When it comes to nutrition, the world has become so tribalistic with what’s good, what’s bad, and what should be consumed and avoided.
The truth is nutrition is actually a lot more simple than people make it out to be. The entire concept of weight loss or weight gain comes down to a very simple formula: calories in versus calories out.
Whether you’re intermittent fasting, Keto, Paleo, Carnivore, Vegan etc these diets work for individuals when it comes to body composition goals based on balancing the energy equation. That’s it.
Of course food quality, hormones, food sensitivities play a factor as well but for the purposes of this article we will keep it simple.
Many of the corresponding points I’ll make are generalizations and would never replace 1 on 1 coaching, but for the purposes of sharing some information we will start with a caloric baseline.
How do I calculate my caloric baseline?
A caloric baseline would be a starting point for weight loss. In order to be able to balance your energy equation, you must first know how many calories to eat. While there are many formulas and tools that give accurate estimations here, the one I like to use IDEAL BW x 12. We use 12 as an activity multiplier as many studies, including those conducted by the science and research department at Harvard have found this to be a suitable multiplier to use for long term sustainability. If I wanted to weigh 200 pounds for example, 200 x 12 = 2400 calories per day. I’ve just calculated my approximate daily caloric intake.
How important is protein in a diet?
Macronutrients are very important in terms of getting a very well rounded diet, but by far the most important one would be protein. Protein helps to keep you full for longer, burn calories, as well as preserve muscle whilst losing body fat. As a baseline and general multiplier I use .7g per pound of bodyweight. Using my example of 200 pounds x .7g = 140 grams. This gives me a minimum of 140 grams of protein per day. While the other macros are certainly important, I find that in order to make the most massive changes, and keep it extremely simple, focusing on calories and minimum protein goal are the easiest way to make changes.
What are common sources of proteins, carbs and fats?
Chicken, Fish, Eggs, Shellfish, Turkey, Beef, Bison, Lamb, Venison, Elk etc.
Fruit, Vegetables, Potatoes, Grains, Legumes, Rice, Ancient Grains
Butter, Nuts, Oils, Tallow, Ghee
How do I lose weight?
In order to lose weight, you must expend more calories than you consume. Going back to my 200lb example, with a 2400 calorie baseline, let’s just say I had said client consuming 2200 calories per day. I would need this person to be burning more than 2200 calories per day in order to accomplish that. Several factors effect caloric burn including NEAT, Thermic Effect of Food, Exercise and Basal Metabolic Rate – read more about them here (https://westchesterfit.com/blogs/how-does-your-body-burn-calories/).
In the simplest form possible the easiest way to lose weight consists of first finding your baseline caloric need. From there come up with a plan of action mixing in all 3 macronutrients specifically aiming to hit a daily protein minimum (explained above). Try and consume whole foods such as lean proteins, fruits, vegetables and some easily digestible carbs and fats to round out your diet. Be sure to create a caloric deficit (i.e. expend more calories then you consume) by strength training and moving more daily. Don’t drink your calories and most importantly be patient. Patience and consistency will always win out over time.
If you struggle with accountability and keeping consistent you are a prime candidate to work with one of our expert nutrition coaches. Consistency and accountability are the 2 biggest factors effecting long term success. Please reach out if you’d like some help or to schedule a free nutritional consultation.
– Coach Chris