The Official K. Blair Fitness Approach to Dieting
Part I (of 3 total): An Overview To my Approach
It probably shouldn’t surprise you that the efficiency of a fitness program is dependent on the individual’s nutrition. In fact, adherence to the diet is the only difference between my successful clients and my unsuccessful. Some people approach fitness with a mindset of “50% diet and 50% exercise”; that’s simply not the case. Instead, think of it as 100% and 100%. Why? Let’s examine it.
Why is diet crucial?
- A proper diet can lead the individual to a desired body composition (the ratio of muscle-to-fat). Thus, showing off the muscle you gained through exercise.
- It fuels your workouts, giving sustainable energy and muscle power. This will lead to gains in strength, muscle, and more calories burned. Bad diet= weaker workouts, less results.
- Proper fiber inclusion can lead to increased digestive health, prolonged hunger satisfaction, and increased metabolism (calories burned).
- Proper vitamins can aid with exercise, muscle growth, increased immunity, and healthy running body systems all-over.
So you probably heard of macro counting as a “new and effective” dieting fad. While it is true that macro counting is effective, it certainly is not new and is not a fad. The human body has always and will always obtain its calories from macros.
What are macros?
Macros are the molecules of nutrients that make up the calories you consume. The three macros are proteins, fat, and carbohydrates. They are tracked by the gram in a macro diet.
How do they relate to calories?
- 1g of protein= 4 calories
- 1g of carbohydrates= 4 calories
- 1g of fat= 9 calories
- 1g of alcohol= 7 calories
To illustrate this let’s look at a tablespoon of peanut butter, feel free to grab a jar from your pantry.
1 USUAL serving of peanut butter (2 tbsp.) contains:
- 8g of carbs
- 7g of protein
- 16g fat
8×4 = 32 calories
7×4 = 28 calories
16×9 = 144 calories
So the total calories per serving is 204, but most labels will just round to 200.
Why do I use macro counting?
Accuracy and Flexibility
All initial diets, no matter how perfect, will eventually lead to a plateau. This is why I have always disagreed with one time meal plans for people, they are simply temporary. Instead, you must address this plateau by either decreasing or increasing the calories. Macros allow us to do just this! For example, you can adjust your diet by subtracting/adding 20g to your total carbohydrate macros, or 5g from your total fat macros. On the contrary, someone who just eats healthy food with no attention to macros would have no idea what to change or how much to change.
Also, people respond differently to different macro amounts. One person could lose weight with high carbs and low fat, and another person wouldn’t. By simply counting calories you cannot accommodate for this.
Lastly, just counting calories could allow someone to eat nothing but fat and carbs. For example, let’s assume two people both consume 2,000 calories in a day:
Person number 1 eats:
200g of carbs, 200g protein and 45g of fat.
Person number 2 eats:
300g of carbs and 90g of fat, with ZERO grams of protein.
Both consumed the EXACT same calories- Who’s diet do you think is better balanced? Person number 1, obviously.
First, let me make a distinct difference between the terms IIFYM (if it fits your macros) and flexible dieting. IIFYM seems to be the idea that you can eat whatever you want every day, as long as you hit your macros. While this may lead to weigh loss, you will miss out on the vitamins, fiber, and minerals that you need for overall health. Therefore, I practice flexible dieting. This essentially means that 70% of your diet should be healthy/unprocessed whole foods, while the remaining 30% can be foods that you enjoy. This allows the person to eat healthy foods, with some unhealthy foods they enjoy. This not only makes a diet more enjoyable, but sustainable as well. Think about it, when you travel or go out to eat, things are not always going to accommodate a “healthy food only” diet. So, flexible dieting allows you to accommodate these meals-GUILT FREE.
To further illustrate this:
Assume you like Cereal. How would you substitute it into your diet?
Normal “healthy” meal:
1 cup of brown rice and 4oz. of chicken:
35g of carbs, 27g of protein, 4g of fat
Flexible Cereal Meal equivalent:
1 cup dry cereal, 4oz of skim milk, and 4oz of chicken:
35g of carbs, 27g protein, and 3g of fat.
The macros for each meal are essentially identical. While the vitamin and mineral content may be different, substitutions of this sort 30% of the time is PERFECTLY okay with me!
I have 4 big rules when it comes to flexible dieting:
- 70% clean foods and 30% whatever.
- Track correctly as possible. Let’s be honest, typing “1 piece of pizza” into your app is horribly inaccurate. Size and ingredients vary a lot, so either round up substantially to be safe, or stick to simpler unhealthy foods.
- Eat at least 1 serving of fruit or vegetables daily.
- Consume at least 20g of fiber.
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