Loosing, maintaining or gaining weight requires different nutrition strategies. We need to use different eating patterns for achieving one of these three goals. In this article we’re going to show you how to deal with gaining, maintaining and/or losing weight with one very simple trick- manage the content in your plate.
Let’s start first with weight-loss. Weight-loss has been, and still is a huge problem for so many people. People are trying “everything” but they still can’t see the results. Maybe they’re not consistent, disciplined, maybe the nutritionist isn’t doing the job correctly, or simply they are scared to begin with such a huge change in their lifestyle because their friends or the internet have told them that the path it’s very hard and they will never make it. Before we show you how to do it, let’s get a little bit nerdy.
Weight-loss is result of a caloric deficit. This basically means that your body has to spend more than it’s consuming. Your body needs energy for sustaining life and physical activity. In our body there’re lots of chemical reactions going on during rest and exercise and they all require energy. RMR (resting metabolic rate) is a measure of how many calories we need to take in to support those chemical reactions and sustain life. Each person has a different RMR, and you can calculate yours using this equation:
-857 + 9 (weights in kg) + 11.7 (height in cm)
Now, after you calculated your RMR, you need to add extra calories to provide your body with energy for the exercise. Let’s assume that your total caloric intake is 2500 kcals. From these 2500 you have to cut in the beginning 250 kcals in order to put your body into a caloric deficit. Your plate should be consisted of:
- 25 percent lean protein
- 15-20 percent of whole grains
- 50-65 percent of fruits and vegetables
We recommend weigh yourself on day one, and then continue weighing on every 7 days. The best possible option is if you lose somewhere between 0.25 and 0.5 kg per week. If you start with caloric deficit of 250 kcals from your energy intake and you lost in one week just 150g, than you need to increase the caloric deficit by up to 350g. Controlled and slow weight-loss is the perfect choice for the body.
Now, let’s continue to maintaining weight and what and how should you manage the content on your plate in order to achieve that. As long as you maintain energy balance you’ll maintain your body weight. What is energy balance? Energy balance is when energy intake is equal with energy expenditure.
Energy balance= energy intake – energy expenditure
It is very important to keep an eye on what and when you consume nutrients or more specifically you have to pay attention on nutrient timing. Remember that activities or workouts that are different in intensity and duration spend different amount of calories, and you should replace those calories accordingly. Your plate when you try to maintain weight should look like this:
- 25 percent lean protein
- 25 percent whole grains
- 50 percent fruits and vegetables
At the end we’ll discuss managing the content in your plate when you wanna increase your body-weight. For you to gain weight, you have to eat more than you waste. In other words, your body has to be in caloric surplus. Conversely to losing weight, during weight gain you want to increase your daily caloric intake from 250-500 kcals. Again, the best way to keep track on it is to weigh yourself once every week. Best possible option is to gain 0.5 kg in one month.
Playing with percentages of different foods on your plate is a very simple, small, first step to make in your change towards healthier lifestyle. Just try it!