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How to track or not track to measure progress


Ways to Start your Weight Loss Journey without Tracking

Before we dive into this topic, I do want to mention that the best way to diet is to track your intake. Tracking is great to bring awareness to your current consumption and learn the macros and nutrition in certain food items by simply looking at the amount. Many people will underestimate how much fats they are consuming and overestimate how much protein they are consuming.
If I were to ask you how much protein in is 4 oz of chicken breast, and roughly what would 4 oz of chicken breast look like, would you be able to ballpark an answer? What about knowing that 1 cup of rice vs 1 cup of berries vs 1 cup of pineapple vs 1 cup of beets will all give you different amount of carbs and different types of carbs.
Tracking your food can teach you lifelong lessons regarding food portions and macro composition that you can utilize for your entire life. Once you have a foundation of macros per portion per food, you can easily manipulate them to reach your goals.
However, if you are looking to start a weight loss journey and aren’t yet ready to weigh and track your food, here are a few tips to get you started:

Practical Implementation

    • Increase vegetable intake, aiming to fill 50% of your plate from non-starchy veggies for at least 2 meals per day
    • Reduce added fats to 1 tsp per meal, if needed
    • Have 1 serving of fruit included in at least two meals per day
    • Each meal should be centered around protein (20+ grams)
    • Choose high fiber carbs over processed carbs
    • Prioritize whole foods at least 80% of the week
    • Reduce ‘treats’ (candy, chips, chocolate, cookies etc.) to 1 item, once per week
    • Reduce eating out to once per week if possible
    • Decrease alcohol to once per week maximum
    • Only have one serving when you eat (no going back for seconds)
    • Fast between meals for 4-5 hours, have consistent meal times and avoid grazing or snacking
    • Eat 3-4 times per day
    • Aim to fast for 12 hours between the last meal and the first meal
    • Consume water throughout the day (non-caloric beverages are okay too)
    • Ensure you are sleeping for 7-9 hours, with consistent waking and bed times
    • Prioritize a strength training program 3-6 days per week
    • Incorporate daily movement and aim for at least 10K steps per day
    • Break up sedentary time with 10 minutes of movement every 90 minutes when possible


How to Ensure you are Progressing in your Workouts

When it comes to building new muscle tissue, also known as muscle hypertrophy, it is essential that you are progressively overloading. Progressive overload is when you gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. This can be done in many ways and is not necessarily just adding more weight to the bar.
Skeletal muscle hypertrophy and strength occurs in response to tension. If that tension stays the same (ie: using the same weights, reps, sets etc.), then the muscle will adapt and you will hit a plateau. In order to continue to build new muscle, and get stronger, you must continue to challenge the neuromuscular system and increase the demands placed on it, so it has no choice but to continue to adapt.
If you have been working out for some time now, and aren’t seeing much progress with either your strength or body composition, you may have hit a plateau. Here are a few ways you can implement progressive overload into your training:

Practical Implementation

  • Increase tension/weight
    • Increase the weight on the bar or dumbbells used (2.5-5 lb increments typically)
  • Increase reps per set
    • Increase how many reps you are doing in the set (12 versus 8)
  • Increase sets per exercise
    • Add another set (4 sets instead of 3 for example)
  • Increase exercises per workout
    • Add another exercise to the session (for example total 6 exercises instead of 5)
  • Increase training frequency
    • Train that specific body part twice in the week instead of just once
  • Decrease rest between sets
    • Instead of resting 2 minutes between sets, rest 60-90 seconds
  • Increase range of motion
    • Increase the depth of the movement pattern (go below parallel)
  • Increase time under tension
    • Slow down the eccentric and/or concentric portions of the movement
    • Add pauses at the bottom range
    • Add pulses or half/quarter reps


Fats contain 9 kcals per gram, versus carbs and protein that both contain 4 kcals per gram. That means 15 grams (1 tbsp) of olive oil will contain 135 calories, and 15 grams (1 tbsp) of honey will contain 60 calories. That is less than half!