Diet & Nutrition Advice – Tracking calories (1)

The extremely complex or not so complex world of nutrition.
Which essential nutrients the body needs to function at its best, what foods we should eat and which foods we should avoid at all cost.

The truth is all ‘whole foods’ are okay in moderation. If you over eat any kind of food regardless of whether it’s protein, carbs or fats (macros) you will gain weight, vice versa if you under eat any of the three macronutrients you will lose weight. This is a simple energy in – energy out equation for weight maintenance.
I wrote ‘whole foods’ there for a reason. My advice is to refrain from using processed foods that are readily available, cheap and claim in some way that they are healthy, low fat or have no added sugar etc, etc.
All processed foods contain something or many things that could potentially be harmful or at least nonessential to our bodies nutritional needs (empty calories)
They contain vegetable oils, chemicals, preservatives, colouring agents, bulking agents and more often than not contain no essential vitamins or minerals (micros) that the body needs to function.

All of my client’s train with me to reduce body fat / body weight and gain muscle. I look to promote lean body mass in all clients.

There is NO diet that fits all people.

We are all metabolically different. We all process foods in different ways depending on our age, gender, genetics, percentage of body fat and or the amount of muscle tissue we have, therefore there is no easy black and white answer when it comes to nutrition for everyone unfortunately. Generally speaking if you are eating lots of vegetables, a small amount of fruit and your protein intake matches your goals on a daily basis you will stay in check, perform well and be healthy.

If you’re goal is to lose weight the first thing you MUST DO is calculate your calories for that goal. You can do this pretty easily yourself by googling ‘calorie calculator’ and punching in your details. It will ask you for your age, gender, height, weight and activity level. The next thing you’ll need to do is track your calories – ‘guestimating’ them will just not cut it. Tracking calories can be a pain in the bum cheeks but I recommend you do this or you’ll literally be guessing your progress instead of tracking it, and in honesty it makes you appreciate and understand what foods your using most to fuel your body and it also makes you think twice about how big that bar of chocolate is your gonna scoff ! The easiest way to track calories (once you have calculated your individual macro’s ie protein, carbs, fats) is by

1. Using food packaging labels – provided you get your portion sizes correct this is a pretty straight forward way of tracking cals, however food labels do have a margin of error and are not entirely true to what they say !

2. Using an app like ‘Myfitnesspal’ you can literally find all the information needed from their food data base. It tells you how much protein, carbs, fats are in the food you eat so it does all the hard work for you, you can also scan bar codes of foods making it even easier and it works your calories out if needs be.

3. By using food scales. Literally weighing out your food before you eat it, this way you’ll know exactly how many calories your consuming, however you should note that most foods contain more then one macronutrient for example foods like chicken contain protein and fat and egg contains protein and fat. You can use a website like www.nutritionalvalue.org to check what macros the food contains, although this could be a bit of a hassle at first until you get your bearings.

Handy tip to remember when tracking calories – Protein contains 4 calories per gram, carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram and fat contains 9 calories per gram.

So there you have it folks, the easiest way to track calories.

Thank you for reading.

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