Calorie Tracking & Meal Preparation

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You have now received your daily calorie intake goal for the next 6 weeks. It is important that you endeavour to stick to this goal as much as possible and the only way you are going to do this is by tracking everything that you eat. When tracking food intake people often say it’s boring and time consuming but I cannot stress enough how important it is. We all have a monetary budget each month within which we have to stick. We know how much goes out on our mortgage or rent, electricity, gas and food shopping. We have to keep track of this because if more money goes out than comes in, then we get into debt. Why don’t we put the same importance on calorie tracking? If you just eat without knowing how calorific the food is, you are just guessing that you are not going to go into ‘calorie debt’. It is almost impossible to achieve results by guessing. Make sure you set up your My Fitness Pal or Fitbit account to make it easy to account for everything that you eat and drink (refer to the FAQs within your Welcome Pack to find out how to link up your accounts). If you are not confident using an app, a trusty pen and paper will do! When tracking, remember to include snacks and drinks - it’s amazing how small things you think won’t make a difference actually add up. Tracking your home cooked meals may initially be time-consuming. It’s not easy weighing and recording every ingredient, however it is necessary - this gets easier with practice and you can save your favourite meals within the app.

Losing weight is tough. It takes willpower, discipline and most importantly, planning. It is VITAL that you plan what you are going to eat each week. If you don’t it could mean coming home from work and making a choice on the spur of the moment. This might be fine over the next few days when you are feeling motivated but what happens when you’ve had a tough week at work, your boss is on your case and you’ve had to stay late to hit a deadline? What will be for dinner that night when there is nothing in the fridge? Takeaway? Don’t let this happen! Make sure that there is no choice to be made on these days - know what you are eating and make sure the ingredients are in the fridge!

Your eating habits over the next 6 weeks will make or break your achievements. Exercise is a huge part of the programme but you can’t consider it to be a free licence to over eat. You cannot out train a bad diet! It is so important that you set some time aside today, and every weekend for the next 6 weeks to sit down with a piece of paper and plan what you are going to eat over the next week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You might want to include some snacks in there also. Do some research into how many calories these foods contain so that it’s not a surprise when you scan it in to your My Fitness Pal / Fitbit app. When you know what you are going to eat, make sure you have the ingredients in the fridge and, if you don’t, put it in your diary to go and buy them at the supermarket. Having a plan will make it a lot less likely that you will make poor eating decisions.

There is no magic to this, it is not rocket science. If you are prepared, track what you’re eating and have the willpower, you can be whatever shape you want to be! You can do this! Start planning next week’s food…Make it happen!

Andy Letham