Do the Math!

Even though my current goal is to add lean body mass, MOST people I meet & clients are always asking me how to lose body fat.  Every program should be individualized but here is a formula you can use to get a head start.

1. Journal your nutritional intake for 1 week, eating all of your typical foods. Weigh & measure every ounce of food, beverage, condiment & cooking oil that you ingest. Use an app/website like myfitnesspal to track your overall calories & macronutrients (Protein, carbs & fats).

2. Estimate your Average Daily Caloric Intake (ADCI) by adding up your total calories for the week then divide by 7.

3. Reduce your ADCI by 20% per day, without going below 1200. If your ADCI is 2400, then set your new goal will be 2400 – 480 = 1920.

4.  Set your macronutrient percentages. This will vary by individual, especially if you have diabetes or other chronic condition. In general, the following works well for most populations:
20-30% fat                     1 fat gram = 9 calories/gram
25-30% protein              1 protein gram = 4 calories/gram
40-60% carbohydrates   1 carb gram = 4 calories/gram

Percentages will also depend on the quality of foods you choose. High-fiber, low-glycemic carbohydrates, including fruits & vegetables allow for a higher percentage of carbohydrates. Processed carbs & sweets should not be a part of your transformation program. If you disregard sugar for 5-7 days, you will lose the craving & it will no longer control your appetite. I dare you to try it!

Protein should be derived from lean meat, eggs, dairy sources &/or a variety of legumes, nuts & grains. Just know that it is very difficult to get enough quality protein to increase lean muscle if you opt to go vegan. There are some vegan protein powders that can be added into a shake. I have been vegetarian & a carnivore, so if you need guidance in this area, I can refer an excellent nutritionist.

Healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, coconut oil & nuts are healthier choices than animal fats, so your percentages can be higher if you are taking in quality choices.

You may want to begin with the following:
20% fat
30% protein
50% carbohydrates

So if your target ADCI is 1900, then fat calories should equal 380 or @ 40 grams. Protein would be 570 calories or 140 grams & carbs would be = 950 calories or 235 grams. These numbers are rounded down a bit, since we all tend to overestimate 🙂

5. Now that you have have your calorie & macronutrient goals, go back to myfitnesspal or whatever method you prefer & plug in your numbers. Look at your previous nutritional intake & decide how you can cut back on calories & get into healthier ranges of protein, carbs & fat.

6. Plan ahead. Go to the grocery store. Prepare or have on hand simple, whole foods. Create a nutrition plan for the next day. Plug in foods that you will realistically consume throughout the day & see where your macronutrients & calories end up. Make changes to get close to your goal. This may seem tedious, but remember that you are going to be eating for the rest of your life & if you learn to do it well NOW, you will soon be cruising on auto-pilot. No one eats perfectly, but if you plan ahead you will have an advantage over “spontaneous consumption”.

7. Spread your calories throughout the day, eating the majority of your calories, especially carbs during the earlier part of the day &/or after your workout. Approximately 25% of your calories should be consumed in the morning & 25% after a workout, with the remaining calories spread throughout the day.
Breakfast: 500 calories
Snack: 150 calories
Lunch: 400 calories
Snack: 150 calories
Dinner: 500 calories
Snack: 150 calories (protein only if possible) I usually go with cottage cheese. Frozen blueberries with unsweetened almond milk & stevia with a sprinkle of granola is my favorite evening treat.

I saw a commercial the other day for a NEW eating plan with the basic premise of eating all your favorite foods as small meals throughout the day. REVOLUTIONARY! Before & after pictures! Of course there was a fee. I was nearly sick! This is a simple concept that I have been teaching for over 20 years & mapped out in this blog. It is FREE! Please share!

May God Bless You with Abundant Health!
Live with Vision!
Love, Toria Lee