Not all of these will apply to you. But there is certainly a few things here that will help you reach your goal!
Tips With Flexible Dieting Using MyFitnessPal
1. If you want to diet properly, begin by tracking with MyFitnessPal to know exactly what you eat. Even if you don’t adjust what you’re eating, you give yourself a starting point and a reference to possibly why you have the body you have, be it good or bad.
2. Use MyFitnessPal for tracking food only, when using the app to track exercise, the accuracy of this is pretty off.
3. When tracking try and use scales to get to know the weight of the food, from there you can start to guestimate (an actual word I’ll have you know) portion sizes much better. It is incredibly hard to gauge portion sizes before this. Use grams instead of portions wherever possible for the most accurate recording, remember 1 chicken breast can weigh either 60g or 180g.
4. Aim for macronutrients (carbs, protein and fat), rather than calories, all calories are not created equal.
5. Using ratios isn’t as good as using actual numbers – for example instead of looking to get 45% carbs, 35% protein, 20% fat, look to get the actual numbers (3900g carb, 70g fat and 230g protein for me).
6. Flexible dieting is certainly daunting to begin with, but the longer you do it, the easier it becomes, just start trying to track and hit close (5g give or take) to your daily numbers. using someone else to help you is a huge benefit.
Tips For Consistency
7. For the most part stay consistent with breakfast and lunch, it’s easier to stay on track with these meals for routine. It is also easier to just give up with everything and have a whole pot of Pringles for lunch if you haven’t got anything planned.
8. Also stay consistent with snacks, it is easy to eat snacks without thinking when you’re on the go, and because of the nature of what most snacks are these days (mostly sugary or fried food) you’ll still feel hungry soon after.
9. Batch cook healthy recipes so that you can eat them for the following days and not make poor choices
10. Batch cook meat so that you can have it for days, then adjust what accompanies the meals.
11. If you’re going out to eat, try and figure out what you want ahead of time, this decreases the chance of being overwhelmed and making a poor choice. (Extra: you can also try and track it on MyFitnessPal early and make it fit perfectly with your daily totals)
12. If you’ve got your heart set on eating something calorie-dense (i.e. “cheat day”) you can then eat lighter during the day
Tips to Control Calories
13. Consider having some sort of legume every day, they are high in protein, low in fat and they contain a ton of fibre which aids digestion and makes you feel full.
14. Eat sugar free Jelly (yanks read jell-o) instead of sweets to keep away cravings.
15. Drink water often, we often think we’re hungry when we’re actually thirsty.
16. Drink coffee, it can really help stave off hunger. (note: when I say coffee, I mean coffee, not warm milk a.k.a lattes and 90% of the starbucks menu.)
17. Eating a side salad with meals will really help fill you up and get in many nutrients and fibre.
18. Use smaller cutlery, it makes it seem like you’re eating more as it takes longer, you can then allow you’re body the time to realise that you’re full.
19. Use smaller plates, we have a desire to fill the plate/bowl with food. Smaller plates and bowls are easier to fill.
20. Whilst peanut butter is healthy, it is very high in calories and therefore is easy to over consume.
21. The same also applies to all oils
22. The above four points work in opposite if you’re looking to put on size –
- Use big spoons rather than forks
- Use big bowls a lot – food seems less daunting and is easier to get through
- Add in nut butters and oils to increase calories easier
23. Drink diet drinks instead of sweets to keep away cravings.
24. Berries can also be used to satisfy your sweet tooth at a low-calorie cost.
25. Swap in tortilla wraps for pizza bases and make home-made pizzas, you can even use fat-free or 2% cheese and make it a fraction of the calories!
26. Instead of buying pre-made fries, make your own at a fraction of the calories using potatoes and cooking spray and baking them in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
27. When eating eggs keep 1 or 2 yolks and then make up the difference with egg whites. Egg yolks are healthy but it easy to over-consume the fat in them. (note: egg beaters are just as tasty as the real thing but with 0 fat)
28. Drink chocolate flavour protein shake when you get cravings for chocolate bars.
29. In fact you’ll amazed at what you can actually deserts you can easily add protein powder into to make an alternative.
30. Flavoured rice crackers are going to be a much better carb source than crisps
31. If you struggle to eat lots of fruit and veg, add a greens shake to your diet – blend 1 handful of spinach and whatever fruits you enjoy and you wont even taste the spinach.
32. Frozen yoghurt for ice cream – you can add in protein powder and it mixes well
33. If you don’t poop once a day then you need more fibre (and food)
34. Taking a dump frequently is actually healthy and a sign of an efficient digestive system, if you’re trying to gain weight be prepared to spend a good deal of time on the loo.
35. No one food is the key to your health or weight loss, if you don’t like a food, don’t eat it sounds fairly simple.
36. You cannot use diet to “detox” or “cleanse” the body. These words are used to sell products that are not only unhealthy, but dangerous!
36. Whilst we’re talking about buzz words – “Superfood” is just a made-up marketing term that allows the price of said food to be higher.
38. You don’t need to consume a post-workout shake, this was idea was made up by the supplement industry.
39. Don’t think of protein powder as anything other than a food itself, because that’s what it is – powdered, flavoured cheese.
40. Everybody is different – some people work well eating a good breakfast, others work just fine with no breakfast, there is no concrete formula, just use what works for you.
41. There is no food that when eaten in moderation, will actually cause damage to your body – You think a McDonalds or a Diet Coke is going to wreck your inside? Try eating a brick and wash it down with some bleach…
The Mental Part of Dieting
42. You can’t make up for a day of consuming more food by consuming less food for the next few days, that’s not how the body works.
43. I know from that last point that people will say “but what about cheat/re-feed days”? Let me quickly explain; put simply these are used to ramp up the metabolism when dieting, but it is only the increased carbs that make the difference here – so just be wary of over-consuming fat and protein on “cheat days” (and alcohol).
44. Be accountable for what enters you! It’s something that only you control, be aware of the fact that everything you do has a consequence.
45. This comes from being aware of what you’re eating, use the tips above to create structure to your eating. Unconscious eating is one of the biggest causes of weight gain.
46. You don’t have to please others, people seem to get offended if you don’t let them buy you a beer etc. but they are not you and aren’t going through what you’re going through. Making someone happy for that 10 seconds isn’t worth it if you’re going to feel like shit later.
47. If you are going to eat tasty food that you know isn’t quite in your plan then ENJOY IT. Too many people feel so bad about eating junk food that it takes all enjoyment out of eating it… so whats the point?!
48. The idea that you can diet to change hormones, which then in turn leads to a lower bodyfat is completely backwards, diet to lower bodyfat and the hormones will sort themselves out
49. Unless you are focussed on performance (game day), don’t adjust your food because of exercise you are doing – this is more concerned when I see people miss the gym and therefore lower there food intake. Again, this is not how the body works, keep food intake levels as consistent.
50. Learning to master portion control and moderation is far more powerful than avoiding any food.