Smart Healthy-Eating Program
- Step 1: Calculate your Current Daily Calorie Requirement
- Step 2: Calculate your Weight Loss Calorie Requirement (for Weight Loss aspirants only)
- Step 3A: Manually Calculate the Calories- WHY
- Step 3B: Manually Calculate the Calories- HOW
- Step 3C: Manually Calculate the Calories- DEMO
- Step 4: Manually Calculate your Nutrition Requirement
- Note on Exercise and Conclusion
I am going to explain to you the smart healthy-eating method that I use to monitor my daily nutritional requirement. Using the same method, I lost 32 Kgs over a span of 7 months, and I’ve been able to maintain my weight for the last 3 years with minimal effort.
Please allow me to explain to you how I devised this smart healthy-eating method.
Like many, I had also tried different diets with which I could lose weight but then it mostly failed in the long run. While I tried different diets, I also learned about various aspects of nutrition by reading research articles, advice from nutritionists & dietitians and tips & tricks from other fellow health enthusiasts. But above all, I implemented all that knowledge to see what was working and what wasn’t. So step by step I gathered enough knowledge over a span of 1.5 years. By bringing all that knowledge together I devised my own plan and set on the journey. And you know what, I successfully achieved my weight loss goal!
So I am going to share the same smart healthy-eating method with you. It is no rocket science. It is the same age-old method of creating a calorie deficit. It is just the way I did it for myself that I want to share and help you.
And today, I use the same method to maintain my weight and above that, to see to it that my daily nutritional need is met. Just because someone is not overweight doesn’t mean that the person is healthy, right? You need to take care of your daily nutritional requirement if you are playing for the long run. Being healthy is not a choice it is paramount. Everything else is secondary in life.
Let me just give you a couple of health warnings before we begin 🙂
It is not an easy process but it is a one-time effort. Once you have mastered this process you can eat anything you want and manage your daily nutritional requirement and your weight.
I know this statement “you can eat anything and still manage your weight” may sound cheesy or like a sales-pitch but then look at me, I’m a living example of it. Please trust me. Like I said earlier, even I tried various methods before accepting or rejecting them. So I request you to please consider this as advice from a dear friend.
In the beginning, you would find this to be a time consuming and a cumbersome process. But once you have mastered it, it is going to be with you for your lifetime. You can go about eating anything you want, quite literally, and still not worry about your weight.
But you must follow this method diligently for the first 67 days for it to become a habit. Please don’t get demoralized by the number of days, as the process starts to get easy after 2 weeks and by the 67th day it will become second nature to you.
Step 1: Calculate your Current Daily Calorie Requirement
Let us start by finding out how many calories should you consume to maintain your current weight.
Please fetch your Current Daily Calorie Requirement by clicking on the below link and return to the program to continue.
For example purpose:
Height: 5 ft 9 inches
Weight: 73 Kg
Activity Level: Exercise 1-2 times/week
Calories: 2366 cals
Remember, it is just to get a rough ballpark figure for you to start somewhere. Do not get too caught up in the technicalities of finding the exact figure. The real task is not to get the exact calorie requirement. The real task is to eat smart so that we don’t eat more than or LESS than our daily calorie requirement. Hence having a ballpark figure helps us to target our food measurement.
Step 2: Calculate your Weight Loss Calorie Requirement (for Weight Loss aspirants only)
In order to lose weight, we have to create a calorie deficit by either consuming fewer calories by eating smartly or burning more calories by being more active.
Ask any person who has successfully achieved their weight loss/ fitness goals and they’ll tell you that the key lies in managing the nutrition aspect.
In my approach to lose weight, I relied more on managing nutrition than exercising. I followed the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule, in which I focussed 80% on nutrition and 20% on physical activity.
First, find your ideal weight. Then reduce the calories from your Current Daily Calorie Requirement to achieve your weight loss goal.
A healthy place to start would be to reduce 500 calories from our Current Daily Calorie Requirement (calculated in step 1 above). This should help you to lose 1 pound (or 0.5 Kg) of weight per week.
All we have to do now is subtract 500 calories from Your Daily Calorie Requirement (from Step 1) to get your Weight Loss Calorie Requirement.
For example purpose:
Height: 5 ft 9 inches
Weight: 93 Kg
Activity Level: Exercise 1-2 times/week
Calories: 2646 cals
Weight Loss Calorie Requirement: 2646 – 500 = 2146 calories
Step 3: Manually Calculate your Calorie Requirement
Step 3A: Manually Calculate the Calories- WHY
In step 3 we calculate calories and in step 4 we calculate nutrition. I’ll use the terms “calories” and “nutrition” interchangeably or I’ll say “calories & nutrition”.I’ve kept them in separate steps to make it easy to explain.
I’ve divided this step into two parts.
In this step A, I explain the “Why” of “Measuring Calories Manually” and in part B I’ll explain the “How” of “Measuring Calories Manually”. There is also a part C which is a demo video. Everything we learn in part B we will implement in part C.
With the housekeeping info out of the way, let’s begin.
If you have to take away just one value from my entire program let it be this step.
Adherence to this step will either make-or-break your goal. If your goal is to start eating healthy or to lose weight then mastering this step alone will help you to not just breeze by your goal but will also forever change your perspective towards food. You’ll master a psychological technique to look at the food differently.
Please allow me a minute to explain this:
There are different forms in which we consume food e.g. salads, soups, various types of fries like deep/shallow/stir fry, cooked with gravy, boiled, roasted, etc.
What you have to do is measure every food or drink that you consume. You cannot have even 1 morsel or 1 sip of food or drink if it is not measured. If I am sounding strong and dramatic here, it’s intentional. So please follow it. You don’t have to do this forever, I’ll explain this part later as to how long you have to do it. It’s my job to make it easy for you and I shall do it, just hang around. Once you understand the whole process and put it to practice you’ll understand as to why we are measuring calories and nutrition and how it directly impacts our health. And if you face any difficulty anywhere anytime, I am there for you all the time. I promise I’ll see to it that you achieve your goal.
Discipline is the only thing that is needed to reach your goal. This step is the toughest and also very mundane. But this is the only step that you have to master to feel confident about your eating habit for the rest of your life.
Once you get the hang of the entire process (you’ll notice something interesting) you will begin to play around with food. You will create variations of your favorite recipes to suit your taste without compromising its nutritional value, if not adding to it. On a serious note, I now add butter/ghee to most of my meals without any guilt 🙂
Once you have mastered the process of measuring calories & nutrition you will soon begin to look at food differently. It would seem like an invisible ability of yours to size up food for its nutritional value, no pun intended. I humorously call this invisible ability a “sense of nutrition”.
(Alright, one last point, before we finish this “Why” section)
You should fall in love with the process of measuring calories & nutrition manually. Imagine how it would feel if you knew what you are doing is making you healthy every time you do it. It’s like forming any good habit; when you do it once, twice or thrice it may seem like nothing is happening, but there is change happening and once it reaches a substantial level you will experience it. This process of eating healthy is a part of the more holistic process of being healthy. I would like you to believe that food is medicine. But unfortunately, we don’t really consume food the right way most of the times. We have calories in food but no nutrition. We are going to change that.
Let’s move to the more meaty Part B where I explain the “How” of the Measure Calories.
Step 3B: Manually Calculate the Calories- HOW
How to calculate calories in food?
Take a recipe. List the ingredients in it. Manually measure the weight of each ingredient. Calculate the calories in each ingredient and that’s it! Sounds simple, right? Just give it a try and you’ll come back looking for me to ____ But my friend that’s all you’ve to do and you are good to go. By doing this, you’ll, literally on autopilot, be able to manage your healthy eating habit or lose weight, whichever is your goal.
This is key. Listen. I’ll motivate you to initially measure the calories by hand (manually) using the kitchen weighing scale and Uncle Google instead of any app or website.
Primarily for three reasons:
1) It is not just about the measurement. By doing it manually you engage different areas of the brain which fosters learning, understanding & retention. Compare it to writing vs typing, where writing is the “manual way” and typing being the ‘automated way”. New research found that writing has a cognitive edge over typing. I had the same experience when I measured calories manually instead of using an app or a website.
2) Measuring manually should make you feel more confident. We are doing this process in our kitchen and not in a laboratory. So I’m sure they are not the exact calories. But I am trying to be as close to the metal as possible. And remember it is less about the actual calories and more about the perspective shift and the psychological shift that comes with it.
3) It’s only we who know exactly what ingredient we have used in our recipe. By using ready-resources like apps or websites, you may not be very confident. (though they sometimes mention the ingredients I would not want you to rely on them)
The last thing:
Let me also explain how this process becomes easy over time:
We are measuring two things here (a) the weight of the ingredient (b) calories in the ingredient.
Once you have found the calorie of an ingredient you will enter it into a master \-list that you’ll prepare for yourself.
Next time, if that ingredient is repeated, you will simply reference your master-list instead of going to google.
Also, we don’t cook something new 365 days. You’ll soon have a standardized list of your regular recipes. But you cannot change the quantity of the ingredient, you’ll have to measure it and see to it that it is the same.
Also as your sense for nutrition develops even when you are eating where it is not feasible to measure calories you’ll get a solid sense of its nutritional value and you’ll control the portion size automatically.
And as I said previously in the introduction, it’s just the matter of 67 days.
Measuring food will be irritating and boring for the first 2 weeks, so plough through it, and once your mind understands the process of counting calories you’ll start to enjoy it; and by the end of the 67th day, it’ll become your second nature.
Let’s move to Part C, where you’ll see a demo of this entire process. You won’t see me talking, it’s just a demo that you have to watch and understand and above all, take action by putting it into practice.
Watching, Reading, “Knowing” is just mental masturbation. Doing it and experiencing it first hand is what will bring change. So, take action!
Step 3C: Manually Calculate the Calories- DEMO
Step 4: Manually Calculate your Nutrition Requirement
Our bodies require nutrients to survive and function. The two types of nutrients that our body requires are:
- Macronutrients (Carbohydrates, Fats & Proteins) – They are required in large quantity by our body. They provide the bulk of the energy requirements of our body.
- Micronutrients (Minerals & Vitamins) – They are required in less quantity by our body but are equally very important.
Macronutrients and Micronutrients work in tandem to keep the body functioning and for the overall physical and mental wellbeing.
Steps to calculate the Macronutrient (aka Macros) requirements of our body
Step A: Fetch your Daily Calorie Requirement
Fetch your Current Daily Calorie Requirement (from step 1), or if you are planning to lose weight then fetch your Weight Loss Calorie Requirement (from step 2).
For example purpose:
Let us continue with the same example of our friend from step 1 😉
So our Daily Calorie Requirement = 2366 calories..
Step B: Calculate the Lean Body Mass (in pounds).
Please fetch your Lean Body Mass by clicking on the below link and return to the program to continue.
For example purpose:
Weight: 73 Kg
Height: 5 ft 9 inches
LBM (male): 57 Kg (126 pounds)
LBM (female): 53 Kg (117 pounds)
Again, as mentioned previously, please don’t get too caught up with the numbers. Have a ballpark figure to start and START!
Also, please fetch the LBM in Pounds.
Step C: Calculate Macros
Daily Calorie Requirement = Protein Calorie Requirement + Fat Calorie Requirement + Carbohydrate Calorie Requirement
Protein Calorie Requirement
The recommended range for Protein = [(0.5 – 1.5) * LBM] gm
Average of the recommended range = [1 * LBM] gm
From our example above, the Protein requirement = [1 * 126] = 126 gm
Now, 1 gm Protein = 4 calories
Hence, from our example above, the Protein calorie requirement = 126 * 4 = 504 calories
Fat Calorie Requirement
The recommended range for Fat = [(0.35 – 0.5) * LBM] gm
Average of the recommended range = [0.4 * LBM] gm
From our example above, the Fat requirement = 0.4 * 126 pounds = 50 gm
Now, 1 gm Fat = 9 calories
Hence, from our example above, the Fat calorie requirement = 50 * 9 = 450 calories
Carbohydrate Calorie Requirement
From above, Carbohydrate Calorie Requirement = Daily Calorie Requirement – Protein Calorie Requirement – Fat Calorie Requirement
Hence, Carbohydrate Calorie Requirement = 2366 – 504 – 450 = 1412 calories
Now, 1 gm Carbohydrate = 4 calories
Hence, from our example above, the Carbohydrate requirement = 1412 / 4 = 353 gm
Step A: Daily Calorie Requirement = 2366
Step B: Lean Body Mass = 126 pounds (57 Kg)
Step C: Daily Protein Requirement = 504 calories from 126 gm
Daily Fat Requirement = 450 calories from 50 gm
Daily Carbohydrate Requirement = 1412 calories from 353 gm
There you go. This way we have calculated our nutrition requirement.
In step 3, we calculated our calorie requirement and now in step 4 we have calculated our nutrition requirement.
All we have to do now is, consume the right amount of calories and nutrition. which means, all you have do now is EAT. Go eat 🙂
Before we wrap up this step, let’s just calculate the nutrition in the soup that we prepared in step 3.
Here is the master list of the ingredients used. In this, I have highlighted the calories info and macro-nutrition info.
And here are the calculations. The way we calculated the calories, using the same math we calculate the macros.
There is little discrepancy in the calorie values because i have used different sources in the masterlist.
Again I’ll repeat, please don’t get obsessed with numbers. You can allow a discrepancy of +- 10%. Again in our final calories from macros there is a slight change in values. Please don’t fret over it. +-10% you are good. still feeling anxious, shoot me an email.
Last housekeeping annoncement of this step, there is no one size fits all approach in nutrition. But this will give you a good starting point. And remember as i said earlier, Walk before you Run.
Note on Exercise and Conclusion
Just a side note on exercise. I believe doing exercise only for a specific purpose like for weight loss, or for a trekking expedition, or for marathons is not a right way to look at exercise. Exercise is important anyway in life, so do it irrespective. I achieved my weight loss goal by doing very little “formal exercise”. But I kept myself physically active. I only did a little jogging and that too after I had lost almost 17 kgs. I never lifted any weights. That’s about me if you like weight training go for it. I am more of a calisthenics guy. I like building strength by doing bodyweight exercises. Anyway, exercise is not my forte so let me stop there.
So you have a plan with you. Treat it as a map. Take it and venture out. And explore the wonderful world of healthy eating. And as mentioned earlier, you can also use it for your weight loss journey. It is very effective for that too.
Please feel free to shoot me an email if you face any problem in practicing this program. My email is vijit at vijitsingh.com
Remember, just a matter of 67 days.
I wish you a Happy & Healthy Eating! Cheerz!