- Limit yourself to 100 carbs a day
How its executed: Track your carbohydrate intake – make sure they are less than 100 over the 24 hour period.
The super basic science: This one is self explanatory. No more than 100 carbs in a single day. Carbs are the fastest source of energy for the body. This also means if they go unused they turn into fat the fastest. Another fun fact about carbs is they’re literally everywhere and the easiest to ingest. Weight loss is ultimately about calories in vs calories out. You burn more calories than you take in you lost weight. Its that simple. By limiting the most abundant source of calories this makes it super simple to control. We could make this harder than it really is but its just that easy, 1 number under 100 and you’re good to go.
2. No carbs after 5:00 PM
How its executed: Stop eating carbs after 5:00 pm. Done.
The super basic science: As we know now, carbs are the body’s fastest source of energy, they also turn to fat the quickest (again, oversimplifying but it works). Most people come home and become more or less sedentary after 5:00 PM. Morning workout is done, work is done, time to veg out. If we start taking in excess carbs they will more than likely go unused in the time that they are processed and stored as fat, so why take them in? They’re relatively unusable. Instead take in Proteins and Fats that digest slower any can be put to use over the amount of time the body is moving slowly.
3. The 8 Hour Eating Window
How its executed: Set an 8 hour eating window (ex: 12:00-8:00) that revolves around your schedule and stick to it for an extended period of time without changing the time frame.
The super basic science: The eating window is just another way to restrict calories in. If we eat only during the 8 hours allowed for eating then it makes it almost impossible to overeat unless you’re stuffing your face at every corner. Only eat for 8 hours a day and I guarantee your caloric intake goes down.
4. Protein with every meal
How it’s executed: Eat at least one fist sized portion of protein with every meal.
The super basic science: This one is almost more of a rule than a strategy. I would recommend you combine this with any of the above strategies. But basically by adding protein to every meal you balance out your macro profile and limit the amount of fats and carbs you intake. Protein is also generally very satiating (filling) and will help to reduce the calories you take in overall. Spreading your protein throughout the day vs. in one or two sittings has been proven in many studies to increase fat loss. Also, combining protein with carbs will help to slow down the digestion of the carbs. Remember carbs = fast. Slower digestion of foods means you have a longer period of time to use it. If you use it you loose it. Simple enough.
5. Calculate your macros.
How its Executed: For those of you that just must turn everything into a science project and since its all the rage, heres how it goes.
Your macros or macronutrients: Carbs, Proteins and Fats.
Each macro has a different caloric balance
Carbs: 4 calories/gram
Proteins: 4 calories/gram
Fats: 9 calories/gram
I like to use a rule of thumb as 10 calories/lb of body weight for maintenance, 9 for weight loss, and 11 for weight gain. If it doesn’t work or a client has an opposite effect I increase or decrease the numbers accordingly.
Lets take a 140 lb woman who wants to lose weight as our example.
First calculate calories: 140(bw) x 9 (calories/lb) = 1,260
Then let’s go ahead and break down her macros. Now this will be hotly debated but I like to make an even approach to start, again if things aren’t working we will adjust (I like to adjust for carbs first).
We will use these ratios
That is 33% of her calories will come from each of the following sources.
This breaks down to the following
419 calories from Carbs
419 Calories from Proteins
419 Calories from Fats
This will further breakdown into grams to give the final macro nutrient profile. We just divide the calories by the number of calories per gram of each nutrient to find the grams of each that we need to take in.
Carbs: 104 grams
Proteins: 104 Grams
Fats: 45 Grams.
Total Calories: 1,260
Explained: There you have it. This is how you count your calories, breakdown your macros, and make sure you are eating evenly. If you aren’t losing weight try bringing your intake factor down to an 8 (which would put the 140 lb female at 1,120)
The most important thing to remember is this WILL work. You must stick with it for a duration of time longer than a week or two. When it does start working you must recalculate your macros accordingly.
That is if you were working with a 9 factor and weighed 140 lb. and you drop to 130 lb. you will be overeating. You have to do the math again (130 x 9 = 1,170) and start eating less calories.
Notes about the author: The author has been a certified personal trainer for over 5 years with over 400 clients trained and 10,000+ hours of training experience. He owned his own 10,000+ facility for 4 years before selling and has managed and trained 15+ successful personal trainers.