lose control and dip too far out of my calorie range, I can limit it. I can easily adjust it and do the following:
They both lead to 2100+ calories a day and I’ll be maintaining my weight without an issue.
To find that out, you would need to experiment. I would recommend doing something like flexible dieting first and then from there if you find it’s not sustainable for your goals, try limiting certain foods. If that still doesn’t work try going on something on the more extreme side. I think it would be harder to go extreme and then keep adding in food to see what’s sustainable but that’s up for you to decide.
For example, if you’re doing flexible dieting first and you feel that you can’t help but keep indulging on carbs, try limiting your carb intake. You don’t have to be “keto” you can just be in a low carb state and you would readjust your macros and compensate carbs for fat. It may be easier for you now to maintain your calorie range and hit your macro goals while also it being easy for you to follow.
Okay, so we know sustainability is the most important part. However, what happens if you have some type of underlying condition like diabetes or anemia?
Well, now we have to take that into consideration. If you’re someone who’s diabetic, eating things like carbs can get a bit tricky. Depending on your health you need to adjust your carbs, fat, and protein in a way that benefits you.
I believe also knowing your family history should be something you take into consideration. Maybe you’re someone who’s prone to being diabetic or have high cholesterol. So maybe you need to be limiting carbs, intaking more fiber, and/or more healthy fats than other people.
Note: It may take some time to figure out what is sustainable for you. So don’t be upset at yourself if it takes some time to figure out. Keeping adding or eliminating food and play around with your macronutrients in a way that you know is healthy and sustainable. As well, if you do have any history of health issues or underlying conditions, please consult your doctor about what foods can benefit you.
Principle 4 to a Perfect Diet: Micronutrients
Anyone who’s remotely into fitness takes some type of multivitamin and thinks they’re all good. Which in some cases, they are. However, this isn’t always the case.
I believe micronutrients is one of the underrated factors of your diet. For example, if you’re a vegan you could potentially be anemic and not be intaking enough iron.
I think the first step is to go get a test on your micronutrients. See if you’re deficient in anything. If you’re deficient in anything, try getting your diet to add more of that micronutrient(s) to your system.
You can also be too sufficient in a micronutrient and you may need to take out that micronutrient from your system. For example, I’m too sufficient in Vitamin B12. Most multivitamins are stacked with vitamin B12. so knowing that I’m not taking my multivitamin anymore. I try to personally get most of my micronutrients from food rather then multivitamins unless I’m truly deficient in it.
I think Health Status is important here as well. Trying to get micronutrients that benefit you and what you’re lacking is important. For example, if you’re anemic you’ll need more iron in your diet. So you may need to intake more liver or an iron supplement. Maybe you’re deficient in vitamin D (Which a lot of people are and multivitamins don’t have that much) you may need to take a vitamin D supplement or just get out more often.
You want to find what you need and don’t need it. Take out what is useless for you and put in what’s good for you. Dieting in the end all comes down to a balance.
Principle 5 to a Perfect Diet: A Balancing and a Lifestyle
A perfect diet should consist of balancing calories, macronutrients, micronutrients in a way that is sustainable for you. A diet is more of a lifestyle rather than something you do every couple of months. Your diet should make you happy with the foods that you eat but not make you go overboard in any category that can leads to future issues down the line. If that is to be a more extreme diet like Keto, that’s okay as long as it’s sustainable for you and you’re meeting your macronutrients and your micronutrients don’t take a beat in any way. A perfect diet will also make you feel like even if you “cheat” on it, it’s okay. You know you’ll get back on it the next day because it’s sustainable.
This article covers a lot but also not enough. Look out for future articles detailing different ways to improve your diet. As well, you can find out more on some of the other topics by checking out the articles I wrote on calorie intake and macronutrients.
There is no perfect diet for all of us. The perfect diet only exists on an individual level.
You may have expected this article to go into foods that will overall benefit you, which it doesn’t. This article mainly goes into the principles of creating a perfect diet and my idea of a perfect diet. Be on the lookout though for future articles detail foods that can usually improve your overall health.
A quote from Bruce Lee that I believe sums up the perfect diet is this: “Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own”.
Put things into your diet that benefits you. Reject what you don’t need. Add in things that are essentially your own and make you happy.
Li Y, Lv MR, Wei YJ, Sun L, Zhang JX, Zhang HG, Li B. Dietary patterns and depression risk: A meta-analysis. Psychiatry Res. 2017 Jul;253:373-382. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2017.04.020. Epub 2017 Apr 11. PMID: 28431261.
Masood W, Annamaraju P, Uppaluri KR. Ketogenic Diet. [Updated 2020 Jun 22]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/
Losing weight seems like a complex process. You often hear about all of these fad diets that pop up every few months on how you can lose X amount of pounds in as little as 3 days. In some cases, it may be true. In other cases not really. Losing weight is a much more simplistic process than what it’s made out to be. We are going to go over the different types of fats, the key to losing weight, and a step-by-step process on how to lose weight with ease.
Different Types of Weight
When we’re in the process of losing weight, we are more concerned with how much weight we lose on the scale. It’s important to note though that we have different types of weight. Your body is made up of lean body mass and body fat.
Lean Body Mass
Lean body mass is your weight minus your body fat. This includes muscular tissue, bones, water weight, organs, and skin. When we refer to “lean body mass”, this is what we mean. Usually, if you’re dropping weight that is lean body mass, you’re either losing water weight or muscle tissue. If you’re losing LBM due to organs, bone density or skin… well that might be a problem.
Body fat is broken up into essential body fat and storage body fat. Essential body fat is the amount of fat we need to live a healthy and functional life, whereas storage body fat is the accumulation of fat/adipose tissue that protects the internal organs. Key word is that it accumulates and can becomes excessive. When you’re losing weight, your goal is to lose storage body fat.
What Losing Weight Easily Comes Down to
We learned that when we are losing weight, our main goal is to lose stored body fat while maintaining as much lean body mass as possible. To lose weight, it comes down to one simple rule, you have to be in a calorie deficit, meaning that you have to burn more calories than you intake. That’s the simplicity of it. Most fad diets work mainly because you’re in a caloric deficit during the process. Let’s look at what a caloric deficiency means for you.
When you’re in a caloric deficit you’re intaking fewer calories than your body is burning. In return, your body starts burning down fat and uses that as energy.
For example, if your calorie maintenance was 2000 calories a day, you can eat 1800 calories a day and be in a calorie deficit and you would start losing weight. It would be as simple as giving up a can of soda or a couple of snacks a day to go into a 200 calorie deficiency.
Granted, you may lose about 0.25 – 0.5 a week but you would be losing weight nonetheless. Now, let’s say you worked out 3-5 days a week and your calorie maintenance was 2000 calories. If you increase your workload (workout 5-6 days a week or more) you can then eat 2000 calories and still be in a calorie deficit and losing weight.
By increasing your workload, you’re utilizing more energy and burning more calories than you’re taking in, which will lead to weight loss.
Step by Step on How to Lose Weight Easily
From above we know that going into a calorie deficit is the key to losing weight. So the first thing you want to do is figure out what your calorie maintenance is. You can click here to utilize the calorie calculator to determine your maintenance calories. Remember, maintenance means if you hit that goal, you are not gaining or losing weight, it’s just the baseline amount your body burns throughout the day.
Step One: New Caloric Goal
So let’s say for example your maintenance calorie intake was 2000 calories a day. The first thing you would want to do is take this number and subtract around 200-300 calories. So your new calorie intake will be 1700-1800 calories a day.
Step Two: Macronutrients
Now that you have your new calorie goal, you’re going to need to get your new set of macros. To understand why macros are important, you can click here. To give a quick summary though, protein is the most important factor when it comes to calculating your macros. The reason being is because you want to maintain as much lean body mass as possible and only lose fat. Granted, this is practically impossible to do on a cut (same as trying to go on a bulk without gaining fat), but you can at least minimize the amount of muscle loss by intaking a proper amount of protein.
Ideally you want to have around 1 gram of protein per pound of body mass. So if you weighed 160 lbs you would want about 160 grams of protein per day. When it comes to carbohydrates and fat, you can weigh that out to decide what works best for you. If you prefer to follow a more keto diet, minimize the carbs and increase your fat intake.
If you’re wondering how you would go about adjusting your macros let’s break it down a bit more. For every 1 gram of protein = 4 calories, 1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories and 1 grams of fat = 9 calories. We know that our calorie intake is 1700-1800 but we’ll stick with 1800 for now. We also know that we need to consume 160 grams of protein in order to maintain as much lean body mass as possible.
We’ll multiple the 160 grams of protein by 4 and that equals 640 (160 * 4 = 640). So 640 calories needs to be dedicated to just protein. Let’s subtract that from our 1800 and we’re left with 1160 calories (1800 – 640 = 1160). With that 1160 calories you can do whatever you want!
So if you wanted to do a keto diet and needed a minimum of 40 carbs a day then you would do 40 * 4 = 160. Then you would want to do 1160 (remaining calories) – 160 (calories from carbs) = 1000. Now you have 1000 calories left for fat so then you just do 1000(calories remaining)/9(calories per gram of fat) and you’re left with 111 grams of fat.
Your macronutrients would then be 160 grams of protein, 40 grams of carbs, 111 grams of fat. It may look like a lot at first, but it’s not too bad and you can make your own calculations in a minutes! For the rest of the examples, we’re going to stick with an ordinary carb/fat intake so we’ll say our protein is 160 grams of protein, 145 grams of carbs and 64 grams of fat.
Step Three: Exercise
Now we have everything figured out it’s important that you still exercise the same amount you usually do. If you’re doing resistance training, your main goal when cutting should be to maintain as much strength as possible during the cut. You’ll most likely lose strength no matter what, but you want to try and maintain as much as possible to not see any drastic decreases in strength.
Cheat Meals and Exercise
I want to also note that if you know you’re going to go out to eat and probably go over your macro and calorie range, you should double down on your workouts. If you usually do resistance training, add cardio to your workout that day and vice versa. If you usually do both resistance training and cardio in your workouts just do a little bit more than usual. This way you’re most likely going to expend more calories than you’re consuming and hopefully stay in a calorie deficit (or at-least close the margin of excess calories eaten).
Step Four: Tracking Weight
One of the most important steps is to track and log your daily intake. When you don’t track the foods you’ve eaten it’s very easy to forget what you’ve taken in during the day and underestimate the amount of food you’ve already eaten. I remember the first time I started tracking my food I was surprised on how fast everything started adding up! When you start tracking your items, you’ll be more self aware of just how much you’ve eaten and where you’re at throughout the day in regards to your macros. I promise, once you start tracking your food intake, you’ll see better results. There are plenty of great tracking apps like Myfitnesspal or My Macros + (you can also do it old school and write it all down).
Step Five: Checking In
The last part of this process is checking in. After every week it’s important to check your body weight and your body fat. From here you can see if you’re on track with your goals. Let’s go over a few scenarios that can occur and what to do (all assuming you’ve been keeping track of calories and macros):
I’m Not Losing Weight and/or Body Fat
If you didn’t lose any weight or body fat don’t panic! A simple solution to this problem is take the calorie intake you originally had and reduce it by 100. You can do that, or add some extra training time into your normal routine.
I Gained Weight and/or Body Fat
If you gained weight during the process, follow the same advice as above but reduce your calories by 150 this time and see where you lay in the following week.
I Gained Weight and Lost Body Fat
If you gained weight and lost body fat, that means you gained some lean body mass. This isn’t a bad thing. You should keep you calories and macros the same. If your body fat starts to increase though, then you’ll reduce more. (Note lean body mass also means something like water weight)
I Lost Weight and Didn’t Lose Body Fat
This is usually due to dropping water weight. You can drop water weight REALLY fast. Whenever you hear someone say “I lost 10lbs in a week!” It’s mainly water weight they lost. You’ll still be keeping your calorie intake and macros the same
I Lost Weight and Body Fat
Congrats! This is what you want to achieve! You won’t be adjusting your calorie and macros. You want to be able to consume as many calories as possible and still lose weight and fat. So once you hit a plateau, you’ll cut back on calories again.
This may seem like a lot to take in! You may even be thinking to yourself “hm this isn’t as simple as he made it sound like.” Trust me, it is. Tracking your food and checking in once a week takes up a small fraction of time. Once you do it for a week or two, you’ll get used to it and it’ll be part of your daily routine that you won’t think much of it.