I've been learning a lot this year about nutrition.
I tend to gain weight easily, and find it difficult to shed- a challenge I've faced since my mid 20s.
As part of my personal fitness goals, I've made it a primary focus, since other approaches I've tried to eating healthy just didn't cut it.
Here are 4 approaches that didn't work great for me.
Since January 2019 ( 8 months now! ) I've been learning the basic nutritional rules that make up a healthy meal plan, and learning to craft my own.
This is probably the longest time I've been on an intentional eating plan ( call it a diet, if you like ) that lasted this long, and which I felt was sustainable.
I still feel comfortable with it. No cravings, no crazy hunger spikes, no bingeing, no monotony, or lack of flavor.
This approach gives me variety, and flexibility to deal with cravings and flavors I want.
In short here's my current, working approach...
This approach has been easy to manage, relatively painless, and effective in a healthy, gradual kind of way.
Planning and tracking is central. To make my support that, I've created a Google Sheet for tracking and managing my daily meal plans...
There are a few things you need to know to design your own functioning meal plan.
If your goal is to gain muscle, and trim fat...
Add in the flavor!
For a sustainable plan, flavor is essential. Figure out what you like, and how to create it without sabotaging your macros. I have certain favorite hot sauces, as well as coconut aminos ( which is like soy sauce ), and spices that contain no sugar.
Also, strong flavors such as garlic, chili, ginger are great and form the staple of my cooking.
You need to learn the details of what you're eating, which means cooking and planning your recipes well, or using resources which have the macros calculated for you.
All Recipes has nutritional profiles for many recipes, which is helpful if you follow the recipe well.
My Fitness Pal has a solid database for looking up ingredients.
Simply Googling anything, with e.g. "nutrition in 100g of X", you'll often find a good reference.
Some chain restaurants publish online stats- one of the few places I can eat out with confidence is Nando's chicken, since I have the macros for the Extra Hot half chicken, and the Mediterranean salad. This is great for when I'm traveling and don't have my kitchen or equipment to meal prep.
A failure to plan is a plan to fail.
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