Is your goal to get in the best shape of your life and lose those last 5 to 10 pounds?
Are you already exercising and eating pretty healthy but frustrated because you don’t seem to be losing weight?
Do you think that counting calories or measuring out your portions is a waste of time, too much effort or too restrictive?
If you answered yes to any of these, then this blog is for you!
When I suggest counting calories or measuring out portion sizes to my clients, it’s usually met with resistance or they simply tell me, “I don’t count calories”.
I smile inside because this was 100% me several years ago. And I totally get it!
I’m a free spirit and very much a go-with-the-flow type person. I used to think that if I just ate healthy food most of the time and worked out, I’d lose the extra weight naturally.
After years of being frustrated by not really seeing the results I wanted, even though I was making such an effort to eat healthy, a friend suggested that I start tracking my food and calories. I instantly blew her off and said, “I don’t count calories.”
Long story short, eventually I decided to give it a go. I was still super resistant to it even after I’d started. But after about a month, not only did I feel healthier, stronger and more balanced, but I was steadily losing weight. And it just kept going until I finally reached my goal weight.
What’s more, I felt way more relaxed and free around food.
I used to spend so much time thinking about food and being frustrated and confused by it. I thought that tracking calories and my portions would make me obsess even more about it, but the total opposite happened!
Here’s what I now know:
Awareness = Freedom
When you have more knowledge- accurate info- about what you’re eating, this helps you to become more aware and more relaxed about your food choices.
Things like tracking calories, measuring out food portions and weighing yourself are simply tools to collect data.
They take the guesswork out and give you valuable info that you can then use to either know you’re on track or make the necessary adjustments.
If something helps you achieve your health and fitness goals, then embrace it! It’ll make your journey easier and quicker.
Fat loss is a pretty simple concept: consume less calories than you burn.
When you start to track what you’re eating, you’ll start to know whether you’re right on track, eating too much or too little. And then you can adjust as needed.
It’s also helpful to know what your ratio of macronutrients are, ie. how much protein, carbs and fat you’re consuming.
This is yet another tool that gives you super useful data. Having the right balance of macros (protein, carbs and fat) not only assures you’re getting a good balance of nutrients to support your body and promote good health, but it also helps with muscle gain, weight loss, hunger levels, brain alertness and energy levels.
The USDA guidelines for the percentage of your calories that should come from each macronutrient are as follows: 10 to 35% from protein, 45 to 65% from carbs and 20 to 35% from fat.
When I design custom meal plans for my clients, I never go below 45% for carbs, I usually always have protein on the higher end between 25-30% and then fat makes up the remaining percentage.
It’s important to have sufficient carbs to fuel your workouts and for energy throughout the day. Higher protein is super helpful to keep blood sugar and hunger levels stable and also to preserve and build muscle mass. And fat is important for energy, cell growth, insulation and protection of vital organs.
What are the best types of protein, carbs and fat to have? I’ll be writing future blogs on this, but for now, please check out my ebook Transform Your Body in 30 Days. It contains a complete list of the best forms of protein, carbs and fat, as well as a simple guide to portion sizes.
So how many calories per day should you consume?
I wish there was a simple answer to this, but it depends on many factors! It depends on your gender, age, height, current weight, activity level and whether you’re wanting to lose fat, gain muscle or maintain your current state.
For this reason, I create custom meal plans for my 1:1 coaching clients so that all the guesswork is removed. The meal plans I design are 100% tailored to each client and their specific goal. It gives a personal calorie target and the perfect breakdown of protein, carbs and fat to help them reach their goal. Click here for more info about 1:1 Coaching with me.
So there you have it! Tracking calories and food portions is an amazing tool that’ll bring you peace of mind and get you one step closer to realizing your fitness and health goals.
~Download a free app such as MyFitnessPal and play around with tracking your calories. It’s super easy and it’ll even show you a pie chart with your daily percentage of protein, carbs and fat.
~Leave a comment below about any new discoveries you have from doing this!
It’s my joy to support you on your health and fitness journey.
Alethea is a certified fitness trainer, bikini competitor, weight loss and health coach. Learn more about her here.