|BY AARON O'CONNELL
||Eat What You Want and Still Achieve Your Goals|
Aaron’s Guide to Dieting and Counting your Macro-nutrients.
You’ve been there before, that point where you become fed up and decide to lose weight. You went on some diet that restricted your food consumption, limited your food options, and made you miserable. Then to add to it, you put endless hours into the gym for weeks on end, only to figure out that you only lost 1 pound. You got frustrated and gave up, only becoming worse than where you first started.
Well here it is, the “non-diet” that will help you achieve your goals and actually change your nutritional habits for long term results.
First figure out an estimate amount of your kcaloric needs, perform the following equation(s).
Resting Metabolic Rate Estimate Equation (Harris-Benedict Equation)
Men: 88.32 + (4.799 x H)+(13.397 x W) – (5.677 x A)
Women: 447.53 + (3.098 x H) + (9.247 x W) – (4.33 x A)
H = Height in cm
W = Weight in kg
A = Age in years
Then multiply by the number equivalent to your activity level.
Sedentary (little to no physical exercise in addition to your daily activities) = 1.4
Mod. Active (30 min of physical exercise in addition to your daily activities = 1.6
Highly Active (60 min of physical exercise in addition to your daily activities) = 1.8
To gain or lose weight add or subtract 400-500 kcalories from your total. Losing or gaining too rapidly can result in excess fat or a decreased metabolic rate due to loss of lean tissue.
1 gram carbohydrate = 4 kcal
1 gram protein = 4 kcal
1 gram fat = 9 kcal
1 gram alcohol = 7 kcal
1 gram fiber (insoluble) = -4 kcal
Everyone has a different goal and desired outcome, balance your ratios to best fit you and your goals. Remember, everyone is different and the same combination/ratio of protein, carbohydrate, and fat consumption will create different outcomes for each individual. Find what combination(s) work best for you.
1) First and foremost, drink as much water as possible. I know you all have heard of the 8 glasses a day recommendation, which is a start, but it is not nearly enough to support your weight loss goals and/or muscle building goals. There is no set amount that is optimal, but usually more is better. Also, drink water as cold as possible, for every 1 oz of ice cold water you consume, you burn 1 calorie.
2) Keep Sat. Fat < 10% of total energy (kcal) consumption.
3) Consistently consuming < 20% of your total energy in fat can lead to an undesirable affect, by lowering your high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels. For men consistent insufficient fat intake will lower testosterone.
4) Carbohydrates are the primary fuel for energy and are essential to maintain/maximize muscle growth and strength. Going on an extremely low carbohydrate diet will provide excellent fat loss, but will take a toll in the muscle department as well. (My experience on a low carb diet; I lost fat at an extremely fast rate, but my workout intensity declined, my muscle fullness/pump disappeared, my strength went down, and much more. This all lead to a low metabolic rate, less calories burned per workout and feeling lethargic throughout the day.)
5) Keep a good balance of macro nutrients. Cut kcalories at the same rate for each nutrient to reduce kcalorie consumption. Consistently consuming less of only one nutrient will always lead to a deficiency and a declined outcome.
6) Although not necessary, consume smaller and more frequent meals. This will increase your metabolic rate slightly.
7) To maximally reduce fat, consume most of your carbs in the morning and day. Your body will be able to better utilize consumed carbs throughout the day for daily functions opposed to while you are sleeping.
8) Mix up your nutrient intake from different sources. (ex: Carbs- Beans, vegetables, fruits, grains etc. Protein- Pork, Beef, Chicken, Fish, Dairy, etc.)
9) Even though you can “eat whatever you want” Consume nutrient dense food. (ex: Eating two slices of wheat toast with 1 cup fresh strawberries provides you with 26g carbs, 1.5g fat, 7g protein, 7g fiber (118kcal) will benefit you more than a Nutri-Grain bar containing (27g carbs, 3g fat, 2g protein, 1g fiber (139kcal). Eating predominantly nutrient dense food will provide you with numerous benefits, not to mention you get to eat more food!
Aaron O'Connell is a 2011 Florida State University Graduate with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hospitality Management. He is an ASCM Certified Personal Trainer and has competed in NPC and IFBB bodybuilding competitions. He has been published in Natural Muscle Magazine and is the 2011 Cityboyz Orlando Model Search Winner.