Updated: Feb 14
It's really difficult to lose weight through exercise alone. One of the biggest parts of fat loss success is being aware of the food you're putting into your body. The reason for this:
You can't out-exercise a bad diet. (Or a high calorie diet.)
It takes a lot of activity to burn off a meal so the best plan is to start implementing these 3 strategies to become more aware of your current habits and to give you a starting point for changing them.
Let's play a quick game:
Which has more calories:
A Snickers Bar or 6 Ounces of Flank Steak?
Which has more fat:
A serving of peanut butter or a small avocado?
Which has more protein:
A can of tuna or 3 ounces of chicken?
Do you know the answers? If not, look it up and it might surprise you!
That is the benefit of tracking. You know what you are putting in your body and from there you can figure out what you need to do to successfully lose weight.
I'm a huge fan of tracking food, even if it's for a short period of time like two or three weeks. Tracking can give you a better handle on calorie content, what different options look like, such as choosing between the sirloin or the rib eye, and, with practice, can help you make better decisions on the fly.
2. Nutrition labels.
Start checking labels on the food you buy! This is about becoming more aware of what you're eating. If you know that the brownie you just picked up accounts for 1/3 of the food you need for the day, you might think twice and opt for another sweet option that's a bit lower in calories.
Also on nutrition labels: THE SERVING SIZE. Double and triple check this!
You might be eating something that looks like it's one serving but, to make it look like a more appealing treat, the manufacturer has broken the nutrition information down into smaller numbers like 2-4 servings. This happens on everything from candy bars to premade salads and it can be an easy mistake to make.
3. Use measuring tools.
Do you know what a cup of rice looks like? Break out the measuring cups!
Again, done for a short period of time, measuring will give you an idea as to what a serving looks like. Refer to the nutrition label on package, use the appropriate tool to measure it and see what the actual serving size looks like before you eat it.
This can help you make better choices from the grocery store to the plate.
If that cup of rice looks like a disappointingly small portion of food you may look for other options that provide more volume for less calories, for example, riced cauliflower, or figure out a way to adjust what you eat for the rest of the day to fit in the portion size of rice that you would like such as skipping the afternoon snack to have more room for dinner.
Now that you have these tools, be patient.
It takes time to become more aware of what you're eating, but by educating yourself on the basics of food you can take control of your diet and start to learn how to enjoy yourself in moderation while maintaining the waistline!