- You need to count your calories, and make sure you consuming less than your daily maintenance level in order to lose weight.
- You CANNOT gain weight when you are in calorie deficit, unless you really screw up your hormones or metabolism by doing something ridiculous.
- Carbohydrates will not make you fat as long as you stay below your daily maintenance level of calories. Be aware of the high calorie, low nutrient content of some types of foods though.
- For long term results, you need a realistic nutrition plan that you can stick to long term.
Lets talk about alcohol next.
Alcohol means all bets are off. Your body prioritises processing calories from alcohol before doing anything with calories from any other source. Aside from containing lots of calories that may put you above your daily target to begin with, alcohol also makes your body lose interest in doing anything productive with the other fuel you consume. So in other words if you insist on consuming alcohol habitually every day, there’s not really much I can do to help you.
Save the alcohol for when you have a party or some other social engagement. Not much that’s good can come of drinking regularly at home every day.
What about fats?
Fats are required in a balanced diet although you need to be aware that fats contain around twice as many calories per gram than protein or carbohydrates, so once again it’s important to keep close track of your intake and ensure that you do not go above your target calories. Unsaturated fats such as from avocado in particular are very good for you, and are preferable to saturated fats from animal products.
Avoid trans fats as much as possible. I don’t even know WHAT those are, apart from BAD.
Sweets and lollies, chips and crisps.
Lets get real here. If you’re a grown adult who claims to want to lose weight and get into shape, there is no place for any of this stuff in your pantry. Biscuits as well! This is all the stuff with virtually no nutritional value that will put you over the top of your maintenance level of calories and cause you to gain weight. It’s much better to snack on some fresh fruit (especially apples and pears, with the peel on!) or even better have some vegetables. Again these calories still count, but there’s less of them and more fibre and useful nutrients.
So is there any more to it than just counting calories?
As I said earlier though, you can’t just starve yourself, or just eat junk with no nutritional content and expect good results (even if all that junk doesn’t put you above maintenance). For good performance at training, good health and good moods through out the day we need good balanced nutrition. Start with a target of 40% of calories coming from protein, 30% from carbohydrates and %30 from fats. Everyone is different, so you might have to experiment with different ratios to really find what works best for you, but anything in the vicinity of 40:30:30 is a good place to start.
This all sounds a bit difficult, how do I keep track of all this?
It’s not really at all difficult, and there are lots of tools online to help you keep track of all your meals. Of course, you can always use my DHPT Calorie and Macronutrient Calculator which will tell you your BMI, BMR, maintenance level of calories, target level of calories including breakdown of calories from protein, fats and carbohydrates and compare this to your actual daily intake. It’s really quite ingenious if I do say so myself!