If you follow me on Snapchat (@KaranNL) or Instagram, you know that I often post pictures of what I eat. When I am asked “how do you eat so healthy?”, my mind races with so many possible responses. I wanted to conduct a self-experiment during the month of January so I could better answer that question going forward.
Throughout the month of January, I have been very closely tracking my nutrition.
This month, I have tracked every calorie, every gram of protein, carbs and fat (and much more) using the app MyFitnessPal. The reason for doing this is simple – I wanted to know exactly what was entering my body. Now that January is almost over, I have a good understanding of what my daily nutritional intake looks like. The results in the first 18 days were astounding. Here is a picture I posted on Instagram on January 18th, 2017.
My goal was to eat around 1,800 calories a day, which I have maintained throughout the month of January. On 2 occasions, I went into a slight surplus, hitting 2,000 calories.
What have I been eating? My lunch and dinner (I don’t eat breakfast) have been focused around:
- Lots of vegetables – at least 2-3 cups of vegetables during lunch and again at night. They are a great source of fibre and contain very little calories. I don’t think people are eating enough vegetables.
- Lots of water – at a minimum, I’m aiming for 15+ cups of water a day. Yes, I go to the bathroom a lot.
- Protein – eggs, chicken, steak, shrimp, salmon, you name it. At least one source of protein during every meal. Ps. I recently watched the documentary Food Choices on Netflix and am slowly eliminating animal protein from my diet. I’ll save this update for another day.
- Fruit – I have a huge sweet tooth and have always had an issue managing my cravings. Because of the cravings, I have been eating a lot of fruit. Some day I’ll eat 8-10 servings of fruit.
- Snacks – my snacks have consisted of: peanut butter, almonds/nuts, oatmeal with berries, sweet potatoes, dessert flavored teas and on occasion, rice crackers.
- One night a week I enjoy the foods I crave – nachos, ice cream, cookies, you name it. Just one night a week, not one DAY a week.
That’s it. I’ve stuck to the basic principles of nutrition as I’ve outlined above. No diets, no major calorie restrictions and most importantly, eating until I’m full.
How can you adopt some of these behaviours into your lifestyle?
- Start small – don’t try to completely alter your diet overnight. Start by adding 1-2 healthier meals into your diet for 1-4 weeks. In week 5, add 3-4 healthier meals into your diet for another 1-4 weeks. Each consecutive month, try to eat just a little bit healthier. In a matter of 3-6 months, you will begin to see changes in the way your clothes fit, your energy levels will be higher and you will start feeling amazing!
- Once a week, swap out a dessert for a piece of fruit. After 1-4 weeks, swap out 2 pieces of dessert for fruit, etc.
- Bring homemade lunches to work – slowly cut out fast food and bring a healthy home-cooked lunch to work.
- Think small changes – the smaller the initial change you make, the more likely you are to stick to your goals.
- Water – when you start to feel hungry around 3pm, chug 2 glasses of water. This will surprisingly curb your appetite for a while.
The following picture was taken on January 28th, 2017.
Once again, I have focused on making small changes every week. I have realized that if I commit to making small changes, the chances of success are much higher.
I encourage you to adopt some of the principles I have listed above into your life. Continue to work hard on your fitness journey and remember, consistency is the key to your success!
Need some more motivation?
I’m running a 28 day push-ups challenge which begins on February 1st, 2017.
With this challenge, my goal is to help you get stronger in 28 days.
Hope to see you inside!