Are you trying to “diet” by counting your calories to reach a certain weight goal? The amount of calories you need in your diet depends on how active you are, your metabolism, and your fitness goals. In order to lose weight, you must burn up more calories than you consume. However, many people are surprised to learn that calories are not the only thing you need to pay attention to!
A balanced diet is essential
Andrew Bora can recommend the proper amount of macronutrients (protein, fats, and carbohydrates) to have in your diet, and suggest healthy foods that will provide these macronutrients in the right quantities. For example, you need to have a certain amount of fat in your diet in order to properly metabolize protein. There is a popular conception that fat is bad, and that foods containing fat should be avoided. Low fat diets were once very popular; you can still find many items at your grocery store that are labeled as “non-fat” or “low-fat” foods. Keep in mind that “no fat” does not mean “no calories!” Many foods contain both saturated and unsaturated fats. Both types are beneficial in the right quantities. There are certain types of fats that should be avoided; particularly trans fats. These are often found in potato chips and other snack foods, which you should eliminate from your diet anyway since they typically have little nutritional value and are high in calories.
Eating the right amounts of healthy foods also helps to reduce hunger pangs, which is important to your ultimate success. Certain foods can increase your metabolism, making it easier for you to lose weight more quickly. Andrew can recommend these foods, and he can also explain how to read food labels. Once you know what to look for, you will be surprised to discover how many foods contain unnecessary, questionable, and even potentially harmful additives. High fructose corn syrup is an example of an undesirable ingredient that can be found in many prepared foods. In general, you should avoid highly processed foods as much as possible.
Healthy shopping trips
If you are interested in becoming a “smart shopper”, some of the things Andrew can help you with include:
- For which foods does it matter whether you buy the regular or organic variety
- Which brands contain undesirable ingredients that should be avoided
- When you can buy a less expensive brand that is just as good
- Where to shop for comparable quality at the lowest price
Keeping track of what you eat
It’s important to keep track of what you eat, particularly if you’re just getting started with a healthy diet. Some of Andrew’s clients write everything down in a notebook, while others like to keep their food log online. There is an excellent tool available at Livestrong.com called “My Plate“. They refer to it as a “calorie counter” application, but it actually does much more. In addition to the number of calories, it automatically displays the macronutrient content when you enter the name of a food item. To use it, you have to sign up (the basic version is free). There is also an advanced version that is available for a fee, but the basic version does everything that you are likely to need. It even has the ability to output your food log to a spreadsheet.
Many clients find it helpful to eat smaller meals more often– for example, five times a day instead of three. Remember, the best diet in the world will be ineffective if you can’t stay with it!
Three steps to a healthy eating lifestyle
Ultimately, your goal should be to progress from “dieting” to adopting a healthy eating lifestyle as a way of living. Once you do, you’ll never have to “diet” again! Andrew can help you with these three important steps:
- Determine personal calorie requirements to help you achieve the weight loss you want in a safe manner
- Develop a meal plan based on specific macronutrient requirements
- Recommend foods that are good for you and that will also help you avoid hunger pangs