Food

10 Essential Tips For Developing A Healthy Relationship With Food

10 Essential Tips For Developing A Healthy Relationship With Food

There’s no shame in being a foodie. Still, large portions or a junk food addiction can harm weight loss. Here’s to developing a healthy relationship with food.

Do you have a healthy relationship with food? Many people think that, just because they don’t struggle with an obvious eating disorder, such as anorexia or binge eating disorder, that their relationship with food is a healthy one.

In reality, though, a lot of people have issues when it comes to the food they eat.

They might be obsessed with eating clean and flinch at the sight of a doughnut. Or, they might have an aversion to anything remotely healthy and choose to eat only junk food. They might claim to eat whatever they want with no concern about the scale, only to turn around and spend hours on the treadmill working it off.

An unhealthy relationship with food can manifest itself in many different ways, and it’s not always easy to spot.

The good news, though, is that it’s never too late to turn things around.

Read on to learn more about what a healthy relationship with food looks like. You’ll also learn some important skills regarding developing a healthy relationship with food.

Why Does Your Relationship with Food Matter?

Depending on where you’re at in your health journey, you might be wondering why having a good relationship with food is so important.

First, let’s start with the facts. Approximately 71.6 percent of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese. And, at least 30 million people in the United States suffer from some kind of eating disorder.

Clearly, there are a lot of people in this country who have a hard time eating in a way that nourishes and fuels their body appropriately. They may be eating too much or eating too little, but, at the end of the day, the result is the same — a poor relationship with food.

If you have a poor relationship with food, you’re likely going to have a hard time maintaining a healthy weight.

You might go through binge and restrict cycles or fall victim to crash diets. Or, you may look physically healthy on the outside but feel bogged down on the inside by the stress associated with constantly worrying about the food you’re eating.

Before you can make lasting changes and work toward your health and fitness goals — no matter what they are — you need to make sure you’re also working on improving your relationship with food.

What Does a Healthy Relationship with Food Look Like?

It’s hard to pin down exactly what a healthy relationship with food looks like. It’s kind of like asking someone what it means to be fit. Everyone has a different definition in mind based on their past experiences.

You can’t tell, just by looking at someone, whether or not they have a healthy relationship with food. Instead, a more accurate measure is their habits and behaviors.

There may not be one definitive method for measuring a healthy relationship with food, but the following are some common, positive traits to look for.

Ask yourself honestly whether you possess at least some of these traits. If you don’t, it might be time to work on changing your relationship with food.

You Avoid Emotional Eating

You don’t eat out of sadness, loneliness, anger, or boredom. When something bad or difficult happens, you don’t turn to food for comfort.

You Can Eat Intuitively

You’re not constantly worrying about the number of calories or grams of carbohydrates in a particular food. You’re able to recognize hunger, eat what satisfies you, and stop when you’re full.

You Don’t Try to “Make Up” for Unhealthy Choices

In the event that you do indulge and consume something that isn’t technically healthy, you don’t feel the need to “undo the damage” you’ve caused.

You have a good grasp on the concept of being “cyclically fit.” You don’t try to burn off the number of calories you just ate or fast the next day to make up for your decision.

You Avoid Comparison Traps

You understand that, when it comes to food, everyone’s needs and preferences are different.

You don’t compare your body or your food choices to others’. Instead, you just focus on making decisions that make sense for yourself and your lifestyle.

You Focus on Other Things Besides Food

One trait that almost always presents itself in people with an unhealthy relationship with food is the amount of time they spend thinking about food. They’re almost always thinking about when they’re going to eat next, what they’re going to eat next, how it’s going to affect the scale, etc.

If you have a healthy relationship with food, you likely aren’t constantly planning your next meal. You see eating as a necessary part of life and you eat when you’re hungry, end of story.

You Don’t Eat Foods That Will Make You Feel Bad

In some circles, there’s a mindset that, if you avoid certain kinds of food, it’s because you have an eating disorder or an unhealthy relationship with food.

If you truly have a positive relationship with food, though, you understand and respect the fact that some foods don’t make you feel your best.

For you, this might mean avoiding sugar because you don’t like the blood sugar crash that comes with it. Or, you might avoid eating dairy because it upsets your stomach.

A truly positive relationship with food involves eating foods that make you feel good and avoiding foods that don’t, even if everyone else is eating them.

10 Tips for Developing a Healthy Relationship with Food

It’s okay if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed at this point. It can be hard to acknowledge that your relationship with food isn’t the healthiest. It’s also easy to feel as though you’ll never be able to flip the script and make things better.

You absolutely can make a positive change in your life, though. Start by implementing these ten tips into your lifestyle to start changing the way you look at and consume food.

1. Eat Mindfully

How do you typically eat your meals?

Do you eat standing at the counter or over the sink? Do you plop down on the couch with the TV on while scrolling through Instagram, doing your best not to drop food on your phone or tablet?

Eating mindfully can help you get in touch with your body’s natural hunger and fullness cues. It can also help you enjoy your meal more and feel more satiated. If you have a tendency to overeat, this is an especially great benefit.

The next time you have a snack or meal, start by sitting down in a chair at the table. Don’t turn on the TV or look at your phone. Simply eat your meal with no distractions.

2. Express Gratitude for Your Food

Before you start to eat, take a moment to express gratitude for your food. You can do this out loud or silently to yourself.

If you’re a religious person, this can be an actual prayer. Or, you can simply say “thank you” and think for a minute about the work that went into the meal.

By pausing for a second before you dig in, you can get into a calmer, more mindful state. You may also appreciate your food more if you take a minute to think about where it came from and the work people had to do to get it to you.

3. Ask Yourself if You’re Truly Hungry

Many people start eating, not because they’re hungry, but because they’re experiencing a troubling emotion. They might be feeling lonely or sad, or they might be anxious or stressed out.

Before you reach for your food — especially if it is a highly palatable, processed food like chips or cookies — ask yourself if you’re actually hungry.

Another way to assess your hunger is to ask yourself if you could eat broccoli right now. If you’re actually hungry, broccoli will sound appealing. If you’re not willing to eat broccoli, you’re not really hungry, you’re having a craving.

4. Release the Need for Perfection

Accept that there are going to be times when you slip up. There will be times when you eat out of emotion or let yourself get distracted during a meal. It’s okay.

Once you realize where you made a mistake, take a step back and figure out why. Then, release yourself from shame and guilt and move on with your life.

Remember, you wouldn’t slash the other three tires on your car just because you got one flat.

5. Stop Labeling Foods as Good or Bad

Most people who have an unhealthy relationship with food have a tendency to label foods as good or bad. If this sounds familiar to you, try changing the way you talk about the food you eat.

Instead of seeing foods as good or bad, try looking at them as good, better, and best. Try to make most of your foods come from the “better” and “best” categories, but allow yourself to have some “good” foods every once in a while, too.

6. Don’t Keep Problematic Foods in Your House

When it comes to these “good” foods, many people find that it’s helpful not to keep them in their house, at least for a while. This is especially true for people who struggle with binge eating disorders.

If there’s a food that you have a hard time saying “no” to, do yourself a favor and reduce the number of times you need to say “no” to it. You’re less likely to overconsume ice cream if you don’t have it in the freezer at all.

Make ice cream an occasional treat that you have to go out to get. Then, when you have it, you’ll enjoy it, but won’t always be there in the freezer tempting you.

7. Keep a Food Journal

Keeping a food journal is another useful tool. Don’t just write down the number of calories or grams of carbs in the foods you eat, though.

Instead, pay attention to the emotions you experienced surrounding your meals and snacks.

Were you eating because you were hungry, or were you trying to cover up an unpleasant emotion?

Writing things down can make them more tangible. It also makes it easier for you to spot patterns and look objectively at your situation.

8. Try Cooking Your Own Food

If you have a tendency to order out several times per week, try cooking for yourself for a while instead.

Cooking at home can help you gain a better appreciation for your food. You’ll also appreciate yourself and the effort you put into cooking a nice meal.

Your meals will almost always be healthier when you cook them yourself than when you order out. You’ll save money, too!

9. Measure Out Servings

If you do keep certain foods in the house that you tend to overeat, measure out a serving instead of eating straight from the box or bag.

Even if you don’t actually put your food on a scale, just putting it into a bowl before eating will help you moderate your consumption and avoid overeating.

10. Learn to Differentiate Between “Snacks” and “Treats”

Finally, it’s important to learn the difference between a snack and a treat.

How often have you wanted a snack and reached for something that you knew wouldn’t be filling, like a cookie or a doughnut? That wasn’t really a snack. It was a treat.

Snacks should satisfy your hunger. Treats, on the other hand, are for pleasure.

If you’re hungry and have a couple of hours before you can make dinner, snack on a hard-boiled egg or an apple with almond butter.

 

Save cookies, doughnuts, and other highly palatable foods for when you want a treat.

Looking for More Inspiration?

If you’re not happy with your relationship with food, you can turn things around today. Now is the perfect opportunity to start.

Keep these ten tips in mind and you’ll be well on your way to developing a healthy relationship with food.

If you’re looking for more information, check out our podcast for a variety of episodes related to health, fitness, and wellness.

Don’t forget to look into out our 9-week challenge, too. When you sign up, you’ll get one-on-one with a qualified coach who is dedicated to helping you achieve your health and fitness goals.

A Crash Course In What To Eat For Your Body Type

A Crash Course In What To Eat For Your Body Type

Have you ever heard of diets based on the type of body you have? Here’s what to eat for your body type, and how to know if this works for you.

The term “different strokes for different folks” has never been truer than when it’s applied to diet and exercise plans.

We all have that one friend that never puts on a single pound no matter how many chocolate bars they wolf down. Then there are those unfortunates who cannot reach their goal weight no matter how much they exercise or how long they stick to their meal plans.

Turns out it hasn’t got much to do with the speed of your metabolism. Although in some ways, it has everything to do with it.

It’s not how fast your metabolism works, but how it works in relation to the type of body you’re born with.

Find a happy medium by learning how to exercise and what to eat for your body type. The results will amaze you.

What Body Type Are You?

Typically when we consider different body types we think of our general shape. This is especially true for women.

These shapes are usually referred to as ”apple” or android body type, and “pear” or gynoid body type. Less commonly, we may refer to ”hourglass”, and “ruler” body types. These are all pretty accurate descriptions of body shapes.

Yet, when it comes to eating for your body type, finding the right balance goes a little deeper than first impressions.

It has to do with metabolism, bone structure, and how your body reacts to exercise. Find out where you fit in when it comes to body types.

Endomorph

Endomorphs usually fall into the pear-shaped category. They battle to lose weight and keep it off thanks to a slow metabolic rate. When they do exercise, they gain muscle easily, but it’s never as bulky as they’d like.

If you have any of the following traits, you are probably an Endomorph:

  • A rounded body shape
  • Medium to large joints and bone structure
  • Short limbs
  • Small shoulders

Due to their sluggish metabolism, endomorphs fall asleep easily and can have bouts of unexplained fatigue.

Bottom line, endomorphs have the highest body fat percentage of all body types. They have to work much harder and follow a strict eating plan to get into shape.

The good news is that the rewards are so much greater when you do achieve your goals. A fit female endomorph is the pinnacle of feminine allure, with a toned, yet softly rounded physique.

Ectomorph

Most supermodels are ectomorphs. This highly fashionable body type is fragile and delicately built, with little fat or muscle.

While these may seem like attractive characteristics, ectomorphs have their own set of problems. Low muscle mass means that well-developed muscles are a pipe dream for most of these individuals.

Ladies tend to complain about being flat-chested and lacking in the curves of their endomorph counterparts. Men usually see themselves as too skinny and wiry.

These are the most common characteristics of endomorphs:

  • Small joints and bone structure
  • A skinny physique with low body fat
  • Long arms and legs
  • Small shoulders
  • Little muscling
  • A fast metabolism
  • Hyperactive tendencies

Ectomorphs wage an ongoing battle that many of us would love to fight. They struggle to put on weight. Unfortunately, the same applies to muscle.

Mesomorph

Mesomorphs have the best of both worlds. They are naturally lean and build muscle easily. On the downside, their bodies can pile on the pounds of fat given the chance.

These are the main characteristics of mesomorphs:

  • Lean and muscular body
  • Natural strength
  • Medium size bone structure and joints
  • Efficient metabolism
  • See results from exercise quickly

Female mesomorphs usually have a shapely, hourglass figure. Males tend to take a classic V-shape, with wide shoulders and narrow hips.

Working Out a Plan for You

People aren’t made according to factory specifications, so it’s totally possible to have characteristics from more than one body type. Figure out which description most applies to you when choosing an eating plan for your body type.

One of the easiest ways to avoid disappointment is to be realistic about how you want your body to look.

Achieving the super-ripped physique of professional bodybuilders may not be ideal for you. It’s important to realize that you can be fit and healthy without going to those extremes. You have a life to live outside of the gym.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, scroll on down to see what you should eat for your body type if you want to get into top shape fast.

What to Eat for Your Body Type

It’s important to remember that there is no right or wrong body type. Everybody can benefit from eating the kind of foods that suit their body type.

Here are some pointers to help you get on the right track.

Eating Plan for Endomorphs

Endomorphs are usually insulin dominant which means their bodies store energy easily in the form of fat.

This doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a lifetime of being overweight. It simply means you have to eat foods that get your metabolism pumping and work out enough to prevent the fat from settling.

Endomorphs fare best on a diet that is high in fat and protein. The ideal ratio is 25% carbs, 35% protein, and 40% fat. It’s best to keep your carb intake to those times when you’ve already used up a whole lot of energy exercising.

These kinds of eating plans will ensure that your retain and build on the muscle you have while restricting the amount of energy that’s stored as fat.

Stick to ”good” carbs like whole grain bread, brown rice, amaranth, millet, corn, barley, potatoes, and quinoa. Vegetables are a great source of healthy carbs as well as vitamins and minerals.

Stick to healthy fats like avocado oil and olive oil.

Diet Tips for Ectomorphs

While ectomorphs can eat what they want without gaining much weight, a healthy diet is imperative to achieve a toned, healthy body.

If you are an ectomorph, you’ll need loads of nutritious calories to build muscle and replace spent energy efficiently. This means carbs – and plenty of them.

An ideal ectomorph eating plan should involve eating high carb foods throughout the day and upping your intake just before and after your workout. The magic formula is 50 percent carbs, 25 percent protein, and 25 percent fat.

Breakfast is the main meal of the day for ectomorphs and should be heavy on the complex carbohydrates and protein. Try to fit in another 7 or 8 meals spread throughout the day.

Focus on consuming vegetable and fruits at every meal and add starchy carbs like potatoes every second meal. Whole grain, unprocessed foods are always best for optimum health and vitality.

Whey protein and high-calorie shakes can help to boost your weight gain and a cheat meal every so often won’t harm your progress when you’re an ectomorph. You are free to tuck into a cheeseburger, as long as you don’t make a habit of it.

Mesomorph Meal Ideals

Mesomorphs fall somewhere in the middle of the other two body types and usually thrive on a balanced ratio of carbs to proteins and fats. The best way to split these is often 40% carbohydrate, 30% fat and 30% protein.

Because of their propensity to put on weight, mesomorphs fare better when they stick to low -fat proteins and complex carbohydrates.

Greek yogurt, eggs, poultry, and seafood are good sources of protein, while green vegetables, whole grain foods, and low-sugar fruits are excellent for carbs. High-fiber foods will reduce sugar cravings and help you to feel full for longer.

Try to cram most of your carbs into your breakfast meal, as well as before and after exercise. Vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, and fruit are the best options for meals in between these times.

This means you’d try eating some higher carb or starchy carb foods in the morning, as well as during/post exercise. The rest of your meals should contain fewer carbs and more fats and protein.

If you feel that you need a little extra kick during an intense workout, you can indulge in an energy drink to give you a boost.

Work Out Tips for Your Body Type

On its own, eating the correct diet will do a lot for your appearance and self-esteem as well as help you to slim down.

However, diet alone won’t give you the body you want. Exercise is imperative to get into the best shape you can.

Best Exercises for Endomorphs

Endomorphs seldom have trouble bulking up, the problem is that often this bulk takes the form of fat and not muscle.

While regular weight training will work wonders to build up muscle, you need the fat burning benefits of cardio too. The magic formula for endomorphs is often 4 days of weight training per week, making sure to include a cardio session each time.

When you’re just starting out, it’s perfectly okay to stick to low impact exercise as long as it gets your heart pumping. Ideally, you should choose an activity that checks the following boxes:

  • can continue for at least 20 minutes
  • uses the large muscles like legs and back
  • involves continuous, rhythmic movement

As your muscle mass increases, your metabolism will follow suit. It’s perfectly normal to go through cycles of change as you progress. As things become too easy or no longer interest you, adapt and move on.

Winning Workouts for Ectomorphs

Fortunately, with low body fat, it’s easier to achieve well-defined muscles even with small gains when you’re an ectomorph.

If you want to bulk up you are going to need to go hard, and you’re going to need to do it often. Heavy weights and low reps are the way to go.

Compound multi-joint lifts work well for this body type. These include:

  • bench press
  • back and front squats
  • stiff-leg deadlifts
  • pull-ups
  • barbell overhead presses

There’s no such thing as ”leg-day” when you’re an ectomorph. Try to incorporate as many muscle groups as you can into every workout.

While cardio is good for your overall health, too much can turn your body into a fat-burning wasteland. A quick spin on the bicycle or a brisk walk should do the trick.

BasicTraining for Mesomorphs

When you’re a mesomorph almost anything goes, and you can really enjoy yourself at the gym.

Resistance exercises using your body weight will help to tone, firm and shape your body while burning fat at the same time. Think yoga, calisthenics, and gymnastics.

As a mesomorph, your frame can carry a lot of muscular bulk but that’s often difficult to achieve. There’s a good chance you won’t be able to lift the heavy weights needed to bulk up at first.

In the beginning, using your body weight is an effective way to improve your strength in preparation for these big lifts.

When you’re ready, you can progress to moderate repetitions with moderate weights. About 3 weight training sessions a week should do the trick, consisting of 8 to 12 reps focussing on individual muscle groups.

Staying Motivated

Getting yourself to the gym regularly can be trying. Here are a few tips to help you make every workout enjoyable and productive.

Sticking to a strict regime on your own is never easy. Enlisting the help of a personal trainer will help you to see results quicker and stay on top of your game.

When you sign up for our 9-week challenge we will match you with a personal challenge coach. They’ll guide you on what to eat for your body type and how to get the best results from your workouts.

Together we’ll ensure you get all the support and expert advice you need for success.

Macros VS Calories: Which Should You Count For Weight Loss?

Macros VS Calories: Which Should You Count For Weight Loss

If you’re trying to lose weight by way of what you eat, you’ve heard about macros VS calories. Click here to find out what they are and which ones to count.

The holidays are coming up in a hurry. That means reconnecting with family and friends, taking pictures, and maybe even paying a visit to your old hometown.

This is the time of year when many of us panic and say, “Oh no, I can’t enjoy the holidays looking like THIS!”

No matter what your weight loss motivation might be, it starts with getting educated. If you’re scouring the internet for weight loss tips, you’ve been hit by an avalanche and you need to sift through the myths and half-truths to find your path.

One of the greatest debates about weight loss is whether it’s best to count macros vs calories. We’re putting it to rest once and for all. Here’s what you need to know.

Counting Macros Vs Calories: What Do I Need to Do to Lose Weight?

We’ll cut to the chase: to lose weight the right way, you need to do both. Your body is an atmosphere with a delicate balance, and you need to manage your overall calories as well as your macros to stimulate healthy weight loss.

To help you find that perfect balance, we’ll break it down one piece at a time.

Why Calories Matter for Weight Loss

Most people know the basic concept of weight loss. If you take in more calories than you burn, you gain weight. If you burn more calories than you take in, you lose weight. But why?

A calorie is a unit of energy that your body uses for all its functions, from basic survival to hitting the pavement for a run. Our bodies are programmed for survival in the wilderness, where we wouldn’t know when our next meal was coming.

If we have more energy than our body needs, the body stores the extra energy inside our fat cells so it can use it at a later time if we can’t get the food we need. When your body needs more energy than you’re giving it, it pulls the energy from those stored fat cells and uses it, leading to weight loss.

To put it in simple terms, you need to burn more calories than you eat in order to lose weight. That’s why counting calories is the method most people use for weight loss: because it’s easy and it can get the job done.

However, your daily calorie count doesn’t give you the full picture. As we’ll explain later, not all sources of calories are equal.

How Many Calories Should I Eat to Lose Weight?

This is the million-dollar question: if I need to eat fewer calories to lose weight, what should my limit be? As you may expect, it varies from one person to another. Here’s how to calculate your calorie goal.

1. Find Your BMR

Everyone’s body requires a different number of calories for its basic functions like digestion, maintaining a heartbeat, and more. That number is your basal metabolic rate or BMR.

Your estimated BMR depends on your height, weight, age, and gender. You can use an online BMR calculator to find your estimated BMR.

As an example, let’s use Jane Doe. She’s a 40-year-old woman who’s 66 inches tall and she weighs 180 pounds. Based on an online calculator, her BMR is 1560. In other words, if she were to lay around all day and do no activity, she would burn 1,560 calories.

2. Factor in Your Activity Level

Now that you know your BMR, you need to factor in your typical activity level to see how many total calories your body burns on an average day.

Take a look at how much exercise you get in a typical week and assign it a number on a scale of 1.2 to 1.9. If you are sedentary and do little or no activity on a daily basis, you’re a 1.2. A 1.9, on the other hand, would be a professional athlete or someone who exercises often on top of a hard labor job.

When you’ve decided where your activity level is on this scale, multiply that number by your BMR. This is called the Harris Benedict Formula. It gives you an estimate of how many calories you need to eat on a daily basis.

Let’s go back to our Jane Doe example. She does a moderate workout three times per week, so we’ll put her at a 1.5 on the activity scale. If she multiplies that by her BMR of 1560, her total daily estimated calorie usage is 2,340.

3. Calculate Your Calorie Goal

The calculations above give you the number of calories you need to eat each day to maintain your same weight. The next step is to determine how many calories you should eat in order to lose weight.

It all depends on your desired weight loss rate. In general, you need to burn about 3500 more calories than you eat to lose one pound.

Let’s assume Jane Doe wants to lose two pounds per week. That means she needs a 7,000 calorie deficit each week.

To hit that goal, Jane Doe should eat 1,000 fewer calories than she burns each day. The puts her daily calorie limit at 1,340.

Of course, that’s only part of the story. To get the results she wants, Jane Doe needs to make sure those 1,340 calories are coming from the right sources. That’s where macronutrients come into play in our nine-week weight loss challenge.

Why Macronutrients Matter for Weight Loss

Food does more than give your body energy. It also gives your body the specific nutrients it needs to perform every function you need on a daily basis. That’s why your macros are so important: they make sure your body has what it needs to function.

There are three macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Each one has its own nutrients and components your body needs. The key to weight loss is making sure that your body gets enough of each macronutrient within your daily calorie goal.

Carbohydrates

Carbs have gotten a bad reputation over the years, and it’s only somewhat warranted.

Carbs are your body’s first source of energy. If you take in more carbs than your body needs, it stores the remaining carbs in your fat cells, enlarging them and causing weight gain.

If your body needs more energy than it’s getting from the carbs you’re eating, it pulls stored energy from your fat cells and you lose weight. That’s why low-carb diets are so popular. They cut to the chase and stimulate fast weight loss.

Proteins

The second key macro is protein. In the same way that people vilify carbs, they glorify protein.

They aren’t all wrong. Protein is made of amino acids, which are the building blocks for all your cells. They’re essential to healthy body functions.

Proteins are also necessary for your body to build muscle. The way you build muscle is that when you exercise, the effort creates tiny micro-tears in the muscle fibers. When your body repairs those tears with materials from protein, it makes the muscles stronger.

That brings up an important misconception: protein itself doesn’t make you build muscle and get fit. It gives your body what it needs to build muscle as a result of your exercise. You still need to work out to gain muscle.

Fats

Fat has become a dirty word, but thanks to more and more nutritional education, we’re changing that misconception. Dietary fat isn’t the same as fat in your body. If you stop eating fat, it doesn’t mean your body will burn your fat cells to replace it.

Dietary fat is your body’s second source of energy after it has depleted the carbs and before it starts burning stored energy. Fat is also a vital part of your diet because it includes nutrients your body needs to operate at its best.

The key is choosing healthy fats, like avocado and eggs instead of high-fat sweets.

How to Balance Your Macros for Weight Loss

Now you know the three macros you need each day, but how much of each one do you need?

In general, you should aim to get 40% of your daily calories from carbs, 40% from proteins, and 20% from fat.

While that sounds simple, it takes some calculation. Let’s use Jane Doe as our example. Her daily goal is 1,340 calories. That means she should get 536 calories from carbs, 536 from proteins, and 268 from fats each day.

The problem is that nutrition labels list the grams of each macro in your food, not the calories. That’s another calculation you have to do.

Each gram of carbs and proteins contains about four calories. Each gram of fat contains about nine calories. That means Jane Doe needs to eat 134 grams of carbs, 134 grams of protein, and 30 grams of fat every day.

Keep in mind that this is all based on a general weight loss goal. Depending on your specific goals, a nutritionist might suggest changing these ratios. For instance, someone who wants to build muscle while they lose weight might need more protein.

Tips for Losing Weight While Counting Calories and Macros

It’s not about choosing between counting calories or balancing your macros. You need both to lose weight while staying healthy. You might be able to lose weight without considering your macros, but you could compromise your health.

Your results also won’t be the same if you don’t keep your macros in line. If you’ve ever wondered why some people who lose weight end up toned while others don’t, the macros are a common reason.

If you’re ready to get started, here are some tips:

1. Work the Numbers

Considering how much of this blog is dedicated to math, you can see how important numbers are in getting your diet right. People who say, “I’m just going to estimate how healthy things are,” rarely reach their goals.

It’s also important to re-work your numbers every so often. As you lose weight, your BMR will change and your activity levels might change too. Re-do your calculations and your goals every month or two depending on your progress.

2. Keep It As a Work in Progress

You need to recognize that these numbers aren’t an exact science. Everyone’s body is unique in the ways and rates at which it processes calories.

Studies even show that the numbers vary based on ethnicity and weight history. Monitor your progress and don’t be afraid to adjust your goals and percentages if necessary.

As you do this, pay attention to more than the scale. Do you feel run-down all the time? Are you too weak to work out? If so, it’s time for an adjustment.

3. Use Water for All It’s Worth

To be blunt, drinking water helps you lose weight. It’s a well-known fact in the medical community, but not all dieters recognize it.

Hydration helps you have the energy to work out and stay active. In some cases, people think they’re hungry when they’re actually thirsty. If you drink water when you feel hungry, it could prevent you from eating more than you need.

In many cases, people who drink water soon before a meal also eat less food. It’s a great technique to try if you tend to overeat or if you leave the table still feeling hungry.

4. Planning, Planning, and More Planning

Chances are that on-the-fly decisions have landed you in a position to want to lose weight in the first place. It’s impossible to estimate the calories in a dish if you don’t know how it was prepared.

Hitting your calorie and macro goals require planning ahead. Plan your meals in advance to get the balance you need. If you plan to go to a restaurant, look up the nutritional information if possible and plan your meal ahead of time, based on the numbers.

5. Don’t Try to Go It Alone

This one’s crucial. Study after study has shown that people who lose weight with a partner, coach, or buddy are more successful. Look to a professional like our weight loss coaches for knowledgeable guidance and emotional support.

Losing Weight With a Plan

For most people, weight loss isn’t a “wing it” type of task. In many cases, we aren’t aware of how unhealthy our food choices are until we look at the calorie content and the macros they contain.

The key is planning ahead. Medical researchers have learned so much about macros vs calories, the way our bodies work, and what causes weight loss. The information above can help you take advantage of it.

If you’re ready to get started and begin working toward your best body today, register for our 9-week challenge now.

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