Do you want to know the life cycle of somebody who decides that today is Day 1 of their journey?
- They see an advertisement for a gym with a massive discount for newbies
- They tag their friend on that advertisement and says “Bes, tara!”
- They enroll, determined that this gym will give them abs, muscles and burn off fat.
- One month in, they like it. Their muscles are sore, they can’t move the next day. They sweat buckets. It’s effective, they say.
- Two months in, they’re at 50/50. The scale is not moving or they don’t feel challenged anymore. Nobody is telling them that they lost weight or gained muscle.
- Three months, they drop out and move on, waiting for the next gym to advertise because they might be able to help me better.
Sounds like you?
Well, it definitely sounds like me a long time ago.
Did you notice anything missing in that timeline?
Anything that this person may have missed out?
Yes, you got it. They forgot the most important aspect of this whole fitness journey.
Before you close this article, hear me out. Because what I’m about to teach you will not only help you see results but it will make this whole effort worth it.
Nobody wants to train and not see results.
Nobody wants to spend money and not get anywhere.
See the problem with most people is they know what they want but they do not have the drive to reach it.
Funny, most of these people actually know that their nutrition sucks and yet they choose not to do anything about it.
I receive messages all the time asking how to remove belly fat even if I have given the answers multiple times using this blog and the Facebook page.
“How do I lose my belly fat?”
My friend, do you know what the problem is?
It’s not you, it’s not me. It’s your whole perception of this thing. You know what to do, you have the tools but the drive to do it is not there.
Ergo, this article. I am assuming maybe you don’t know where to start even if I have outlined in the article Fat Loss 101: Calories and Metabolism.
Maybe you’re scared to start, maybe you’re still looking for answers.
I don’t know. But hopefully, at the end of this article, you will have gained the knowledge to be more confident in the choices you will make along this journey.
10 Techniques to Becoming A Nutrition Ninja
1. Know your calories according to your goal
I know. You don’t want to read this again. Nope, don’t give me reasons blah blah blah.
How would you know what to eat and how much to eat when you don’t even know what your body requires?
It’s that simple.
Don’t want to calculate? Here’s a quick guide. It’s definitely more generalized and less accurate but you get the idea.
Adjust as you go along the way. If you want to know your exact requirements depending on your age, weight, sex and activity level, you can find it via the Fat Loss 101 series.
2. Make a list of your favorite foods and learn how to fit it into your calorie requirements
Many people fail when they go on a diet.
Because they remove the food that they love and replace it with the food they hate (hi veggies!)
But who said you had to remove anything?
This is the reason why you need to know what your calorie requirements are.
Because dieting or eating less than your normal calorie requirements will definitely make you feel deprived at some point.
Removing these food items will make you feel even more deprived than you already are. And that makes you give up. It made me give up before too.
Learning to fit your favorite food there without going over your required calories does 2 things:
- It will make you stick to your current nutrition plan
- It will NOT make you feel like you are dieting at all
Believe me, I have cereal, chips, fast food and candies on my own nutrition plan. But I still got these results
Another tip: Eat these fun foods after your workout. 👍🏼
3. Eat your vegetables
Vegetables are actually a life saver. This is one of my golden tricks.
Nope, not only because they have a lot of vitamins and minerals….
They actually make you full because they are very high in volume.
Eating out? Start with a salad, dressing on the side.
Eating at home? Eat the veggies first before you attack your rice.
My chosen vegetables are celery and green peas. Green peas are high in protein, FYI. A starchy vegetable too so they have carbs but still good for you since they are also high in fiber.
4. Drink at least 3L of water everyday
Did you know that sometimes, dehydration masks itself as hunger? Yep!
When you feel so hungry sometimes even if you just ate, sometimes you are just thirsty.
And while it sounds counterintuitive to gorge on water and feel bloated, it actually does the opposite.
Drinking a lot of water tricks your body into thinking that’s it is in flushing mode. So yes, you will go to the restroom quite a few times every now and then but what this is doing is, your body is excreting even the water under your skin.
It flushes out toxins, excess caffeine from yout nth cup of coffee today or any other waste byproducts that your body has produced.
Professional bodybuilders do this a week before the show to eliminate excess water, thus making them look very “dry” and ripped when they step on stage.
And the simplest reason? Water makes you feel full. Yes, I’m telling you now to drink a glass of water before you even think about having another piece of cake.
5. Always eat protein with every meal
Carbs are satisfying, yes. That’s why most of us overeat carbs.
That’s why people say carbs are not evil.
They are not. We just overeat. Period.
Protein, on the other hand, has the same macronutrient value as carbs but it takes more calories to actually break them down.
Your body tends to break down carbs first to use for energy and protein is the last to be used up.
When you have protein in every meal with a higher ratio than carbs, your body has no choice but to break this down for energy. And that takes a longer time to do.
This keep you full and saves your muscle especially when dieting.
6. Always have a plan
My meals are usually planned for the entire week. I bulk prep chicken mostly, separating weighed portions into ziplock bags.
Am I not busy? I am. But I make time to do this because I have a goal.
When you plan your meals ahead, you are more aware of the food choices that you will make thus giving you less room for cheats.
At the same time, if you need to swap out something for another food item, you will know how to adjust everything else without going over your calories.
If I have canned tuna for today but I want to eat something else, I can remove the tuna and replace it with whatever I want and still stay within my calories.
How? Because I know the how much I need to adjust to fit in the new food item.
7. Buffet, birthday or any food event? Try this tip.
Of course, we can’t remove dinner dates, birthdays, fiestas, reunions. Every type of event you can imagine, it will always involve food.
But if you already planned for the week, how will you fit this in?
I do either of these things, sometimes both:
- intermittent fasting or
- I eat all my protein requirements during the day before the event.
Intermittent fasting will make you have all the calories you want to enjoy the event.
And for events, it will never be legit without carbs anyway and/or deserts.
Eating at least 50% of my protein goals before the event helps me to still have an allowance to enjoy without going overboard. Plus I get to eat all the carbs I want provided it falls within my requirements.
8. Calories first, protein next
Calories are king with any fitness goal. Burn more than what you eat to lose fat. Eat a bit more than you require to build muscle. And eat what you require exactly to maintain.
When losing fat, it’s very important to monitor both calories and protein. Reach your protein goals and stay within your calories and you are golden.
Setting your protein as one of your priorities will also ensure that you are sparing your muscles from breakdown and being full for a longer period of time.
9. If you fail today, move on and continue tomorrow.
If you have been following me on Instagram, you see that I eat pretty clean most of the time.
But last week, a friend of ours had her bridal shower. Now, my friend’s mother is a great caterer here. Naturally, the food was fantastic.
Naturally, I did intermittent fasting and ate the majority of my protein during the day.
I overate consciously during the party. Rice, pancit, dinuguan, patatim, chicken hamonado, barbeque, puto, cake, cookies…. I think the only clean thing I had was 3 bottles of water.
It was an absolute mess, I overate by about 1000 calories.
What did I do the next day?
Nope, I did not sulk. I did not do 2 hours of cardio. I did not live inside the gym for the next 24 hours.
I moved on, happy that I enjoyed and went back to my regular nutrition plan.
Failing for one day does not automatically quantify the need to go back to Day 1. Just move on and get back on track.
Yes, you may see a jump in the scale. Yes, you may feel like shit or guilty as F. But hey, it’s not the end of the world.
Just don’t use this as an excuse to procrastinate. Be aware of what you did and be conscious of what you need to do next.
Never be that person who always says “Meh, I will enjoy today and just make bawi tomorrow.” Because if this is your regular line, then I’m not surprised that your waistline has stayed the same for the last 3 years.
10. If you really don’t want to count calories or figure out what you need, learn how to portion control.
Maybe you’re not ready yet.
Or maybe you just don’t want to do it even if you know it’s effective.
If at this point you are still not convinced that knowing your calories will definitely make you see progress, then try portion control for size.
Note that these are rough estimates and you have no way to know exactly how much you are eating.
You won’t even learn how to fit your “fun” food here because portion control is all about the making your plate cover all the basic macronutrients.
I know for sure I can’t fit a chocolate bar using portion control that’s why I don’t do it.
But the thing with portion control is you will learn how to manage your food without worrying too much.
So since you are really lazy and prefer to wing it and guess and willing to wait for a long time to get results, here’s how to do to portion control.