Thursday, August 22, 2013

What Macros Taught Me & Going Forward

If you've been reading for awhile, you know that at the beginning of the summer, I started following a macro diet with the a-maz-ing Mrs. Ashley Leahy as my coach/ meal planner extraordinaire! This plan was always meant to be temporary for me, as I am a runner first and foremost, and long distance running requires a much higher carb intake than a fat cutting diet will allow. One goal most make room for the other! However, Macro dieting made me completely rethink the way I eat day to day, and there were invaluable lessons for me in following the plan. 

First let me say, Macro dieting works- quickly- if you follow the plan and stick to macros, you will get results. Period. Ashley set my macros for fat loss and I started noticing immediate changes in my muscle definition and most predominately in my arms and mid-section. Now I know exactly what is meant by abs are made in the kitchen! 

1. The biggest Macro take away for me was- PORTION CONTROL! Previous to Macros, I never weighed my food. Ever. Now I realize exactly how much portion control I should be putting into weighing my protein. A 4oz serving of chicken is not nearly the size I thought before I put a food scale on my counter. I was defiantly over eating in terms of my protein at every meal. I'm not going to sit here and say I weigh everything I eat now, because I don't. However, I'm much more mindful of protein servings. I still think it's easier to measure out certain foods/ vs weighing foods by the ounce example, fruits and veggies by the cup. I eat a lot of frozen fruit and veggies as I'm the only one at my house who eats fruits and veggies daily, so frozen works for me to prevent spoilage. 

2. Meal Planning- I've learned how to control my carb intake, in all foods, not just the bread and bread by products. Previous to macros, I was eating a lot of fruit in the evenings. I don't do this anymore. Carbs at night are no bueno. However, Macro dieting introduced me to the wonderful world of protein dessert! Had I not done macros, I wouldn't have ventured into the wonderful world of case-in powder protein, aka my guiltiest pleasure! Casein powder is perfect as the last meal before bed, aka dessert time, as it's a slow dissolving protein.You can read all about whey vs casein here. My favorite way to consume casein is in a "pudding" consistency mixed with peanut butter powder right before bed. Mmmmmm delicious!

3. Trigger foods. Following such a strict diet highlighted my trigger foods, and enunciated my want to over eat. Peanut butter, became my worst enemy. I've had to completely eliminated peanut butter from my house. I have no control over myself and peanut butter. Additionally, any food that was not packaged individually, like packs of almonds, wasn't safe around me. I'd scoop up a handful every time I walked by! I need things to be individually packed. I also started craving sweets, ice cream, peanut butter cups (noticing a theme here?), chocolate, etc. Sweets usually aren't a big thing for me, I had gone without for years, this was strange. Surprisingly, any type of bread product still holds no envie for me. Going without bread/wraps. etc isn't an issue for me. (Just because I typed that means it probably will become one- knock on wood)

Going forward, my goal is to follow a macro-hybrid plan of my own! I aim to hit a loose 40/40/20 ratio everyday, keeping my calorie intake low. I don't want to put too much pressure on my self in terms of monitoring how much fruit I eat in the mornings, I really really like fruit. You can also bet your bottom dollar I will carb load wild banshee style the night before my half marathon. 

The summer overall was not good for me. I got summer sick- the worst-, I was dealing with a-hem girl problems, vacation, more girl problems, and lots of new stress at work, in short it was rough. I gained 10lbs over all from my lightest at the beginning of the summer. Now I've got the positive momentum going for myself again, the lbs are coming back down, and I'm feeling good again. I'm not sure how much of the overall 10lbs I've lost, since I'm not weighing in until September 1st, however each day keeps getting better. 

Last spring, I was really feeling like I had conquered my yo-yo ways. I realize now that stress eating will be a habit I'm going to fight for life. It's humbling to admit that, but it's true.  I'd love to tell someone at the beginning of their journey, you'll reach your goal and everything will be easy, no more struggle! It's all size small and single digit pant size heaven once hit your goal weight! You'll no longer crave bad foods, and you'll have complete control over your eating! 

I can't tell anyone that. It's still hard for me. Every day. I still feel tempted to make poor decisions, especially in social situations, however, what's important is that no matter how many times I fall down, I will get back up. I refuse to give up on myself. Just keep swimming :)

OOTD :) A selfie a day keeps the LBS at bay!
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  1. Good post; love to hear what you learned. Let's keep swimming!

  2. I so agree with this! It's so hard to get to goal weight and think everything will be smooth sailing from here on out...too bad it's not! Glad I have motivation from Giseles like you so I can keep on track! I'm already planning only one cheat day during camping so I can stay in shape. Wish I could comment more but apparently my work decided to block the comment form (the nerve of them!) Keep up all your hard work this month girl!

  3. Totally agree! We have been in the process of buying a house, selling ours, and changes at work (for me). This has resulted in me 'eating my feelings' to the max. I started a 10 day cleanse from First Fitness Nutrition yesterday and I am positive it will put me back on the right track. Thanks for being honest and putting it all out there. You keep me motivated!

  4. I love the honesty here. I was just complaining to Pete that I'm up about 10 pounds from my lowest weight this winter and I have no idea why. I'm sure it's a combination of the thyroid thing, summer slipping in behavior, and changing over from calorie counting to PFC, which leaves me unsure even of how to feel about the gain, let alone how best to fix it.

    But then I got on a rant about why it was important for me to lose weight and I realized that every reason I gave could be addressed by a healthy lifestyle. I realized that it wasn't a certain weight I wanted, it was health. And we're already there. We're already living healthy, active lifestyles, you and me. So if we're both up 10 pounds (or less for you--sounds like you've already dropped some of that, Ms. Boss Lady), so what? At least we can say we are treating our bodies right. We've changed our lifestyles and haven't relied on quick fixes and if we focus on that, I just have to believe that the weight loss we crave will come!

  5. I say "just keep swimming" all the time. Realizing we are only human and may always struggle is hard, but an important lesson.

    Finding your triggers and trying to avoid them is so important. Life just gets in the way some times. As long as we get back up and keep moving forward, we've done it!

  6. Girl I hear ya. My weight is at a stand still and with 40-50 more that I want to lose its been frustrating. Marathon training doesn't make it any easier because you need to consume more calories for those long runs. I'm hoping after sept I'll be able to get back on the lose weight train. Good info about macros. Good luck with everything. You rock sista!!

  7. I am glad to hear macros worked for you! I am considering doing a nutritional coach would your recommend it after your experience? I am trying to do macros myself independently but seem to have a hard time with recipe ideas that keep me not bored.