Category Archives: Nutrition

Tracking and weighing need to work together

At a glance there looks to be no difference between these two images.

I mean maybe if you look really closely you can see the peanut butter is spread thinner on one…or the bananas are cut a bit thicker.

But if you were making this for yourself, you can see how it would be so easy to make the second and THINK it was the same portion size if you didn’t measure it.

And that’s EXACTLY the problem.

Most of us aren’t as good at “eyeballing” our portion sizes as we think.

And our hunger levels, as well as our stress levels, can dramatically impact exactly how big or small a portion looks.

Now with general weight loss, there is a bit more “wiggle room” so you are able to have a little more deviation in your portions, especially if you’ve started your journey by cutting out specific foods.

But for fat loss…well you can’t.

We NEED to track/ weigh/ measure if we have specific goals because it’s just so easy for our portions to become distorted.

Something that literally can look exactly the same can have 100 calories more and double the fat.

And this is exactly why we can FEEL like we’re doing all of the right things yet not seeing the results we want.

And why, why I ask, how is your diet, EVERYONE say’s “yeah it’s good, well balanced, healthy”.

Small portion distortions at each meal can add up.

And let’s face it too…the portions that usually become distorted aren’t generally the lean meats or even veggies….

It’s usually the nuts or the dried fruit or the crackers we have “just a couple extra of”, we don’t even measure our wine, it’s a “full glass”, not 3 glasses that it actually is by serving size.

It’s not that we are even eating “unclean,” whatever “clean” means to you.

But those little things we tend to want to have “extra” of are usually more calorie dense.

We have to remember that fat loss requires a calorie deficit

Tracking may be annoying. It may be tedious. Heck, you may even think it sucks.

But it not only gets easier, it’s truly key to results.

Plus, is 5 minutes of logging a day or an extra few minutes weighing out your food at each meal really worse than not reaching your goals?

Don’t waste time not seeing the results you want!

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!!!

Antioxidants

They’re good right? But what are they and what makes them so amazing?

So, there are molecules in the body that get a bit excited when they break up (free radicals), they split from the bodies exposure to chemicals, stress, pollution, drugs and in defences against microbes. Once they split, they are a bad influence on all the other molecules and try get others to split too 😉 so these molecules go off galivanting around the body causing damage to cells and contributing to a variety of conditions.

Antioxidants on the other hand are councillors in my metaphor, trying to resolve these splits which in turn slows the effects, improving health, slowing aging.

Generally, antioxidants are found in foods that are fresh, natural and organic. Many nutrients begin to decrease in foods the longer they are stored, the more they are treated with chemicals and the more processed they are.

By eating a natural diet high in fresh fruit and vegetables, and good quality animal products, you will be consuming high antioxidant foods naturally, everyday.

Vitamin C = Berries, citrus, capsicum CoQ10 = Oily fish, Almonds, Hazelnuts
Bioflavonoids = Buckwheat, citrus Carotenoids = Carrots, Capsicum, Sweet Potato
Copper= Wholegrains, Oysters, Almonds Glutathione = Eggs, Garlic
Selenium = Brazil nuts, Eggs, Seafood Vitamin E = Wheatgerm, Egg yolk, Beef

How many calories should you eat?

Well, it depends :)! Are you looking to decrease/increase or maintain weight?

By calculating your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (how many calories you burn to during a normal daily) you can calculate how many calories you’ll need.

There are several handy calculators which exist one here https://fitnessvolt.com/tdee-calculator/ which is nice and simple or here https://tdeecalculator.net/ . Just pop in your age height and weight and roughly how many times you train a week then the calculator will give you an average expenditure, if you have your body fat% then it can be more accurate.

From there if you are looking to drop some weight, reduce your intake (approximately 10-15%, too much and you won’t have the energy to train well and it won’t be sustainable). If you are looking to gain muscle(weight), you’ll need to increase by the same amount. To maintain, keep it as it is.

That doesn’t mean stay there forever though, experiment with those calories. My aim is to eat as much as possible and still be working towards my goal, that way I can get as many nutrients, antioxidants and all the other good things I can naturally rather than paying through the nose for supplements. Currently my goal is to drop a few extra kg’s, I was working on 10% deficit (slow steady results whilst eating as much as I could), that’s been going a little to well, so will be changing to 5% deficit as I get closer to maintenance and as my metabolism increases)