If you’re planning to start a diet this January, start by measuring and writing everything down, you don’t need to do this forever, but I would strongly recommend that you do this in the beginning at least.
A proper nutrition program is about quality and quantity, you should be aiming to eat the right amount of food to meet your goals, improve your health markers and build a great body. Simply eating ‘healthy’ isn’t enough.
If during your diet phase you drastically under-eat then you risk losing not only fat, but also muscle and strength, if you decide to drastically over-eat you’ll end up gaining more body fat than lean muscle tissue.
If your goal for 2019 is to build muscle, it is imperative that you eat enough to facilitate muscle growth, but not so much that you become fat.
If your goal is to drop body fat and get ripped in 2019 you’ll need to create a big enough calorie deficit that will allow you to use your stored body fat for energy, but not so much of a deficit great that you end up eating away your muscle tissue.
It’s a delicate balance, which is why the first line of this post advised you to track everything initially.
Whether you’re trying to build muscle or burn fat, the constant variable is that you have to consume a certain amount of calories to get the results you want.
How can you possibly do this if you don’t even know how many calories, or grams of protein/fat/carbs you’re consuming each day?
You might think you know, but the fact is, most people drastically under report their calorie intake, you might think you’re only consuming 2,000 calories per day, when in reality you’re consuming 3,000 calories a day (or you could be doing the opposite and drastically underestimating your intake), either way without tracking your intake you’ll have no idea of how many calories you’re consuming and your success would rely on pure guesswork.
In an ideal world, you would always calculate your food intake to know exactly what you’re consuming, by doing this it makes it a lot easier to make quick adjustments to ensure continued progress.
I can understand that most people won’t want to track all year round, I get it, it gets tedious after a while. However, I’d suggest doing it for at least the first month of 2019. This way, you’ll get a pretty accurate idea of how many calories and nutrients your favourite foods contain.