I promised you after posting my first round BBG results last week that I would also disclose my eating plan and how I’ve tweaked my daily habits to support my new workout routine! I’m excited.
A little back story: last Spring I kept reading about counting your macros and the IIFYM eating plan and I was intrigued. I’ve always been pretty decent about what I am eating, but I tended to make choices that weren’t giving me energy (lower calorie meals and snacks with little protein), or I would just stop tracking all together and ignore portion sizes. The result was not a huge weight gain or anything, but my body was not where I wanted it to be with regards to how hard I was keeping track of my eating via Fitness Pal, and my workouts were not giving me results. Cue counting my macros.
I googled how to get the macros I needed (basically you keep track of your protein, carbs, and fat intake), and came up with the numbers I thought I needed to start. Obviously everyone’s numbers are different, but I just plugged my goals into an online tracker and it told me what to do. I then upgraded my FitnessPal app on my phone so it would keep track of my macros and I could begin. My biggest goal was to up my protein so I could build muscle. MY personal protein goal right now is 129 grams a day (this is highly changeable from person to person, your goal would be different!) This is hard! I tried to go even higher, bun honestly? Protein fills you up so much and I just could not do it.
Below are some tips and a sample meal plan that work for me!
-The first thing you need to do is buy a food scale that does grams and ounces. I bought mine at the grocery store for under $10 and I love it. You will need to weigh almost everything you eat, and there is a learning curve to hitting your macros daily. On the first day I did it I was so off from where I should have been it was CRAZY! Now I have a better idea of what I need to eat and how much so I can hit my goals. Measuring everything can sound daunting, but it seriously takes 2 seconds and it helps you keep track of how much you are eating. I even measure my ounces of wine in a glass before drinking (because mama can pour herself a big ‘ol glass of that;)
-Once you have your macros you need to find the combination of foods you need to hit these goals. I looked around for high protein foods and filled in the rest. I eat a lot of plain Greek yogurt (mixed with chocolate protein powder and Pb2), protein shakes (with almond milk and protein powder), ground turkey, chicken, and fish. In the summer I ate tuna mixed with avocado almost daily for lunch with salad, now I tend to eat ground turkey with marinara sauce and veggies that I typically roast the night before. Carbs tend to add up fast, I indulge in flavored coffee creamer in my morning coffee (measured out to the TB so I don’t overdo it!), a small bit of chocolate chips after dinner, or a glass of wine. Quinoa works as a protein and carb, and if my family is eating pasta I measure out a 1/2 cup to eat with them. It all comes down to measuring, portion sizes, and logging it into My Fitness Pal. I find a lot of recipes off of Skinnytaste.com, and I modify what I eat when I cook for my family (I’ll hold off on the roasted potatoes, and load up on veggies instead.)
-When it comes to indulging and avoiding temptation, I really try to say no to a lot of what is offered. If you think about it, “special occasions” pop up all the time. Dinners out with friends, the cookies in the work lunch room, treats at the movie theater, coffee with friends, etc. If I said yes to all that is offered with the thought that it was a special occasion, I would feel yucky. Here’s the deal: I say no more than I want to. I say no to the treats at work, no to the bread on the table at a restaurant, no to the movie theater popcorn (I grab a handful from my husband, or bring my own), no to excessive appetizers and desserts, no to A LOT. I do indulge sometimes, but mostly I really just save my treats for the REALLY special occasions (like that piece of pie on Thanksgiving!) I order protein heavy meals and eat only half the rice or carbs they add with it, or eat a small bite of an appetizer or dessert. It is personally easier for me to say to to something than to have a tiny bit, so no it is. I DO give myself one meal a week that I can have fun with and not track, but even then I tend to not go TOO crazy. We went to Buffalo Wild Wings last weekend and I ordered a snack size boneless wings basket and my stomach kind of hurt the whole night after. I think once you start eating well and seeing results, the temptations aren’t as rewarding. I don’t think it is okay to stop your life and not go out to eat or out with friends, it is just about making different choices and being accountable. You also find that by tracking your macros, that Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks isn’t worth blowing your carbs and sugar over…cue sobbing face emoji.
-On what I eat during a typical day: I am a very routine person. I am very okay eating the same things over and over, and that helps not only in hitting my macro goals, but all my foods are saved in my phone and I can quick add them. It is pretty simple.
Breakfast: I am not a big breakfast person, I usually have to force myself to eat something. I love two cups of coffee with 2 TB of creamer in each cup, that is a huge happiness factor for me! I am bad and buy the garbage flavored creamers, but after two years of not, I find it is worth it. If I have little treats I feel better. My coffee is my treat;) I do try to have either one cup of Greek yogurt with protein powder and Pb2 mixed in, or a protein shake, with chocolate protein powder, Pb2, and unsweeted almond milk.
Lunch: I will either have ground turkey with 1/2 a cup of marinara sauce, or smoked turkey lunch meat with a slice or two of low fat cheese and Kashi crackers, or whatever protein I have on hand with vegetables.
Snack: I am not a huge snacker, I like more food at meals and fill up with protein, so I am tyically not hungry for snacks. If I have something it is often a cheese stick, or I make an ice coffee and drop a scoop of chocolate protein powder in it.
Dinner: This meal varies, as I cook for my husband and kids. I modify some things, like when I make Turkey Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats I buy taco shells for them, or if I make Turkey Meatball Strogananoff I measure out 1/2 cup of pasta and the 5 meatballs in the suggested serving size, and give them extra. The biggest thing is, I need a protein source and I need to watch my portion sizes. I am rarely hungry when I hit all my macros. Roasted chicken and vegetables is a standard meal around here, as is this Turkey Chili.
Dessert: I DO like something sweet at night, if I have leftover calories or macros! I enjoy a glass of wine, or a small handful of chocolate chips and a chai latte made on my Keurig. I typically don’t indulge more than that, though, and limit my alcohol to just a few days a week (mostly;)
-On to weight and my personal goals! Here’s the thing, when I took the picture above on the left (taken in June) I was not that far off weight wise from the picture on the right. I’m not completely sure what I did weigh, but it was around 5 lbs more. I kept my macros at the same level until I started round one of Kayla Itsines BBG in August, then I actually upped my calories and protein quota and that is when I saw my body change the most. I credit the workouts for how I have leaned out more, but I think increasing my protein and increasing my muscle mass has helped, too. My body is slowly changing week by week and I am now really addicted to seeing what I can accomplish and how I can improve.
*Note! My current goal is not about weight loss. I weigh myself very rarely (about once a month if I think of it), and I may stop that as well. I want to add muscle, be stronger, and feel good inside. And I do! I feel better now, in my skin, than I ever have, and I credit the BBG program and watching my macros. My goal is not a number on the scale, a pants size, or to just look “skinny”. My goal is strength and being the best I can be.
Another thought on this picture collage above! I am really scared to post it, as I actually took them both privately and never intended to share (the one on the left is in a dressing room….I texted my husband to ask him if it was too much for a day at the beach with the kids…he said it was, ha.) The one on the right I took last weekend, we were about to hop into the hot tub and I put this suit on and I took the pic, because I knew I had taken one before and I wanted to see the difference. I was actually pretty surprised my how different the suit fit and looked. I think progress photos are really important, because they help you see what is often hard to notice in ourselves. I never felt bad in that before pic, I felt good! I still think I look good in both, but internally better in the “after” version, and I look forward to adding muscle definition and adding strength.
That’s it! Sorry this was so long, but I know a few of you have been asking for this post and I wanted to include as much as I could;) If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below, or email me. I love talking about fitness and health (it’s a side passion of mine), and if I can help you I will.