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Good morning everyone!


I just recently decided that while I am in decent shape and not fat, I want to improve my body. I always thought it was shallow to want to have a "great body" and now here I am! I do want the flat belly and nice arms and do not feel guilty about it! I also of course want to feel healthy and strong. 


I started counting my calories about a year ago, took a break,  and came back to it in the past few months. I lost a few pounds by eating mostly  low-calorie (but not nutrient-dense) trader joe's frozen meals, and while I was able to keep my calorie count down, I hit a plateau in my weight-loss and I think it was because I wasn't actually eating WELL. In the past two weeks I've cleaned up my diet and have prepped and cooked most of my meals at home, including a lot more veggies, fruits, and REAL food. I'm also doing thoughtful workouts (including difficult, short HIIT workouts and bodyweight workouts) rather than just my usual "running on the eliptical for 25 minutes and lifting a couple weights afterwards" routine that I've literally been doing for years. My goal has been to do something everyday even if it is only a 7 minute workout or 10 minute yoga. I live in a city and walk quite a bit as part of my daily routine. 


Now that I'm being mindful of my fat and sugar intake (not that it was terrible before), I feel hungry a lot more, but suspect this is somewhat of a "withdrawal" from the bad stuff. I just fill my appetite with healthy snacks like fruits, veggies, and nuts. 


I feel like I have a lot of good knowledge at this point about health, and keep track of everything I eat, but I do feel a tiny bit lost in a couple areas. For one, I want to delve deeper into my calorie tracking. I've never paid attention to macros but just yesterday noticed that my fat intake, even with eating clean, has been higher than the daily goal myfitnesspal sets for me. They are healthy fats, from foods like chia seeds, chicken, chickpeas, avocados, nuts, etc. but could this be a problem down the line for fat loss? I always only paid attention to calorie amounts, but I just noticed that even if I can keep up with my calorie limits, I still go beyond my fat limits. That leads me to my next question. How do you set these limits in the first place? Myfitnesspal has given me a 1,390 calorie limit per day based on how much weight I need to lose, but I feel like I need to be more accountable for this number myself? How do you figure it out? Is setting limits a good idea? 


One last thing I want to ask about is measuring and goals. I'm a little lost and vague when it comes to goals. I'm tempted to be like "I want to be in the low 20's body fat percentage by March 1" or something, but I also want to avoid setting unrealistic goals. Any suggestions? Also how long before I should start seeing results? I know it takes a while and I really do respect the process, but I don't want to feel like I'm just doing stuff and getting nowhere. 


Thanks for your help!!!

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