Best Practices For Healthy Eating
U Go Fitness & Health Official Meal Plan
Step 1: Set A Healthy Caloric Budget
There are many ways to eat healthy, but when it comes to weight loss nothing is more important than maintaining a caloric deficit.
Caloric Deficit – Occurs when the number of calories a person consumes in a day is less than the calories they burn through their metabolism.
A total of 3,500 calories equals 1 pound of fat.
So, in order to lose 1lb of fat a person will need to reach a caloric deficit of 3,500 calories. But it’s not as hard as it sounds thanks to the power of the human metabolism.
The Human Metabolism – Is made up of countless chemical processes that are constantly happening at a cellular level inside the body that allow for life and normal bodily function also known as TDEE.
TDEE = (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) – can be broken down into 3 categories.
RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate)
TEPA (The Thermic Effect of Physical Activity)
TEF (Thermic Effect of Food)
- RMR = (Resting Metabolic Rate) – Even at rest the body requires calories for basic human needs like breathing, maintaining a constant heart rate, muscle repair, and adjusting hormone levels. RMR is estimated to be about 60% – 75% of the TDEE.
To calculate the RMR use The Mifflin-St Jeor formula.
The Mifflin-St Jeor formula –
Men: (10 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) – (5 x age in years) + 5
Women: (10 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) – (5 x age in years) – 161
A man who weighs 170lbs, is 5’10” tall and is 34 yeas of age.
(10 x 77.272 kg) + (6.25 x 177.8 cm) – (5 x 34 years of age) + 5
772.72 + 1,111.25 – 170 + 5 = RMR of 1,718.97 Calories
- TEF = (Thermic Effect of Food) – Everytime a person eats their body expends energy as it works to chew, digest and metabolise the macronutrients in the food. TEF is estimated to be about 1% – 10% of TDEE.
Calories in = 1,718.97 = TEF of 171.89 Calories
- TEPA = (Thermic Effect of Physical Activity) – This is the energy used by physical activity and it varies depending on how much energy a person uses each day. Physical activity includes planned exercise (running, walking, going to the gym, or playing sports), but also includes incidental activity (such as standing, talking, typing, cleaning,or fidgeting).
Calories burnt doing non exercise activity = 800
- calories burnt during workout = 300
= TEPA of 1,100 Calories
Put it all together –
Total Calories Consumed that day =
- TEF ( )
- RMR ( )
- TEPA ( )
Total caloric deficit ( )
1 lb of fat (3,500) – total caloric deficit ( ) = calories until 1lb fat loss ( )
Total Calories Consumed that day = (1,718.97)
- TEF (171.89) = (1,547.08)
- RMR (1,718.97) = (-171.89)
- TEPA (1,100) = (1,271.89)
Total caloric deficit (1,271.89)
1 lb of fat (3,500) – total caloric deficit (1,271.89) = calories until 1lb fat loss (2,228.11)
So what’s next?
Now we know how many calories each person will need based on their TDEE and weight loss goals, but not all calories are built the same. In the next section we will look at Macronutrients and learn which Macronutrients are best for each body type.
Step 2: Determining Macronutrient Ratios
If your food has calories, then it has macronutrients.
Macronutrients – There are three major macronutrients: Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fat. The body breaks down these macronutrients you eat into compounds used to help create energy, build body structures, create chemical reactions, and stimulate the release of hormones.
- 1 gram of protein = 4 calories
- 1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories
- 1 gram of fat = 9 calories
- (1 gram of alcohol = 7 calories)
There are no BAD macronutrients. Each macro plays a different role in regulating bodily function and so should be adjusted based on goals and body type or activity levels.
Protein – Proteins are made up of chemical ‘building blocks’ called amino acids. Your body uses amino acids to build and repair muscles and bones and to make hormones and enzymes. They can also be used as an energy source.
Carbohydrate – Most carbohydrates occur naturally in plant-based foods, such as grains. Food manufacturers also add carbohydrates to processed foods in the form of starch or added sugar. There are three main types of carbohydrates:
Sugar. Sugar is the simplest form of carbohydrate and occurs naturally in some foods, including fruits, vegetables, milk and milk products. Types of sugar include fruit sugar (fructose), table sugar (sucrose) and milk sugar (lactose).
Starch. Starch is a complex carbohydrate, meaning it is made of many sugar units bonded together. Starch occurs naturally in vegetables, grains, and cooked dry beans and peas.
Fiber. Fiber also is a complex carbohydrate. It occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and cooked dry beans and peas.
Fats – Fats help in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Fats are either saturated or unsaturated, and most foods with fat have both types. But usually there is more of one kind of fat than the other.
Body Types – Though body types are not carved in stone they are a proxy for considering possible differences in metabolism, activity, and nutritional needs.
I Type V Type O Type
I Type – Their engine speed is set to high revving, they tolerate carbs well, they are high energy.
Macro Recommendation: 55% Carbs, 25% Protein, 20% Fat
V Type – Their bodies are designed to be powerful machines, They tend to be testosterone and growth hormone dominant, they can usually gain muscle and stay lean easily.
Macro Recommendation: 40% Carbs, 30% Protein, 20% Fat
O Type – Their engine speed is set to idle, they are naturally less active, they typically have a slower metabolic rate and generally do not tolerate carbs well.
Macro Recommendation: 25% Carbs, 35% Protein, 40% Fat
It is possible that some people can’t be simply placed into a single body type category. In that case it’s a good idea to base macronutrient consumption on activity level
Busy or high stress days spent on the go eat like an I Type
Active days with challenging workouts eat like the V Type
Lazy days with little activity eat like the O Type
Step 3: Understand Which Foods To Choose.
Green Light, Yellow Light, Red Light
There are three different types of food choices. Green Light (eat more), Yellow Light (eat some), or Red Light (eat less) foods. All food choices fall somewhere within this spectrum.
Green Light Foods = (Eat More)
Protein – Prioritize fresh, lean, minimally processed sources of protein. Consider limiting red meat consumption to 18 oz per week or less.
- Lean Beef
- Plain Greek Yogurt
Carbs – Focus on whole, minimally processed sources of carbohydrates high in fiber. Focus on getting as much variety of color as possible.
- Leafy Greens.
- Cruciferous Vegetables.
- Beans and Lentils
- Fresh and Frozen Fruit
- Sweet Potatoes
- Wild Rice
- Steel Cut Oats
Fats – Aim for a mix of whole food fats (like nuts and seeds) blended whole foods (like nut butters) and pressed oils (like olive and avocado).
- Olive Oil
- Nut Butters
Yellow Light Foods = (Eat Some)
- Poultry Sausage
- Meat Jerky
- Deli Meat
- Protein Powders
- Medium Lean Meats
- Canadian Bacon
- Uncultured Cottage Cheese
- White Rice
- White Bread, Wraps, Bagels, Muffins, Pasta
- Flavored Yogurt
- Canned or Dried Fruits
- Instant oats
- Vegetable Juice
- Virgin Olive Oil
- Canola Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Dark Chocolate
- Flavored Nuts and Nut Butters
- Marinade and Dressing
Red Light = (Eat Less)
- Fried Meats
- High Fat Ground Meat
- Processed Soy
- Protein Bars
- Chicken Fingers, Nuggets and Wings
- High Fat Sausage
- High Mercury Fish
- Foods with 10+ grams of added sugar
- Donuts and Cakes
- Candy Bars
- Cereal Bars
- Processed Cheese
- Vegetable Oil
- Soybean Oil