Dogma and Feedback...or Waffles and Maple Syrup?

I had these two great ideas to write about. Then I started eating a 'treat'- some waffles with real maple syrup. 

As I savored the taste, I realized it would make a much better blog post than my other topics about fitness.

So let's talk about waffles. Or pancakes. Or tortilla chips and salsa... whatever you like. Those foods you are told not to eat, and when you eat them you feel guilty. Or you think you need to do more cardio to make up for it.. or you wonder why you can't control your cravings..

I go through these phases. For a week or two usually. Sometimes it's honey nut cheerios I crave. Or peanut butter cups. Or chocolate peanut butter ice cream. Or those bagels with all different kinds of seeds, topped with melted butter..

Here's how I find a way to fit these kinds of foods into my life and satisfy those cravings that we all eventually give into.

I track my calories daily.

I know what numbers I need to shoot for. It's not perfect. Rarely do I ever hit the exact numbers but you know what? I am getting leaner.

I get to eat the foods I crave (within reason) on top of the normal go-to meals I eat that contain a good amount of protein, veggies/fruit etc.. I make sure to get as close to my protein goal for the day and the carbs and fats will often vary.

This has been the easiest 'diet' to follow for me. When I want to cut fat, like I am now, I cut calories per day by about 500.  Give or take.

It's not an exact science. I don't use a food scale and I'm not obsessed over the minutiae. - love that word--   but this way of eating some call 'flexible dieting' or "if it fits your macros' is very effective.

Just like any other training or nutrition protocol, it may or may not be a good fit for you. But I need to stress here that YOU are the most important part of this process of finding a diet you can stick with long-term. 

When I get down to the bodyfat percentage I am shooting for I can then bring up the calories a bit to maintenance level or higher if I want to start building some mass.

So have your waffles and real maple syrup or whatever you desire. It's your life! Train hard, eat for fuel/performance 85% of the time and fill in the rest however you want.

A Boring Diet Post

Do you love reading about diets? Or does it bore you to tears?

I've been on both sides.

Right now I have been enjoying reading about transformation stories and the diet that each person employed.

Every one is different and has different needs when it comes to nutrition, fuel, eating, diet, macros, micros, breaking bread, having a snack, enjoying a big sunday feast..

So you're thinking, ok what's the point of this post? Glad you asked.

I've been tracking my cals/macros for quite some time now. Yes, both. They are both important.

Some say macros are all that matters, some say total calories is the only thing that matters. On and on it goes.

Back to my point.

Tracking. Even though I am pretty good at eye-balling meals and keeping tabs on what I'm eating, I still like to have a better idea, ESPECIALLY if I am attempting to build size or drop some fat.

Can you get by without tracking and make progress? Yes. Great progress? Maybe.

But why not utilize a great strategy that's really not that hard or time-consuming?

So if you have never tracked your meals or if it's been awhile since you have, and you aren't making the gains in muscle or the losses of fat, that you'd like..then try it.

Even if it's only for a month. I bet you will be surprised what you learn.

And if you learn something valuable and decide you don't want to track anymore, that's fine. It will be worth it.

How do you track?

You can use an app or do it on your phone or go old-school and do it with pen and paper. I have done all three. Right now I prefer using the notes in my phone.

I'm cutting fat right now so it helps me to know for my last meal I need to get in a certain amount of protein and carbs or whatever. 

If you can prepare many meals for the week and you know exactly what you will eat and how many times a day and at what times, that's great! More power to you. I don't. My schedule doesn't allow for that and I imagine that's possibly the same for you.

When you track your macros for the day and attempt to get close to those numbers each day, you will be amazed at the progress you can make. And fast!

Good luck.