(Disclaimer: I am not a health expert and a nutritionist. Whatever I will write here is based on my experience, opinions and whatever I have read in the not-so-credible world wide web)
It has been said that a good physique and a healthy lifestyle should follow this equation: 20% exercise and the rest should happen in the kitchen. But that equation changes over time. Based on research and a few Tiktok videos, it should be 50% Exercise and 50% Nutrition. Whatever the equation is, we should still deal with these 2 aspects.
I started going to the gym January of this year. I weighed 57kg and I wanted to be really big and buffed this year. I am not skinny, but I have bad posture and the clothes I wear usually does not fit me (they are either too big or too small). So I decided to avail a workout program and treated it as my bible.
I did everything in the book except, of course, for the nutrition part. I just ate whatever I want to eat, even though they have overemphasized that calorie deficit and calorie surplus is the name of the game. Calorie counting was just boring for me.
Unfortunately, even though I am getting stronger in the gym, I noticed that my belly and those other stubborn areas are getting bigger. Finally, I decided to join the club of Calorie nerds.
I solved my Daily Caloric Intake and found out that I need 2,200 calories per day to gain muscles. I studied what a 2,200 calorie meal looked like, created a system to track my food and observed my habits.
Here are my observations:
- Unconscious eating gives me extra 500 calories. Example, in a regular day, I eat almost 2-3 cups of rice. That’s already 750 calories. Almost a third of my caloric intake. I drink Soda at least once a day and a can of coke is 140 calories.
- While tracking my calories, I noticed that I don’t feel bloated after eating. Before, I only stop eating when I feel full. Imagine those unconscious calories.
- I can still eat my favorite food. I can still eat burgers and potatoes and chocolates. ONLY if they meet my caloric requirement.
- “Tracking” is also “planning” for me. I cannot say that I eat healthy now but relatively I eat healthier foods compared before because I get to plan what to buy and what to cook.
- Tracking my calories, I get to track my macro-nutrients: Proteins, Carbs and Fats. My diet now is low fat but high protein.
- This is an unpopular opinion, but I enjoy eating the same food over and over again. As a minimalist, I enjoy this process because it’s easier to shop for ingredients and cooking is never a problem (except for the dirty dishes).
- I am enjoying the system I created. I have this google sheet where I write what is an ideal 2,200 calorie meal. And whenever I eat other foods not on the list, I use My Fitness Pal app to check the calories of the food and deduct whatever is written on the google sheet. See below.
- Whenever I exceed my calorie intake, I forgive myself. Tomorrow is another day.
Basically, I am already obsessed with this diet although people still find it “too much”. So I hope I can be consistent in the next few days and hope this will not just be another fad.