Four Handy Tools:
Like all our biases, we have ours regarding the diet we recommend. Though we acknowledge that no one diet fits all, there are some recommendations that we give to all our clients; the reduction, or better still, the removal of highly processed foods, along with eliminating refined sugars. In its place, we suggest the addition of an abundance of whole nutrient dense foods to fuel and energise your body. If we need to put a label on this type of eating, I would say its akin to a Paleo Diet. Further to this, we have seen a huge rate of success when following a low carbohydrate or a ketogenic diet in body transformation ie. bodyfat loss/gain. When followed with proper guidance, this is one of the most satiating way of eating which yields fantastic results. To achieve this, here are a few tools that will help you along your journey:
Body Fat Calculator:
There are lots of ways to calculate one's body fat, some much more accurate than others. You have the gold standard method of Dexascan but it is costly and not available everywhere. Then there is the Bodpod method, slightly cheaper than the Dexa but also not as widely available. You find that a lot of Universities provide this service to the public. Next, If you know what to do or know someone who does, the caliper testing is a much more accessible option. You also have the plethora of at home devices, some much better than the others but again this is another piece of gadgetry to buy. To start off, its best to use a free online application to gauge your body fat. There are many calculators online but we feel that the Navy Body Fat Calculator is the most accurate to date. All you need is a tape measure to make use of this simple online calculator.
As much as this sounds obsessive, if you have a goal in mind, you need to know if what you are eating is too much or even too little for your body's needs, this is why a good food tracker is essential. Again, there are many trackers available but we have found Cronometer the best one to date. It not only tracks your calories, macronutrients (like net carbohydrate) but also the vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients (if you so wish). We prefer this tracker over others like Myfitnesspal because its database is populated with verified entries whereas Myfitnesspal has a lot of user entries which can often be wrong. There is a free option and we advise to try that before moving onto the paid version.
For the moment, if we take for granted that you know what you should eat, do you know how much of it, you should eat? Each one of us has a different requirement based on our body statistic and goals and a Macro Calculator is a great tool to help you figure out your own individual needs. We don't need to reinvent the wheel here, the guys over at Ketogains have done a fantastic job doing just that- a free online Macro Calculator. Like the body fat calculators, there are many macro calculators as well but the Ketogains option is a much superior calculator because it allows you to choose your goal, set your activity level and much more importantly, gives your macros in terms of weight (g) instead of a percentage, like the other sites. Why is this important? Because your macros make up your calories and to lose/gain bodyfat you need to either eat at a deficit or in excess to your bodies requirements. When macros are expressed in grams, you know exactly how much of each to eat. When expressed in percentage, you will need to do the sums to arrive at the amount needed.
Which ever method you choose to track your workouts, it is highly advisable to do so. This is the only way to see a progression in your workouts. You can use a notebook (old school) or chose from a variety of exercise tracking apps available. I have found the Jefit tracking app very useful and easy to use. It not only allows you to track your workouts but they offer a variety of workouts plans you can use, depending on your goal. Like Cronometer, there is a free and a paid option. Here again, try out the free option to decide if this app works for you.
Now all you need to do is fill in your details in these handy tools and off you go!!!!!!