Introduction to tracking what you eat

Most of our clients would like to either loose weight or gain muscle and nutrition is a critical component of reaching these goals. But most programs out there just expect you to follow their meal plan, buy into their shakes or magic pills that give you INSTANT RESULT.

But we all know it’s not that easy. Many of these diets require drastic lifestyle changes which are not sustainable unless you continue to buy into their “solutions”.

Instead we advise that you look at making incremental changes to your current diet that fit in with your lifestyle.

The first step, as with any other change is to figure out what you are currently doing and what you should be aiming for.

So to set the target you should figure out “How Many Calories Should I be Eating“.

Once you’ve figured out your TDEE and identified your target (i.e. ±10-15%) you need to figure out how much you are currently eating. Applications like MyFitnessPal or Lose It! are great and can help you see where you can make changes to help you reach your goals.

So lets use an example.

Meet Jennifer who wants to loose weight. 34 year old female, weighing 115kgs, 180cm tall, with 1-2 gym sessions a week.

According to the TDEE calculator Jennifer should be eating 2,673 calories to maintain her current weight. Since her goal is to loose weight we will subtract 10% for sustainable fat loss making her target daily calories 2,406 calories.

Now that she has her target, she can start tracking what she’s currently eating in MyFitnessPal. After a week of tracking she finds that on weekdays she finds it easy to hit her target, but on the weekend she snacks a lot at home and tends to go over her target. But she can also see that she misses breakfast on the weekend which makes her peckish throughout the morning. So one small change is to extend the breakfast habit from the weekdays to the weekend as well. She also looks at getting snacks that are still tasty but not as calorie dense so if she does snack she doesn’t

go over her target. On Friday night she might have a few drinks which again push her over the limit. So is she supposed to just skip the night out??? Absolutely not! What she can do is plan ahead and “save up” some calories through the week so that she can enjoy the night out without worrying about overshooting on a particular day (as illustrated here).

The overall goal is to reach the weight / nutrition goals in a way that is sustainable which means that it has to be enjoyable!!!

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