Three Monthly Nutrition Review

Many people kick off the year with New Year's resolutions. Often these involve variation to diet, like committing to only eating out once a week.

I'm telling you that's not good enough.

Waiting twelve months to make a vague commitment to yourself where no one holds you accountable is just lazy and a complete waste of time. You're better than that.

If you're not familiar with dietary basics, you should do yourself a favour and spend an hour reading up on it. You can even check out last week's post that discusses macros vs micros.

Once you've gotten a basic understanding, you need to apply your new found knowledge to your own diet. I like to do this in the form of a three monthly nutrition review. This essentially occurs in three monthly cycles and the way I do so is by tracking my every meal and snack (including water intake) through an app like MyFitnessPal for one week.

Once the week is over, review your three biggest deficiencies or problems. Identify them, make the necessary adjustments and carry on. In three months time, repeat the process and be sure to compare your previous deficiencies. If they are the same, make the same adjustments again. If different, act accordingly.

This should be a bare minimum. You only have the one body, so you owe it to yourself to treat it with this minimum level of respect. Feel free to deconstruct micronutrients as you become more advanced for additional benefits, however until you actually diarize your entries you won't realize your deficiencies.

For me personally, I've always eaten a relatively healthy diet, but doing this three monthly nutrition review originally allowed me to figure out that I actually wasn't eating enough, and that I also was struggling to get an adequate amount of fibre in my diet. From there, the review also allowed me to significantly adjust other micronutrient consumption to optimize the way I feel and my physical performance.

No diet is perfect, so none of you have an excuse not to do this.  

What are macros and micros?

Macros. Micros. You hear the words thrown around all the time, but what exactly are macros and micros, and which ones do I really need to pay attention to?

The terms are short for macronutrients and micronutrients. The prefixes macro and micro have been afforded to each type based on the quantity the body needs.

Macronutrients

These are typically represented by fats, carbohydrates and proteins. These nutrients are primarily responsible for your energy supply, and storage. More often than not, you hear fitness or weight loss coaches discussing balancing these primary nutrients in order to achieve peak performance or optimizing weight control.

Micronutrients

These are the extensive list of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc that are needed in far smaller quantities. They each typically have more specific functions relating to general health and well-being, such as controlling the production of enzymes or hormones.

So which is most important to be tracking?

As a general rule, macros easier to manage. Fitness coaches lean towards management of these nutrients as this is the easiest and quickest path towards results in weight loss and performance. It's also a simpler problem to solve as it's really just the three types of nutrient that need to be managed and apportioned correctly. If you're looking to get in shape, macros are certainly a great start.

However, to target more specific problems, it's very important to remember that micronutrients are just as important. At the risk of oversimplifying, you may find you get sick very easy which could be the result of a lack of vitamins like vitamin C, or an iron deficiency. Alternatively, you might feel lethargic or fatigued as a result of a magnesium deficiency or missing B vitamins. It's ultimately much more difficult to pinpoint problems with micronutrients due to the sheer amount of them, which is why it's important to eat a balanced diet and track both types of nutrients.

Stay tuned for next week's article on the best method that I personally use to manage the overwhelming difficulty of tracking both my macros and micros, all while keeping up a fast paced lifestyle.