The key here is… Are they designed to suit your goals.
Yes you can plan out 6-7 small regular small meals per day, BUT what if you can’t fit that in, and spend most of your time skipping half these meals… due to time restrictions etc whatever.
It’s so easy to think “oh well, I’ll skip a few meals”, “it’ll be fine, if I hardly eat anything, I’ll lose weight”.
This is one way to screw up your metabolism. By starving yourself. It’s simple, your body needs fuel to support your energy requirements even BEFORE you start including exercise in your lifestyle.
So you can imagine how taxing it would be on your body when you’re including resistance training, cardio and / or other sporting activities and you’re not supporting that.
If you need to reduce your meals down to 4 per day – do that to make it work… Just increase the servings slightly to ensure you’re not cutting back your calories.
In regards to counting calories. Here’s where people mess up with this…
Thinking that it’s ok to drop your calories right back and eat whatever you damn well like just as long as you hit that calorie amount for the day.
If you’re eating Cheetos and chocolate every day until you hit your calorie limit then you can’t expect to achieve amazing lean sexy muscle.
Sure you might lose weight at first, but the quality of your weight loss and health will suffer fast if you ignore the macronutrients.
And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather focus on fat loss and lean muscle, not weight loss anyway.
If you’re going to count anything then at least monitor your macros.
For example you want to include sufficient protein, fat and carbs to help prevent muscle depletion (support muscle), keep your metabolism running efficiently and so you’re not continually feeling low on energy and battling to make it through each day, let alone your workouts.
Tracking macro’s is helpful, in fact if you want to be super precise about your nutrition, it’s awesome.
Still, many people will absolutely bawk at the idea of doing this. Saying it’s too intimidating for them and they get overwhelmed, and at the end of the day they just want to know what to eat and don’t want to be counting anything.
Those of you that remember my old VFT membership from years ago (2000-2005 era), will remember the TDEE and BMR calculators I created especially for that site to help my clients ensure they were consuming enough protein, carbs and fat to support their training efforts.
It’s so common these days to cut back your calories too much, without even realizing it.
At the end of the day your body has to get it’s fuel to survive from somewhere – and let’s face it, you want your body to run efficiently.
Ok onto Portion sizes and measuring food…
I know people get all cranky pants over portion sizes and measurements and where they can go wrong… eg… people not measuring their food properly etc.
Yet, it works extremely well for many people. And it’s more convenient for them. And if making something simple is getting you great results and is encouraging you to get in there and make awesome changes take place with your body, then I’m “high fiving” to that.
Now it’s time for some straight talk…
Here’s what I found often tends to be occurring more and more now…
AND that’s causing people to freak out about what they’re eating to support their goals…
And it’s mindset!
Over-complicating their eating. The voices in their heads filling them with self doubt.
They’ll stop and change their eating plans.
They’re always looking for the next big thing to get their results… They want programs that they can eat more junk food in…
Rather than focusing on the quality of the food they are consuming, they’ve got it stuck in their head that they’re missing out on the junk food they “think” they need and want to eat all the time.
Yet when they do eat it all the time, yes at first it’s fun, but after a while they whinge that they feel like crap.
So then comes the cheat meals. People deal with “cheat meals” in different ways.
I do agree that when you’re starting out it’s good to try and give your body a bit of a break from junk. If you can – then do it.
Believe me, your body is begging you for a break from it.
And if you have a specific goal in mind that you want to achieve quickly it’s great for that also.
Some people prefer a cheat meal once a week. Others twice a week.
If you know me well, you know I don’t really like the term “cheat meal” because it conjures up thoughts of deprivation and guilt.
So I’ll give you an example of what I do…
I love Mexican food. When was the last time I had Mexican take-out? I can’t remember it was years ago. I’m talking like 10 years ago or so.
BUT I have Mexican food whenever I like, I make it myself, and it tastes really really awesome, it includes good quality food sources and it’s suits my fat loss and lean muscle goals!
I don’t crave going to get Mexican take-away food because it makes me feel sick for days afterwards and I do a damn good job at making it myself without it being “junky”.
If I do really want something that I know isn’t the best quality nutritionally for me, I’ll just go ahead and have it… but I’ll make sure the rest of my meals for the day support my goals.
Am I going to fall off the wagon for that? NOPE! Why would I? There’s no reason too.
Am I going to binge eat for a week after that? NOPE! Why would I? There’s no reason too.
Am I going to look for another eating plan option that’s going to allow me to eat crap every day? NOPE! Why would I? There’s no reason too.
Do I feel deprived? NOPE! Why would I? There’s no reason too.
Do I eat tasteless bland chicken breasts all day long? NO, HELL NO! There’s no reason too.
Within one meal you can combine different food sources of proteins, fats and carbs. You can get super creative and you CHOOSE – YES YOU CHOOSE – to make your meals as nice or as boring as you want too.
People complain they want more freedom… to do what they want with their eating… you choose what your freedom is.
Is being trapped and consumed by junk food really freedom?
You can head into your “eating to support your fat loss and lean muscle”, complaining, telling yourself it’s not going to work, it’s too hard, I want to eat crap all the time – or whatever it is you’re saying to yourself…
But deep down you know no matter what option you choose if you’re going to plan your calories, macros, portions around eating sh*t all the time then you need to have a think about “why” that’s the case.
Start basing your eating around the positive, y’know your goals and the awesome things in life that will come from that.
No matter what option you’re using, portions, macro, calorie counting, basically you want results. Great results. And to do that you need to consider food quality.
So You want a lean defined sexy body that you feel good about and that you know you can support with your nutrition and training?
Warm regards and hugs…