I am sure you have heard it enough:
Here’s that quick fix you never knew existed!
The ONE food you didn’t know existed that’ll help you lose that extra 50 pounds (what?).
You’re doing this ONE thing wrong.
Blah blah blah.
Lets get back to the basics and actually lose weight!
We know there are always these marketing campaigns that can word a product or service in a way that make it sound how close you are to losing weight and getting that summer body. The supplement industry is making billions of dollars a year based on these crazy marketing strategies.
FYI, I use to be a complete sucker for all of this, I’ve gotten the weirdest supplements, 60$ tub of protein that didn’t change anything. It only did what my dad referred to as, “an expensive poop.” He’s right.
Even with all these diet fads such as keto, paleo, atkins, and plenty of others. I have tried keto for about 7 months and did lose weight but, in my opinion, it is not sustainable at all. The sacrifices you will make will lead to difficult decisions to make long term.
The reason why these caught on is that majority of the population react well to low-carb food plans. This means it is more likely for there to be positive referrals and good media attention. I will probably make an article on this soon.
If you have read my other posts, such as my vision board one, you would know that I am extremely practical and do not give any vague advice. We will start very small and lead to a more macro life. We focus on forming positive habits that will eventually lead to a happy life.
We will take this concept into health/fitness. I will talk a lot about different apps, products, and services that will take the headache away and any previous knowledge that you think you need. Just believing in the process is more than enough.
I do not have any professional certification that provides me as an authority in any way, however, I have done many trial and error efforts that show me what actually works and what does not. There is one thing I know for sure that has helped me in my fitness endeavors and it is where we will start:
I hope you didn’t click away after reading that. Just the thought of taking an hour or two a week to cook boring chicken, broccoli, and rice does not sound that inspiring. The actual way to lose weight should be enjoyable, this isnt it.
Fortunately, we will talk about what small things you can do that will lead for you to only spend one hour a week, maybe less depending on your budget, and cook delicious meals that fit your macros!
Wait, macros, whats that?
Macronutrients are the proteins, carbs, and fats that make up your entire meal plan. It is how we will organize our entire approach. Very important.
Let’s start small.
Before we calculate how many macros, lets first find out how many calories you need. Use this calculator below.
Whatever number pops out of there, depending on your goal, is your starting spot. That is your maintenance calories relative to how much daily strenuous activity you have. And no, a sauna doesn’t count. I’ve tried.
Next, lets calculate your BMI.
It is very common that people measure their fitness journey strictly on whatever the scale says. This isn’t necessarily the best metric. Sometimes your scale weight will not move, but your composition will change. Most people get discouraged just for the sole reason that the scale is not moving, yet they are getting compliments on their physique.
Use this BMI calculator below just to give you a rough estimate where you are. FYI, these aren’t the most accurate. The best way to find your own BMI is to go to your local gym or nutritionist, even water tanks are supposedly really accurate. This calculator is a great place to start though:
So now, you have your maintenance caloric intake and your BMI. These are both very important numbers in your early journey.
Next, determining your macros. This step is the most difficult and there are many theories that say their way is the best way. Unfortunately, the reality is that everyone is different. I know, I hate when people say that too. Just give me the universal rule!
A good starting point would be if you are ectomorph (hard gainer), where it is more likely you’ll need to eat a lot of carbs to put on weight. Start with a 25% protein 55% Carb 20% fat ratio.
For those mesomorphs (in the middle, vague I know), it is more likely for your split to be fairly even distributed, such as a 30% protein, 40% carb, and 30% fat ratio.
If you are an endomorph (easy gainer), it means you’ll have less carbs because it is easier to put on weight. Start with a 35% protein, 25% carbs, and 40% fat.
For me, I found my body reacts really well to a lower carb intake. As I am writing this, I am currently at 40% protein, 35% fat, and 25% carbs.
Lets do some really fun math:
Carbs and Proteins are 4 calories per gram. Fats are 9 calories per gram.
So if you are on a 2000 calories a day diet that would be 500 grams of carbs, (2000/4) but please don’t do that. Now let’s say your split (protein/carb/fat) ratio is 33% of each. Lets make an easy number and say it is 2100 calories a day. So that would be 700 calories of protein, carbs, and fats. 2100/3. Simple, right? We’re not doing calculus. Yet (kidding).
Now we just divide! 700/4 would be 175 grams of protein and carbs. And fats would be around 78 grams.
Ectomorph numbers would be (based on a 2000 calories a day diet) – 500 calories of protein, 1100 calories of carbs, and 400 calories of fat. Just divide the 4 for the protein and carbs! 125 g of protein, 275g of carbs, 100 g of fat.
Mesomorph numbers would be (based on a 2000 calories a day diet) – 600 calories of protein, 800 calories of carbs, and 600 calories of fat. Again divide the numbers: 150 g of protein, 200 g of carbs, 150 g of fat.
Endomorph numbers would be (based on a 2000 calories a day diet) – 700 calories of protein, 500 calories of carbs, and 800 g of fat.
These are the numbers that you want to start!
Now, I know the math can get confusing but it is well worth it! Also, keep in mind as you lose or gain weight these numbers change.
Please please do not starve yourself. In the US, I’m sure you know, majority of the population is overweight. This could be due to convenience of fast food restaurants, post mates, and expensive food is just more expensive.
Think about it, most people undereat (like a lot) so do not think that starving yourself is the way to go, your body will hoarde a lot of the fat because it will go into starvation mode. This is clearly not the right way to actually lose weight.
Hit your ratio and hit your calories and I guarantee you’ll actually lose weight and looking great in no time.
Let’s get even more practical!
I’m sure you’re thinking that you have all these numbers, now what?
My biggest recommendation will be to download the FREE app, myfitnesspal. This app is great and of course you can buy some premium features but you definitely do not need those in the early stages.
Just scan or manually enter your food and it will spit out all the numbers for you. Its like a puzzle. Just use trial and error on the food and serving size to hit your desired macros that you calculated earlier! Its perfect. You are ready to form an amazing, healthy, and sustainable habit!
I’ll give you more tips on the actual taste later!
Now the actual meal prep.
I would highly recommend to write down your day of meals BEFORE going to the grocery store. This will help with overspending and buying the right amount of food. Its crazy when you have a plan before going in, you are there for 30 minutes and you already have your list set. I would recommend the app, List Ease, so you don’t forget anything.
Now, you got the food and the ratio. Lets start cooking!
Make sure you measure it all out, and I would recommend keeping your first week “boring” so that you can cook it all in bulk. I’ve tried cooking every other two days for the next three days, its not nearly as sustainable for me compared to a weeks worth in one day.
It takes a little longer but all my meals are made. Over time this will turn out to be a habit, and you will not even need to look at my fitness pal. You’ll sleep better, have more energy, and the best of all, lose weight!
My usual book recommendation is “Turn Up The Heat: Unlock the Fat-Burning Power of Your Metabolism” by Dr. Philip Goglia. He is the nutritionist to the stars! He has personally helped the Kardashians, Lakers, and the Avengers get in perfect shape. He is very credible if that is his clentelle. Make sure to check it out here!
If you already have experience meal prepping, comment below your insights and things you have learned along the way, I’d love it hear it.