Learn how to build balanced meals and never need a meal plan again.
Now this is important for athletes and non-athletes alike because it gives you the nutrients for fuel, for health, recovery, but it also enables you to control how much you eat.
The reason why this is so useful and important because this enables you to build a meal with whatever ingredients you have at home. All that you need to do is choose one from each of the main groups, and find a recipe or meal that's tasty and easy for you to do.
So what comprises of a balanced meal?
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The first thing is protein. Protein is important for recovery as well as building new muscle. Sources include meat, eggs, fish, vegetarian sauce tempeh and tofu as well as supplements like pea protein, soy, and also whey.
In terms of portion sizes, we need about 25 grams to 30 grams if you're a woman, whereas you need about, say, 40 grams if you're a man, or the best way to do it is to multiply your weight in kilos by 0.25. This gives you the protein number you should have with each meal.
As well as looking at numbers, we can also use our hands. For protein, we need one palm, and this is the width as well as the thickness. For guys, we need two.
The next thing is fat. We want fat for longterm energy and hormone support. Although the type doesn't matter too* much if you stay within your overall total for the day. It does however, make sense to go for more omega-3s if possible, which includes foods like avocados, oily fish, olive oil, nuts and seeds.
How much do we need per portion?
I find the best way to do this is just evenly distribute it throughout the day. So if my total was 90g, I would divide this by 4. This would give me 22.5g for each main meal, and 11g for 2 snack.
Per portion, we're normally looking for around about 10 to 15 grams if you're a woman, or around about 20 to 25 grams if you're a man. When we're looking at our hands, this equates to one thumb if you're a woman and two thumbs if you're a man. This is especially easy with oils because a tablespoon gives you 15 grams and a teaspoon gives you five gram.
The third component is carbohydrate. Now this will differ depending on your goal and your activity. Again, your totals matter most and you may wish load more of your carbs around your training to help with fuelling and recovery, however, a good starting point per portion is 30 grams for women and 50 grams for men.
When we look at our hands, it's around one handful for women and two handfuls for men.
The next one is veg. Now without a doubt, this is probably the most important and easiest things you can do to improve the quality of your diet, and in terms of actually quantity, to be honest, I would just say this is your free pass. However, if you did want to quantify it, we’re looking at one fist for women and two fists for men. But the main point here is just make sure you get some with each meal.
What about flavour?
My advice is to start to learn to cook with herbs and spices. This enables you to create great-tasting food without the unnecessary calories of condiment.
All you need to know is a few, like the ones below:
Italian: Oregano, basil, fennel, capers, anchovies
French: tarragon, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, peppers, lemon
Mexican: coriander, cumin, chilies, lime, chipotle
Thai: coriander, mint, ginger, lime, chilies, spring onion, lemongrass
Indian, my favourite. Cumin, coriander, turmeric, curry powder, ginger, and fenugreek
How does this fit into your day?
Like I do with tracking, I find the best advice is to follow the portion system above for your main three meals, and half these portions to provide you with two extra snacks.
How to ensure you get results?
The most important thing you need to do is monitor your progress, so measure things like performance. How are you getting on in your sessions, your runs? Do you feel fuelled? Are you recovering correctly?
If your goal is more body composition (the way you look), you also need to check your weight, take some progress photos and see how your clothes fit. Based off any changes, all that you need to do is look back at your meal schedule and see if you need to reduce or add a portion.
If you get to the end of the month and you haven't lost weight, all that you need to do is take one portion, or half a portion from carbohydrates or fat from your meals. So instead of having 30 grams with every meal, what you can do is take one of these portions from breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and this automatically reduces your calorie. And guess what happens when you reduce your calories? You lose weight.
It’s the same for performance. If you feel terrible, you can increase your carbohydrate portion in the snack before your session to help increase your energy levels.
Then just follow process until you get the results that you want.
How simple is that?
Pick your protein
Pick your fat
Pick your carbohydrates
Pick your veg
Give it a bit of flavour
Make your meal
Monitor your progress
make some adjustments
And boom! You're going to get results.
If you did need anymore help with your diet or some accountability, then make sure you check out https://linktr.ee/box_nutrition, or if you did have any as, shoot me a message here.