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My “Diet” That Was Easy To Stick To…

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Have you struggled to track your calories and stay under them on a daily basis?

I had the same struggle after college when I wanted to start losing weight. Here’s how I went about it to eventually end the confusion for myself and lose 50lbs. Some of these strategies could help you do the same.

After my last season of college football I had to lose some weight. I would eat as much as possible every summer to get up to 250lbs, which was still considered undersized. If you saw me in June or July from 2008-2011, it was probably at Burger King eating a double cheeseburger. Peanut butter and chocolate milk were also staples in my diet to help me beef up for the season.

After football was over, I was motivated to get to under 200lbs. I wasn’t too concerned with how long it took, I just wanted to continue moving towards it. My plan originally was to stay under 2000 calories simply because that was the daily recommended allowance by the FDA. I would be a male underwear model in no time…

In knowing what I know now, staying under 2000 calories for a 250lb. person is a pretty aggressive approach. I also did not have much of a game-plan.

I would eat whatever I wanted until I would get close to 2000 calories and then I would stop eating. The issue was that I was used to have larger meals to fill myself up. I would frequently use up my calories by late afternoon. My roommates would have to deal with me starving at night and trying to avoid their pizza and Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies.

I needed a better approach. I had to think one level deeper than where I was at if I wanted to successfully lose fat. Aimlessly stating my goal and pretending that it was going to happen without proper planning was a mistake.

Staying under 2000 calories was still the goal. Eating 200 grams of protein was also the goal. In accomplishing these two goals every day I would ensure that I was in a calorie deficit and I would be holding onto as much muscle as possible by lifting weights and consuming enough protein.

Now I had to figure out how I was going to structure my meals, and what my meals would look like.

This was actually pretty simple when you break it down. Four meals per day was the goal, no snacking or eating between the meals. Each meal I would eat the same amount of calories and protein.

In dividing my daily goals by 4 (amount of meals) I would have my meal goals. Each meal would have to be roughly 500 calories with 50 grams of protein.

What would a meal like this look like?

I wrote down about 12 different meals that would get me to these goals.

For example:

6oz of turkey on 2 100 calorie thin sliced buns.

1.5 scoops of protein powder shake with almonds.

A lot of egg whites with oatmeal.

6-8oz chicken wrap with hot sauce

1.5 Turkey burgers on thin sliced buns.

1.5 MetRx Protein bars

Eating out really wasn’t even that challenging. Swapping my usual burger and fries for chicken wraps and a vegetable side became my go to. Instead of eating fast food I would go to a sandwich shop and get extra turkey, chicken or eggs on my sandwich or wrap.

It really wasn’t that difficult at all. I lost about 35lbs. In a year and eventually lost over 50lbs. I wasn’t always under 2000 calories, and I didn’t always eat perfect. However, I knew the strategy that I had to put into action to see the results that I wanted, and I knew I could successfully do it without being deprived or overhauling my lifestyle. I never felt the need to jump off the deep-end and go back to double cheeseburgers with a side of peanut butter sandwiches washed down with chocolate milk.

I’m sure we all want to find a way to lose fat without feeling like we need to stress ourselves out over it or feel deprived. A little bit of planning ahead can go a very long way in developing an eating strategy that is perfect for you.

How many calories per day should you be eating?

How much protein per day should you be eating?

How many meals per day do you want to have?

How many calories and grams of protein should be in each meal to meet your daily goals?

Which foods in each meal should you be eating to meet your protein and calorie goals?

Lauren with Absolute Nutrition sent us a formula for determining your basal metabolic rate.

I can send this to you if you send an E-Mail asking for it.

Please feel free to reach me at james@prattperformance.com

Hope you all are well!

James Pratt


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