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. I’ve gotten “ hey, counting calories is a small snapshot into a complex issue”. Before diving into the tips, I want to address my perspective on the calorie issue.
First off, I understand that losing weight is a complex issue. 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 fitness journey. However, I’ve found that usually the Spark System (simple, sustainable, and enjoyable) when approaching a fitness goal helps in many ways.
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 your 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 your buck which ultimately allows you room to live your life. This leads to sustainability!
When you create appropriate structure based on your own individual needs you are able to develop adherence. Adherence leads to sustainability and sustainability leads consistency and consistency leads to results. Consistency will override the small x’s and o’s that plague the fitness industry.
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. Fitness 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 experience.
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 hairs' they will be able to develop simplicity, consistency, and contentment through the process (and ultimately reach their goal). That’s a long winded introduction into my 4 tracking calorie/macro tracking tips haha.
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 macros and/or program the tracking process into certain time periods or seasons. This process is what I call the "Lifestyle Transition" and is explained inside of the Nutrition Portal (a system for SparkThrive Members).
Understand different things work for different people. While there are some universal truths when it comes to the 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.
3.) Eat Less Meals With More Similarity.
Unless its absolutely necessary depending on your situation, don’t eat 6 times a day. Eating fewer meals during the day means less tracking and less tracking means more sustainability. Furthermore, less meals can help drive adherence/consistency because you are able to enjoy bigger more satisfying meals during the day. There hasn’t been any significant correlation between eating more meals versus less meals on metabolism. Overall daily caloric intake is the prime driver in weight gain/loss! In addition, eat similar food groups. You can mix and match while creating different combinations but try to eat the same foods (at least 5x per week). Not only does this increase consistency when it comes to tracking but is a huge time saver. Depending on the app you use for caloric tracking, recent food items get saved in the app data library. This means you don't have to look up your foods every day. You can just click on the recent items and track your calories much faster (adding new foods, sauces, and oils from time to time). When it's all said and done, tracking should not add more than 5-10 minutes to your day. This investment will dramatically outweigh the frustrations that come with inconsistent results.
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/macros. Tracking creates caloric awareness and that is the shortest path to your goal. This simple truth will help keep you going when you run into roadblocks along your fitness journey!
Pretty simple and straightforward. 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. If you are looking for some nutritional help consider SparkThrive Nutrition. This is a Spark membership option that gives you everything you need to see consistent results inside of a user friendly app. This app uploads the Nutrition Baby Steps (my 7 step nutrition plan) to your app through a simple daily to do list. If you want more information on this cost friendly option click the button below. Your best is yet to come!