Asymptotic Nutrition Approach on its own just tells you how many calories you should eat per day, to approach your target weight. This makes it incomplete, but it also makes it extremely flexible – it can be combined pretty much with any and all other nutrition plans.
Now the tricky question is how to choose a good, solid nutrition plan for yourself?
Probably the best option is to visit a registered dietician, do medical checks, determine your target weight, and then ask the dietician to create a personal nutritionl plan for you. If you want to stick to Asymptotic Nutrition Approach, all you need to do is to ask them is to give you a NORMOCALORIC diet for your energy needs at your target weight. You need to underline what you don’t want:
- you don’t want a classical restrictive diet
- you don’t want a normocaloric diet for you current weight
But you want a normocaloric diet for what your energy needs would be at your target weight.
Then your nutritionist will calculate your energy needs at that target weight level (which can be a very tricky thing – online calculators give you very different estimates, but a professional can give you a more accurate assessment), and then they will take care about all the rest, which includes:
- creating a well balanced nutritional regimen, making sure that you eat a varied food, and to include all the food groups (fruits, vegetables, proteins (usually some meats), cereals, nuts, dairy, legumes, etc…)
- making sure that you get adequate amounts of macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
- making sure that you get enough water intake and fiber
- checking for possible nutritional deficiencies and giving you some supplements if needed
- assessing your personal needs – for example if you’re an athlete, you might need more protein
- taking into account food allergies that you might have
- making sure you don’t rely on highly processed industrial foods (sweets, chips, junk food, etc…) and fast food as your primary source of nutrition
- taking into consideration your life circumstances – working hours, whether you have a meal included at work and whether you’re able to choose what you eat, or it is all the same for all workers
This is the right way to go about it.
However this could also be a costly way (paying a nutritionist to create an eating plan for you), and disruptive way (a lot about your current food habits might change), and anything that is disruptive might be problematic and unsustainable. Still there’s no better alternative to that: you need to work together with your nutritionist, to make your eating plan as practical and sustainable as possible. They need to ba aware of this particular risk. So in many cases studying your current eating habits and making corrections to it can be a better option than creating an entirely new eating plan from scratch.
Any alternative to working with nutritionist, however is even more risky, especially if you don’t even do medical checks. I would advise ANYONE considering ANY KIND of changes to their eating habits to talk to their doctor about it first and make some medical checks before starting.
If your doctor says that you’re doing well and that you don’t have any health issues, but you’re overweight or obese, you can for example ask them what they think about you reducing some of your food intake, like eating a little less bread or sweets, or something like that. You can explain it to them in some down-to-Earth, common sense way, and most likely they will give you a green light.
So in that case, if you’re on your own, without a dietician, you make the usual steps:
- determine your target weight
- calculate your energy needs at that target weight, with your level of activity
- using the same calculator, calculate your energy needs at your current weight, with your level of activity – if your weight is currently stable, this is the same as your current energy intake
- calculate the difference beween your current energy needs and your energy needs at your target weight – now you know how many calories you need to cut down from your energy intake
- distribute the cut between lowering the energy intake and increasing acticvity – for example if that difference (between your current food intake and energy needs at target weight) is 300 calories, you don’t necessarily need to start taking 300 calories less each day. You can also eat 150 calories less, and add 150 calories worth of activity.
Now you don’t need to make that many changes to your eating habits – if you’re otherwise healthy, besides having excessive weight, your nutrition was probably relatively fine. Instead of creating a new eating plan for yourself from scratch, you can just find a way to remove 150 from your usual nutrition.
150 calories is not a lot – it’s the amount of energy there is in 27 grams of chocolate. So if you’re a regular chocolate eater, and if you used to eat (it’s just an example) 60 grams of chocolate per day, all you need to do is to reduce it to 33 grams per day, with all the rest of your diet remaining intact.
So doing it all on your own is possible and easy – though you still need your doctor’s approval, but this is usually only true if you’re just making small adjustments to your old eating habits.
If you, however, plan to devise a completely new eating plan for yourself, I strongly recommend doing it with a good dietician / nutritionist. If you’re making big, significant changes to your eating habits (such as becoming a vegetarian), there are many ways you can go wrong if you do it on your own – and I strongly suggest working with a dietician in that case.