If you are working out on the daily, hitting your minimum required steps (10,000), getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, and the scale isn’t moving then it’s time to take a close look at your diet.
You make think you are eating healthy but the truth is, you don’t know the entire picture UNTIL you look at the entire picture. With something as important as your diet you can’t just walk around without a plan or at least a glance.
You would never take a road trip without at least looking at the map, now would you? So why are you messing around with your health? Please don’t just guess and eat whatever the media says is the “perfect diet” today because we all know tomorrow it will be a different story.
Take the time to write out your meal plan for the next couple of days. Take out a piece of paper and write down what you are planning to eat and then really look at it and see what that looks like.
Do you have enough sources of protein, how about carbohydrates (many people like to really skimp here), how about healthy fats? Count that oil you are using when cooking too, if you are putting it in your mouth- it counts.
This may seem daunting at first but I promise it gets easier. Set aside a couple hours on a day that you are uninterrupted and can focus. Look up the food profiles of the foods you eat on a daily basis so you can calculate them. Please don’t pass this off like it is too much to do. You cannot go around blindly with your health and your goals or you will always end up frustrated with the scale, I promise.
You don’t need to follow any crazy or trendy diets either, don’t get me started on these or we will be here all day. You need to eat a well balanced diet and that includes all macros (protein, carbs, and fats), and there is no reason to eliminate any of them. Yes, there are times when you may need less carbs (like with PCOS or diabetes) BUT that still does not eliminate the food group entirely. This is where a plan and a food journal come in handy.
I could tell you to track your macros and eat a specific amount of grams of protein, carbs, and fats but that would be irresponsible of me when I don’t know you on a personal level. Besides, that is not for the beginner. First, start by eating regularly and balanced and then monitor your progress from there. If you don’t currently eat breakfast then that is a good place to start.
Don’t worry about the macro numbers until you get your diet in order and then we can talk. Don’t jump ahead of yourself or you will get frustrated quick. So here is what I want you to do.
Take out a notebook and write down a plan for 2-3 days of meals. Depending on how early you get up in the morning your meal plan will consist of 5-6 meals (a small group may have only 4),* we are all a little unique in this. Write down everything you plan to eat for breakfast, mid morning snack, lunch, mid afternoon snack, dinner, and optional evening snack. Now look back at each meal and see does it include an adequate portion of protein (building block of lean muscle)? How about the complex carbs (energy), does it include one of the following brown rice, sweet potatoes, , quinoa, whole grains, etc?
Now let’s look at the fats? Are you including those in your meals (responsible for hormones)- raw nuts, nut butters, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, etc?
Do you see any one macro more abundant in your meals then another? Are you hungry after your meal or stuffed? When do you get hungry again- in an hour or two or not until lunch? These are all important factors to provide a clear picture of your diet.
Once you feel satisfied with your selections make a list of all the foods and amounts you need to prepare for the week. Chop vegetables ahead of time, put snacks in small portable containers, have recipes ready, be prepared and then start taking notes on how you are feeling after each meal (full, hungry, satisfied, content, tired, or energetic)?
Continue doing this until you stall on your weight loss again and then you can start talking about macro numbers. But at least you will have a better picture of what you are eating and how it effects you before you start removing an entire food group and suffering in your workouts or productivity.