When it comes to crafting a nutrition program for yourself or others, there is a unique approach for every individual.
Statistics show that getting long term success after going on the “diet” fails in over 90% of cases. Some studies show that people end up being more overweight after quitting the diet and getting back to their old habits.
This fact should not discourage you since the concept of “diet” is wrong in its core so no wonder it doesn’t work!
How we have to approach your nutrition program is how we approach food in general. We eat what we like when we like and how we like it. This means you have to stick to these factors if you want to be able to stick with anything for more than 2 days.
You can make any meal fit in your calorie goal and protein goal when you know how to do it, instead of following some weird fad diet from the internet that no one can stick to. And there is a good reason why – because your body craves nutrients. If you start eating small amounts of low nutrient-dense foods, your body will go into a panic mode and make your hunger go through the roof! That’s why no one can stick with it and when you quit it you gain more weight than you had initially.
There are only a few rules you have to stick to achieve your fitness goal with a proper, healthy and well-optimized nutrition plan and it’s much easier than you think.
1st and most important rule is–
You have to eat in a specific caloric range.
You need to count calory daily and this is the most important factor to determines if you will lose weight or gain weight. Nothing you take on the side for example; magic pills, extracts and slimming teas, will make you achieve your goal if you eat more than what you burn per day
That said if you are curious about the number of calories you need to take daily, I am here to help you as it varies from people to people.
2nd rule is;
You must not be in severe caloric deficit!
If you think eating the least amount of food possible, will make you lose weight faster – you are doing the opposite and sabotaging yourself and any chance of success.
Eating an overly restricting number of calories and nutrients puts your body in a state of scarcity. This will ruin your metabolism and get it so slow to the point where you will stop losing weight even if you eat an abnormally low amount of food. It will as well cause fatigue, weaken your bone, lower your immunity, etc. In order to fix your metabolism and get it back to a normal rate, you would have to increase food intake which will make you gain even more weight than that you lost. Here you can see a circle of failure which would ultimately make anyone give up and blame genetics.
So to avoid this, your deficit shouldn’t be more then 500-700cal per day depending on your body size and the food you are eating must be nutrient-dense.
3rd rule is
You have to eat what you like when you like and have a routine.
You can easily make your favourite meal by using healthier options for the ingredients. You can make any meal to fit your caloric goal for that meal. I will now tell you the steps of how you can do this easily:
- Get a calorie counting app – I will recommend you some free apps. These apps make the counting process so much easier than a few years ago. All of them use the same algorithms which are very accurate and will show the right requirements for most people.
- Calculate how many calories you have to eat for each meal that day – the app will show you, for example, 1500cal per day so you divide that in 2 or 3 meals depending on how many meals you wish to have. Let’s say you divided it by 3 and now, for each meal you have to eat 500cal.
- Buy a kitchen scale and take any recipe you like. Start by adding the main ingredients in grams in the app. It’s always best to start with protein, later carbs and the goal is after you added all the ingredients to play a bit with amounts until all of them reach 500cal. You can do this with ANY MEAL!
- Example: Chicken Pasta. (as I believe everyone like this)
- Goal: 500 calories
- Ingredients: Chicken breast, dried pasta, cream, onions & garlic.
First, measure 100g chicken and save it in the app. The app will show you 100g of chicken is about 150cal. Ok! You have left 350cal. Measure 50g onion and add it. You will see this is maybe 15-20 cal. 320 cal left. Put a little bit of cream in the app for about 70cal. That leaves 250 cal. Finally, we have only pasta left and this will be about 70g of dry pasta which when cooked it will become more like 250-300g of cooked pasta. Now we know how many grams of what ingredient we have to put to have a delicious meal which is NOT dry chicken and bland food and you will also know you are 100% on track to reach your goal. In the same way, you can do this with any recipe!
The conclusion is that you should eat the meals you like when you like it. The only thing you need to take care of is the amount of each ingredient you put. The app will help you make a wiser choice of the amount of ingredient you use. For example, use half of a tablespoon of cooking oil instead of 3 because the app will surprise you how much calories oil has!
This method will allow you to have room for a dessert if you cannot live without it. Just make sure to include it in your plan. You might have to reduce some of the ingredients in the other 3 meals to make room for a dessert. Hence, instead of completely depriving yourself of food that makes you happy, enjoying homemade low-calorie desserts instead of store-bought sweets overloaded with calories, will help you stay motivated to keep up with your health goals.
What if you do not have time to cook? Well, right now in this lockdown, it is not a real excuse, but when things will go back to normal and you will be busy with work and everything else, I will suggest you some healthy home delivery options.
My goal is to guide you to reach your target in the most realistically and sustainably way possible.
The point of this article is to show you that eating tasty food to achieve your weight goal is possible.
I am not saying that pasta is the healthiest option because it’s not.
But home-cooked food is healthier and can make you lose more weight than being overweight from even worst ordered junk food.
This subject is vast and requires a lot more discussion than I discussed here. In the following articles I will be covering:
- How to make better choices in food and ingredients?
- Eating patterns. Which one is best for you?
- Cooking is taking too much time? Solution.
Most people gain weight on details which they overlook. Based on the above receipt of the chicken pasta, if we have put 2 tablespoons of oil while cooking that would make that meal 750cal instead of 500cal making you NOT lose any weight. 250cal extra per meal, every meal for 10 years makes you 20kg overweight. So it’s the small details over the long period that do all of the damage in most cases so you shouldn’t expect to lose all your weight drastically. Just stick with the balanced program I will make for you, work hard and results will come themselves!