Changing Nutrition for Your Lifetime by Stuart MacEwan
Hello again fellow fitness enthusiasts. We will follow last month’s nutrition focus with new steps for you to incorporate into your new journey of a lifetime of healthy eating.
If you recall, we started last month by logging our foods on our smartphones in order to get a real and accurate view on our eating habits. We also focused on increasing our water intake to the point of peeing every hour or so, and becoming aware of the amount of processed foods in our daily diets. Those focuses from last month will continue through this month (hopefully they will have become natural and habitual in the course of our practice).
Now that you have a few weeks of food logging to reflect on, let’s see how many calories you average over the week. Add all 7 days of calories and then divide them by 7 to get a daily average. Now take the sum and subtract 10%. That’s your new daily average goal. So if you were averaging 1700 calories, you would subtract 170 calories and your new daily goal would be 1530 calories for the next 2 weeks. We only make adjustments in the 10% range so that your body and metabolism doesn’t become protective and crash your ability to burn fat. Remember, we are all about reassuring your body with good foods and plentiful meals, not skipping meals or starving yourself. So only change your daily intake by 10% for a 2 week period so that your body doesn’t panic with a great and sudden calorie intake change.
In order to measure the success of your caloric intake change, take a pair of pants that you have washed 100x and try them on every week. See if they fit better. Old jeans don’t lie. This will be your measuring stick for how you are progressing with your diet. Also look in the mirror every morning to see how your body is progressing with your diet and workouts. Your morning “just out of bed” body will reflect your progress, but your body just before going to sleep at night will not. Ignore the before bed body… it isn’t your friend. Also, stay off the scale. The scale will lie to you about your progress and cannot tell the difference between muscle gained, water retained and fat lost.
If you are feeling good about your calorie intake after 2 weeks, you are welcome to take another 10% off your daily intake. The goal is to adjust your calories by 10% every 2 weeks until you find the calorie deficit that is perfect for you and your metabolism. When you find that your body is making gradual steady changes stay at this calorie intake for the duration of your goal until your progress stops.
Keep an eye on your energy during the day and while you workout. If your workouts are suffering because you don’t have the energy to finish, consider bringing your calories back up by 10% until you are able to exercise with intensity again. Remember that nothing in your body is static, including your energy needs, so try to become instinctive to what your body is telling you. If it’s asking you for more food, then feed it. Our program is based on being loving and permissive with good food, not overly restrictive. If you don’t feel like eating a meal because you aren’t hungry, then feel free to wait until you feel like eating… no need to force feed yourself.
In summary, this month I want you to focus on adjusting your calories based on your food logging. The goal is to make 10% adjustments every 2 weeks until you find that your body is making progress but you still have energy to sleep, exercise and work. Try to pay attention to how food makes you feel when you eat it. Does it make you feel full, energized, focused, or are you sluggish, sleep and distracted. Your body is trying to tell you something, pay attention.
Next month we will make further adjustments by focusing on eating big breakfasts and smaller dinners. Also we will discuss the importance of multivitamins, and cutting alcohol out of your daily diet. Stay tuned!