16 May Nutrition Needs
Now that you have your, “Why” figured out (or even semi-figured out at this point) it’s time to determine exactly what your nutrition needs are. To guesstimate how much fuel your body needs, we factor in your height, weight, age, activity level, and weight management goals.
The good news is you don’t have to calorie count for your whole life, BUT (yes, big but there) knowing about how much and of what you are eating is critical in determining proper portion sizes for you. The best way to determine what and when you are eating is to keep a food log. Your call on how you log it, but free apps/websites like My Fitness Pal can make life pretty easy as you track, but a paper and pen can work too. If you choose the My Fitness Pal route, it will calculate your estimated needs and even show you the macronutrient breakdown (carb, protein, fat) to guide you and identify if your calories are coming from the correct places.
If your goal is weight maintenance, keeping a food log will help you. If you’re trying to gain weight in the form of lean muscle mass, keeping a food log will help you. And guess what, if you’re trying to lose weight (ideally fat mass), then keeping a food log will help you too. You get the picture. Also, if you’re on a journey to lose body fat mass, please resist the urge to underfuel (restrict calories) with the hopes of eating a lot less to lose weight. Unfortunately, being in a calorie deficit seems like a sure way to lose weight, but generally people lose muscle mass, are hungry (or even hangry), and don’t meet calories needs for their basal metabolic rate which can then affect your metabolic rate in the future. Pro tip: focus on foods that you CAN eat that will pack a lot of nutrition in as well as supply a generous volume, ie. fruits and veggies rather than dwelling on all of the foods you CAN’T eat because you’re trying to eat healthier. Remember, it’s all about what you do the majority of the time and remind yourself that to put things simply, it really boils down to frequency (how often) and how much (portion sizes) you choose to eat.
Last but not least, as you track your food to determine if your eating patterns are healthy (the majority of the time), keep in mind the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate in mind as you work towards your goal.
RECIPES FOR THIS WEEK