Nutrition for a dummy (me), MyFitnessPal app
If anyone is a novice like myself when it comes to nutrition and wants a simple way to improve I suggest starting your education with the Myfitnesspal app. This isn't an advertisement and the app is free. Most of you probably already know about it but I've had success using it so I wanted to share.
Backround - I love to eat (especially things that are terribly unhealthy) and always thought I could outwork my own apetite. I would reason with myself that I worked my butt off at the gym that day so whatever food it may be .....a large Dunkin Donuts coffee with cream and sugar, a bagel, a soda, a foot long subway grinder, etc... weren't that bad.
Well - I started using Myfitnesspal 6 weeks ago and it has been a life changer. It's also an eye opener because its so easy that I feel like a moron waiting so long to make the change. With little adjustments and a tiny bit of preperation I find myself forcing food down to make sure I've met my goal for the day. Rather than sitting around at night wondering what I could snack on.
I feel like my knowledge about nutrition was at a pre-school level and after 6 weeks on the app I'm graduating middle school. Still a ton to learn.
Starting the day with about 1,900 - 2,200 calories to eat depending on the workout/activity from that day. The app makes it easy to log meals, snacks, beverages. I've chosen to go with a 40/40/20 split for Macros and its like a video game trying to meet those goals and stay in the calorie count.
I always heard the term "empty calories" but really didn't have an idea what it meant until I started tracking every day consistently. Now I'm thinking twice about stuffing down some bread before dinner or having beer at a happy hour as opposed to a mix drink with a club soda. And if you go out to dinner and look up the food choices on the app, most likely it will be there and tell you that the item you want the most contains your entire calorie count for the day.
Anyways - I'm 33 yrs old, my starting weight was 197 (5'10"), and I'm currently at 185. Not that the weight matters but my clothes fit better, strength and endurance are improving after about a year of leveling off, and I'm not exhausted at the end of a work day. For those of you that are already doing this stuff, congrats and I'm jealous it took me this long to figure it out.
The 2nd piece of nutrition for dummies that helped me is YouTube - search "grocery lists bodybuilding" "protein breakfast recipes" or things like "protein dessert recipes" and you will eventually stumble upon the videos that I have by nutritionists, bodybuilders, or just plain "healthy people" that make the grocery shopping and meals simple.
For example - Breakfast is the most difficult meal for me. I work out in the morning and rush to shower, change, and then get to the office. I learned from youtube what an "egg bake" was. I mix a dozen eggs, cut up 4 al fresco chicken sausage links, and i cut up a red pepper then mix it all together. Throw it in a pyrex glass baking dish and put it in the oven for 45 mins a 350 degrees. Then when its ready, I cut it into 12 squares and will have 3 squares a morning. Its a ton of protein and under 350 calories. I'll eat that for breakfast Monday - Thursday. Instead of a stop at Dunkin Donuts and 500+ useless calories, I'm full and on my way to my protein goal on my way to work.