Week One – Track Everything.
In this week. 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 if you want to change your body.
For the same reason, that person wanting to get out of debt need to spend cash and not use credit cards. When you spend cash, you literally SEE the money leave your hand. You can no longer ignore that (possibly excessive) spending is happening. You have to acknowledge it.
When you track ALL of your food. You see the calories coming in. You also have to document the type of food you’re eating. It only takes 30 seconds to do it, but we watch literally EVERYONE we ask to track their food, make leaps and bounds of progress when they do it.
“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)
- Start tracking everything you eat and drink. (no matter how small, condiments & sweeteners count)
- Keep an eye on your macros and look for patterns. Is your lunch always heavy in calories? Why is that? Do you eat out every lunch with work friends? Do you eat well until dinner? Just make a note of it and bring that knowledge o your next session with your coach.
- 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”.
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, you’ll notice that you will log food, and serving size. Serving sizes can throw some people off if they are not clearly stated early on. So, let’s do that now.
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 the basic food measuring tools (your hands) its time to start tracking your food consistently.
For the next 7 days. racking your food is your only focus. Don’t change your food intake drastically. Remember, calories (energy in vs. energy out) determine weight-loss or weight gain. Food quality is important, but first things first, you got to get the basics down. Broccoli is better than a bagel with cream cheese 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 week to see where your calories are coming from. This also lets you see what time of day you are eating your heaviest.
Important: Be sure to weigh yourself, take a before photo, and/or take starting measurements before you start tracking. *We use the Inbody Scanner for this.
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 add in a couple of 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.
Reach out to us for help. WE LOVE QUESTIONS! Really, we live to see you making progress and living louder because of what you’re doing for your mind, body, and soul through fitness and food.
See you soon,
Copyright © Jeff Jucha and West Little Rock CrossFit, All Rights Reserved. Jan 3rd, 2017.