Okay! So you’ve decided your ready! You’ve been prescribed these magical numbers which will make all your dreams come true. Great, Where do you start? How do you balance them? What food pairings are you going to do? How much of each? How are you going to hit those magical numbers? Well here is my BEST advice
#1. Make your food lists of things you will NOT give up. Believe it or not, I do have clients that want to keep a couple glasses of wine/week in, so I tell them to log their 4 ounces at the start of the week. Now they also do this with the understanding the path to their goal might take a little longer and they might have to have tighter numbers leading up to that Friday night glass of wine.
#2: Make a list of foods you enjoy eating and put them under categories, proteins, carbs and fats. Write out a staple breakfast or lunch, a meal that will NEVER change over the week, most pick breakfast! Also pick a snack that will stay consistent.
#3: If your taking protein supplements and carb supplements log those RIGHT away so that you don’t forget about them!
#5: Open up your calorie counter and start putting your day in. Pick starting numbers. Scan your products. Log a “day” check out your numbers, did they work by throwing number in off the top of your head? Probably not, so NOW go in and change them around! Are you over in fat? Okay look at the breakfast, maybe you can cut down from two eggs to one egg with egg whites. Under on protein? Up your meal quantities. Its all a juggling act so cue the circus!
#6: After you have balanced those days, GO back to your planning page and fill in the quantities. You can then print out your meal plan and put it on the fridge or somewhere you can easily see it.
#7: Meal prep things that you can. For example, rice, potatoes, cut fresh veggies, have high quality protein bars and deli meats and beef jerky always on hand. I personally recommend grocery shopping after you meal plan! It will help you have a better idea of how much food you’ll actually need! If you absolutely must do full meal prep, I suggest only 3-4 days of the same or before you have to re cook. Eating the same soggy food over and over will only lead you to fall of the wagon HARD.
#8: If you are BRAND new to logging and understanding nutrition I do recommend keeping your food simple and try to avoid recipes for stews, chilli’s, paleo pizza ect. It makes it super difficult to track, OR use them once a week on a weekend and know that your numbers will be off a bit but do you best to enter the recipes!
#9: Eating healthy does not give you to go ahead to consume crazy amounts of “paleo” treats. Sugar is still sugar, and it all add ups so be careful with the healthy versions of muffins, cookies and other treats!
#10: ALWAYS log the night before or before you eat!! Eating and logging on the go will not go in your favor when your learning! You need to have a plan! Once you have some foods that repeat a lot you will be able to eat a little more on the fly but still I suggest pre-logging, You can’t take back what you have already digested and trust me nothing sucks more then missing your numbers after you have worked hard in the gym, fixing your sleep and getting that water in!
Last but not least, mentally prepare yourself to make mistakes and screw up! Cut yourself some slack! This is new for you! Leaning new skills takes time! Putting in the effort right at the start will give you a lot less heart ache and frustration and know it always gets easier! Weighing and logging is like breathing for me, I don’t even think about it anymore and since I eat things similar they always show up in recently eaten which makes my logging take less then 3 minutes/day! Hang in there! I can promise you that first drop in the scale, or your first PR, or the first time you sleep through the whole night and feel amazing you will not regret ONE second that you spent being organized and disciplined. Enjoy the process or its not going to work out in the long run!
Create a lifestyle, not a temporary fix.