Updated: Jun 28, 2021
If you’re not sure how your diet is and want a way to better visualize what you’re eating each day, get the MyFitnessPal app on your phone (it's free) and track what you’re eating.
Pay close attention to your macronutrients (macros); protein, carbohydrates and fat.
An individual gram of each macro has a specific caloric value.
Protein 1g = 4 calories
Carb 1g = 4 calories
Fat 1g = 9 calories
Alcohol 1g = 7 calories
*If you've been advised by a medical doctor to avoid increased levels of protein skip this part.*
You would be surprised how often this is neglected on a daily basis. Lean meats, chicken, turkey, beans and protein dense dairy products (Greek Yogurt) should make up the majority of your daily intake. Liquid proteins (Whey & Casein) are good alternatives to supplement your diet and hit your target number but you shouldn’t always choose these sources over real food.
Aim for .8-1.0 grams per pound of body weight.
If you weigh 200# and work out regularly, you should be averaging somewhere between 160-200g of protein daily which would account for 640-800 calories.
Carbs and Fats - The "Fun" Macros
While this pair provides a lot of flavor to foods we enjoy, they also contribute to a lot of empty calories. Scale back on your consumption of these in small increments (5-10%).
If you’re eating 300g of carbs and 150g of fat a day, try to only eat 90% of that (270g of carbs and 135g of fat), do this for 1-2 weeks and see how your weight changes or if your clothes fit better.
300g carbs = 1200 calories
150g fat = 1350 calories
270g carbs = 1080 calories
135g fat = 1215 calories
Normal hydration also allows for your body to regulate core temperature and operate optimally (i.e. sleep, digestion, brain function, muscle growth/repair, etc.)
Avoid Gatorade, Powerade, Coconut Water, etc. as they are too dense (lots of carbs) which results in a digestion response from the gut rather than a hydration response.
Carbonated water, Seltzer waters or regular water with a tiny pinch of sea salt added will hydrate you better than plain tap water or bottled water that does not contain any sodium.
Quit watching the scale
People have become so obsessed with the number on the scale.
However, only watching the scale may become frustrating and counterproductive as the number may not change as drastically as you would expect. Focus more on how you fit in your clothes. If the weight change, no matter how little, allows you to fit into clothes that were previously quite snug YOU’RE MAKING PROGRESS!
Avoid fad diets
Not all diets are the same and some work better than others. Mostly, it's a numbers game.
Burn more calories than you take in and make sure the calories you are taking in are of high quality and you'll lose weight.
Find a nutrition coach who can help you put things in perspective and offer realistic changes to your diet. When you know you have someone in your corner rooting for you but also keeping you accountable, it’s a big morale boost.