With all the exercise planned out for your new workout routine, the next thing we want to do is look at how you should be eating. This is where most of the confusion comes in. With so many “diets” out there, how does one know which one will be best for them? Lets start with the fundamentals that should be kept in mind no matter what “diet” we choose to follow.
Tip #4 – Basic Nutrition
Since this is a touchy subject with many communities involved in the Health and Fitness industry, I thought it would be best to talk basics, rather than specifics.
The first thing I feel is most important to figuring out how much we should eat , is figuring out what our RMR (or resting metabolic rate) is. If you are not familiar with this term, it represents how many calories your body needs to fuel itself just to operate in a 24hr period, and accounts for about 70% of a persons total daily energy expenditure before any physical activity.
- to read more on RMR vs BMR, and how to find out your magic number, click here .
Once you figure out your RMR, you have to figure out a few more things to really get a feel for how much you should be eating to either lose, or gain weight(hopefully muscle). To fully understand this, I want to introduce the principle of 3500 calories/7 days to lose or gain weight. This the formula that most personal trainers and nutritionists have been using for years to assist their clients with weightloss.
“What should does this mean to me?”
“The theory originated from researcher Max Wishnofsky, MD, in 1958, who calculated that 1 lb of fat stores approximately 3,500 kcal of energy. It was appealingly simple, and it stuck“
Over time, science has come to conclude the theory to be pretty much inaccurate. (this is actually a really good read written by a Doctor/RD who is much more geared to speak on the actual #’s then I am;).
If you went through the instructions above on how to calculate your RMR, or even if you didn’t because it was too complicated, your next step is to start logging your calories.
2 ways to log your calories
- The “old fashion way“= Get a notebook. Write down every single thing you eat, then go on the internet and look up exactly what the nutritional value is for every single ingredient of every meal you ate throughout each day . Total it all up, and hope you didn’t go over your daily allotment. But wait, what about macros, bcaa’s, vitamins’ etc? Who has time for all that? Well, welcome to the digital age.
- The “modern way” = Download an app. Plug in your personal stats(height,weight,goals,measurements etc) and start adding everything you eat. when I train my clients in the gym, I recommend the MyFitnessPal app. Nutritional values for almost every single thing you could possibly want to eat (yes processed food included) so it takes the guess-work out of everything. Plug in the data as you eat throughout the day and it will tell you in real-time where you stand , and how much more (or less) of something you should eat as the day continues. It even counts calories for your fitness activities as well!
*note. I am not at all affiliated with the MyFitnessPal app. I believe it is owned by Underarmour. However, it is a great product as it sits and is one of the easiest resources I have used for this purpose.
Whatever method you decide to employ, you will absolutely need to track your calories if you ever plan on seeing any results. Pick one, and use it every single day.
The basic point I’m trying to make is that it really shouldn’t matter how or what way you feed your body at the end of the day. Do what is right for you but make sure that your body is getting all the nutrients it needs in order to operate at a high performance level. You are not looking for something that has an “end goal“. A healthy “diet” is one that fits with your lifestyle, makes you feel good and is sustainable over the long haul.
Always make sure to check with your DOCTOR before starting any new diet that varies greatly from what you are currently following
What kind of “diet” works for you?