Ok so I have mentioned this in alot of my previous posts but Im going to do my best to really expand on it in this blog and really drive home the importance of getting this right before attempting to complicate things further.
If altering your bodyweight whether it be putting on or losing is your goal then the key determinant in being successful is getting your energy balance in the right state.What this means is if losing weight is your goal you must be burning more energy(calories) than you are consuming.This will then lead to your body having to burn up stored fuel (fat/muscle) to continue to operate.Makes sense and im sure we all already grasp this.
There are only 2 ways of achieving this calorie deficit and that is to either eat less or exercise more.This is where simply logging your food intake for 1 week becomes invaluable.The next week you simply reduce your intake by 300 -400 calories a day and this should be enough to achieve weightloss.
Above is the Hierarchy of nutritional needs pyramid that illustrates the basis of your diet must first revolve around getting control of your caloric intake before you should move up and complicate things more by worrying about macronutrients (proteins/carbs/fats).The problem is the majority of people have turned this pyramid on its head.Why? Because its much easier to apply.
Take some supplements, increase meal frequency, take a multi vitiman, increase protein intake all easier to apply.But ultimately their goals fail as the calorie/energy balance lacks control.
Logging your food is a chore especially at the beginning but this stage is where you get good at it and learn exactly what your intake consists of and ultimately gain control of your diet which leaves you in the best position possible to achieve your goals.
There are a number of ways to do this.You could use a food diary and write down everything you have eating over the week and then simply follow the same plan next week but lower portion sizes slightly with each meal.This will result in you eating less calories than the previous week and add to this a couple of extra exercise sessions or general physical activities and you should achieve a calorie deficit.The downside to this is you must follow the plan exactly same as the week before.
Alternatively you could use an app such as My Fitness Pal to track your calories each day.Add them all together at end of the week and divide by 7 days to get your average daily intake. Subtract 300 calories from this and there you have your Daily goal for achieving your deficit in week 2. The downside of this is it may take you a little while to get used to the app and accurately logging your foods. Under reporting is a massive issue here and a lot of the time its not consiously done. But the upside is you can then vary your diet to include some foods you enjoy into your calorie intake which will ultimately give you more pleasure from your diet.(This is not an excuse to eat crap!)good food choices must be a focus but generally speaking if you achieve your calorie deficit you will be losing weight.
Once this is achieved and you are comfortably in control of your calories then we can move up to increasing protein ect. which will then have many additional benefits especially since you are now in a calorie deficit and losing weight. Thats how we achieve long term progress and put ourselves in best position possible to hit our goals.
I guess the whole point of this is that unless you know what you are taking in you are really just wandering around in the dark hoping to achieve your goals rather than knuckling down and taking ownership of your diet.It doesn’t have to be that complicated