I always say that unless you can stick to a diet plan or training program indefinitely, then it is pointless. Why lose lots of weight for a month or two only to give up and go back to normal and bounce back?
It’s also true that no fitness tracker is completely accurate (the way they measure the heartrate isn’t perfect to begin with and that’s just one issue) and that it’s impossible to be completely aware of your caloric intake.
You really think that any two apples have the precise same number of calories?
What about the fact that weight loss is also reliant on hormones? As we’ll see in a minute…
In other words, this is a whole lot of effort for something that isn’t guaranteed to work perfectly anyway!
And with that in mind, you would actually do much better to find an easier and quicker alternative to counting every single calorie. That alternative? Guestimating.
The best strategy I can recommend is to spend a little time with a fitness tracker and to that way measure your expenditure over several normal days.
At the same time, measure your caloric intake and see what you regularly eat and where the most calories are coming from.
After a week or two weeks, you can stop. Take a look at this information though and then see where the problems are. What are the biggest contributors to calories in your diet? What are the worst culprits?
You might surprise yourself to learn that there are just a few very big contributors that add a large amount of calories to your diet. If you cut these out, then you can quickly get your calories down somewhat.
Now try to reduce the number of calories that ‘sneak in’ without any real benefit. These are the calories that you can do away with and not really notice are missing. One of my favorite examples is soda drinks: many of us drink Coca-Cola on a regular basis as well as others like 7Up and these will add a huge number of calories to the diet over time while not really providing us with any sustenance.
Other common culprits include:
⦁ Sugar in tea
⦁ Butter on bread
⦁ Creamy tea
With all this done, you should have a new average intake that is a little more satisfactory and closer to your daily burn. But we’re going to go further by redesigning breakfast and lunch.
Take a look at your current breakfast and lunch and look at what the worst culprits are again in terms of calories. What is it about your breakfast that makes it fattening? Likewise for your lunch?
Then, ask yourself what you can make very easily at both times of the day that will be low in calories while also being satisfactory and giving you enough energy for the day ahead. ‘Easily’ is the operative word here because your diet needs to be easy to stick with.
A good example might be this:
Breakfast: 2 x pieces of toast with avocado
Lunch: Tuna fish salad with a smoothie and two boiled eggs
These meals should be simple and ideally, they should come to no more than around 700 calories combined.
When you manage this, you now have less need to calculate calories on a daily basis. Why? Because your breakfast and lunch are going to be consistently the same and will be guaranteed to provide you with only a small number of calories.
Seeing as the average calorie burn is around 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men, you now have a big amount of budget to spend in the evening without worrying about ruining your calorie deficit. That means that for this most interesting and social of meals, you can now relax and enjoy yourself without needing to worry about counting calories.
Is having the same breakfast and lunch every day boring? Maybe, but it is much easier to be boring during these rushed meals than it is in the evening when you might be enjoying date night or going out with friends for dinner. It’s also easier to be strict when you’re less tired.
Eating like this also makes it much easier to make little tweaks and changes to see how this affects your energy levels and your weight loss. Not losing weight as fast as you like? Then try swapping the smoothie for a vitamin tablet. Too hungry? Then try adding something small in like crackers for a mid-morning snack.
With consistency, you gain the ability to run small self-experiments and thereby hone your routine to be perfect for your lifestyle and your diet.
And of course ,if you still don’t want to eat the same thing every day, you can always come up with a few replacements for breakfast and lunch with the same number of calories and same ease of preparation later on!