Calories in calories out.
Eat less than you burn, and you will lose weight.
It’s a deceptively simple concept, and one that will remain true till the end of time.
But what do I mean when I say “calories?”
Can you lose weight by eating nothing but cakes, cookies, and pie all day? Yes.
Is it a good idea? Probably not.
What are micronutrients and why they’re important
We know that macronutrients (macros) consist of proteins, carbs, and fats.
On the other hand, micronutrients (micros) are all the vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, magnesium, etc…
And why do we need micronutrients?
Because they’re essential for overall health, disease prevention, and even hormone regulation.
For example, a diet deficient in vitamin C could put you at risk of Scurvy.
This is why you can’t really eat a diet full of nothing but high calorie processed foods. Sure you can lose weight, but those types of foods are severely lacking in micros. And if done long term, there’s no telling how much you’ll screw up your body.
So guess what, your mom was right. You need to eat your fruits and veggies since they’re one of the best sources of micros and they have plenty of fiber to keep you full and help you poop.
This isn’t to say that you can’t enjoy foods like doughnuts…it simply means they can’t be the main source of your calories.
The best way to get your micronutrients
Good multivitamin + plenty of fruits and vegetables + a variety of foods = Best way to get your micros.
The above equation is honestly in my opinion the best way to get your micros.
The multivitamin will cover your bases, providing you with a wide variety of micros. The fruits and veggies will further provide even more nutrients, plus a diet high in fruits and veggies will help keep you satiated due its high fiber/water content. And finally, by eating a wide variety of foods, you’re ensuring that you’re getting whole range of micros.
There are no exact numbers to hit when getting your micros, but your best bet is to just be diverse. Don’t exclusively eat bananas and green beans. Once in a while, throw in some apples, oranges, strawberries, broccoli, carrots, spinach…you get my drift?
Keep it diverse but also keep it simple.
What a 2000 calorie diet might look like
Personally, I can lose 1 pound per week by eating 2000 calories per day.
So here’s what one of my recent eating days looked like:
Breakfast (0 calories)
- 1 cup black coffee – 0 calories (2 calories if you wanna be a dick about it)
Lunch (810 calories)
- 2 almond butter and jelly sandwiches on wheat bread – 600 calories for both sandwiches.
- 3 hard boiled eggs with Tabasco – 210 calories.
Dinner (970 calories)
- A foot long Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sandwich AT Subways (had it on Italian bread with Swiss cheese and every single veggie except olives) – approx 800 calories.
- Medium sized apple – 70 calories.
- Few slices watermelon – 100 calories.
- 1 multivitamin – 0 calories.
Before bed (140 calories)
- 1 cup unflavored almond milk – 40 calories.
- A small kiwi – 50 calories
- Some gummy bears – 50 calories.
This totaled up to approximately 1920 calories and I was quite satisfied by the end of the day.
So you see how simple and unfancy my diet is?
All I did was eat a variety of foods. Yes, I kept track of calories in my head but I didn’t obsess over it. And no, I didn’t track my specific macros. I ate a good amount of fruits, got a decent amount of protein (approx. 90-100 grams, more than enough to maintain muscle), and ate foods that I enjoyed.
And if there’s anything I want you to get out of this, it’s that I ate like a fucking normal human being.
I didn’t go out of my way to to make brown rice and chicken. I didn’t buy rice cakes. I didn’t cook 5 pounds of Tilapia in advanced. I didn’t even supplement with protein.
If you’re a competing bodybuilder/fitness model, then my way of eating probably isn’t optimal. You’ll definitely need more protein and you’ll absolutely need to track your macros much more closely.
But for the everyday person who just wants to get in shape and look good, this is an amazing and liberating way to approach eating.
I ate a very practical and sensible diet, one that can be done for the long run.
Now it’s your turn. What’s your approach to dieting and how does a day of eating look like for you? Drop a comment and let me know.