Three Meals, One Goal
Use the images above to plan three main meals.
Use a calorie tracking app or Google to work out how many calories that meal contains (you only need to do this once).
Using our example of 2,000 calories per day, that’s 500 calories per meal.
If you don’t increase the portion size, there’s no need to track that meal again.
We all eat similar meals so do this exercise for your favourites and you’ll have a weekly ‘menu’ in no time at all.
Snacks and Indulgences
What about those times when you want a snack or a treat?
There’s room for those too!
That’s exactly why you saved up a quarter of your daily calorie allowance.
It’s a flexible ‘budget’ that allows you to enjoy your favourite snacks or occasional indulgences and still consume the right number of calories for your goal.
Tracking Unusual Foods
Now, here’s where the magic happens: you then only need to track the “unusual foods.”
These are the items that might not fit neatly into the meal plan you’ve made for yourself, like meals out, takeaways, ready meals, booze etc.
Basically, any time you just fancy eating differently to what you had planned.
Tracking these can be as simple as reading the label or checking the menu for calorie information.
Yes, you are calorie counting but it’s only on the odd occasion you deviate from your ‘go to’ meals.
By following this strategy, you’re making calorie control more manageable and sustainable.
It gives you structure and accountability without obsessing over every calorie you consume or tapping everything you eat into an app over the family dinner table.
As always, you don’t need to be perfect just consistent enough. If 80% of your meals are on point, you’ll get the results you’re after.
Use this approach to give you flexibility while being mindful of your calorie intake.
Over time planning like this becomes second nature and helps you maintain a balanced and healthy relationship with food.
So, don’t let the idea of calorie counting overwhelm you.
Try out this simplified method, and you’ll find it easier than ever to reach your health and fitness goals.
Overcoming Common Challenges: Your Roadmap to Easier Calorie Control and Portion Mastery
Knowing what to do is often simpler than putting the knowledge into practice.
So, here’s some common challenges and how to overcome them:
1. Lack of Awareness: Lack of awareness of portion sizes and the protein content in their meals it the biggest issue I see with all my clients.
Solution: Use the plate images above to give you a visual reference of the amount of food you need for your goal.
2. Emotional Eating: Emotional eating can lead to overeating, making it difficult to control calorie intake. It’s natural to turn to food to cope with stress, boredom, or other emotions.
Solution: H.A.L.T! Ask yourself if you’re Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. A good way to tell if you’re genuinely hungry or emotional is to ask yourself ‘would a piece of fruit do’? If not then try to identify triggers and begin to come up with solutions using this exercise from Precision Nutrition or seeking support from a professional.
3. Social Pressures: Social gatherings, celebrations, and dining out with friends and family can make it challenging to stick to a calorie-controlled plan.
Solution: Tell people your goals, their support might surprise you! It can also help to review the menu beforehand to plan or to simply grab a protein shake beforehand, so you don’t go into the situation hungry.
4. Inconsistent Tracking: We’re all good at kidding ourselves we’ve been on track when we really haven’t
Solution: Grab a calendar and pin it on your fridge. Put a circle on the days you were on track and a cross on the days you weren’t. Use this to spot patterns and hold yourself accountable. Sounds simple but it works!