What’s the point in spending all the time and effort you put in at the gym if your eating habits stop you from reaching your goals? This should be a convicting question to those of you who are frustrated with your current progress or, more likely, lack of it. This week’s InBody Facebook Challenge is to start a food journal and record how much you eat, but everybody should be doing this! Here’s my story:
I’ve been working out for nearly ten years and the goal has always been to put on muscle. I started when I was 14 so of course since then I’ve put on muscle just due to growing up from being a lanky teenager, but recently I was stuck at the same weight for 3 years. A few months ago Patty challenged me to start a food journal and I brushed it off. I told her I knew how much I was eating, and anyway I didn’t care about my goals enough to take all the time to write down everything I ate.
Eventually I decided I actually did want to make a change in my body, so I made the difficult choice to start a food journal. The first two days were eye opening. I didn’t change my eating habits at all and just by writing it all down I realized that I was only eating 2/3 of the calories I need to eat to reach my goals of putting on muscle! Three years of being stuck at the same weight and in those two days I finally found out why.
After those two days I started to change my eating habits. It was miserable as I felt like I was spending all of my time measuring my food and looking up how many calories were in it. Before dinner I would add up all that I had eaten that day and find out I still needed to eat a ton of food to meet my goals! Each night was spent cooking food and stuffing my face.
However, after a few weeks of this, things started to change. I learned to plan ahead so that my nights were no longer spent cooking and eating, but tallying up my food and high fiving myself for nailing my nutrition goals. Instead of measuring everything, I could look at a piece of chicken and confidently say how many ounces it was. Instead of looking up how many calories and grams of protein, carbs or fat was in a meal, I just flipped back a few pages in my journal to the last time I ate it and quickly recorded that number. The process became much more streamlined and I was no longer frustrated with writing it down. The best part about it though, was that I started gaining muscle again! I had a goal weight all through college that I never met, and after a few weeks of recording my eating I was finally there. Also, thanks to the InBody 570, I knew that what I had gained was muscle and not fat.
So what can you learn from my story? For one, most people don’t know how many calories they are actually eating. Many clients eat 50% more than what they’re supposed to eat to reach their goals. What’s the point of spending all of this time and effort at the gym if the other time is spent hindering you from reaching your goals? Also, by putting in the work for just a few weeks, you’ll soon learn how much you need to eat to reach your goals, what different serving sizes of foods actually look like, and you’ll have a database of the meals that you eat to make recording your eating much easier. Questions that you didn’t know the answer to before will now be common knowledge for you: what does a serving of ranch dressing look like, and how much can I put on my salad? What does 5 ounces of chicken look like? How much fat is actually in a serving of peanuts or an avocado?
How you can be successful:
- Commit to record your eating for just one week. These 7 days can teach you more about nutrition and your eating habits than any amount of reading can.
- Calculate how many calories you need from your BMR, activity levels and your goals.
- Aim to get 45-60% of your calories from carbohydrates (high fiber, whole grains, fruits and vegetables) 20-30% of your calories from lean protein (chicken, steak, shrimp, pork) and 15-25% of your calories from healthy fats (vegetable oils, nuts, avocados)*
Leave us a comment with your struggles in getting your eating under control, and as always feel free to shoot us an email or give us a call to figure out how you can change your body and your life!
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*According to the Institute of Medicine