Do You Eat Too Much?

Do you even know?  Do you know how much fuel you are putting into your body each day?  Are you happy with your weight?  Your health?  If you answered yes to all these questions (except for the title one!), then you’ve just put a big smile on my face!  Good on you!  You are an inspiration and great example.

Unfortunately I don’t know very many people at all who can answer yes to the above questions.  Yet I know lots of people who complain that they are too fat, that they need to lose weight, that they need to get into better shape etc. etc. etc.  If I ask them whether they are eating too much they umm and ahhh and then typically respond with “I don’t know….. maybe”.

Everyone knows the saying “you are what you eat”, yet so few people I think really believe it.

Today I read an article put out by the British Department of Health saying that British people need to eat less.  They said that roughly 60% of the adult population are overweight, and that across the board people should eat about 10% less.  It looks like what has spurred this article is that the health department have revised up the average amount of calories that a typical adult needs each day.  This is for a number of reasons.  However I’m sure when they were discussing how to release this information they were really worried that people would take it as an excuse to eat more.  So they made a smart move, and instead said that they’d done a study that showed people need to eat 10% less each day than what they currently do.  So the heading of the piece instead of being “people can eat more”, is “people need to eat less”.  I’m pretty sure that they didn’t do a scientific study examining the diets of a few thousand people to get that 10%!  It is just common sense that people need to eat less.  Also, I don’t think that people would have any idea of what “10% less” actually means, as most people don’t have any idea of how much they eat each day.

I like to add to the message “eat less shit food (cakes, biscuits, ice-cream, deep fried foods, sugary stuff) and more vegetables, fruit, lean protein etc.”  By “eat less” I mean once every two weeks, or even once per month.  Really.  I think if you want to be healthy then really you should only eat “shit food” for a treat – and we are talking ONLY occasionally.

I think that many people are likely to not accept this.  Or perhaps they agree, but really it hasn’t sunk home.  For some reason everyone thinks that “they” are the exception.  That they can get away with eating shit food every week.  Thus we end up with the majority of people being overweight and unhealthy.

Hmmmm – so how should one go about losing weight and getting healthy (as actually losing fat automatically leads to better health)?  Actually, it is simple – but not easy.  How simple?  Do this:

Record everything you eat.  I mean everything.  Record how many pieces, or how heavy something is, before you eat it.  If it goes down your throat, record it.  Sure it takes a bit of time the first time – however once you have done it then you have that figure ready.  Most people eat the same thing most of the time.  So once you get through a couple of days of recording stuff then you’ll have over 90% of what you usually eat.  I record all my items on an excel spreadsheet in column A.  In column B I write the quantity or weight.  Then I look up on the Internet for the number of calories for what I’ve eaten.  There are tons of sites out there giving you this data.  Here are a couple:

Nutrition Data

Calorie King

It really is simple.  What I usually do is just go to Google and type “banana” (if that is what I ate) and “nutritional info”.  Bang – you’ll have the answers.  Write down the calories you consumed in column C, then add them up for the day total.  How much are you eating?  Is it too much?  the article from British Health says that the average man should eat about 2,600 a day, and the average woman 2,100.  That is just to maintain weight.  If you want to lose weight then you should be eating less.  But not too low otherwise you’ll slow your metabolism down.  If you want to get a bit more technical on how many calories are right for you, Will Brink has the following useful table:

Weight Loss 9 to 11 calories per pound
Weight Maintenance 11 to 14 calories per pound

So take your weight (in pounds) and multiply it by 11 or 9 or 14, according to your goal.  How does it compare to your actual intake?  See, now you are getting in control.  We haven’t even talked yet about “what” you are eating, as ultimately what I have written above supercedes it in importance.  The basic fundamental key to controlling your weight is how much fuel you are putting in your body each day.

Look after yourself.  Don’t make excuses.  Get in control TODAY.

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