Does the number of calories you have a day matter?
Do you have to worry about tallying up your macros?
I have started seeing a bit of backlash in the media. The push away from food planning, towards eating what you want when you want based on how you feel. If you haven't seen any articles like this yet, then believe me you will.
To me the importance you put on your calories and macros has a lot to with how much you want to change.
If you are happy with your level of fitness, strength and bodyfat and you are not calculating your calories then you have the balance right and can continue as you are doing.
Generally, people in this position don't have a weight goals or have very good self-awareness and self-control in regards to calories. Meaning they are aware of calories in foods and adjust often and make changes when they need to.
If like me you want to make a change or strive for progress then you need to set a plan to change, if you keep doing the same things you will keep getting the same results. Your nutrition is integral to your results and if like me you are serious about improvement then you simply should not rely on guess work.
You will have undoubtable seen this before "Just eat less and move more"
Eat less what? Volume of food, or less calories? How can you eat fewer calories if you don't know how many you are consuming in the first place, unless of course you eat exactly the same thing every day?
Less volume of food doesn't mean fewer calories. Often when people start healthy eating calories can remain higher than expected. A lot of health foods are calorie dense and not calorie exempt.
An example here would be an afternoon snack
2 digestive biscuits – 142 cals
50g almonds – 288 cals
With this example, you will see that it is easy to make a healthy swap that actually brings in more calories.
Another example would be
McDonalds Cheeseburger – 301 cals
4 dates with almond butter (4tbsp) -549 cals
Whilst this is less volume of food the calories are actually higher.
You might be thinking that these are extreme examples and that healthy food should never be replaced by unhealthy foods, and I do agree. My point is that just because something is healthy does not make it calorie free.
"ultimately if you want to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit"
The quality of these calories do matter to body composition and energy levels however, which is why I encourage healthy food over processed foods with empty calories.
"If you want to manage it then you need to measure it"
Whilst some things cannot be measured you can measure your physical progress. If your goal is to lose 10% body fat or 10kg of body weight then you can track and measure your progress.
If you know your calorie intake and levels of activity you can make adjustments to ensure progress. If you don't know how much you have been eating it is very difficult to determine how you can change this to bring the desired results.
I often get asked does it matter if it is in fact 136g of chicken or can I just round it or does it have to be exactly 1tsp of olive oil not just a drizzle.
When it comes to serious results these numbers do matter.
If it says 1tsp of olive oil (38 calories) and you drizzle on 3tsp (114 calories) and do this every day for a week then the difference would be 532 calories amount. If this happens consistently with a number of ingredients it's easy to see why it can cause problems to your calorie deficit.
I love cakes and I love baking. Generally healthy recipes (not always). When it comes to getting a cake just right you have to balance the ingredients. Not enough fat it will be dry. Too much fat and it might not rise. To get it right the ingredients have to be in balance.
I see the way we fuel our body to be the same. It's about getting the balance right. If you know what you are putting in and how you are responding it is easy to adjust to get the balance spot on. Too many calories = slow/no progress. Too few calories = unsustainable and not optimum.
This all leads back to the matter of crunching numbers.
Do YOU need to crunch your numbers to get results?
No – I have done it for you.
I have spent over a year developing a system to deliver calorie calculated recipes that can easily be adjusted to make consistent progress.
So check out BetterSelf and simply choose the meals you will love and enjoy them knowing they are calculated just for you.