FAQ: What basics do I need to know about my eating?

You need to know roughly how many calories you burn each day. There are calculators for this (Katch-MCardle is the best in my opinion). This is where you get your baseline number to eat under for weight loss or above for weight gain. Not knowing this number and trying to reach your fitness goals is like going into a lightsaber duel with no access to the Force. You might get a few strikes in, but good luck winning the duel before you get your arm severed.

Next in importance are your three main “macronutrients.” You need enough protein for muscle recovery, enough carbs to stay energized, and enough fat to stay alive. Per pound of bodyweight, shoot for 1 gram protein, 0.3 grams fat, and the rest carbs, especially if you are lifting weights. Some people find that they prefer a higher-fat, lower-carb approach. Feel free to try either! Focus mainly on the calories and getting enough protein.

Finally, you need to eat for health. You can lose or gain weight by following the two guidelines above and consuming nothing but protein shakes and Doritos, but your body will let you know how it feels about that. Focus this majority of your diet on foods that have one ingredient. Use the rest for whatever you want!

If you aren’t ready to start tracking everything you eat, no problem! Start by taking pics of your food and gaining a consciousness of what you’re consuming.

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