So often women are caught up wondering what it the most important thing when it comes to planning nutrition. When do I eat? How much? What about supplements? Below is a list of priorities when it comes to meal planning;
PRIORITY #1: BALANCE
Vary your meats, plant products, grains, and sweets. Don’t get caught up thinking you need to eat chicken and broccoli for every meal. Flexible dieting is encouraging variety and enjoyment, to prevent food cravings and feelings of missing out on the foods you love
PRIORITY #2: YOUR CALORIES/MACROS SHOULD BE ACCURATE
If you find the macro-counting aspect to overwhelming, or your goal is to simply look smaller and leaner, then just hitting calories will still give you results. Studies have shown that the TOTAL INTAKE of calories is the most important variable when wanting to lose body-fat. Hitting carb, fat, protein and fibre targets will bring extra results, especially when you are hoping to add muscle. Overall, if you focus on accuracy and consistency, the results will come.
PRIORITY #3: MEAL FREQUENCY
Meal frequency is personal preference. Old assumptions used to be that eating 6 meals per day would ‘speed up your metabolism’. This has now been proven to be untrue. You could eat all your calories in two sittings or 6, so long as you are consistent. I personally design meal plans with 5 meals per day because women love food, and I find they have more success when they can eat more frequently. It also lowers the chance of you bingeing if you don’t get overly hungry.
PRIORITY #4: MEAL TIMING
Studies have shown that this makes about a 2-5% difference in overall results. This is really only something you would worry about if you were an elite athlete or a bodybuilder towards the final stages of prep. Whether you factor it in or not is up to you
PRIORITY #5: SUPPLEMENTS
Supplements are just that, supplements. This means they make a good supplement to an already-solid macro or calorie-controlled program, coupled with physical activity. They don’t do much on their own, so keep them minimal and focus on you adherence instead
Hope that helps!