You don’t have to be a total nutrition nerd to know that some numbers are extra important when it comes to your health, weight, and overall wellbeing. I think the scale is overrated, but I do see my clients rock their goals with the help of some hard targets. And in both my experience at Foodtrainers, a private nutrition practice in NYC where I customize food plans for clients, I know that men and metrics work very well together. A little challenge and competition never hurts, right?
In general, I am a fan of completely customizing your diet, but I’m going to let you in on a few secrets that can seriously benefit most men. Here are some numbers I’m challenging you to hit on a daily and weekly basis. The 10 Nutrition Rules for Weight Loss Are:
Getting hydrated is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do for your energy, your mood, and your weight. I suggest at least 10 glasses a day, but if you want your custom quantity, take your weight in pounds and divide by 2. That’s about how many ounces you should be drinking a day. (A 180-pound man needs about 90 ounces.)
Try to keep your cocktailing and booziness to single digits (9 or fewer) for the week, especially if weight loss is a goal. If that sounds totally unrealistic, at least get a firm count on how much you do typically drink in a typical week, and cut back by a couple. If you drink more than 9 drinks per week, you are getting over 1,000 calories from alcohol, not to mention the impact booze can have on your food choices and your exercise intensity.
Sleep impacts your appetite. Your hunger hormones surge after a sleep-deprived night, according to Penn State research. If you feel like you’re doing everything right, and scale is not budging, or you get cravings in the late afternoon, I can almost guarantee that focusing on your sleep habits for a week will have an impact. At least 7 hours a night is ideal, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
While macro needs are different for everyone, in general, eating a higher protein breakfast (eggs, greek yogurt) and lunch (fish, chicken, turkey, steak) is the best way to maintain energy and avoid crashing late afternoon. Of course I am a fan of having a solid protein serving at dinner, too.
You can’t out-train a crappy diet, but exercise is extremely important for both your body and your brain. The specifics depend on where you’re starting from, but aim to get moving 5 times a week. I suggest at least 2 to 3 cardio workouts and 2 to 3 strength training workouts per week, depending on your goals. (For a fat-burning and muscle-building workout program you can do right at home, try MetaShred Extreme from Men’s Health.)
Omega-3s may be good for your body fat percentage, according to Gettysburg College research. So you want to get in omega 3’s in as much as possible; I suggest at least 4 servings a week.
When you eat is almost as important as what you eat. So do your metabolism and your willpower a favor and aim for 3 to 4 hours between meals and snacks to prevent a blood sugar crash and scavenging through the snack drawers.
So often I see people fail in making real diet changes because they focus on what they’re NOT eating. Instead, I want you to focus on eating more of certain things, specifically vegetables. That’s at least 2 cups, 2 times a day of vegetables raw, steamed, sautéed, roasted, grilled, or in soup or salad.
Fat is where it’s at for weight loss, fullness, and for your skin, hair and nails (hey, I can attest that girls do look at these things). So, no fat-free or skim products. Aim for 1 good fat like nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, etc., per meal.
Enough said! One trick I use when I find myself wanting to add sweetener to coffee, Greek yogurt, or smoothies: Add a pinch of cinnamon instead.
This article originally appeared in Men’s Health at https://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/nutrition-rules-will-help-lose-weight?utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=Social&utm_term=1196905566&utm_campaign=Men%27s%20Health