I know it seems like you hear it all the time from me, “it’s important to track your nutrition.” But it couldn’t be more important to get the extreme results you want. It’s commonly stated that working out is only 20% of weight loss, leaving 80% to nutrition. You can press play everyday and work really hard, but you simply cannot outwork a bad diet. Your results will be AVERAGE at best. That’s not what we are after here. Average results cause people to lose motivation and to quit the program. I did this when I first started and I see people doing it everyday. Doing a workout program is not a license to eat anything and everything. To really change, you must change.
Now that you know that tracking nutrition is important, what plan should you be doing? That depends. What are your goals? Are you trying to lose weight, maintain, or gain muscle? All Beachbody programs have a nutrition guide that helps you to determine what calorie intake is right for you. As a rule, the typical male should not go under 1500 calories/day while females should not go below 1200. My favorite nutrition plan for weight loss is the P90X Fat Shredder plan. You can find more info about it here.
Make tracking a habit!
The key to success with nutrition is making is a habit. This only comes with consistency. One of my favorite quotes is from John C. Maxwell. He says, “Consistency wins the day.” This couldn’t be more true. Take it from me, I used to be in the group I described earlier. I would start a program like P90X and still eat like I did before, possibly even more! Results came slow–really slow and it was so easy to get discouraged when results weren’t showing. But nutrition doesn’t have to be some pie in the sky idea (hint: pie is not a good idea lol). It can actually be really simple. It takes a little while to get used to, but it’s easy and is important for winning with food.
When I say track it, I mean track! Track everything you eat, including the handful of chips that you think are too insignificant to matter. You’d be surprised about how fast calories add up. So what should you use to track? I use MyFitnessPal because I find it to be the most efficient method for making sure that I am staying on track, but if you have some other method that you like, use it! MFP gives you the ability to set up your own caloric goals as well as macro-nutrient ratios (fats, carbs, and proteins) and it has a huge food database where you can simply scan a product barcode and boom…tracked. You can also add in your own recipes, which is pretty useful. I like to log what I’m going to eat the next day the night before. This way I am not only able to plan perfect macro-nutrient ratios, but it keeps me from straying the next day and grabbing for something that won’t fit into my goals. If it hasn’t been logged, I don’t eat it. But let’s say you do stray from your plan and eat a ton of carbs or lunch. What now? Simply adjust dinner to get you macro-nutrient goals met. Is there anything that you shouldn’t track? YES! Do not track your workout calories burned. You may actually end up eating more this way because MFP adds those burned calories into your allowable food calories. This is never good because Beachbody nutrition plans have already accounted for the calories that you will burn during a workout.
I hope that this has been useful and if you need any help in using MFP just ask! You can email me at coachkernicky@teamfofcom or post a comment below.