People talk about calorie counting like it’s a complex science. Yes you have to be very precise and take your time with the calculations, but who really wants to do this?
I see calorie counting as something that fitness models, actors and athletes should be doing due to the seriousness of their job. But the average person has too much going on to write down every single piece of food eaten, then break out the calculator.
The calorie counting strategy just puts people off sticking to a diet in the first place. If there’s one thing to know about modern humans it’s that we enjoy rest, shortcuts and the easy way.
Easiest Way To Count Calories
Now this method doesn’t mean less work, it just means less mental stress. Your training and the types of food you eat should still be taken seriously.
I believe that calorie counting should be flexible. Give yourself a set amount each day and it becomes tough to stick to. I mean who lives the exact same day 7 days a week?
Not even fitness models do this.
Everyone has days where they work really hard in the gym, everyone has rest days, and everyone has days where they’re active, but perhaps didn’t perform any tough physical activity.
With that being said, one set calorie total isn’t going to cut it, it’s not flexible enough. Of course you could calculate everyday as you go, but realistically who’s willing to do this?
The average person just wants to live life, have a fitness and diet regime in the background, and then get great results.
Having fitness and your diet as your main focus only applies to certain professionals like the ones we defined earlier.
The easiest way to overcome this issue is to adapt to your day as it unfolds.
Firstly you need a base to work around. You can do this one of two ways. Either do a single, one off calorie count for a man of your age, weight and height. Or you can set yourself a certain number of meals each day.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll have an average that you’ll aim to work towards every day.
However as we know, days don’t always go as planned. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve written down gym in my daily diary, only to be working until 3am because huge tasks came up throughout the day that required my attention.
Extra Tip: Go to the gym first thing in the morning, that way if your day gets hectic, it’s not an issue.
In these situations where things go wrong, the day doesn’t go as planned, or physical activity simply isn’t on the cards due to a packed schedule, you have to adapt your diet on the go.
- A big breakfast planned that includes complex carbs and plenty of them after an intense morning workout. Suddenly you’re called by your boss and rushed into work due to an issue with the upcoming deal. If you decided to still eat that big breakfast that was planned, then you’d suffer. All of those carbs without intense exercise wouldn’t be wise.
Instead, you have to adapt. Grab a bowl of nuts, 15-20 of them, and continue your day. Since you’ll be doing less, you’ll want to be eating less.
- You get to 8pm, your diet has been immaculate all day long, but those late night cravings kick in.
Most people either give in, or resist. But both strategies are wrong. By giving in you consume calories that weren’t planned or needed. By resisting you slowly pick away at your willpower and commitment to your fitness journey. Fast forward 3 weeks and you’ll be snacking again, eating whenever you want and whatever you want all because the mental stress became too much.
If you’re ever in this situation, the correct approach is to earn the extra calories. Many times I’ll be starving at night, therefore I’ll go for a light jog, I’ll do 20 minutes on an exercise bike, or a quick bodyweight session.
All you’re doing is matching your diet with sufficient activity. You’re not calorie counting as such, but rather calorie combating. Everything you eat gets matched with appropriate exercise or daily movement.
- You land a new job. This job has you sat at a desk all day long, but your previous job was in construction. Instead of sticking to your same daily calorie count, or same set meals, you need to adapt.
Most people believe that sitting in a chair all day typing, then doing one hour of exercise is enough to counteract any issues. But they’re wrong. In the book GET UP! It’s explained how our office chairs are killing us.
Inactive jobs, where we maintain one set position for most of the day is a problem, but its amplified 10Xs when we eat as normal on-top of this.
There are people out there eating healthy food, exercising 5 times a week, but still gaining weight, or at best getting nowhere.
The reason for this is because they forget that there are 24 hours in a day. You may burn 600 extra calories in the gym, but you’ve eaten 3,500 and done nothing but sit in a chair all day. Chances are you won’t break that limit and start to burn fat.
In this situation you have to adapt your entire lifestyle on the days that you’re at work. Consume less meals Monday to Friday, perhaps cut all portions in half or replace one meal with a glass of milk. This should tip things in your balance.
Then on the weekends go back to your usual diet when you’re far more active and moving around a lot more.
How I Got An 8 Pack Sitting Still
I used this exact technique to get an 8 pack sitting still and working on a laptop all day long. The only exercise I did consisted of 50 press-ups every morning.
I would realize that the day ahead was going to force me to sit still for a very long time. This could even be 18 hours of working at my desk.
Therefore I adapted and set up my diet to compensate for a lack of movement that day. If I did manage to get to the gym, then I bumped things up a level and consumed an extra meal or two, or even three if it called for it.
Stop stressing out, stop having set diets in place and set routines. We live in the modern world, things are crazy, unpredictable and relentless.
“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”
As Bruce Lee said, why fight it? A regimental schedule is great if it works, but for most people their day changes as they live it.
By being like water, you adapt to everything, you combat less or more activity with less or more food, it’s so simple.