Recently we looked at the concept of consistency vs intensity in training.
Today, I wanted to briefly examine how consistency in nutrition will help you meet your goals.
First, a rule of thumb…
If you want to make changes to your body, you have to know what you’re putting into it.
The only way to really achieve this is by… tracking your food intake!
I realize that this is something most of you don’t want to hear.
Tracking can be a pain.
You need a kitchen scale, and you need to weigh out your portions so that you get a decent idea of what you’re consuming.
You also need a way to record what you ate.
In contrast to my recommendation of a physical notebook in the gym, I think an app is a superior choice in this case.
MyFitnessPal is popular and free.
MacroFactor is a paid app, but is awesome.
Bottom line… you must track your food, at least for a while as you get started.
Just in case you weren’t already overwhelmed… I’m a huge proponent of weighing yourself every day and recording that data too.
(Otherwise you won’t know if your nutrition plan is working!)
I use a Withings scale, convenient because an app keeps all my weight data.
Back to consistency
There are a couple of things we want to be consistent with:
- Tracking everything we eat.
- Using the same foods from our app’s data library each time.
I don’t think I need to explain #1, but #2 may need a little elaboration.
Here is a screenshot of what comes up when I search for a delicious Ribeye in MacroFactor:
And that’s not even all the options.
So which one do you choose?
Here’s the surprising secret: it doesn’t matter… as long as you use the same one every time you log ribeye!
Frankly, ALL calorie estimations are just a ballpark figure.
Actual calories can swing wildly in either direction.
Which is why consistency is so important here.
You will get more reliable results with your tracking by being consistent with the selection you use to calculate your intake than you would if you changed selections each time in the name of “accuracy”.
Bottom line: Make sure you’re consistent in tracking every day AND consistent with your food selections.
If you want to make this easy on yourself, keep a limited amount of food options that you use for your meals.
This may sound boring, especially if you’re a “foodie” (eye roll…), but I promise your life will be more fulfilling from being healthy and sexy than it will from having a bunch of fancy food pics on your IG!
Stick with staples like chicken breast, lean cuts of beef (with the occasional splurge on some sweet, sweet fattier cuts like Ribeye), lean ground beef ground chicken/turkey, and fish.
Then add carbs of your choice like (cream of) rice, potatoes/sweet potatoes, pasta, and veggies.
Consistency in your food choices will make tracking and measuring much easier.
That’s not to say you can’t break away from those staples periodically, but when and how often are going to depend on your goals and progress.
Your weight and physique goals rest heavily on you consistently tracking and recording your food.
Again, the calories you record won’t necessarily be 100% accurate, but if you are CONSISTENT with what you track, you will be far better able to adjust your nutrition to make the changes you’re after.
Now, there is much (much, much, much) more to be said about nutrition… but this is a start.
And here’s a closing suggestion:
If you’ve never tracked your food, start now.
Don’t even worry about macros, calories or anything like that.
Just start by getting a good idea of what you’re consuming on a daily basis.
We can adjust from there.
Questions? Leave me a comment!
I’m rolling out my online fitness and nutrition coaching for a limited number of people, for a special discount. Fill out this form and we’ll chat and see if we’re a good fit to work together!