So you have started going to the gym, you’re getting into the swing of things and you have made some great progress… but when it comes to nutrition, you’ve tried dieting countless times but never seem to see it through to the end. Sound like you? You aren’t alone and I have seen countless numbers of my clients struggle through the same thing.
So I am going to run through my 5 simple tricks that I give my clients to break through that plateau of the dreaded ‘diet’!
Give yourself an easy task to follow for a week
My first step to get the ball rolling is to make a task so easy that someone couldn’t possibly fail to achieve it. Two goals that I like to set my clients are either: taking a multivitamin each day or drinking two litres of water each day.
For the multivitamin, you simply need to keep a bottle in a place that you will, without a doubt, see every day – at your desk, next to your make up bag etc.
For the water, all you need to do is buy a 2litre bottle, keep it next to your desk or in sight throughout the day. You can even set reminders on your phone or write times down on the side of the bottle to aim for each day.
These two may not have direct effects on weight loss (more so with the vitamins) but it will give you a boost to carry on at the end of the week when you have achieved this goal.
Consume 20g of protein within half hour of waking
Now, a disclaimer: I am no ‘bro’ saying that this is the key to a fat loss diet whatsoever! But I hear all the time that my clients are struggling to hit their protein intake. So I give them a goal of hitting a big chunk of that when it is fresh in their minds in the morning for breakfast.
Also, protein is satiating and keeps you full for longer so by hitting 20g at breakfast, the desire for the 11am biccies in your meeting may just be reduced slightly.
Unsure of 20g of protein and breakfast ideas – here are a few examples:
- A scoop of whey with almond milk
- A protein bar
- 200g Greek yoghurt or cottage cheese with fruit
- 3 egg scramble
- The Protein Works Pancake Mix
Get snapping for accountability
Before I get my clients counting calories, I want them to start learning serving sizes. What they think is a serving of pasta may actually be four, what they think is an innocent ‘skinny latte’ may be adding up the calories after their fourth one of the day.
So what I get them doing is take pictures of their food (and drink – excluding water) intake during the day. This not only gives them an idea of how much they are eating, but it also helps me see how much their ‘small serving’ at lunch was.
Everyone loves taking pictures of their food nowadays, so get fancy, put a filter on it and chuck it on Instagram for everyone to see… now that is accountability for you!
Time to track!
Now once you start learning how much you are eating, you may be ready for the big guns – MyFitnessPal.
We don’t want this to be hard for you; these are easy changes that you can maintain. So I say shoot aim for a rough estimate!
The two main things to hit is your calorie intake and your protein intake – if you do these two things, it won’t matter where your carbs and fat falls for now, as it will only result in resentment if you don’t reach all three spot on. Myfitness pal becomes simple after a few days – simply track your intake by scanning bar codes or searching the brand of your food!
Simply go onto http://iifym.com/tdee-calculator/ and fill out a small questionnaire –this will give you your maintenance. If you want to reduce body fat, take off 200 calories from that maintenance and simply weigh yourself each week to see if weight is coming off. You don’t want to aim to lose more than a lb a week. If weight isn’t coming off, adjust your calories by reducing slightly. Big emphasis on slightly, I’m talking no more than 100 calories.
Your protein intake? Simply take your weight in lbs and use that number as your protein intake.
For example: I am 125lbs so I will be aiming for 125g protein. Simple!
Finally, to make it EVEN easier – you can even build in a buffer and say that green vegetables are ‘free foods’ so that you don’t have to stress over things like spinach, broccoli etc. It really is something that doesn’t need fretting over unless you are deep into comp prep!
Weighing out the options
FINALLY! I get SO many people asking me ‘I have this amount of protein left and this amount of calories, what can I eat?’
So I will never give the answer ‘whatever fits your macros’ because that is as useless as saying ‘food’.
Write down ideas for your breakfast, lunch and dinner.
What is near your work that you can get for lunch? Costa? McDonalds? Look at the nutritional info for these places and find something that can work for you. Yes that’s right, you can get something healthier than a big mac from MaccyD’s!
Write these down and if you get stuck you know that you have choices available.
What are your favourite dinner time meals? Write them down, and alternate these. You can even look for healthier recipes online – yep google is a remarkable thing.
Write down snack ideas that you can enjoy AND won’t bust your calorie intake. There are LOADS of recipes on here that you can try and test out yourself!
It is all about making the RIGHT choices. Think in advance and you won’t get stuck!
I hope these 5 tips help you nail that nutrition without a cookie cutter meal plan!