To get started:
• Download the free version of MyFitnessPal in the App Store. Ignore the Macros/Calorie targets they give you and start logging your food to get an idea of what you’re currently eating! Go to YouTube and watch some videos on how to use MyFitnessPal, enter serving sizings, use the barcode scanner, etc.
• Buy a food scale. A food scale is WAY more accurate than measuring cups or scoopers. See for yourself. Most nutrition labels will have serving sizes listed in both cups and grams (ex: 1/2 cup (42g)). Scoop a 1/2 cup of oats with a measuring cup and dump it in a bowl that is zeroed on your food scale. How many grams are in your bowl? Probably not 42g. I use the Ozeri Food Scale ($11-$14 on Amazon). I prefer real buttons over a touch screen (the touch screen can malfunction when wet, it gets dirty easily, etc.).
If you’ve never tracked before, you will likely have some eye-opening moments as you increase awareness surrounding your food choices. You might notice that you’re eating WAY too much sugar, not nearly enough protein, or too few vegetables (micronutrients (vitamins & minerals) matter, y’all!). Continuing to make small changes over time will help you move in the right direction.
Nutrition is highly individual; you run a risk by using generic online macro calculators, continually cutting calories, following fad diets, etc. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND working with a nutrition coach if you are serious about improving your health, lifestyle habits, performance, and/or body composition. My number one recommendation is M2 Performance Nutrition. A quick read through their blog posts will show you that they are dedicated to the LONG GAME. They give you autonomy in your nutrition journey and are transparent regarding the trial/error process that sometimes must occur to find what is best for you. They want to see their athletes/clients succeed LONG TERM. They know that each person has a unique relationship with food, the scale, their body, and more. Although exercise and nutrition are incredibly important aspects of our health, there are so many other factors that influence the way your body responds and adapts to food and training (stress, sleep, psychological framework, self-efficacy, happiness, work, social life, etc.). A good nutrition/lifestyle coach will evaluate those things and guide you towards optimization. Of their available programs, I recommend Option 3. Having peace of mind that you are doing what is right for you body is invaluable, not to mention the accountability your coach will provide. A few members of the coaching staff even have doctorate, medical, and/or dietetics degrees. Having a diverse coaching staff means an increased likelihood of finding the right coach for YOU and your goals.
**I was not paid or asked to endorse any of the above sites or products. I genuinely enjoy the above resources and want to share them with you all.**