Updated: Jan 14, 2020
Success... it means something different to everyone. Some want to be fitter, others would like to build muscle, but the over whelming majority would love to lose body fat. Be a leaner, healthier version of themselves.
And that's where your nutrition comes in.
If your looking for a quick answer to the title above, it's STRUCTURE! Having structure to what you eat stop deviations and encourages you to be more vigilant. Adhering to a structured plan will take time and persistence. However, you will be rewarded with not only more controlled eating habits, but hopefully a new body to go with it.
If over time, you can follow the simple steps I've outline below, you should find it a lot easier to reach those body goals in 2018.
1. Glass of water in the morning - Super simple, staying hydrated throughout the day is key and having 500ml first thing will replenish the water you used during your sleep. Note - you should be having have 2-4 litres of water per day.
2. Set calories - We need to eat the same calories every day. Eating just our dinner one day and everything in the fridge the next promotes fat storage. Follow this link > BMR Calculator. Once you have a number subtract 200. This will be your "rough" guide. Monitor weight regularly, add or deduct calories based on the readings over serval weeks,
2. Set protein - Within all the food diaries I get back from clients, one thing is consistently low. Protein cannot be stored as fat, which mean if you're not having enough protein your having too much carbs and fats... which can be stored as fat. Weigh yourself in KG's and multiply that number by 2. This is number, IN GRAMS, you should consume of protein every day. Example - I weigh 95kg's therefore I should have 180g's protein.
3. Tracking food - This is possibly the most important part of your day and will give you daily accountability. Download the MyFitnessPal App and get yourself familiar with the format. Set your calories and protein. Then begin tracking. I advise using the barcode scanner as much as possible. This will keep your readings more accurate. Stay within calories!
4. Food quality - "If it has the ability to rot, it has the ability to be used". This is a line I heard many moons ago and it's always stuck with me. Choose fresh food over processed junk. Examples - Chicken breast > Chicken slices. Fresh fish > tinned tuna. Potatoes > Pasta.
5. Occasional treat - I'm a fan of allowing clients an occasional treat (emphasis on "occasional"). It's great for adherence and stopping a huge binge after long periods of abstinence. Choose something small and within 300cals. Have it no more than 1x per week. Make sure you fit it into your daily calories.
6. Meal structure - As a rough guide each meal should contain 30% protein, 55% carbs, 15% fat. Be sure you include veg with every meal (preferably green veg - better for digestion). For more a more advance structure > on days your not training/exercising, increase fat to 35% and lower carbs to 35%. On days you are training, your pre and post workout meal should have as little fat as possible.
7. Calorie distribution - So you have you daily calorie intake. But don't think you can slip into old habits by consuming 80% of them after work. We need to distribute those calories across the day for maximum uptake. I recommend 4 sittings per day. Usually in the format of breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack. Spread calories across 3 meals leaving a couple hundred calories for a snack.
It goes without saying, exercise will dramatically help your results. But whilst your building up that motivation, try incorporating one of these points every day until you've mastered all 7.