There’s Weight Watchers, Paleo Diet, Jenny Craig, Mediterranean Diet … so which one do you choose? As most of us know these diets work for just a short time, they are temporary, and these fad diets can potentially negatively affect your metabolism. But there’s good news! Balancing your caloric intake and proportions of macronutrients and micronutrients means you can kiss fad diets goodbye!
Being healthy and fit doesn’t have to be hard and intimidating. A healthy lifestyle is simple, long lasting, and can bring happiness to anyone’s life. Instead of trying new diets every other week, let’s start with four simple ways to begin your healthy lifestyle … with NO DIET!
WHOLE FOODS ARE A MUST
Natural, sustainable, whole foods are essential to live, so it’s obvious that most of the food we intake should include veggies, fruits, and whole grains. Keeping your diet mainly whole will provide your body with fuel to tackle the day.
Try eating fruit and oatmeal in the morning for breakfast for energy; and always eat vegetables for both lunch and dinner! The best tip though, is to try to buy as many of your groceries local and organic to maximize your micronutrients (aka. the important nutritional value of your food intake).
FIGURE OUT YOUR CALORIES
You might surprise yourself with how many calories you can eat in a single day (or even meal)! Limiting calories can cause malnutrition which will decrease your energy and make it harder to lose weight. Eating too many calories can lead to health concerns and empty calories (with no nutritional value) can also decrease your energy. This is why calculating calories is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
A quick way to figure out about how many calories your body needs just at rest is by taking your body weight in pounds adding a zero at the end. For example, I weigh 140 pounds, so I need approximately 1,400 calories a day if I were to just be sitting all day. Typically that is not the case, so I would add more depending on how active I am.
An accurate way to find calories needed per day is by using the calorie calculator. This will give you the approximate calories needed to sustain, gain, or lose weight.
COUNT THOSE MACROS
You may have heard the saying, “If it fits your macros …” and wondered what a “macro” even is. Macronutrients are the three main nutrients your body needs for energy, growth, and metabolism, which consist of carbohydrates, fats, and protein.
So let’s talk about how much of each macronutrient you need. Generally we would go by a 40/40/20; 40% of your calories carbohydrates, another 40% of your calories protein, and the rest of your 20% for fats.
For an example, this is what I would do: Body Weight = 140 lbs Calories = about 1,500
- Carbohydrates: 1,500 x .40 = 600 calories
- Protein: 1,500 x .40 = 600 calories
- Fat: 1,500 x .20 = 300 calories
If you want to know how many grams to intake … about 4 grams per carbohydrate and protein so: take 600 calories divided by 4 which gives me 150 grams of carbs, 150 grams of protein. There’s about 9 grams per fat so 300 divided 9 gives me about 33 grams of fat.
If you aren’t a math person, check out this macro calculator to plug in your info.
PS – Don’t forget that micronutrients are just as important. Micronutrients are the smaller nutrients and minerals outside of macronutrients that come in our whole foods. Pizza and ice cream may fit into your “macros”, but remember in order to keep a healthy lifestyle, it is encouraged to remember all four steps!
Eating your whole foods, watching your calorie and gram intakes are all great things to do to jumpstart your healthy lifestyle, but always remember to balance it out with physical activity and exercise! Find your passion whether that be weight lifting, running, swimming, or boxing- give it your all and start your new healthy and happy life style today!