A Guest Post by Coach Tarek Roumie
Food Choices & Achieving Your Goals
Food matters. Whether your goal is to gain muscle, lose fat or simply lead a healthier lifestyle, food matters.
In case you somehow managed to miss it, how much food you consume is the biggest factor in helping you achieve your goals in fitness.
Without complicating things more than needed, the simple rule of “Calories in Vs Out” is THE blueprint that must be utilized to help achieve our goals. You want to gain muscle? Eat more calories than you burn. What about burn fat? Fewer calories than you burn.
Simple!…Or is it?
While I do advocate always keeping things as simple as possible, everybody is different. The routes we take to achieve our goals are different based on the person we are. Personally, I like counting all my macros because of the “control” aspect it gives. Is this the only way to do it? Absolutely not.
I decided to take a look at the three main routes in nutrition, and listing a few advantages for each.
1. Adhering to certain rules
This is probably the most casual approach to take in one’s nutrition. By following a certain number of rules that will help improve your eating habits, this in turn will lead to improved performance and eventually body composition.
Dr. John Berardi of Precision Nutrition provides the best example for this route, where followers eat meals filled with vegetables, a few servings of fruits, and of course, protein with every meal.
The Paleo movement is also another example of following certain rules.
The main advantage of taking this route is the relaxed approach on nutrition it has compared to others.
Not having to count your calories or macros and focusing solely on eating well is also a great place for beginners to start from as it will be a lot tougher for someone to start measuring every cup or weighing everything they eat from the get go.
The key is to make it as simple as possible while building upon habits that will last.
2. Calorie Counting
As I stated earlier, the rule of “Calories in Vs Calories out” is the main statement to adhere by when trying to gain muscle or lose fat. This leads us into the wonderful world of calorie counting.
Counting the amount calories you eat is really not as complex as most people make it out to be.
First off, by knowing how much your body is approximately burning, this will give you an idea of approximately how many calories you will require for the day. From there all it takes is a little dedication.
By eating less than your required calories, your body will be burning more than you provide it and will eventually tap into your fat storage, simple really. Having an idea of what numbers to hit allows for a very flexible way to diet and you can even enjoy beauties such as ice cream while still losing fat.
However, the need to know exactly how much you are eating may lead to some people becoming obsessive over every little detail, and eventually not eating out unless they know exactly how many calories is in that meal (Please do not do this, life is too short).
This leads us to the final approach,
Hitting Your Macros (Macro Counting)
This approach is my personal favorite.
As someone who believes there are no good or bad foods in terms of body re composition , hitting certain macros allows me to enjoy what I eat and still gain muscle or burn fat.
This approach does go a little further than calorie counting since we look at Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat rather than just the over all calories.
The control factor of eating whatever you want (to a certain degree) is the main point with macro counting.
Over the past few years, more and more people were making gains by not eating brown rice, chicken and broccoli six times a day. This phenomenon allowed people to understand that building muscle or burning fat is not a one size fits all when it comes to dieting.
They were right.
Like training, there are many different paths to follow when it comes to nutrition. The key to succeeding is knowing what works for you, but alsounderstanding that there are other paths you can choose to follow and still get the results you want.
In a time where people cling to their nutritional habits and defend them almost as much as they do their religion, maybe the key is in understanding other stances and working together rather than oppose one another?
“Tarek Roumie is an aspiring fitness enthusiast, writer and personal trainer. Having been involved in different sports over the past few years at university level, understanding that there are many different ways to accomplish goals has led him to believe that there are no “right or wrong” way rather only paths that suit our specific needs. By also making things simple and easy to understand, he hopes to help people of all levels feel that fitness is not about suffering to achieve your goals, but rather enjoying the journey to a more awesome lifestyle.
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