So, I’ve made some changes since my first shot at this plan. I fell for the “low cal and work out really hard” thing. For the Record: That never works. I felt like crap for two weeks. My body was retaining more water than ever and it was just a very frustrating time. My husband was finally the voice of reason and said, “Melissa. You KNOW that if you want to build muscle and lean out, you HAVE to eat more calories.” And of course, he was right. I kind of couldn’t believe I fell for the low cal thing……I mean……I was a personal trainer. I KNOW this stuff. Time to get my head in gear.
I sat down with my calculator, and pen and paper and I calculated ALL my numbers. My BMR(Basal Metabolic Rate), my TDEE(Total Daily Energy Expenditure) and THEN I calculated my macros (%of protein, fats and carbs that I need to eat in a day to produce the results i am looking for).
Here is how MINE breaks down (Everyones is different based on age, activity level and weight so don’t try to use these numbers as your own.)
Protein-130-160 grams per day
Fat- 59 grams per day
Carbs- 197 grams per day
This week I have been working on streamlining my meals and entering everything into My Fitness Pal so that I can kind of “see” what this break down looks like in real life and on a real plate. It is A LOT more food than I am used to eating and I am struggling this week to get it all in. I am finding that timing is key for me and I like to spread this out between 5-6 meals a day with my very last meal being a protein shake/ dessert thingy.
I don’t really focus on the calories, just the macros. If I hit those, the calories are very close as well. This kind of nutrition plan is often referred to as IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros). You work out your numbers and then eat. You could kind of think of it as a bank, and you decide how you want to “spend” those macros each day and still not wreck your goals. If you want a donut, eat a donut, BUT you have to fit it into your macros. Does that make sense? Sound complicated? It isn’t, but you DO have to like to track and measure, etc. I actually like knowing that I am on track. I trust the science and go with it. But it isn’t for everyone. I do think that a lot of us calorie counting dieters from the 80’s are drawn to this, because it is somewhat familiar, but without all the restrictions that came with all of those diets back then.
I will talk about meal prepping in another post, but thats how I make this work. Most of my proteins and carbs are already made up for the week.
For work outs, I have already scrapped the a.m/p.m cardio because I just wasn’t getting them in. I will be doing HIIT(High Intensity Interval Training) or SS (Steady State) cardio 3 times a week and working out with weights, lifting heavy, 6 days a week. And heaven help me…….I MAY join a GYM<shudder>. Y’all KNOW how much I love my home gym and this girl isn’t used to waiting for a piece of equipment ! However, to see the sort of muscle gains that I want, I may have to use the commercial gym. We shall see.
So thats it! I am pretty happy with this plan and the only changes that I will make from here would be adjusting the macros slightly after re-checking progress every few weeks. But for now, I’m eating alllllllll the food and if you have been restricting carbs for awhile, the carbs are gooooooood. I feel much, much better with much more energy.
Look at this breakfast! Thats scrambled egg whites with mushrooms and spinach, a whole egg on top, with some AMAZING ,green homemade hot sauce on top (Note to my sister Thomasina- NEED.MORE.) and thats a bowl of oatmeal. Here we go. Eating a lllll the food.