I’m down 15lbs from my starting weight and I’ve put on quite a bit of muscle. I’m really happy with my progress! I’ve had a couple of people ask what I’m eating, so I thought it might be helpful to write a post about just that. Please, keep in mind, that this is what is working for me and you should do what is best for your own nutrition, in consultation with your doctor.
We showed this plan to my husband’s oncology team and they were thrilled to have him start it, so now he’s doing it with me, albeit with much more containers to eat in a day. He’s not even hungry and sometimes isn’t sure how he can eat it all. I also ate in a way very similar to this the last time I started running, with some tweaks this time around to make it less work for me.
I’m Eating Clean
That’s just kind of a fancy way of saying I’m not eating junk. I’m eating whole foods, as unprocessed as possible. I eat whole grains, tons of veggies, a boatload of fruit, lean proteins and a smidge of healthy fats and seeds. It’s basically what the food pyramid looks like.
I’m Eating Macros
That sounds very technical, but all it really means is that I eat a certain ratio of different types of foods. I eat 40% carbohydrates, all from high fiber sources, 30% lean protein, and 30% healthy fats. This is a pretty standard configuration for most athletes and bodybuilders, of which I am neither, but I do find it provides me the right mix of fuel.
I’m eating MEAT
This wasn’t strictly necessary. I could have done a clean eating vegan macro plan and I initially did begin with one, but after about 1-2 weeks, I just couldn’t keep eating that much. The sheer amounts of beans and tofu and such I was eating was more than I wanted to continue eating. It IS possible to get that 40-30-30 ratio with all plant proteins, but you have to be really committed to it.
I’m eating Timed Nutrition
This just means that I’m timing my meals around my workouts for maximum efficiency. I eat 6 times a day. 3 meals and then 3 snacks. One of those snacks is a protein shake before I work out, so it’s not too filling. This is again, how athletes often eat, but anyone can eat this way. The theory is that I’m feeding my body doses of nutrients throughout the day so that it has everything it needs without any waste. In practice, I’m never hungry and often thinking, “Do I REALLY need to eat AGAIN?”
I’m practicing Portion Control
This is the BIGGEST area I normally struggle with. I often will eat healthy foods, but completely mistake what a healthy portion should be for me. I have used other systems in the past, like counting calories or tracking my food, but this time around I chose to use a container system where I just measure out different types of foods and combine them to make a meal. I’m using Beachbody’s Ultimate Portion Fix to do this. The upside to this is that I don’t have to do the math to get my macro ratios right and I have meal plans that tell me which containers to combine for which meals.
You can use that system without doing timed nutrition or eating as often as I do…that’s a choice I’m making for my own goals.
I’m Meal Prepping
All this sounds a lot more complicated in theory than it is in practice. In practice, I keep 2-3 different types of protein, high fiber carbohydrates, low carb veggies, and fruits in the fridge. When it’s time to eat, unless it’s dinner, which is where I cook those and serve a fresh combo to the family, I just pick what’s leftover, scoop it into containers, and pour the containers for my meal into a bowl and heat and eat. It’s really no more complicated than eating a regular lunch of leftovers. For the most part, our meals aren’t much different from anyone else’s except I probably cook with less oil. Right now, I’m eating my midday snack, which is Greek yogurt with blueberries, a teaspoon of almond butter, and some of those little snacking peppers on the side. Super easy to grab and eat!
Eating this way, I’m able to lose weight, build muscle, and NOT BE HUNGRY, all without having to count calories or track my food to any extent and that works for me.