Well, this is the byproduct of another Instagram story poll. I'm thinking about keeping this going!
So, the topic for this post is, "how much should you eat?".
This is honestly one of the most asked questions when it comes to nutrition, and yet it is such a loaded answer. People just want to know what they need.
However, this one gets my favorite answer... IT DEPENDS.
No two humans are alike, unless you are twins. Which means that no two people are going to need the same amount of food for their goals. Agatha, the 70 year old down the street, doesn't need the same amount of food as Tony who is 22 and plays college ball.
Also, amounts do matter. I don't care what the blogger/health guru says about their secret method of dieting, but it all comes down to amount. Your calorie balance is what will dictate weight lost or gained. Your goals play a huge part in this as well. If you are looking to gain weight, you are going to need to eat more. If you are looking to lose weight, you are going to need to eat less. Look people, it's science and there is no way around it.
All of the diets today are no miracles. They all claim that they are the best at burning fat. However, they all do one thing. They create a caloric deficit.
Keto does it by completely cutting out a whole macronutrient
Paleo does it with nutrient dense foods
Vegetarians do it by also only eating nutrient dense foods
Vegans, the same
Carnivore ignores anything but meat, and it is damn hard to over consume meat
See where this is going? It all does the same thing, we just like to polish the turd in different ways.
*I would also like to add, that you SHOULD be eating nutrient dense foods. Foods that are whole and not super processed. This is going to be one of the MOST effective strategies for weight management, but also being healthy.*
"So Coach Blake you still haven't told me how much to eat."
I want to give you some practical help here so let's figure it out together.
When trying to figure out how much you should eat, you need to do a little self assessment. We need to know what your goal is because this is going to have some influence on it.
Whether it's for sports, gaining muscle, or losing fat. This is up to you.
Using this tool, you can enter all of the information and it will spit out a number. This number is going to be the amount of calories that you need to be consuming for that desired outcome. THIS ISN'T THE END.
You need to write that down somewhere. Your next step is going to be finding where you are currently. We need to know what you've been consuming on a daily basis. I recommend using something such as MyFitnessPal and track your food. Weigh it out or use eyeball measurements to get an idea.
DISCLAIMER: This may be a tough reality to internalize, so be advised.
Now, if it doesn't match the number that the calculator gave you, that's good. If you are trying to lose weight, you need to ease down to that number. If you are trying to gain weight, you need to ease up to that number.
The idea is to not just jump head first into a new calorie amount. The jump can be substantial sometimes and we don't want to 1. shock the body or 2. make things harder for you.
Once you have reached this new number, you need to sustain that lifestyle for at least 8-12 weeks. This is enough time for those changes to show, and it allows for adjustments as well. Again, not every person is the same and that calculator just gives you a starting point. The number is only a guess, and we just have to do the best we can with that available information.
And that folks, is how you find out how much you should be eating.
If you aren't someone who wants to get that specific, cool. This is totally doable even without weighing and overly measuring your food. You are going to have to be mindful of how much you are actually consuming though. If you normally eat a full plate of spaghetti, start eating half. This reduces the amount you are eating. <--- This is just an example for losing weight.
You could do something such as getting smaller plates or larger plates if you are trying to gain weight. Let your body and how you feel be a good measure for what changes to make. If you gain 15 pounds in a month, then something is obviously off and you may need to do a little self check-in. You may be over-consuming somewhere in your day and you can work to minimize that in a strategic manner.
So, hopefully this answered your question of how much should you eat. It depends on what you are trying to accomplish and what your body needs. Now go out and be the healthy people you are.
Peace and Love