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You wake up. 6am. Man on fire. Denzel Washington. Today’s the day.
Today’s the day you light yourself on fire and beat the shit out of your goals. You’re going to walk through that foyer, on fire, punch the building to the ground and leave, on fire. Your goals are set. They’re right there. You know what you have to do. Man on fire. Then all of a sudden it comes crashing down. Wet man drenched. Spark gone, fire extinguished.
Breakfast comes by, you planned on doing Intermittent fasting, but you didn’t. Or maybe you planned Breakfast, 2 soft boiled eggs and a piece of toast. What you had was 2 bowls of cereal and a piece of fire extinguisher. I’m guilty of it, you’re guilty of it, we all are. You set an unrealistic goal, you don’t reach it, you give up or get disheartened.
” I’m going to track everything I’m eating, follow these macros and get to x bodyfat %”
Unrealistic goals are a great way to set yourself up to fail. You’re much better off starting towards your goal from a progressable, manageable position.
Now, the reason for this post is to highlight varying ways in which you can track your nutrition and body weight goals. Making the correct decision on which method is best for you will help keep your fire lit and your furnace burning. Having a clear objective and a solid plan to reach that objective is a great way to keep you on track. To be the ” Best man-or-woman-on-fire-you-can-be” you need to:
– Evaluate where you’re at currently.
– Evaluate what has and hasn’t worked for you in the past.
– Make a conscious decision about how you’re going to attack the future.
So here’s the deal, I have trialed and used with varying degree of success each of the following tracking methods. Depending on how accurate I want my body weight changes to be and how disciplined towards my goals I am will dictate which method I use.
METHOD ONE: BODYWEIGHT TRACKING
The easy method.
Weigh yourself either once a week at the same time, or multiple times a week if you’re getting an average. Ensure that you’re in a consistent diet. Focus on keeping to the same meal timing and portion sizing throughout the week. If your bodyweight is going up, adjust your portion sizes down slightly, starting with Carbs/Fat, whichever is viable. As long as you’re eating consistently, this should be easy enough to manage.
This is my ” go – to” for maintaining bodyweight or looking for a slow and steady drop. It’s perfect for anyone who:
- Wants to maintain bodyweight or slowly drop
- Doesn’t want to have to input macros into an app
- Is consistent with their diet and has a good understanding of basic nutrition principles
- Can self-regulate their diet efficiently.
Yes, this is literally just monitoring your bodyweight and making decisions based on what your bodyweight is doing. Sounds dumb, but it can get away from you if you’re not tracking and monitoring.
METHOD TWO: PROTEIN TRACKING
The medium method.
This method builds upon the above by adding in daily protein goals. You basically track all of your protein intake to ensure you’re hitting a target protein range. Weekly changes in bodyweight will determine what decisions you make with what you’re eating. If your weight is going up and you’re hitting protein goals, you need to cut back on your carb/fat intake if your goal is fat loss, otherwise, you’re in the right range.
What this means practically is, you cook chicken, 200g, you track the protein intake from that. 50g let’s say. You add in some rice and vegetables and you’ve got your meal. To adjust the energy intake down or up, you simply increase or decrease the rice serving size. If you’re consistently eating meals with similar composition AND hitting protein goals, then adjusting down on fat/carbs is easy.
This method ensures you’re maximising muscle retention by hitting your minimum protein goals, it gives you a daily goal to hit, it creates a simple calorie up/down decision making process and it allows you to structure your dietary intake based off of a quantifiable goal.
Noticing a trend?
You track something, analyze the effects of it. Then you make a more informed decisions on what course of action to take in the future to ensure you’re moving closer to your goals, not further away.
Method two is great for:
- Anyone wanting to “check in” on their diet and make sure they’re not under eating protein
- Who don’t want to have to track every single thing they’re eating
- Someone who is cutting weight who wants to ensure sufficient protein and want a simple tracking method
- People who are eating consistent meals
- Someone who can self-regulate their carb and fat intake efficiently
I’ve used method two mainly as a check in on protein intake, to ensure i’m hitting my minimum protein goals, especially on a cut. For the most part I make quite consistent meals so using method two and having a protein goal as a reference point gives me a clear way to adjust up or down on my diet in relation to my goals.
METHOD THREE: DIET TRACKING.
This method is simple but takes more time and effort.
You track everything you eat, based off of set macros ( as found in programming) you hit macro goals and track bodyweight. You plan your diet around hitting the macros and make decisions based off of bodyweight and body composition changes. This is the most accurate method and the most time consuming.
This method is great for:
- Anyone who is diligent enough to track everything they eat
- People who are quite methodical in their approach to training/nutrition
- People who struggle with full self-regulation ( Method one) who need very clear goals and structure
- Someone who needs a “kick-start” to their fat loss phase, to ensure regularity in macros and calories.
- Someone who is an athlete or bodybuilder who is looking to hit very low bodyfat levels or who needs to make weight for a competition
I’ve used method three for short periods of time when cutting weight for competitions or when aiming to lower my bodyweight and want to make sure that I’m in the right range.
If you’re struggling to find the push to gain the momentum you need to start working towards your goals, here’s what I want you to do.
WEEK ONE: Method one Focusing on making positive changes to your diet and developing a consistent eating routine. Weigh in twice a week.
WEEK TWO: Method two. Now start tracking your protein ensuring you’re hitting your protein goals ( Message me if you’re not currently on a program and need a goal!) Continue to weigh yourself.
WEEK THREE:Method three. Now we combine it all and track carbs and fats, everything you eat. This will give you a calorie number at the end of the day. Your aim is to hit your carb, protein and fat goals with what you’re eating each day. Continue to weigh yourself twice a week and note any changes since week one.
WEEK FOUR & ON: Method One: But moving forward with a more accurate idea of where you’re at with your diet and a much better, more educated reference point for what and how much you need to be eating.
There you go, a 4 week challenge. But the hard part is being consistent with your diet and routine. Let me know if you’d like to give it a go!
So there we have it.
Three simple ways in which you can track/monitor your body weight changes and three different ways in which you can make decisions on your diet in relation to your goals. Have a think about what will work best for you at this specific time.
Not too worried about what your body weight is? Method one is a great way to simply keep track of where you’re at. Notice weight sneaking up slightly? Maybe pull back a touch on the serving sizes or focus on quality nutrition a bit more rather than turning to dim sims and doughnuts.
Simply trying to pull back on a few kg’s and want to make sure you’re retaining muscle mass? Make sure you’re hitting protein goals and adjust serving sizes depending on what your body weight is doing. Method two, for one week will get you in a good routine with your protein intake and tracking your bodyweight will ensure you’re in the right calorie range.
Are you aiming for a specific body weight on a specific date? Or want to get really lean? Might be worth tracking your diet, getting a good routine and ensuring you’re on the right track. Method three may be worth considering.
Remember, it’s about consistency. Consistently eating high nutrient dense food, establishing a solid daily routine, making adjustments as needed and always being the best man or woman on fire you can be.
So go now and ignite the day!