The rules of dieting have changed drastically. Just counting calories is no longer enough, and honestly good riddance. The new rules of dieting are counting Macro-nutrients. When we say macros, we are talking about protein, carbohydrates, and fats. The three nutrients are where the calories come from, and you get a different amount of calories from each. From 1g of carbs or 1g of protein you will get 4 calories. From 1g of fat you will get 9 calories. So, this is where your calorie count will be coming from, and it should be obvious why just counting calories does not work. For example, lets say I only wanted to eat 2000 calories a day. Well if I ate only fat and carbohydrates that day I can easily reach that goal, but I will receive no protein. With Macronutrients we can easily keep a healthy, balanced diet.
HOW TO SET UP YOUR MACROS
In order to create an effective diet plan we first need to ask ourselves a couple questions. What is the goal of my diet? Do I want to lose weight? Gain weight? Maintain weight? No matter what the goal is, not every diet plan will be the exact same. For example, me and my roommate, Jesse, each have a diet plan. We have the same calorie count, 2750, however those calories come from different macros. This is because we have different eating habits. I enjoy eating more carbs then he does and he enjoys eating more protein then I do. This is perfectly fine, and it reflects in our macros. His protein count is at 160g while mine is at 130g, our fat is the absolute same at 76g, and he eats 336g of carbs while I eat 356g of carbs. This should be exciting to you because it means you are no longer stuck to a boring calorie counting diet. You can introduce different foods into your diet (as long as they fit into your macro count), and you can tailor it to your self.
So, how do you set up your macros you ask? Well that’s easy! Go to freedieting.com
(yes it is indeed free!), look to the left under free stuff, and click on free diet plans. And click here.
Now, fill out the questions it asks you, and be absolutely honest. Also, check out some of the resources at the bottom of the page. These will help out with your tailored diet plan. Once you finish, it will give you three different calorie counts: maintenance, fat loss, and extreme fat loss. I would recommend staying away from extreme fat loss just because that is an extremely low calorie intake, and should only be followed for a week or so. Now, if you look under the “What now?” section, click on the fourth option : “Experts: Tweak carb/fat/protein with our nutrient calculator”.
This is where you can customize your different macros to meet your needs. They have some preset you can choose from, but to get the best results I recommend doing a little research to decide what is best for your goals.
HOW TO KEEP UP WITH YOUR FOOD INTAKE
Now that you’ve set up your diet plan, you’re gonna have to keep up with it. My favorite smartphone app to do that with is my fitness pal. It has a great interface that allows you to completely customize and input your diet plan. Myfitnesspal also has a database with tons of food in it and all you have to do is search it, or if you have a package you can even scan the bar code! Its extremely intuitive and easy to use. The one thing you may have trouble finding is where to change your macros. Luckily I am about to show you wear that is! Once you’re all set up, click on “more” in the bottom right corner. Then you’re gonna select “goals” —> “calorie and macro nutrient goal” and just like that you are in!
HOW TO REACH YOUR GOALS
Unfortunately, the easy part is over with. Now we have to stay focused, stay motivated, and arrive at our goals. If this is important enough to you, then taking 2 minutes at each meal to record your food should be easy. However, I’m going to give you some helpful tips I use to stay on track.
- Accountability: Don’t go in on this by yourself. It is possible, but it is a lot easier to include a partner, friend, employee, or maybe even a team member on your journey to a better life. This way you have someone to lean on in times of weakness, someone who is going to push you, and someone to celebrate with! I’m going to be honest, if Jesse weren’t doing this with me I may never have reached my goals. There is something about a person keeping you accountable that is hard to explain. I can remember thinking about cheating on my diet, but then thinking about not only being disappointed in myself, but if Jesse were to catch me eating this tub of ice cream he would be disappointed as well. So tip 1 find your self an accountably partner!
- Clearly Set Your Goals: Put them on your fridge, on a sticky note in your car, in your bathroom, on the back of your phone, find somewhere to put it and think about it and look at it every day. If we don’t know where we are going, how could you ever expect to get there? If we clearly state our goals and actively approach them each day sooner or later we will arrive.
- Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself: We are all human and we falter, but don’t let that discourage you. We are not going to be perfect at everything. We are gonna fall but you have to get up, brush yourself off, and keep going. If you do fail, stop and ask yourself “Why did I fail?”, “What can I learn from this?”, and “How can I actively prevent this from happening again?”. Write this down somewhere and come back to it every now and then. If you do this i guarantee you won’t fail in the same way again and you can keep moving forward! Let your progress motivate you to keep reaching and keep striding.
** Just to put it out there, in no way am I receiving monetary benefits from my fitness pal or free dieting.com. I just use these myself and think they are great resources and wanted to share them with my fellow fitness community! If you found this helpful and think other can benefit please share! Also, connect with me if you have any question, comments, or concerns!! Happy Gains!!