Oh, the dreaded “Diet.” Everyone including yourself probably has been on one, Right? There’s the Keto, the Paleo, the no-carb, the Fruit and Milk, the Mind Diet, the Atkins, Weight Watchers on and on and on. It’s downright exhausting. The one thing that I would bet all of those have in common is they have not worked for you. Why? You see all these people who it’s helped, and it’s probably helped you for a short time but “When I get off it I gain the weight back.” Does this sound about right to you? Well, I am going to end this cycle for you once and for all!
First, when I talk about the diet I do not mean a “fad” or “crash” diet. Most of those listed above fall into one of those categories. Instead, I intend to be a balanced, designed nutrition plan. In fact, we need to cut out the word “Diet” right now and start calling what you are about to embark on a nutrition plan, because that is what it is, proper nutrition for your goals and your body planned out.
By now I am assuming most of you have heard about macronutrients or macros for short. If not the simple break down and explanation is this:
There are 3 nutrients that makeup all the calories that we consume they are carbohydrates, fats, and protein. These are the macronutrients. This is what you need to track to effectively lose weight (or gain if that is your goal). Now macronutrients on food labels are listed in grams you need to know that each gram of carbohydrates and each gram of protein equals about 4 calories. Now fats, on the other hand, each gram of fat equals about 9 calories.
1g Carbohydrates = 4 Calories
1g Protein = 4 calories
And 1g Fat = 9 calories
Now here is the simple method you use to figure out what you should be consuming:
Step 1. Figure out on average how many calories you consume per day. So I suggest downloading a calorie app such as myfitnesspal or loseit and start tracking everything you eat and drink throughout the day. Do this for 1 week. Take your total number of calories consumed for the week and divide it by 7 which is your daily average intake.
Step 2. Define your goal and set your calories. This step is fairly easy if you want to maintain your weight and size keep your calories the same. If you want to gain weight and size add a minimum of 500 up to 1000 calories. If you want to lose weight subtract 500 calories. Now, this is assuming that you are eating currently at least 3 meals a day if you are not eating 3 meals a day it is highly likely you are under-eating in which case step 1 needs a little adjustment.
Example: Your average daily intake was 2000 calories
Gain weight/Size: Consume 2500 to 3000
Maintain Weight/Size: Consume 2000
Lose weight: Consume 1500 calories
Now the calories are not the number you are going to track here. Instead, you are going to track your macros. Why? because we know how many calories are in each macronutrient and consuming the right macros is more crucial to building proper health than just calories. Like I said though I am going to make this easy for you. I will give the full break down then at the end I am going to give you a cheat.
Step 3. Figure out your Macros: Okay this is where there is some tweaking involved but on a basic level if you want to gain weight most of those excess calories should come from proteins and fats. If you want to maintain your weight it should be more balanced, and if you want to lose weight the protein and fats should be balanced but the carbs should be lower. Here is a simple guide.
Protein between 1.5g and 2 grams per lb of your current body weight
Fat about 1g per lb of body weight
Carbs all the rest of the calories
Lose Weight Protein between .7 and 1 gram per lb of current body weight
fat around .3 – .5
carbs all the rest
For maintenance, you just basically split those 2
Fast example to show you how this looks if you want to lose weight:
Your starting intake was 2000 calories or new goal is going to be 1500 currently you weigh 200lbs:
Protein 140 Grams (560 Calories)
Fat 60 Grams (540 Calories)
Carbohydrates 100 Grams (400 calories)
Okay, so that the breakdown but how do we implement it the easy way?
Simple focus on consuming as much protein as you can with as little carbs as you can. In doing that the fats will balance out! So if you are going to track anything keep an eye on your total calories and try and hit that 140 grams of protein with as little carbs as you can! The rest will mostly fall into place. And even if it doesn’t your calories will be right and you will still lose weight. I suggest tracking one of the apps above and being very very diligent, track everything you consume. I hope this little tip helps.