What and how much you eat can be difficult to manage, especially if you think cutting out a specific food or macronutrient (protein, fat, carbs) is necessary to achieve your goals.
Every single one of your goals is not only dependent on your work output but also what you are consuming. I’m sure you might be thinking to yourself, “duh”, but the fact of the matter is that nutritional consistency is one of the most difficult programs to follow.
Check out these 3 tips on how you can make your life easier.
1.Learn the basics of macronutrients
What are calories? Just like weight, calories are simply a unit of measurement. Instead of measuring body weight in pounds or kilograms, calories are a measurement of energy. And guess what, you need the energy to survive.
So when we think about calories and food, it is important to remember that we are measuring the potential energy that a piece of food has. For instance, a gram of:
- Carbohydrates has 4 calories
- Protein has 4 calories
- Fat has 9 calories
I know this might sound like math but the easiest thing to understand is that there is fat has twice as much energy as carbohydrates and protein. That’s why an 8-ounce ribeye steak has more calories than an 8-ounce filet mignon.
2.Know what type calories should you eat
The number of calories your body needs to function normally is different for everyone. Don’t be confused by nutrition labels stating “percent daily values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet”. Your body might need more or less dependent on your body composition, age, and level of activity.
Breaking down your needs into meals and and amounts of carbs, protein, and fats can get really confusing. Let’s start with how you can generally balance each meal or snack to maintain a healthy lifestyle:
- 40% complex carbohydrates
- 30% lean protein
- 30% healthy fats
3.Be consistent with your frequency of eating
It is important to maintain normal blood sugars through the day so your body doesn’t become too hungry or too full. Think about it, the days you forget to eat lunch have a higher likelihood of eating too much for dinner. So how do you manage that?
Try your best to consume balanced meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a small snack in between. Maybe something like this for a typical 9-5 working individual:
- 7:00AM – Breakfast
- 10:00AM – Snack
- 1:00PM – Lunch
- 4:00PM – Snack
- 7:00PM – Dinner
By consuming smaller portions throughout the day, there is a better chance you will be able to adhere to your nutritional goals without feeling like you’re missing out.
Don’t strive for perfection
It’s very easy to be hard on yourself when you realize at the end of the day that you are over your caloric budget or you had a little too much fun at the bar. These things happen.
The important thing is to understand just how you manage these types of mishaps. Do you go to the gym or sit on the couch and continue the slow digression?
The last thing you should do is skip a meal out of guilt.
Even if you decide to go for a walk because you can’t get yourself work out, move your body. This will help you bounce back and continue your positive habits.