Back at it again with the calories! I know I talk a lot about calories in my content and sometimes I get backlash from it. I’ve gotten both positive and negative remarks regarding caloric intake content. During this blog, I want to help address my perspective in regards to calories and provide some helpful tips when you start tracking.
First off, I understand that losing weight is multifactorial. There are many factors involved and many considerations that need to be taken into account. Individualization is extremely important when you are looking at embarking on a wellness journey. However, I’ve found that usually creating systems around the terms simple, sustainable, and enjoyable provides the right foundation for results.
As previously mentioned, there are many factors involved with changing body composition. It can be really easy to go down a rabbit hole and develop extremely rigid structure when it comes to creating a periodized plan (especially with all the conflicting information and studies out there). Creating a simple approach involves focusing on principles that create the largest bang for the buck which allows you room to live your life. This ultimately leads to... sustainability.
When you create appropriate structure based on your own individual needs you are able to develop adherence. Adherence is essentially your ability to stick with something. Adherence leads to sustainability and sustainability leads consistency. Consistency is the ultimate goal with any wellness goal because it will override the small x’s and o’s (details) that come along with wellness information. Essentially, 80% of results will come from 20% of the wellness tactics. My logic involves creating consistency with the 20% which allows you to live life and see amazing results.
Last but not least, when you have a simple and sustainable program it ultimately leads to enjoying the journey. This is the main point in creating this fitness brand. Wellness is something that you should enjoy. It is something that looks different person to person. It’s something that will enhance your life and bring more peace and contentment into your human experience. You need the flexibility to make it enjoyable for you as an individual.
So to cap it off… I know counting calories isn’t the only factor involved in the process. However, energy balance (caloric intake) accounts for 70-80% (if not more) of weight manipulation. Personally and professional I have found that if people spend their limited energy on the main aspects and less energy on splitting 'wellness hairs' they will be able to develop simplicity, consistency, and contentment through the process.
That’s a long winded introduction into some practical calorie tracking tips.
Understand that this process isn’t meant to be lifelong. It’s purpose is to gain perspective into being aware of energy balance. Once you have seen some progress, developed an idea of caloric intake you can wean off the tracking process and/or implement the tracking process into certain time periods or seasons.
Understand different things work for different people. While there are some universal truths when it comes to the biological scientific functions of macronutrients; there is no universal truth when it comes to adherence. Some people will adhere more consistently to a high carbohydrate intake than others. Some people will adhere more consistently to a higher fat intake than others. My recommendation is to set a protein goal (.7-1.0 grams per pound of body weight) and figure out what carb/fat intake you can be most consistent with while hitting your overall caloric intake goal. This allows the room to make nutrition enjoyable to you as an individual.
3.) Eat Less Snacks
Unless its absolutely necessary depending on your situation, don’t snack consistently throughout the day. Eat a meal when you are hungry not a snack. Eating less throughout the day means less tracking and less tracking means more sustainability. Furthermore, less snacking can help drive adherence/consistency because you are able to enjoy bigger more satisfying meals during the day. It is important to note, there isn't any significant correlation between eating more meals versus less meals on metabolism. Overall daily caloric intake is the prime driver in weight gain/loss.
At the end of the day, you can rest assured that you are one step closer to your goal if you have tracked your calories. Tracking metrics is a win win when it comes to wellness results. It either creates the process in which we are aiming (fat loss, recomposition, muscle gain) or it gives us valuable data in which we can adjust our path to achieve our goals. This simple truth will help keep you going when you run into inevitable adversity along your wellness journey.
Again, I know there is more to the equation but we only have so much energy throughout the day. Let’s channel that energy into areas that are principle based and that we can control. Your best is yet to come!