“I don’t have the time” is one of the most common excuses people make when trying to lose weight and/or improve their over-all health. It’s no secret, dieting can become very tedious; but it doesn’t have too. When it comes to weight-loss planning is key. Often times, people are not sure where to start. I covered some basics in another post so if you missed it click here.
In order to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you are taking in, it’s no secret. In order to determine the optimal amount of calories to take in we will look at the Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). This is how many calories per day your body burns doing your normal activities, sleeping, working, exercising, etc. This is a more specific number than the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) which tells us how many calories our bodies burn just being alive, not accounting for lifestyle. To lose weight, you can begin by subtracting 15% of your TDEE, this will be sufficient enough to put you in a caloric deficit for weight-loss. Once we have determined this number, we can then begin to talk about manipulating the macronutrients: proteins, carbs, and fat. I recommend figuring out protein consumption first, this is going to require the most calories to digest and keep you satiated; stick to lean sources such as chicken, eggs, turkey, etc. We will next figure out your fat intake, I recommended around 30% of your total calories come from fat. Fat is essential to life and is needed for nervous system health. Finally, we will figure out our carbohydrate intake by looking at what calories you have left. This will also be the macronutrient that I will manipulate first (increase or decrease) in order to continue progression of weight loss.
Figuring out these figures (TDEE and BMR) is essential to your success. Once you have determined you’re caloric needs you can then come up with an appropriate plan that will fit your lifestyle. I have touched on intermittent fasting in past posts (click here.) This is a great option, but as I stated not for everyone. Everyone’s body is different and there really is no such thing as a “cookie cutter diet.” Once the macros have been figured out, you are already on your way to results. In order to monitor your weight loss you have to track your calories. Fortunately, technology makes this easy for us! There are many great free apps that allow you to enter your food choices for the day and keep track for you. Most people will find that they eat the same foods most days, which is fine as long as they fit your macros.
Everyone tends to get sick of eating the same “diet foods” day in and day out. The great thing about tracking macros is you can essentially eat what you enjoy, as long as you stay within your calorie goals. I recommend incorporating some foods that you enjoy each day. This will give you some satisfaction and something to keep you on track throughout the week. If it is something sweet such as a piece of fruit, position it pre-workout for example so that you can put those calories to good use! I recommend that people also give themselves a “free meal” once or twice a week. This will be a meal that they will not count towards their daily goals (Tip: position this meal the night before a big workout such as a back or legs day; something that requires a lot of energy.
Tips For Success:
1.) Plan for your success! Preparation is key. I recommend picking two days a week to cook. I like Sundays and Wednesdays. This will supply your food for the week so you aren’t always worried about cooking. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail!
2.) Download a food journal app to help you keep track of your calories and goals
3.) Exercise! Plan for an hour every day to exercise. If weight lifting is not your thing pick something you enjoy such as a sport. The goal is to get your heart rate up to assist in weight-loss.
4.) Consider hiring a coach or nutrition expert to help you plan. Most people find this much less stressful as it eliminates the guess work.