Some of you may be pretty in tune to what you put in your mouth, other may not? Did you know that those three plates of Chinese food you had the other night at the buffet more than likely totaled over 3,000 calories? I am willing to bet that if the average American were to log their food over the course of an entire week, they would be mind blown on what they see. I know I was when I first started. Seeing that the 1.5 cups of rice, 1.5 cups of steamed veggies, and 10 oz of grilled chicken was only 660 calories of my daily 2,800 that I need to eat to lose 1 pound a week… well I was a little taken back by the amount of food I consumed and had very minimal amount of calories taken in. Where this is a great thing lies in what the calories are made up of. That meal I ate for lunch was nutrient dense per the caloric intake. Being nutrient dense is something that is important, but based on your goal your nutrient breakdown (carbs, fats, & proteins) may change.
Ground Rules for Weight Loss
1) Each individual is very different in the AMOUNT of food they are allowed to consume based on calories because their BMR is very different. The amount of each macro-nutrient will also vary according to your goal. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE talk to a trainer before you start any sort of dietary change. They will get you set up in the best way possible.
2) There are hundreds upon hundreds of food log methods out there, but here at Xperience we recommend using My fitness Pal to track food. It is a very user friendly app that even has a bar code scanner to log food.
3) Always consult with a trainer and your doctor before making dietary changes. Your trainer is not able to prescribe you a meal plan without being a licensed dietitian… so consult with your doctor as well!
Carbs to Eat for Weight Loss
Overall I believe carbs should be taken to a limit when trying to do any sort of dietary change. Carbs have a tendency to hold weight on the body when the intake isn’t completely used for energy processes in the body. Again, ask your trainer about the amounts you should be eating.
Veggies: Veggies are an amazing carbohydrate! They are generally packed with nutrients and are an amazing source of food for any person due to the amount of nutrients to the amount of calories you are taking in.
Rice: Eating rice is one of those things you can do before a workout to gain some energy from simple carbs.
Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a very great source of fiber and tons of nutrients for the amount of calories.
Proteins to Eat for Weight Loss
Proteins are huge when it comes to building muscle as well as losing weight. It takes more energy for our body to break down proteins than it does carbohydrates. So putting more of them in our bodies will then improve our BMR by burning more calories in the consumption of foods.
Chicken Breast: Chicken breast is a great way of getting your protein intake. Easy to make, and can be very different with some easy seasoning.
Venison: Not everyone loves the taste of venison, but I am a very avid outdoors-man and have had the joy of getting deer during gun and bow season. I love making venison steak or even some small diced chunks for in an omelette.
Eggs: An easy breakfast item or even a snack during the day, eggs are a great source of protein as well as fat when it is a whole egg! Hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, whatever it may be they are great! Fun and easy way to make eggs… crack an egg into a cup and prepare how you want it (leave it for over easy, mix it for scrambled) and then pop it in the microwave! One minute gets you a well cooked egg perfect fit for an English Muffin or an easy to go in a mug!
Fats to Eat for Weight Loss
Fats are something that many people think are “bad to eat” or “bad for your body” but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Fats are incredible fuel for your body. When you burn 1 gram of fat, you get 9 calories of energy from it. When you burn triglycerides, you get 13 calories of energy! Fats are also great for your joints and brain as long as they are the right kinds of fat!
Avocado: Avocados are an amazing source of healthy fats. They contribute the right kinds of fat for you body to use in the most efficient manner to fuel the fat-based processes within your body.
Almonds: Almonds are a great source of healthy fat as well. They are a simple snack that is very great for you when they are unsalted and natural!
Coconut: Coconut oil for cooking, or even just shaved coconut has tons of fats that are the kinds your body need to run all of the fat-based processes that your body runs. You will be surprised what will happen when you eat the right fats.
Camren Crouse, NSCA-CSCS, CPT