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Nutrition For Beginners: How To Get Started Eating The Right Foods For You

nutrition for beginnersThere is a lot of conflicting information and ideas in the nutrition world and things are constantly changing.

We live in a time where the best practitioners in the world can share their knowledge online and have it tried and tested by a very large number of people.

The science of nutrition is developing, and you will even find some conflicting thoughts here on Laurens Fitness.  In fact, I am currently running through the blog and updating posts.

Through my own experiences and helping people on Laurens Fitness, I have a very strong idea on what a true beginner should be doing when they want to change their body.

The Real Truth Behind Dieting

  • One diet does not fit all.
  • Moderation and consistency work.
  • Extremism doesn’t work. Ever.
  • Flexibility promotes adherence.
  • Tracking your calories and macros (carbs/fats/protein) works.

Nutrition templates like the Paleo Diet can be useful and very effective for certain people, but for many cutting out foods is a disaster in the making.

You eat well 95% of the time, restricting yourself of the foods you love and then binge. Completely undoing your ‘good work’ and sabotaging any fat loss made by drastically going over your calorie and macro needs. I’m not knocking Paleo and the effect it has on your body, but it isn’t for everyone.

You need to find out what works for you.

Having a smart and flexible diet is really important for long term health and fitness and will help you to sustain those habits throughout your life.

Science says that you need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. I’m sure quite a few people will disagree with me, but the research still backs it, so I still believe it. Unfortunately this is promoting moderation and consistency. For most, the extremism of a diet attracts us. It is easy to market and seems easy to implement and get fast results. Cut ALL carbs and drop the weight fast? YEAH! Doesn’t matter that the minute you start eating carbs again you will blow out, or that you won’t have the energy to workout like before.

Moderation and consistency isn’t sexy, but it will get you to your goal and you will stay there.

For the true beginner, it’s important to gather knowledge and understand nutrition and your body. The easiest way to do that is to track the food you are eating. You will begin to understand what is in the food you are eating, how your body responds to it, and ultimately you will change your body in a positive way.

Healthy Eating Habits For The Beginner

Habits are important, and tracking your food is the first step in creating healthy eating habits that will last you a life time. Oh and there is the added benefit of reaching your body and fitness goal. Not everyone wants to be a body builder, but I firmly believe that knowledge is power, and this is the easiest way to accumulate it and reach your goal at the same time.

Counting calories and tracking your food is easier than ever and takes about 5 minutes total a day. These steps will allow you to eat with flexibility, stop binges and will ensure you don’t miss out on any of the foods you love.

1. Cut out any allergies or intolerances you have (You probably don’t have any).
2. Calculate the calories and macronutrient breakdown you need to reach your goal (maintain/ lose fat/ bulk), and track it for 2-4 weeks.
3. Discover a viable long term solution to suit your lifestyle (I will help you).

This has worked for me in the past and continues to work now. I don’t always count calories, and you certainly don’t need to all your life if it’s not for you, but doing it will help you understand what is in your food and teach you to learn to regulate your eating.

Let’s take a quick look through each of those steps.

1. Cut out any allergies or intolerances you have.

If you are lactose intolerant, gluten intolerant or suffer from any of the other intolerances, stop battling through it and cut out these foods. You will instantly feel better and reach your goal a lot faster.

Note: Not as many of us are as intolerant as we think, so don’t guess, get it checked out if you suspect.

2. Calculate the calories and macronutrient breakdown you need to reach your goal (maintain/ lose fat/ bulk) and do it for (at least) a month.

There is one guy I trust with this stuff and read every day, so I will refer you to him instead of repeating it all here. You can check out his blog here.

It is so difficult to estimate calorie intake, and if you are a newbie, you are almost 100% underestimating how much food you are actually taking in. Download My Fitness Pal on your phone or go to the website here.

  • Calculating calories and macros for losing fat:

  • Calculating calories and macros for gaining weight:


If you want to grab his downloadable ebook on the subject, it is only $ 19 and by far the best nutrition book I have ever read. It is the only nutrition book that I will ever recommend. I bought it, love it and follow it.

It outlines exactly what I would have written, and shows you how to do all the above and more. You get three ebooks, the comprehensive guide on how to track and calculate your macros, the FAQ and the trouble shooter book (covering plateaus etc). This is my affiliate link, if you buy it from this link, I get a small commission.


No matter what, I want you to try this for 2-4 weeks. It’s enough time to see small results, learn about food and your body, and see how easy it is to do. Most of you will love the results and simply continue on with this strategy, experimenting with the variables and finding out exactly what works for you.

3. Discover a viable long term solution to suit your lifestyle (I will help you).

For the rest of you, I’m all about individuality, you have to find a sustainable strategy that is easy for you to do.

You will find using an app like my fitness pal is really easy and takes very little time, but some of you won’t want to continue on with it anyway. The good news is, after the one month of tracking, you will understand portion sizes that suit you and how your body responds to certain amounts of food.

You will see how many carbs you can have at a meal to space it out right, how much fat you need to keep full, how many calories you are guzzling in your drinks and what amount of protein helps you preserve muscle the best.

If you struggled counting calories, check out this article on portion control from a company I trust a lot.

Some people thrive on a template like the Paleo diet, and basing your eating loosely around Paleo is a great idea, but don’t cut out the foods you like in moderation.

If you need help or clarity, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or drop me an email at

Counting Calories Gives You Dietary Freedom

how to get dietary freedomI’m not a big fan of cutting foods out of your diet and restricting yourself from eating the foods you like. It often leads to bingeing, which means a whole lot more calories than you need and complete sabotage the healthy eating you are doing the other 90% of the time.

For the beginner, counting calories will make you understand how much of the foods you love you can eat. If it fits in your calories and macros, you can eat it. You aren’t restricting yourself, but you are still within your numbers and therefore sticking to your diet. Your diet should revolve around healthy nutritious foods, but a bit of the ‘bad’ stuff won’t hurt you, and will keep you on track.

There is no need to socially isolate yourself. You can go out with your friends and have a beer and a burger, just track it and fit in into your macros. Moderation isn’t sexy and won’t get you fast results, but it will get you there and you will stay there forever.

This is all you need to get started. There is a lot of nutrition information out there, but you have to find what works for you, and this approach will help you get on the right path.

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