I’ve made quite a bit of content about the importance of tracking macros and calories and how beneficial learning how to track can be for your long-term health.
It’s just a valuable skill.
But I’ve also made content that focuses on nutritional strategies that have nothing to do with tracking calories and macros.
The reason being is I’ve had success with both and I tailor my coaching to what works for each client.
However I do think that most people would prefer to eat in a way that is more rule of thumb based and requires being less meticulous.
And I totally get it.
In fact this type of approach is probably where most people should spend the majority of their time and focusing only on strict tracking when they have serious health goals with strict deadlines attached.
There are a lot of diets that fit this more rules based approached such as The Paleo Diet, The Whole30, and the Mediterranean Diet.
They all offer a list of dos and don’ts that make it easier for people to make decisions about what, how much, and when to eat.
However most of them are also limiting about your food choices. For example, the Paleo Diet places a big restriction on carbohydrate intake and the Mediterranean Diet directs you to eat foods largely available in a single geographic region of the world.
So while yes these types of diets simplify decision making for people and eliminate the need to track things they don’t offer as much choice.
I’d like to offer a better solution.
Essentially the idea here is to give you a plan that helps you identify what and how much you should be eating to lose fat, but leaves you plenty of room for freedom to choose exactly what to eat.
This plan centers around five basic rules and building a meal based on your plate size similar to the USDA’s MyPlate approach.
Here is how you do it.
1. Eat 3 Meals Per Day
There are not rules on when to eat them, but my recommendation would be to space them out throughout the day like a typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner based on timing that works for your schedule.
Each of these 3 meals should consist of a half plate of veggies, a quarter plate of protein, and a quarter plate of carbs and/or fat.
Obviously you could torch this rule pretty easily by using a plate that 12 or more inches in diameter, but don’t do that either.
Stick to a plate size of 8 - 10 inches.
2. Eat 2 Snacks Per Day
The timing of the snacks is up to you, but I’d recommend to stack one between your second and third meal and one for after your third meal.
A snack in this case is defined as something the size of the palm of your hand.
The snack can consist of fruit, vegetables, protein, or a combination of the three.
3. Drink Zero Calorie Drinks
This is really low hanging fruit for most people.
You’ll be surprised at how many calories you can remove from your diet just by following this rule alone.
Drinks that fall into this category are things like black coffee, unsweetened tea, diet soda, and water.
4. Use Minimal Amounts of Dressing and Sauces
Dressings and sauces are sneaky.
Yes they make everything taste wonderful, but that is often because they are extremely carbohydrate and/or fat heavy which makes them unusually calorie decent.
Meaning just a couple tablespoons can be easily 100 to 200 calories.
Thus use only what you need and no more.
5. Stop Eating When You Are Full
You may be thinking this one is sort of obvious and need not to be said, but if you really think about it do you know why you stopped eating at your last meal?
Did you stop because all the food was gone? Or did you stop because you had a feeling of fullness?
If i had to bet you probably can’t answer the question.
That’s okay too.
Most people aren’t that present when they are chowing down a meal.
You are often preoccupied with a conversation or your phone.
Unfortunately though this can lead to us eating more than we need.
So from now on make sure you are checking in with yourself during a meal.
Pay attention to whether you are full and satisfied or not instead of if there is food on your plate.
There you are a simple fat loss plan that doesn’t require tracking your food or counting calories.
You are still going to have to be mindful about your food and take time to plant and prepare, but this might be a great solution for you if you find yourself frustrated with tracking your macros.
And remember just because it’s a simply plan doesn’t mean it’s an easy plan.
It all comes down to executing the plan consistently.
Happy moving and heavy lifting!
Practical, Purposeful, Effective Training