You do not have to count calories.
Achieving your goal weight is all about adopting healthy habits over the long term and making them a lifestyle.
Gaining weight is a matter of consuming excess calories while losing weight is a matter of consuming less calories than you are burning.
- There are three macronutrients, carbohydrate, protein and fat which are need for out body to function.
- When ever you make a meal it is important to always think protein first and foremost, what protein source am I eating?
- Then fill your plate with fruit/veg looking to consume a 4-5 servings of fruit/veg with a day. Adding fats (olive oil, nuts, oily fish, eggs, omega 3 tablets, butter etc) too as these are essential for our body.
- Please understand fats do not make you fat, calories make you fat!
- Carbohydrate intake should be based on activity levels
- Although cutting out carbohydrates is sufficient to drop weight in the short term there is no advantage in the long term and low carb diets are hard to adhere to, unsustainable, make you feel shit, and not healthy.
Here are some approaches to use to help you control your calories and lose fat without counting calories.
1. Eat more veggies
Vegetables contain fibre resulting in them being filling. It has been shown in research that added veg, to a calorie deficient diet, correlated with improved weight and fat loss. Add to that all the micronutrients they contain for the very few calories and veggies are one of the most important sources of calories. Try and make sure that half of your plate is covered with colourful veggies and you should reduce the number of calories you eat.
2. Eat more lean protein
Again, simple and obvious but extremely effective. Protein has a powerful satiating effect, along with a high thermic effect, the amount of calories required by the body to break down a given a food. Eating more protein and vegetables can help you control your calories, as this has been shown to lead to restricting calories due to the satiety caused by increased protein and fibre from veg. (2) Protein also stimulates protein synthesis and creates an environment for the increase muscle mass. The more muscle you carry, the higher your metabolism and the better you look.
3. Portion control
For example your portion of protein could be equal to the palm of your hand. A portion of carbs will be equal to the size of your clenched fist, and a portion of fat will be equal to the tip of your thumb, and for nuts you can choose a handful. You can then control the number of portions of protein, carbs and fats you have a day dependent on you bodyweight. For example; 10 portions of protein, 4 portions of fat and 5 portions of carbs. This can then be altered depending on body assessments and progress. The method is great as no calculator is needed.
4. Eat slowly
It takes time for the body to register the fullness and after a while it signals satisfaction. If you eat slowly you stand more chance of consuming less calories.
5. Drink More Water
Drinking more water can make you fill fuller, leading to you consuming less calories. Also sometimes you can think you are hungry but you are really only thirst or bored. So drinking water can be the answer.
6. Following a Meal Plan
Following a step by step guide can be beneficial for some, but this will only work if the client has been taken into consideration when it was designed by the nutritionist. This means the clients preferences, lifestyle, tolerances, goals and knowledge were all tailored for. It is also important to have similar food and meals that can be swapped in and out depending on what the client wants to eat that day, as following the same plan day in day out is boring, not sustainable and not teaching the client anything about food choices and calories. You do not want to be following a meal plan for the whole of your life so education is key with this approach.
Other approaches range from using smaller plates, removing carbs from 1 or 2 meals per day, keeping stress to a minimum and getting adequate sleep and hydration or removing cooking oils from your kitchen. These will all help control you calories. Are these ways optimal for fat loss, maintenance or muscle growth? No of course not as they are not as accurate, as actually counting macronutrients and hitting the numbers but counting calories isn’t for everyone!
Always look to adopt healthy habits first and foremost before macronutrient counting as it can be a big step for some, not saying its too big for everyone, but it can be hard when starting off and lead to problems, even OCD and eating disorders. Instead of trying to adopt a brand new routine and turn your life around all in one week, make a plan to implement small, new, sustainable lifestyle habits. For example drinking more water, getting out for a walk or workout once per week, or eating 2 pieces of fruits per day. Small steps that won’t disrupt your current routine too much will be easier to implement and stick with in the long run. Once the first step becomes a habit, start a second one.
So find what works best for YOU and always ask yourself, ‘can I see myself eating like this 2 months or a year down the line?’ if you can then great. If not then you need to find an eating routine which is sustainable and enjoyable for YOU! We do not want a diet that only lasts 10-12 weeks, we want enjoyable healthy lifestyle changes. Then once you are ready, try keeping a food diary for a week or two to work out your exact calories and macronutrient breakdown you have been consuming, and adjusting based on goals and progress with the help of a professional.
Right now although you do not need to be weighing all your food for the rest of your life here are some meal ideas and their approximately calories.
So it’s all about weighing yourself start of the week upon waking after having a pee 😉 and then sticking to a meal plan for a week or 2, and then re weighing yourself.
For example you decide to have 2x 700 calorie meals, 1x 550 calorie meals and 2x 100 calorie snacks every day. After 1 week you end up weighing exactly the same. This is when you manipulate your meals.
Now you begin to eat 1x 700 calorie meal. 2x 550 calorie and 2x 100 calorie meals and assess again after a weeks eating.
*All weights are Raw weights
Approx. 700 cals each (48 Pro, 75 Carb, 23 Fat)
125g chicken breast 150g boiled white pot, 150g sweet pot, 200g broccoli, 25g butter
125g chicken breast 275g sweet pot, 50g broccolli, 50g sweet corn, 50g peas 2 tbsp mayo
110g chicken breast 2 slices wholemeal bread, 150g broccoli, 20g cucumber, 20g tomatos, 5 tbsp salsa, 1 medium banana 1 tbsp coconut oil
125g chicken breast 1 58g mars bar, 100g sweet corn, 100g broccoli, 100g cabbage & leak medley 1 tbsp coconut oil
110g chicken breast 1.5 chcoalte pop tart, 100g broccoli 30g almonds
160g 10% mince beef 75g white rice, 50g mushrrom, 50g cabbage & leak medley, 50g peppers, 2 tbsp tom ketchup
140g 10% mince beef 75g white rice, 50g kidney beans, 5 tbsp salsa 1/2 tbsp olive oil
150g 10% mince beef 300g sweet pot, 100g cabbage & leak medley, 100g pepers, 50g mushrooms, 8g butter
125g 10% mince beef 1 wholemeal bagel, 1 medium banana, 100g water melon 10g chedder, 5g butter
Approx 550 calories (48 Pro, 75 Carb, 10 Fat)
110g Tuna, 25g chicken 100g peas, 100g sweet corn, 100g sweet pot, 100g apple 10g butter
78g salmon, 100g tuna 75g white rice, 100g apple,
100g salmon, 60g tuna 275g sweet pot, 100g broccoli
75g oats, 200ml whole milk
60g oats, 200ml whole milk, 75g blueberries
60g oats, 200ml whole milk, 100g apple
50g oats, 200ml semi skimmed, 3 squares lindt 70% chocolate
60g coco pops, 300ml semi skimmed, 1 medium banana
Approx. 477 cals each (55 Pro 25 Carbs 18 Fat)
50g chicken, 160g salmon 75g broccoli, 75g sweet pot
150g chicken breast 100g sweet corn, 50g peas 1.5 tbsp mayo
155g chicken breast 100g brocolli, 115g pepers, 125g spinach, 100g cucumber, 100g tomato. 1.5 tbsp mayo
150g 10% mince beef, 30g chicken breast 35g peas, 25g white rice,
150g 10% mince beef, 30g chicken breast 200g squash
150g 10% mince beef, 30g chicken breast 75g squash, 50g salsa, 50g onoin, 50g mushrooms,
60g chicken, 125g tinned tuna in brine 100g sweet pot 1 tbsp mayo, 9g butter
150g tinned mackeral, 120g tinned tuna in brine 15g white pot
125g tinned mackeral, 20g whey, 170g total 0% yog 50g onoins, 50g pepers, 50g peas, 50g broccoli
Approx. 300 calories (20g pro, 50g carb, 3g fat)
170g Total 0% greek yogurt, 100g apple, 2 square 70% lindy dark chocolate
170g Total 0% greek yogurt, 1 medium banana, 25g blueberries, 10g almonds, 1 tbsp honey
170g Total 0% greek yogurt, 25g blueberries, 40g oats, 1 tbsp honey
115g Ben Jerry’s phish food
110g Ben Jerry’s cookie dough
Approx. 100 Calories
Bag of snack a jacks
1 medium banana
2 squares lindy 85% dark chocolate
170g pot Total 0% Greek yogurt
Any question please ask 😀
This article written and researched by Scott Edmed
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