You and your nutrition
Almost all personal trainers will tell you that nutrition is more important than exercise in maintaining a healthy weight and body composition (muscle vs. fat). With that being said, I see so many people struggling to succeed in this area.
The most common mistakes are:
- Not knowing how many calories per day your body utilizes (BMR).
- Not knowing how many calories per day you are eating (most people underestimate).
- Lacking an understanding of portions or “serving” sizes.
- Not knowing how many calories your burn while exercising (most people overestimate).
- Not understanding the caloric deficit necessary to lose weight.
- Having unrealistic expectations for how quickly you can lose weight.
- Not understanding the importance of balancing your macro-nutrients (carbs/protein/fat).
- Utilizing fad diets or prepackaged foods from weight loss plans.
Managing your nutrition is not so different than managing your finances; you have to keep track of what’s coming in and what’s going out to be successful. Given all the crap “food” and gigantic serving sizes most of us can’t intuitively eat healthy. We need to do some work to figure it out and come up with a PLAN. I often hear people say “I am going to eat better” or “I am going to watch what I eat”. These are not plans!
So what does a PLAN entail?
- Calculate your BMR and then your daily caloric needs – put in your info, hit calculate, then follow the link for “daily calorie needs” below the box. Use 1.2 as your multiplier (don’t factor in exercise here!). Link: http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/.
Understand that you need a 500 calorie deficit from this number to lose 1 lb. per week. My personal formula looks like this:
5’ 11’ 50 year old male, 170 lbs. BMR value returned = 1,687 X 1.2 = 2,024 (breakeven calories) – 500 (deficit) = 1,524.
So 1,500 calories per day is my target to lose 1lb. per week. If this formula returns a value below 1,200, use 1,200!
- Use a calorie tracking program for 30 days to understand how many calories and what macro nutrient ratio you are eating. I recommend http://www.myfitnesspal.com/. They have a great app for your smart phone that lets you scan barcodes for easy entry.
This will give you an idea of how close you are to your target calculated in step 1.
- Use what you learned in step 2 to modify your eating to hit the target in step 1. Try for a macro nutrient balance as follows:
Fat- 20% to 30%, Protein 20% to 30%, Carbs 40% to 60%. I personally shoot for 25% fat/ 30% protein/45% carbs.
- After you have done this for 30 days, you will have made adjustments to what you routinely eat to set you on a path for success.
Great training products and resources:
I recommend nutrition complete software to help you meal plan, including shopping lists to help you prepare healthy meals at home that fit your nutrition plan. Please email me for a 30 day free trial of the nutrition complete software.
I am available for nutritional coaching sessions, see my programs/prices page for more information.