The Henriette Way
I have been tracking my food for about 4 months now. It feels so natural I have a hard time remembering when I didn't. Some of you, dear friends, have shown a lot of interest in my progress since I started tracking my food so now I wanna share my mindset when I choose my groceries and how my daily intake of food looks like. I think this can help you that are interested in getting better awareness of your nutrition, together with training or not. There are many people out there that are not interested in tracking, but still wanna give the body the boost it needs. And that is absolutely ok. It's a good start and it will be enough for most. If you wanna take it to the next level, buy a kitchen scale and start weighing. If you're honest with yourself results will be a given. For some quicker than others, but it will come for sure.
Everyone has different goals with their training and nutrition. My goal is to build muscle and because of that one of my priorities is to get enough protein for my weight. The protein stored in your body breaks down during training and continue to do so afterwards. It is therefor important to add more protein than your body breaks down for you to build muscle. For me to manage getting my daily proteins in I need to add protein to all my meals and I need to make conscious decisions.
The same goes for my fiber intake. It's recommended to eat 10-15g fiber per 1000kcal per day. I eat approx. 2000kcal per day and my fiber goal is 30g per day. Fiber is found in plants, fruits and grains. To eat a fiber rich diet means that you are eating foods that are low in calories and overall healthy. Fiber will also help you feel fuller and more energized. This is why focus on getting enough fiber is important for a healthy diet.
Water is my third focus. I drink 100oz a day (3 liter). This helps my body lubricate joints, keep the digestive system in check, flush body waste, maintain blood pressure amongst many other positives. Drinking enough water can also help boost your metabolism. Meaning you can burn calories only by drinking more water.
Here is my 8 most important go to's:
1. When I choose my proteins and also other foods I aim to go for products that consist of 1g protein per 10kcal, 10g protein per 100kcal (more or less). If I manage to keep those numbers during the day I'm set up for success.
2. If I eat any kind of bread I make sure it contains a lot of fiber and as much protein as possible and at the same time are low in calories. "Normal" bread does not fit in here. Wraps and pitas are my go to's. The ones I eat has 60-80kcal per wrap/pita, 6g of protein and 7g of fiber. Sometimes I eat normal bread and pizza. Just to be clear. But it's not a part of my daily nutrition.
3. Celery has a lot of fiber, so does apple. If I start my day with homemade celery juice (celery, apple, ginger) I know I'm on a good way of reaching my fiber goal. Making sure I eat veggies to every meal, high fiber bread (not every day), bran flakes with my yoghurt (every morning) makes me reach my fiber goal. The occasions this is difficult is when I'm traveling. Not impossible tho. But it requires planning.
4. I have bought a water bottle that holds more than 100oz (3 liter) water. I fill that up every morning. That makes me know exactly how much water I'm drinking. When the bottle is empty I'm done. After I bought that bottle I have never had any problems reaching my goal.
5. I rarely eat dressings or sauces. It's just not worth the calories (for me). Instead I eat fruit/berries in almost every meal to add color and delish taste. If I eat dressing or sauce I go for low calorie products and I use a tablespoon or two.
6. I rarely use fat when I cook. If I use it, I add a teaspoon. Butter has a lot of calories and it's not worth it for me. Make sure you have a good pan that won't make your food stick.
7. Fat consist of more than twice the calories per gram food than protein and carbs. Fat has 9cals per 1 gram while protein and carbs consist of 4cals per 1 gram. Therefor I rarely add several high fat items in the same meal. If I choose to eat avocado, that will be my fat source of that particular meal. Overall my goal is to fit in as much food as possible in my daily calories. Fat is the macro I eat less of.
8. I rarely drink my calories.
I would say that these 8 go to's are the reason I have been successful with my tracking the last 4 months. Together with my amazing coach of course. If I have not been successful, it's because I have not lived by the words written here. And that has happened, more than once. I'm not perfect. And I don't need to be. The only thing that is important is that I'm consistent in the long run. A screw up here and there is no biggie. Sometimes it's on purpose and sometimes I forget to track something or traveling makes it hard to keep to my normal numbers. It's called life. Don't give it too much thought, learn if that is a possibility and keep your eyes on your goal. And remember that life is given to us so we can live it the best way we can, for us. We are in control of our own decisions so make sure you make the ones that makes the happiest you. If you do that, you're doing everything right. Congrats! Keep up the good work. For you and only you.