Perfect treat for after your workout!
Perfect treat for after your workout!
Perfect treat for after your workout!
The Perfect Post Workout Indulgence
This is one of my FAVORITE post workout meals because it combines oatmeal with yummy protein of your choice and flavor, some fruit, and peanut butter! Provides you with the fuel and recovery you need after a good session at the gym!
Sometimes when you are dieting you may get to a point where you feel like you initially lost weight but now you aren’t and your body is at a bit of a stall. This is a “fat-loss plateau” and there are reasons why this may be happening:
01. You may be eating too much. This may not apply to you, but for some it may.. You may need to be lowering your calories to put yourself in a little bit more of a caloric deficit. Fat loss happens when you place your body in a caloric deficit, whether thats eating less food, burning more energy, working out more, what ever places your body at more of a deficit than it was before. Paying attention to what is going in your body is extremely important. You may think that you are in a deficit and not eating a lot, but there are lots of things that are very calorie dense and therefore its easy to eat more than you think you are. That is why tracking your macronutrients and calories is helpful to keep your body in that caloric deficit and you can see how your body reacts.
02. You may not be eating ENOUGH. You may be eating less calories, doing more cardio and more time at the gym, but more is not always better. Our bodies are very smart, very aware of if we are crash dieting and they begin to think we are starving it or depriving it so it freaks out and retains the fat we want to lose! As long as you are eating enough, you are in a way tricking it, it is very smart, but you are showing your body you aren’t starving it and you aren’t trying to kill it, but you are just trying to take some of the fat stores. drop your calories a tiny bit and keep them there for a little bit, dont go overboard. You want to set yourself up for success and to succeed in a fat loss phase. If you are that person that has been dieting forever and going extreme you aren’t really in a place where you can lessen your calories more. I suggest adding calories slowly back in and watch your body lose the fat again and get those fat burning hormones going
03. You may have not been dieting long enough! Give yourself some time and be patient! Most diets fail within a year. People crash diet, end it, and then gain the wait back because it isn’t sustainable! Once you start eating “normal” again or different from what you were doing, you gain the fat back which makes you feel awful, you hate it, you aren’t seeing progress anymore, and thats not okay! Finding a sustainable diet is so important because it becomes a way of life that you are willing to maintain and stick to.
04. Your genetics or your hormones. Now, this doesn’t mean that some people are genetically fit and have little fat and don’t have to do anything to continue to loose fat. Regardless of your genetics you will have to put in the work, but everyone is different where they lose the fat and how quickly they lose it. For me personally, my legs and butt are the first places for me to gain weight back and retain it. When it comes to hormones, there are tons of different hormones that control fat loss and fat gain and if those hormones are thrown off, then it will affect your fat loss. If you are stressed, your stressed about work, life, you’re doing too much cardio, your fat burning hormones will lower and your cortisol levels will raise which causes a stall in your fat loss and may actually cause you to gain or retain fat. Chill out, be patient, enjoy the journey, and try to keep your stress levels to a minimum.
05. You are truly in a fat loss stall. When you have exhausted all your options, evaluated reasons 1-4 and none of them apply to your or your body, then you are indeed in a place where you body is just not in fat burning mode and has in a sense “given up.” I have gotten to this place before and DONT GIVE UP! When your fat burning hormones have stopped working at the rate and speed they need to in order to burn excess fat, I like to implement something called a “diet break.” its a small, but monitored break from your current cut and diet that actually aids in better fat loss for your body.
Sticking to your macros can be hard. I am by no means an expert at tracking or perfect at it, I have times in my life where I loosely track, don’t track at all, or I’m super diligent and I weigh every single thing that goes into my mouth and I don’t go a single gram over! I just have some experience with it because I have been tracking for almost a year now and have learned quite a bit! These are some tips I have learned and used while tracking to help me stick with it:
Planning is super important, try planning out some meals for the entire week.
Make sure that the food you’ve planned for is actually food you like to eat and enjoy eating! You won’t stick to it if you dread having to eat it or would prefer something else.
If you know you are going to be busy during the week and just don’t have the time to cook every single meal every day, then prep on a day you have some down time! That way you can grab and go and it’ll be within your macro means rather than having to opt for something that may not keep you on track
We are all human, we want cookies and chocolate or a doughnut sometimes, so plan for it! Help it fit in your macros so you don’t have to think about how you “can’t” have it, you can.
Lastly, this is my personal favorite because it helps me SO MUCH! Opt for calorie free (macro free) drinks when you feel hungry during the day but have either already ate your meal or know you can’t fit something else in! I love sparkling water, flavored sparkling water, Powerade ZERO, Sugar free Monsters for a little “pick-me-up” or diet soda! (Some people are against soda, which is okay, I personally enjoy it from time to time).
Hope this helps!
Macro nutrients are simply the carbohydrates, dietary fats, and proteins in the foods we eat. They are large molecules and our bodies need in large amounts, hence, MACRO nutrient. All foods contain these macronutrients or even a combination of the three. All food is also comprised of MICROnutrients which are smaller nutrients that our body needs in smaller amounts. These nutrients are the key to providing our bodies with what it needs to lose body fat, gain muscle, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and feel good when we eat the amount we should.
Many many people all over the world have been showing, especially on social media, that they “count their macros” and these people usually look GREAT, they have the body we want and we see them and think, huh, how can I look like that? We notice that while we have been eating very very little, working out a ton, doing extra cardio, not eating the sugar and sweets, and missing out on the fun we aren’t really losing the weight we want or we aren’t looking the way we want, but then theres these people out there eating 2000 calories a day, eating the cake or the cookies, and looking 10,000 times better than we do! HOW?! Sign me up! I want that! It’s important to realize that although they are eating more and exercising and staying dedicated and seeing results while also having fun, enjoying that cookie or piece of cake, they are putting on social media what they want you to see. These people don’t sit around and eat sweets all day, they maybe have one a week, but when you track and calculate your macros, you are determining YOUR bodies nutrient needs to either lose, maintain, or gain weight. You are in control of what your body does, essentially, but it does take practice, it takes testing and trying out different things, and there is no one set guideline to what your personal body needs are for gaining or losing weight. Each person reacts to macronutrient intakes differently, through your lifestyle and experimenting different intakes and foods over time, you will be able to determine what your body needs in order to accomplish what you want.
There are many online calculators out there that may be able to help you calculate your macronutrients that work best for your body, but the problem is, those may not always be the MOST accurate. There is a better way to figure out the nutrients you need by learning what macronutrients are, what foods are high in what nutrient, how your body reacts to different intakes, and learning why each nutrient is so important for your body! The more you know about your body, the easier it will be to manipulate your food to reach your goals.
Each macronutrient contains a different amount of calories. Protein= 4 kcal/gram, Carbohydrate= 4 kcal/gram, Fat= 9kcal/gram. SO for example, 25g of protein is (25×4=100) 100 calories. get it? So once you know how to calculate the amount of calories in each macronutrient, we need to determine the amount of calories your body requires to maintain its current body composition.
Calories in need to be less tan calories out. If you’re eating too much and are having trouble understanding why you aren’t losing the weight knowing your macros, tracking them, and lowering them a little bit will help you to know EXACTLY what results you are going to get and that you WILL get them, rather than just going day to day and hoping to get results but not really understanding how.
In order to figure our your average caloric intake, you might want to try tracking your calories for 1-3 weeks before trying to determine you macronutrients. I personally love and use MyMacros+ but there is also MyFitnessPal and other applications that are trustworthy and people recommend as well.
Once you have tracked your average caloric intake and have an idea of what you feel your body needs to maintain your current weight on a daily basis, you can determine your macros!
PROTEIN: Research shows that your body needs about .7-1.5g per pound of body weight. How much you decide to consume is determined by how much muscle you have, if you’re in a cut you may want to consume a little more, or what your personal preference is. So, for example, lets say you are wanting to eat 1.0g/pound and you weigh 130 pounds! That is 130g protein/day, which means 130 x 4 = 520 calories from protein/ day
FATS: Our bodies require .35-.45g/ pound of body weight. As you become more familiar with you body and more experienced in reading your body you can figure out the amount of fats your body needs more accurately. There are a variety of different factors that can play into how much fat your body needs like your gender, body composition, how your body reacts to dietary fat, ect. Lets just say you are going to intake .35g/pound so that is .35 x 130 lbs = 45.5g fat/day which is 45.5 x 9 = 409.5 calories from fat/ day that you will consume
CARBS: carbohydrates are usually determined AFTER you have figured out the protein and the fat your body needs because there is no set number or magical number for the amount of carbohydrates your body needs. Lets assume you are basing all of this on a 2000 calorie diet. So you have 2000/day – 520 calories from protein – 409.5 calories from fat = 1070.5 calories from carbohydrates
1070.5 divided by 4 is 267.6g carbs/ day
YOU CAN CUSTOMIZE YOUR MACROS TO FIT YOUR LIFESTYLE
if you prefer carbs higher in carbs than fats, then lower you fat intake and raise your carbs to still hit your calorie goal. If you prefer more fatty foods over carbs then you can lower your carbs in order to fit more fats in, just remember fats are 9 calories/gram and carbs are only 4.
now, there is no perfect way to doing this and by no means will you 100% understand or get it on your first try. It comes with picking something, sticking with it for a few weeks, seeing how your body reacts, and making the changes where necessary!
When I first got into training and lifting, I thrived off it. I loved it. I did everything I could to find new exercises and push myself to the limit so I could see just that little bit of progress. It made me feel good and empowered. Once I got really educated in the sport, I considered competing and training for a purpose. It was so methodical that it was almost as if I started doing the bare minimum to get where I needed to go. I made a ton of progress, I had my goal in mind, I knew the path that I was on would lead me to attaining my goals, but the mindset around my lifting intensity changed. This bare minimum mindset came from just sticking to my program, trusting in my program, knowing that I would hit my goals as long as I just went through the motions and did what I was told to do. Although there is very minimal doubt that you’ll get what you want and work for when being methodical about your training, cardio, and macros, but I no longer loved what I used to love. I no longer wanted to set goals or set a plan to reach a deadline. I got tired of it.
I didn’t want to go to the gym, because I knew I “had” to. That liveliness and enthusiasm to kick by own butt during a workout diminished and I developed an unhealthy mindset. I was afraid to abandon the program, as if it was the only way of me ever seeing progress. I felt that if I strayed at all from it, then I would lose every single bit of my progress and completely hate myself, which is awful! You should NEVER go to the gym and stay healthy because you feel like that is the only way to be happy with yourself, you should go because you already love who you are and you want to take care of your body, reach your goals, find joy in the lift and enjoy life. I didn’t want it to control every aspect of my life because that just wasn’t happy. I wanted fitness to be a PART of my everyday life and still have the brain cells for family, my boyfriend, friends, school, and life in general. It doesn’t need to take over. It doesn’t need to constantly be at the forefront of your mind.
We all go through different phases of life and through all of it we need to stay open minded, whether its open mindedness in the gym, at your job, in school, or during your day. Never feel confined to one small way of doing things. The real change and happiness comes when you step outside of the “normal” and try something new. Now I work out the way I want to, I do what makes me personally feel good, I set a long-term goal for myself and I absolutely love it. If you don’t like what you’re doing, change it. Do something and create a plan that makes you excited, you’re more likely to live it and stick to it that way. You don’t need to try and be anyone but yourself, love yourself, work on yourself, enjoy yourself and BE SO. FREAKING. YOU. You are what makes you special.