By now you’ve probably heard a thousand times about the pivotal role nutrition plays in weight loss, muscle growth, and your overall health. And maybe you’re left as confused as the rest of us by all the conflicting diets and philosophies out there. But today I have one simple and easy rule of thumb to help break through the fog:
Focus on quality—even more than on quantity.
Wait, what?! Aren’t we supposed to count calories? Isn’t there a perfect macro ratio for optimum muscle growth?
Let me explain. It is completely true that weight loss requires a caloric deficit, meaning we need to burn more calories than we are consuming. And it’s also true that macro ratios are variable depending on our individual fitness goals. But it is equally true that we could make a “perfectly macro-balanced meal” out of donuts and chicken nuggets. We probably can all agree with medical doctors that this would not be a healthy choice, though. Why not?
The simple fact is that our bodies run on so much more than carbs, protein, and fat. Sure, those are the energy and basic building blocks. But a house is made up of so much more than the frame and trusses. Drywall, tile, windows, and trim are all needed. Likewise, good nutrition needs vitamins and minerals (micronutrients), fiber, and phytonutrients. These are what build sustainable health (rather than a mere scale weight). They are found in their most usable state when we eat whole foods which are minimally processed.
Since each food has its own complex mix of nutrients, I recommend eating a large variety of
whole foods. You don’t have to eat everything in one meal, but get a variety over a day or two. The most micronutrient dense (and low calorie) foods are going to be fruits and veggies. So be sure to pack plenty of them in. Those micronutrients will act as keys to help your body properly use the macros, which will give you more energy overall and reduce fatigue. Additionally, a high fiber diet is one of the best ways to reduce calories and curb hunger without feeling deprived.
The keyword here is quality, quality, quality. Once we get that part down, I truly believe that counting calories will not be necessary in most cases. Our bodies and good judgment will guide our choices and satiety. But since the first steps can be a bit tricky to navigate, I welcome your questions and would love to work together to create a plan for success. Please don’t hesitate to reach out anytime.
All my best,