On the back of my dog’s gigantic bag of food, it has a chart for how much to feed them based on their weight. I know what the guide says, but I feed Loki, Zeus and Gambit 30% less than what it recommends. Less than the “guidelines”. That guide was built for dogs who get their general daily exercise. Since the boys are for the most part sedentary, feeding them what “a normal dog” should eat will result in two things. 1) Zeus and Gambit will get husky. << See what I did there? 2) Gambit won't eat the extra 30% I give him. Then Loki eats that too and turns into a C-H-O-N-K (he's already almost 70 pounds and he's not even 5 months old yet). So they get two cups instead of three. On the days they play outside all day, I make up the difference with fish skins and beef treats. (get them in bulk at Tractor Supply Feed Store.) So how do you know the amount YOU should eat each day? There's a lot of ways. Nutrition coaching is the best way. But let's do the simplest and fastest way that anyone with a smartphone can do to get you started. There will be 2 parts. Part A: Download and open Myfitnesspal from the app store. Set up a free account and fill in your details Height Weight Activity level Sex - YES PLEASE! (always the answer) Set your goal. Do you want to lose weight? Bulk up and become a beefcake? Stay the same weight, but look and feel better? Go to settings, then nutrient goals and select 40% carbohydrates, 30% fat, and 30% protein. That's it. Check out your calorie goal and carb, fat, and protein goal. Part B: You actually have to log what you eat to see if it matches! This is how I came up with my template in step one. It took some time of tweaking with recipes and to-go options that fit myfitnessneeds. Here is some free coaching for you: Take one week to track EVERYTHING that you put in your mouth (and digest). This is what we call Tracking Week. Catchy name, huh? Track things as you eat and drink them, never after the fact. You'll forget the specifics of what you had. "But I'll remember, I'll be fine." Yeah? What was the 3rd sentence fo this blog post, then? Each day will get a little easier and faster to track. By day three, you'll have the hang of it and see where your food intake has been missing the mark. For most of us, we're missing the mark by A LOT. Some tips -The barcode scanner is your friend. -If you know what you're eating tomorrow, log it the night before. That's one less decision for you to make tomorrow! -Don't obsess over hitting the mark on week one. This week is about learning what's been going in, not winning a trophy. -Complete the entire week, 100%. -If you don't complete the entire week 100%, it's ok. Just go back to the meal you forgot to track and log the closest thing to it you remember. -There's going to be meals and foods you can't find in the app anyway. Just log the closest thing you can think of. Can't find the Whole Foods $50 BBQ sandwich? Just log a generic one it's close enough. You've done it! Well, not yet. But I trust you can. Tomorrow, I'll tell you what to do with the preparation and tracking we just talked about. Don't forget, you can always contact me and I'll help you. It's free to send me an email or carrier pigeon. -C

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