You will have more communications from us soon.
For now, we dont want you to make any large changes to your nutrition. Read the following excerpt from EatSmart to get an idea of what you will be doing in week one.
Track, don’t journal.
In this section: You’ll learn how to use a free (or inexpensive) nutrient tracking application on your phone, or tablet device to know where your nutrient intake is sitting at in real time. This will allow you to make better plans for the types and amounts of food you should be consuming the rest of each day, as well as what foods are conducive to your progress and what foods are preventing your progress.
This section is short but very crucial. Many people journalize their food but still fail their nutrition endeavors because there is no useful data coming out of writing foods down in a notebook. You need to see the numbers (macros & calories) coming from your food and adjust it based on your needs we determined in the last section.
“We cannot change what we do not track”
Log on to the app store (droid or apple, doesn’t matter) and select an application that will allow you to track your food each day. (try searching “food tracking”). You can use whatever you like, so long as it has these features.
- Tracks total calories
- Tracks Macronutrients (macros) *some apps charge for an upgrade to provide this.
- Will work on your phone or tablet (whichever you keep with you most of the day)
I personally use and recommend MyPlate by Livestrong. For no other reason than it shows your macros and calories on your mobile device in one screen (everything you need).
- Start tracking everything you eat and drink. (no matter how small, condiments & sweeteners count)
- Keep an eye on your macros and adjust what you eat/plan on eating based on what trends you see. (if your lunch was more carb-heavy than expected, plan to double up your veggies at dinner and leave the sweet potatoes out)
- Notice the foods you enjoy eating that make your macro goals obtainable without overeating. These are the foods you will want to move towards and adopt as your “go-tos”.
- Adjust for the long-term. If you consistently come in 20-30 gr low in fats and 20-30 gr high in carbs, then trade the Starbucks mocha in the morning for a black coffee and add an avocado or 2 tbsp of olive oil into your day. *I don’t trust anyone who won’t drink black coffee.
MyPlate by Livestrong:
*You are all Lance Armstrong, yellow bracelet, and steroid-lovers now.
There are plenty of other options for tracking.
- My Net Diary
- My Fitness Pal
- Lose It!
- Just Food
Just select one you like and can use easily. Track everything. Will you eventually stop tracking everything? Yes, but not right now. Just start, or keep on doing it if you already have.
Balance the Equation (in your favor)
In this Section:You will see how to reach the daily calorie goal while without using a calculator (or even math really). You will need your tracking application on your phone, and your hand.
If you have played in your food-tracking app, youll notice that you will log a food, and a serving size. Serving sizes can throw some people off if they are not clearly stated early on. So, lets do that now. *All of the
4 oz (usually 1 serving of lean protein/meat) will be the width and height of your open palm.
1 Cup of vegetable carbohydrates will be the size of your balled up fist. (2 cups is a serving for men, 1 cup is a serving for women)
1 Cup of fruit or starchy carbohydrates will be the size of your balled up fist. (same for men and women)
1 tbsp (usually 1 serving of fat/oil/butter) is the size of your thumb.
Now that you have your daily calorie/macro goal and the basic food measuring tools (your hands) that will let you accurately track and measure them, now you will start tracking your food consistently. Think of your Macros like a like the top rim of a glass. You can fill your glass up to the top, but no further without it spilling over. Only in this case, you are filling up “your glass” with carbs, fats, and protein. You decide where your macros come from, be it bacon, veggies, or cinnamon toast crunch. There will always be +/- 5 grams at the end of most days, and that is fine. The math allows for that variance but, if you overfill the glass, you’re going to spill over.
For the next 3-7 days. this, along with meeting your daily calorie/macro goal is your only focus. Don’t change your food intake drastically. Remember, calories and macros (the numbers) determine weight-loss or weight gain. “Eating clean” is fine, but only if you already eat clean and don’t need to change your habits much in order to do so. * I recommend people change no more than 20% of the types of foods they eat every week.
As you are tracking your food, regardless of food quality, you will be able to see which foods you commonly eat and enjoy eating that won’t keep you from reaching (or overstepping) your calorie/macro goal. Is broccoli better than a bagel with cream cheese? Yes, but both can be tracked easily and both can be used to change your body composition just the same. *Natural and whole food benefits far outweigh those of processed food. The cleaner your food in the future, the longer your future will be. For now we will only focus on quantity, as it is more realistic for people to change their food quality at their own pace.
During the First Week
Day 1 (or 1&2)
I recommend that you try tracking your normal eating behaviors for at least 1 day to see where your macros are coming from. This also lets you see what time of day you are eating your heaviest. Breakfast may be much more carb-dense than you thought, leaving only a small amount of carbs left for the day before you overfill your glass.
Important: Be sure to weigh yourself, take a before photo, and/or take starting measurements before you start tracking.
Use your knowledge of which foods you like to plan out what your day will look like. It’s ok to have a few treat foods each day if you like.* You could also ad in a couple healthier options than you are used to, just don’t change too much at once. I recommend no more than 20% of your normal food habits. Do this until day 7.
*Eating 1-2 cookies (accounted for in each day’s macros) is not what makes people
get off track or eventually take their body to an undesirable place. It’s the overdoing it. Just make sure you don’t go over your allotment for each day.