Someone recently commented, “Calories don’t count if you eat whole foods. You can eat as much as you want.” Um… I respectfully disagree. You can eat all the free range, sugar free, gluten free, dairy free, organic food you want and still gain weight. Just because something doesn’t come in a package or is considered, “healthy” or a whole food, doesn’t mean the calories don’t count.
Now don’t run off and start weighing you fruits and veggies, that’s not my point! We all just need a friendly reminder every now and then that it is entirely possible to end up in a calorie surplus while eating whole foods…and a calorie surplus = weight gain. While it is definitely harder to be in a surplus of calories while eating whole, unprocessed foods, it is certainly possible.
Don’t automatically cut back on the 2 slices of pizza you enjoy on Friday night as a result in weight gain. It might simply be the additional 200 calories of avocado, XXL “Tbsp.” of peanut butter or small bucketful of nuts you on the way home from work.
You certainly don’t have to use a food scale or count macros to see small, long term changes in your physique. It is definitely possible to eat healthy and still gain weight. Below are some less stressful ways to track what you eat without a scale or an app like My Fitness Pal.
Tracking without counting calories or macros
· While I know tracking your macros and weighing and measuring your food is tedious (and not for everyone) it can help to be more accountable. Prior to learning about macros my meals were high carb with low fats and a low amount of protein. Changing my eating to include more protein and fat throughout the day made a world of difference and helped me to shed fat while putting on muscle.
· If you don’t feel like tracking macros take the time to learn about serving sizes or keep certain infographics in mind when filling your plate.
· You can also do things like filling a salad plate with everything you want to eat instead of a dinner size plate. Sometimes these simple changes can make a big difference for some people.
· Remember there is no specific “diet” that will help you to reach your goals. Low carb, keto, paleo, Atkins, South Beach, etc. are all great for someone. That someone just might not be use. I recommend eating in a way that is sustainable for you. Try to include healthier versions of your favourite foods, your favourite treats (ice cream, chips, chocolate) in reasonable portion sizes. The more you feel deprived the more difficult it is to comply with a diet or calorie cut.
· The below images (from precision nutrition) are another way to calculate portion size and track your food without a scale
Interested in one on one nutritional coaching or a review of a one week meal diary (like My Fitness Pal) to help pinpoint where you might be going wrong? E-mail me with your name and interest.
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