There’s truth in the equation that says calories in < calories out = weight loss. You do need to burn more calories than you eat to lose weight. But don’t underestimate the power of nutrition. What you lack in your nutrition will show up in your energy level, ability to recover and your ability to metabolize fats. If you fuel your body with non-beneficial foods and drinks, running on empty will get you no where!
I like to look at food as either being beneficial or non-beneficial. I described this briefly in a previous post. We need to make sure that for the majority of the time, we are taking in highly beneficial foods. These are foods that are nutrient dense, full of the building blocks for a healthy body and fuel to give us best results from our workouts.
If you don’t know where to start with this one, “The Pantry Overhaul” will give you the knowledge, guidance and education to look at foods and food labels differently. You will easily be able to identify whether a food or drink is beneficial or not. You’ll also learn how to substitute more beneficial options in for the less beneficial stand bys. Your pantry and refrigerator will get a complete makeover and it will give you the strong platform needed to apply what you have learned.
Having the background knowledge isn’t enough. Applying the knowledge consistently is essential! Keeping track and becoming aware of how much and what kinds of food you are eating is probably one of the most useful and effective accountability tools you can use for improving your diet and decreasing your weight and/or body fat. Food logging is made easy by free websites like www.sparkpeople.com or www.myfitnesspal. In fact, they even have apps for your phone!
Anything new takes time and work. Many clients I’ve worked with struggle keeping consistent with a food log because of the time it takes initially to become familiar with it, to learn how to log what you eat and to learn how to gain benefit from the information it is keeping track of. Let me suggest another way to log for all of you busy people out there. I call it the Q and Q log (Quality and Quantity). For every meal, you analyze 2 things: Did you eat the proper portion size (QUANTITY)? and Was the food highly beneficial (QUALITY)? You give yourself a star for each category if you can answer yes to those questions. Your goal is to have 90% of your day full of stars.
In looking at the Q and Q log above, for Monday, I would want 10-11 of my boxes filled in with stars OR, by the end of the week, I should have 75-76 of the boxes filled in (out of 84). This is a fast and easy way to keep yourself accountable and aware of what you are eating and drinking. Oh, and don’t forget to analyze your drinks. So many calories can be hidden in the liquid you guzzle! Be careful of that! When in doubt, drink water.
To help you get started, I am giving you a free printable of the Q and Q log you see above! Comment on this post or on Facebook to let us know how it’s helping you!