At Forge-Rx, our Nutrition Coaches believe in teaching YOU how to eat, instead of just giving you a piece of paper and saying “Do this.” Why? Because at some point you should be sufficient enough to not need us as coaches. Or, just keep us around for accountability purposes. Will the piece of paper work? Of course! But why not teach you how to form your own meal plan from foods you like? And then teach you how to have flexibility within that plan? You don’t want green beans one day? That’s fine! Replace it with asparagus. There are no magic foods. Here are 3 easy steps to setting up your own plan.
One little caveat to all this before we begin…
Nutrition takes work. There is no quick fix. No pill. So, before we begin, understand that this will require work. You MUST get over the mental hurdle.
Step 1: Accountability for one week.
Write down everything you eat either on paper, or in an app like MyFitness Pal. Don’t be ashamed of what you eat. It doesn’t matter, just put it down. All this does is gives us data so we can see if you gained, maintained or lost weight? Did you see any patterns? Let’s say your average calories were 2500, and you maintained your weight, and you have a goal to lose weight. Well, from your food intake we can make an adjustment of possibly cutting 300 calories from your diet. Something as simple as taking your rice for dinner out and replacing it with vegetables. It could also mean replacing regular coke with diet, or that Ben and Jerry’s you love with a lower calorie ice cream option, like Halo Top.
Step 2: Macros
Once you got the simple stuff down, we can get more specific with your macronutrient goal. That is, your protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Let’s focus on your protein intake around 1 gram per pound of your desired bodyweight. Don’t forget that your calories are now 2200, and let’s say you are a 185 pound female wanting to get down to 150 pounds. Your protein intake would be around 150 grams per day. Then, from the rest of your calories you can figure out your fat and carb intake. Let’s say you prefer carbs. Let’s take 20% to 25% of your remaining calories from fat. You would multiply 150 grams of protein times 4, because there are 4 calories per gram of protein. This equal 600. 2200 minus 600 equals 1600. You would then multiply 1600 times .25 which gives you 400 calories. Since there are 9 calories per gram of fat you would divide 9 into 400 which gives you 44.4. Let’s round up to 45 grams of fat. So you have 600 calories from protein, 400 calories from fat and you have 1200 calories left. Your carbohydrate intake would be 300 grams, because you would divide 4 into 1200.
Whew! That was a lot of math.
So, after all that your daily macronutrients will be 150g protein, 45g fat, and 300g carbohydrates.
Step 3: Make a meal plan
From your daily macronutrients, I want you to make a meal plan for 3 days in a row. This means breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, etc. From this you will find out what you like, don’t like, and how your digestion is. From here, it’s your job to get really good at creating your own meal plan, and plugging foods in and out.
And there you have it. 3 easy steps to coming up with your own meal plan. Where would a nutrition coach come in? A coach is there for accountability, answering the tough questions, and having the expertise to make adjustments when you do stall again, or when your goals change.
Think you need a coach? Email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation!
-Evan, nutrition coach.