Firstly let me start with an apology. In a previous video I’ve talked about the importance of food tracking and yes this is important. But food tracking is not the ideal. The ideal is food planning.
As you may already know I love to use MyFitnessPal for all my food tracking and data. Now most people use it by setting their calories and maybe their macros (proteins, fats & carbs) and then just logging as they go. What I like to do is use the premium features and start by putting in macro and calorie targets for the week.
Break it down
I then break these down into individual days. I then break the days into individual meals, trying to keep a similar % of macros on each meal. Once I’ve done this then I’ll start to input my meals for the upcoming week into the software. I find it really useful to build my week this way. I can add or subtract items as I go to get all my numbers in order.
Once I’ve built my plan I can then do my shopping. I do this online just as it’s quicker and simpler this way, plus I can’t get tempted by all the treats they strategically placed around supermarkets
Plan for everything.
It’s really important when planning meals you allow for everything. We are not perfect so make allowances for that. If you like sneaky treats, or beers then plan this into your days. I just don’t think it’s realistic to plan a week without this.
No-one wants to be the guy who is making special requests when eating out. Therefore plan accordingly for a night out. My strategy when going out is to overestimate calorie intake and underestimate protein intake. Generally for a meal out I allow for 1500Kcal as a minimum. This will include a couple of alcoholc drinks and a good meal. If you’re going all out then you may have to allow for 2000. What you’ll need to do for the rest of the day is to get as much protein as you can with the calories remaining. If you’re a small female with little muscle then you may have to work the calories out over multiple days to keep you inside your macros. Remember although daily calories are ideal you can work them out over a week and still get good results. Ie if you’re calories are set at 2000 per day then you could have 14000 in a week with 2500 some days and 1750 other days etc. It’s not the absolute ideal but it is a good way to stay on track during periods where you’re eating out of
The advantage of planning.
Planning takes out the guesswork and makes sure that you are fully prepared each day. Most of the time when people make bad choices with their diet it’s because they’re left with a choice, this is usually when hungry and therefore more tempted by poor quality foods. I work long days where sometimes I have no time to go a purchase food so each day I take a cool bag with all of my food requirements I’ll need between 6:30am and 9pm when I finish. I leave nothing to chance and have nuts and biltong in the bag for days where I work out more than expected and therefore need a calorie boost.
If anyone says they don’t have time for this I call bullshit. You can do this during watching boxsets on TV and although the first time you do this may take longer after you’ve done this once most of the plan will be repeated, therefore the planning and shopping won’t take longer than an hour a week at the absolute most.
So if you’re serious about getting results with your body and your performance you need to start planning your food just like you plan your training. Start today, you won’t regret it.
If you’d like help with your training or nutrition then please book in here or email me firstname.lastname@example.org