What You Should Be Counting Instead of Calories

calorie-countingWhile counting calories in, calories out can be a great way to help manage your meal choices, the results you achieve are much more related to the types of foods you choose than the calories alone. To this end, I’ve developed a better “counting” method for accurately determining the amount of food you should eat each day to support your body transformation goals.

It’s called the 1-100-1/2 method:

 

  • 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight
  • Less than 100 grams of carbs per day (less than 60 grams for women)
  • 1/2 gram of fat per pound of body weight

 

This is a much simpler and alarmingly more effective way of keeping track of your day to day food intake, and it’s a heck of a lot easier than writing down and adding up every ingredient you eat in a day and subtracting calories burned. This is called macronutrient counting, and it works for just about anyone looking to lose weight.

Why is it so effective? Because it’s relative to your body size, it ensures that you’re getting enough metabolism-boosting protein each day, it keeps your carbohydrate intake moderate, and it doesn’t discount healthy fats (which actually promote weight loss and muscle gain.)

By using this method, you’ll end up controlling your calorie intake simultaneously, but with a more balanced, nutrient-rich diet. A calorie from a Philly cheesesteak and a calorie from a greek salad are measured the same when you’re counting calories alone, but you’re getting very different nutritional make ups from these two meals, so you’re not getting the full picture. When you look at calories alone, your diet can actually end up really imbalanced.

If you’re looking at this and thinking.. but I’ll miss my carbs too much! Don’t worry. I still advocate a “cheat” day where you can lax on the counting for a day after you’ve put in your weeks worth of hard work, just make sure not to go overboard. Everything in moderation, including moderation.