Last time we talked about how to divide your calories into protein, fats & carbs into proportions. Now let’s look at what types of food you should be eating to reach your daily goals and create a clean eating menu sample. If you missed the last post, catch up here.
You can figure out your meals and track them in many ways. Some people like to keep a food journal and write everything out but I personally use MyFitness Pal on my iPhone (there are lots of other aps out there, key is to find one that works for you). So, we figured out I need about 1600 calories a day to lose weight and using the 1 fat/2 protein/3 carbs guideline, that is about 26g fat, 133g protein and 200g carbs everyday.
Here is a menu sample for myself if I am eating 1600 calories throughout 5 meals a day. Like I showed you above, throughout the course of one day I need to eat 26g of fat, 133g of protein, and 200g of carbohydrates. (What I lay out below is not meant for you to follow necessarily, this is just a menu sample for you to see with many of the foods I eat daily. This information can be found online at the websites I mention above, and on the label as well):
|Tropical Strawberry Shakeology, 1 scoop||21||16||2||160|
|Beachbody Hardcore Base Shake, 1/2 scoop||11||18||1||120|
|Blueberries, 1 cup raw||10.5||0.5||0||41|
|Banana, 1/2 small||11.5||1||0||45|
|Almond Milk, Unsweetned Vanilla, 1 cup||2||1||3.5||40|
|Morning Snack ~9:00am||Carbs||Protein||Fats||Calories|
|Greek Nonfat Plain Yogurt, 6 oz||7||18||0||100|
|Strawberries, raw, 1/2 cup||6||0.5||0.2||27|
|Light agave nectar, 1 tbsp||8||0||0||30|
|Bear Naked Fit Granola, 1/4 cup||22||4||2.5||120|
|Total Morning Snack||43||22.5||2.7||277|
|Extra Lean Ground Turkey Burger, 4 oz||0||27||1.5||140|
|Quinoa, 1/2 cup cooked||20||4||1.5||111|
|Broccoli, steamed, 1.5 cups||7.5||4.5||0||41|
|Salsa, 2 tbsp||3||0||0||10|
|Afternoon Snack ~2:30pm||Carbs||Protein||Fat||Calories|
|Homeade Black Bean Dip||15||3.5||0.5||67|
|Carrots, baby raw, 3 oz||8||1||0||35|
|Celery, 1 large stalk||3||1||0||14|
|Cucumber, with peel, 1 cup||4||1||0||16|
|Total Afternoon Snack||30||6.5||0.5||132|
|Chicken Breast, 4 oz||0||26||1.5||120|
|Spinach, raw, 1 cup packed||1||1||0||7|
|Roma tomato, medium chopped||2.5||1||0||35|
|Avocado, 1/4 sliced||4||1||7||81|
|Salad toppers nuts & cranberries, 1 tbsp||5||0||1.5||30|
|Bragg’s Hawaiian Dressing, 2 tbsp||4||0||0||20|
|Evening Snack ~7:00pm||Carbs||Protein||Fat||Calories|
|Honeycrisp apple, Medium||22||0||0||80|
|Total Evening Snack||22||0||0||80|
Did I hit each one exactly, no. But I came close and that is what matters to me. I usually tend to error on the lower side since there are some items that I forget to count and sometimes I may not weight my food exactly out. Now it’s your turn. What does a sample menu look like for you? If you need my help, don’t hesitate to email me!
Continuing from last discussion on what calories are and how many you need to eat, this time let’s figure out what to eat. It may come as a shock to some, it sure did to me, on what percentage of protein and carbs we need each day. Especially since society is telling us carbs are bad! They aren’t really – you need them for fuel, especially when you are doing a high intensity program like TurboFire, Insanity or P90X.
So how do we figure out what we need? You should know how many calories you need from last time, so let’s do some simple math to figure out how to divide that between protein, carbs and fats. Yes you need all three!
Remember, if you don’t eat enough you are telling your body to store food as FAT. If you eat too much, you will not lose weight or build the muscle you want.
Here’s my “magic” formula – 1 fat/2 protein/3 carbs. So I aim for 1 part fat, 2 parts protein and 3 parts carbs. I need about 1600 calories to burn lose weight, so that means I need about 266 calories from fat, 533 from proteins and 800 from carbs. You can modify this for your personal goals, this is just my example.
Ok, now I know how much, what do I do to plan out my food for the day? There are some simple tricks to reading labels and determining your meal plan for the day.
- Fat has 9 calories per gram so in my 1600 calorie diet, the 1 part fat is 266 calories which would be about 26g of fat (266 calories divided by 9 equals ~26 grams of fat).
- Protein has 4 calories per gram so my 2 parts protein is 533 calories which would be about 133g of protein (533 calories divided by 4 equals ~133 grams).
- Carbohydrates also have 4 calories per gram so: my 3 parts carbs is 800 calories which would be 200 grams (800 divided by 4 equals ~200 grams).
Next step, divide those numbers by how many meals you eat each day (most nutritionists suggest 5 meals per day) and you can see what you should be eating at each meal.
I eat 5 meals a day about 2-3 hours apart, so I need about 5 grams fat, 26 grams protein and 40 grams carbs per meal. Sometimes, I’ll add a 6th snack especially on intense workout days!
Next post, I will show you how different foods fall into these categories and how you can make a menu for yourself. When you track your calories for a day or two which area do you feel you struggle with the most to keep within the limits?