What do I eat? EVERYTHING is feels like. I find that the harder I workout the more insatious my appetite is. I like the If It Fits Your Macros site - http://iifym.com/. I used this to calculate my needed calorie intake and input that information into MyFitnessPal.com. There is a lot of flexibility this way. I like food and I like delicious tasting food. If I were to restrict myself to baked chicken, veggies and protein shakes I would shrivel up and die from boredom. I am also trying to experiment with new food but so far Kale, Ezekiel bread and Greek yogurt have not found their way into my house. Quinoa is another one that I am not fond of. Something I was surprised by and was an easy switch is almond milk. I don't drink it straight but as a substitute in my shakes and recipes, it is easy on the stomach. A sample of foods I may eat through the day are *drum roll*
(2) Egg, cheese and Canadian bacon on a skinny bagel
Serving of Cottage Cheese
Home popped popcorn with seasoning
(2) Eggs, 4 oz of chicken breast and 1/2 an avocado
Power crunch protein bar
Double chocolate protein shake w/almond milk.
Tilapia with seasoning and white rice
Small serving of yogurt ice cream or pop corn.
My diet is not perfect my any means and I have an extremely hard time incorporating veggies. I am kind of picky. I know I also need more protein but again, I have been at this for 18 months and it still a work in progress. You will not get it right the first time or even the 5th. It is trial and error and finding what your body responds to...sugar, salt, carbs.
One of the most important things to note is the calorie defict we create. If you are working out hard and often, you have to EAT to feed your muscles. You can cause your body to go into starvation mode if you are not eating enough carbs/protein/fat. This will cause you to not only NOT lose weight but also lose muscle. 1200 calories and working out vigorously 5 times a week or lifting heavy is not healthy. Use online resources to figure out your caloric goals based on your weight and your activity level. Track the calories you are burning and make sure you are meeting your macros each day to keep a healthy and balanced body.
I try and cook my lunches or at least the main protein on Sundays. I may cook up just chicken, soup, or even some rice and beans. My goal is to make it as easy as possible to throw together and it keeps me honest through the week. If someone invites me to lunch, I look at my lunchbox and feel guilty. I do not want to waste food and I do not want to waste $.
I also take a daily women's multi-vitiman, biotin, and CLA. I mix up a drink with creatin and BCAAs (Xtend Scavia) before each workout too. I find that it helps with muscle rehydration and I am not as sore as I would be the next day.
What tricks do you use? Do you have a transformation story to share? Is there something you want advice on? Ask away!