My first “check in” with weight was today with the trainer. I started with her on 11/18 (my birthday) and got the weigh in there. Today, I was 10.4 pounds less!! This is including my birthday meal, Thanksgiving, and Christmas! Additionally, this was while eating 2800 calories per day (going over once by 200 calories in those 6 weeks). Today, the trainer said it was ok to dial it back down to 2400. Thank the lord. It might sound like a blessing to eat 2800 calories in a day, but when you are trying to eat healthy – eating becomes a second job with this many calories. What I did not want to do was eat TOO LITTLE and end up screwing up like I have 800 times before by eating too little calories, hitting the plateau, and not losing any more for weeks or months. Then again, that was around 1600 calories. Anyway, I’m listening to what my trainer tells me with this and will trust in her.
I’m hyper focused on the macros as well as calories overall. I feel 95% of my life had high carbs and fats and lower on the proteins. My trainer recommended 40% carbs, 30% fats, 30% protein. So – here it is. Trick: sitting in bed the night before, I plan out my day. This also keeps me from eating that cookie on the counter – it wasn’t in the plan for today and it’s going to screw up my macros. So I don’t bother with the fucking cookie because it’s more trouble than it’s worth. I might focus on one meal first like dinner, then retrofit my meals for the day. Below you see an example of two different days where I planned this out the night before, then executed that day.
What I also TRY to do is to also balance out my meals. This means that if most meals are kind of balanced, you don’t have that much you might have to shove into a snack. This afternoon, I felt like making up some pasta with meal prep. I usually only eat pasta once or twice a week at most these days, thanks to Alton Brown’s recommendations. I used to be able to eat a giant plate of spaghetti with meat sauce, then perhaps go back for a third of a plate for seconds. I’d also have 3-4 pieces of white bread with this. You know folks, I just didn’t fucking do the work to realize how many calories it was – and truth be told, I didn’t care. It was one of those comfort meals. I don’t really care anything about donuts or desserts – my pain was from pizza, Mcdonald’s, and spaghetti. Anyway, 2-3 hours later after the pasta you might be hungry. In retrospect, I found this is because apparently I was spiking my blood sugar something fierce, then after the insulin hits you, you crash and get tired and hungry. I was eating pasta/pizza probably 5-6 nights a week in my twenties. I can bet my breakdown may have been like 48 percent carbs, 40 percent fats, and 12 percent proteins. This ridiculous imbalance also affected my energy levels, spiked the shit out of my blood sugar – and I’d be hungry relatively often. I also drank zero water for maybe a decade. I might have had 2-4 diet pepsis a day, a big ass cup of coffee that I figured out to be over 300 calories, and maybe some type of juice. I was:
- perpetually dehydrated. Apparently, you can also get hunger pangs from this as your body is trying to get more water. I now drink 5 quarts a day. Rarely “hungry”.
- Low amounts of proteins compared to the rest. Protein satiates you. I now am usually clocking in over 200g of protein a day.
- Lacking in portion control and balance. Now that I understand how many calories are in things, and divide everything out in recipes, it makes it easier for me to meet my daily calories in a healthy way. I don’t have to give up pizza forever. I just need to understand how that pizza fits into my daily macros and work in from there.
- Blissfully ignorant about consumption. You can work out all you want in the gym. It don’t mean shit until you get your nutrition fixed. I’d eat that big plate and a half of spaghetti and later in the evening go run 45 minutes. I exercised all the time, so it was hard to understand why I kept gaining. MyFitnessPal has really helped me track this shit, and I love my fitbit which is helping me track my exercise.
- Shopping a LOT from the inner isles. Lots of pastas and canned sauces, hamburger helper, etc. Mostly, I stay away from processed foods when I can, and try to eat more “real” food. Mostly. Not perfect. But Oreos aren’t something I give two shits about. I switched by going to more of the whole foods type of stores/markets where I can get rolled oats, rice, eggs, raw honey, veggies, etc. I TRY to buy lean cuts of beef, but it’s very expensive here and hard to find. I eat a lot of chicken, pork loin, ham, ground turkey, eggs, turkey, and leaner cuts of steaks…..less on the fattier beef. Not as much starches as I used to eat – but everything is measured out and fits into my macros. So I don’t have an issue with 6oz chicken, half a pound of steamed potatoes, and tons of broccoli as one of my 5 meals or so during the day.
So….I wanted pasta. Take a look at the below:
I realized before when I made pasta with marinara sauce, or perhaps some meat, my carbs were wayyyyy out of line. Imagine eating 3 pieces of bread with it? Uggh. I’m working on it folks. What I did here was buy the lean beef and increase the amount of 93% beef in the recipe to bring up the protein content. This is:
1 pound medium shells
4 cups Rao’s tomato sauce
1.5 pounds (cooked) of lean 93% beef.
Each serving is 439 calories, 46g carbs, 14g fat, 28.1 protein. To measure it out, I put all of this into a big bowl and weighed it, and then divided by 8. It came out to be .75 pounds (or 12 oz) for each serving. I’ll probably eat one of these with a big ass portion of broccoli or another green as a side and if I do eat bread, grab a piece of my whole grain bread. While ground beef is not my first choice anymore (as I’ve fallen in love with ground turkey – below), I had it in the freezer and wanted to use it up. So, portion controlled and now have a bunch of pasta I can freeze and eat here and there – and it’s relatively balanced, so it’s not going to screw up my macros for the day.
- Embrava water bottle. Space age shit. Got it for Christmas. My old one was getting a little funky. This has some sort of ice catch and air hole in it so water comes shooting out of it. Awesome. Love it.
- Diver waterproof MP3 Player. Used it today in the pool. A little tricky at times, but made my swim go by much nicer.
- Fitbit Flex2 – also got this for Christmas, specifically to track my swimming. The readout below is off (as I setup my pool for 50m instead of 25) so it’s not 1,865 yards, but 900 or so.
- Fitbit Surge – I got this a few months ago, specifically because of the GPS and it maps my free runs and knows if I was on the elliptical, running, or biking. Love it. It has shown me some really cool things – look up training in the 5 zones. What I found is when you run, you burn your 200 or so calories, then your heart rate returns to normal relatively soon. Well…with working out then swimming, I’ve exercised all areas of my body, and my heart rate is elevated for many hours afterwards. My heart rate just returned to normal after my workouts. Note that the flex 2 does not monitor heart rates so this time is closer to over 4 hrs due to my 30 min swim and 15 mins in the hot tub not accounted for.
Ground turkey update….
I made this again last night, and wanted to share some better pics. I LOVED this. It really satisfied me when I wanted a burger, but with a lot less calories. This time, I made the 5 patties instead of 4. Had some different effects. First, I needed to sear the bacon better. The meat was thinner so it was only in the oven for 12 mins before it hit temp and I had to pull out. My wife’s bacon was not exactly cooked nicely. I’d recommend doing the bacon strips first, then wrapping them in the burgers, then firing it on the stove for a minute or two at high heat to complete the sear, then fire into the oven. Otherwise, I’ll cook the burger through on the stove, and not sure I want to do that. The picture below also had a 2 oz piece that was leftover that I couldn’t make into a perfect patty, but was good for protein and macros.
Lastly, as I say goodbye to 2800 calories in a day, I wanted to give you an idea of what I ate today. If you are hesitant about diets, this is not a diet. It’s a new way to live your life where you control what goes into your mouth and you can eat just about anything you want. On days I’m working out tough, I don’t want pizza. That’s some real shitty fuel for me. I’ll save the “cheat meals” for Saturday night and maybe once during the week with my co-workers at lunch. By “cheat”, I mean I plan for my shitty foods, then plan all of my macros around it. So yeah, I can have pizza. I can have wings. It’s just once a week for my “cheat meal” rather than 5 DAYS a week.
Breakfast (8:30 for the food, 6:45 for the coffee):
- 1 cup of coffee with 10 tsp of coffee creamer powder (measured in grams on a scale) and 2 packets of stevia
- 1 bowl of kashi – measured on a scale to hit my 1.9 oz and 4 oz of 1% milk
1st lunch at 11:15, about 45 mins before my workout
- 1/2 cup oatmeal with a pinch of salt, 1 cup water with it.
- Mix in 1 TBSP of honey
- Mix in 1/2 cup blueberries
Recovery meal after weight training – about 1PM
- 8 oz water mixed with 32g of whey protein powder. Packed the powder in a snack bag Ziploc and put 8oz water in my shaker prior to going. Went out to the snack area, had my shake, took 5 min rest prior to 35 mins of swimming and 15 mins in hot tub. Total time at the gym, 2.5 hours
2nd lunch or first dinner of the day – 3:00PM
- 2 ground turkey bacon wrapped burgers with 2 Kaiser rolls, tomato, lettuce, chopped onion. I then made 8 meals of pasta prep immediately afterwards so I didn’t eat any.
Dinner (maybe 6:30 tonight?)
- 6 large eggs, 2 TBSP ketchup, 2 Arnold whole wheat bread with spray butter on it. Eggs made with olive oil spray.
- Whey protein shake and 8 oz 1% milk
So, I’m a little light on my calories today at 2,575. My macros lined up, and I’m making the switch to 2,400 tomorrow. So, I’m ok with leaving it at that.
Fun fact: I don’t think I’ve been “HUNGRY” in months. I’ve had some gentle nods to eat, but no earth shattering HUNGRY moments where I would destroy the plate of pasta.
Lastly….puppies. Because I felt like plastering my dog up here 🙂