The following is a basic introduction to what you need to know to manage what you eat, and make changes to your bodyweight and composition. It is designed for people who have little to zero experience tracking what they eat.
What you will need:
If you clicked on this article, curious as to what 'structured eating' was, great! This is for you. Structured eating is when you actively track and plan what to eat, normally towards a goal of some sort.
To get started, you will need certain bits of information that you'll use to monitor changes. Those changes will let you know if you're on the right track or not.
Firstly, you'll need your own bodyweight. This is the main thing that will let you know if you are heading where you want to go. This can be daunting for some, however; no one needs to know this information bar you. You need to come to terms with the fact that it is merely a number, it doesn't define you as a person. It is simply a numerical value. One we're going to use to determine if we are moving in the desired direction with our eating plans.
Secondly, you're going to need to work out the amount of calories you need to eat.. It's normally based around a few factors like sex, age, height, and basic activity level (9-5 office work isn't as demanding as 9-5 manual labour, for example). Here is one that's straight-forward to use.
We now have everything we need to make a start with the basic planning of food intake!
The plan for now is:
2. Weigh yourself on your scales in the morning as soon as you get up, three times throughout the week. Ideally, spaced out (Mon/Wed/Fri, for example).
That's it. All we're looking to do is build the process of regularly weighing yourself, and logging information about your food. The weigh ins are three times weekly so we have a good spread of data points to look at, any less and it would be a little too inaccurate, any more can get tedious.
What we do with this information will be covered in the next part of this series. For now, just get used to the changes in routine and see what numbers you get! Do you weigh what you thought you did? How many calories do you actually eat? Does that number change day to day or are you fairly consistent? If it does change, why do you suppose that is? Have fun, and let me know how you get on.