For a Healthier You – Part 1

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O.k as you know, I’ve defined my blog, as a  “beauty and lifestyle” blog. Now, as much as I love makeup and skin care, I also have other interests and hobbies,  that I’d like to write about. This will be a two-part post, where in the first, I’ll be explaining to you what are my eating habits and also about my diet. The second part will be about self-image, how you can lose weight the healthiest way and also about my gym / work out routine.

I’ve never done any of those popular diets ( UNdiet, Atkins diet / moon diet / whatever ). I find them very boring and restraining. I don’t think that they’re sustainable in the long run. The whole idea of eating or not eating certain foods i find is very frustrating to most people. To be honest with you, I also don’t believe in depriving yourself of anything. The more something is forbidden, the more you’ll crave it and that’s normal. I really do believe that the key is in moderation, portion control and being physically active. It’s also about determination. Of course, you’ll have your ups and downs, but again, that’s o.k, we’re only humans.

When it comes to my eating habits, I based my diet on something that’s called “clean eating ” and ” tracking macros”. I call it a hybrid diet, since I took what I’ve found as the best in different forms of alimentation.
Lets start with what’s “clean eating”. The basics are – you don’t eat processed or refined foods, you keep it very simple, you eat foods in a form that’s as close to its original state as possible (a.k.a “whole foods”). This also means, no white sugar, white flour, regular salt, no artificial sweeteners, no additives etc. To be honest, I think that’s almost impossible to maintain at all times. The food industry and its technology, I mean, you can find weird ingredients even in a plain bag of peanuts !. Also, when you’re eating out, what, you’ll ask the waiter are the meal ingredients “clean” ?? – Didn’t think so. Unless you grow your own vegetables, fruits, etc., you don’t really know a lot about the seeds that were used, the soil, pesticides… Sure, you can go all organic of course, but let’s face it – that’s hella expensive, especially when you live in a big city. Not everyone can afford that. So, what I use from this lifestyle is the following : Cut / decrease the crap – sodas, chips, candy bars, fast food, salt & sugar intake, etc. For the rest, my rule is simple – If you don’t know what are the ingredients on the box, don’t buy it. Cooking your meals is key. This way you have more control of what you actually eat, since you know what goes into your meal. For example – Don’t make instant mashed potatoes (that stuff that comes in a box). Make it from real, boiled, potatoes. Eat some popcorn for movie night, instead of a bag of chips. Make healthier choices.
This doesn’t mean you can’t indulge yourself, just choose wisely. Instead of a candy bar, go to your favorite pastry shop and buy a piece of cake. It will satisfy your sweet cravings, but it won’t be as bad for you. Hey, put some friends and a cup of coffee/tea into that equation – Even better !. Friends + Food = Great times !. 🙂 Maybe learn to bake, try to make something on the weekends for your family, that’s lovely as well !. 🙂
People in the fitness industry have something called a “cheat meal”. Once a week, usually on the weekends, they treat themselves with a meal that’s  mostly “junk”, e.g. a soda, fast food burger & fries. You can do that aswell, heck I do, just don’t do it too often. Try to have your week filled at least 70% with good quality  meals, rich in nutrients that nourish and replenish the body. Lots of vegetables, fruits, lean meat, fish, depending on your lifestyle.

Now, let me explain what are macros, and how to track them.

Everyday, we intake a certain amount of calories through what we eat. For a healthy and balanced diet, you need an amount of proteins, fats & carbs. These are our “major macronutrients“.

Before finding your “macros”, you have to calculate your BMR.

BMR is something called ” basal metabolic rate “. This shows us, how many calories we actually need on a daily basis, just to function at rest ( to breathe, for our heart to pump blood etc.). Basically, to be alive. Just like with a car, you already need some fuel for the engine to start, when you put the key into ignition, and you’re not even driving yet…
The more you’re active, the more energy you’ll need ( this means, the more calories you’ll need to intake and burn).
To calculate your BMR, follow this formula, also known as the Harris – Benedict equation (this is the revised metric version for females ) :

( 10 × your weight in kg ) + ( 6, 25 × height in cm ) – ( 5 × age in years ) – 161

For males : (10×weight in kg) + (6,25× height in cm) – (5×age in years) + 5 ;

For example – A female/ 60 kg/170 cm tall/30 years of age/ would be:
(10×60)+(6,25×170)-(5×30)-161 = 1351,5

This number  is her BMR.

To know how many calories you actually need  to intake on a daily basis, when it comes to some form of physical activity, you have to multiply your BMR with :

For little or no exercise : BMR × 1.2

Exercising 1-3 days per week : BMR × 1,375

Exercising 3-5 days per week: BMR × 1,55

Exercising 6-7 days per week : BMR × 1,725

Very heavy exercising (e.g twice per day) : BMR × 1,9

If the e.g. female doesn’t work out :
1351,5 × 1.2 = 1,621.8 cal per day
Now you know how many calories she needs per day and also to maintain her weight at 60 kg.

If you want to lose weight, you need to make a “caloric Deficit” (a maximum of 500, never higher than that), to the calculated daily amount.
E.g. 1621 – 300 cal = 1321 calories per day for her to lose some weight.

When it comes to your macros, every major macronutrient needs to be in your daily caloric intake at some percentage.
For example :
If you want your macro ratio to be :
40% proteins/ 30% carbs/ 30% fats
( You always have to have a total of 100%. You can switch things around, like 35%proteins/35%carbs/30%fats etc. )

To calculate that from your daily calorie intake would mean:

  • 40% of your daily calories  

(e.g. 40% of 1621 = 648 cal for proteins).

  • 30% of your daily calories ;

(e.g. 30% of 1621 = 486 cal for fats).

  •  30% of your daily calories ;

(e.g. 30% of 1621 = 486 cal for carbs).

Finally, you can calculate the macros :

  • Carbs = 4 calories per gram;

(e.g. 4 : 1 = 468 : x )

  • Fats = 9 calories per gram;

( e.g. 9 : 1 = 468 : x )

  •  Proteins = 4 calories per gram ;

(e.g. 4 : 1 = 648 : x )

So her daily macros would be :
Carbs : 486 /4 =  121 gr
Fats : 486/9 = 54 gr
Protein : 648 /4 = 162 gr
Now if you hate math 😀 ( I know, there’s a lot to calculate) no biggie.
The easiest way to calculate & track your macros is with an app called Myfitnesspal.

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You can get this app for free (for iPhone & android devices) at your app store (they also have a premium paid version, but you don’t really need it) . Just download it, make an account and insert your basic info. It will calculate everything for you and you’re good to go.

Whenever you eat a meal, just insert the required data (food type & amount, you can even scan bar codes, etc.). The app will track your calories/macros for you, and even notify you when you’re eating something really healthy or if you’re over your calorie /certain macro intake for the day. You can also set your goals if you’re looking to lose weight etc. Really, it’s an awesome app.
Macro tracking isn’t for everybody, I understand. It can get boring to write down every meal you eat, every day… But you can always try it for a month or two, just so you get an idea which foods are low/high in calories, full of which vitamins, high in sodium etc. One thing that’s great with tracking macros is that it’s very universal. You can apply this method, even if you’re a pescetarian, vegetarian, vegan etc. We all need the same macronutrients, we’re just getting them from different foods.

To be continued…



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* Disclaimer *                                                    

I’m not affiliated with Myfitnesspal. Also, please keep in mind that I’m not a nutritionist or a certified trainer. Some of the things that I’ve written about, won’t necessary apply to people who suffer from certain illnesses like diabetes, PCOS, etc…If you’re planing a drastic weight loss or just starting to workout,  please consult a nutritionist at your local health center and / or a certified trainer. Use this post ONLY in an informative way.

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