Example Day 3 of Macro Counting

Hopefully you are having a bit of success and not going stir crazy, but for those of you who are- IT DOES GET BETTER. You are making a drastic change that will shock your body and it will take time to adjust. If you start to lose it, have a protein shake or try a new recipe to distract yourself. In the beginning it does feel a little “all-consuming”, but trust me- it does get better. Sooner than you know it macro counting will become second nature. You’ll soon start seeing a plate full of food as carbs, protein, and fat instead of a meal. Remember, you are fueling your body by sticking to your ratios.

Breakfast

1 slice of Ezekiel or Whole Grain Bread

1Tbls Sugarfree Jam

2 Egg Muffins

  • 1 Dozen Eggs ( I usually use 4 whole eggs and 8 egg whites)
  • 2c Chopped Veggies (Peppers, Onions, Mushroom, Spinach)
  • 1c Skim Milk/Soy Milk
  • Optional: Ham, cheese, sausage (Depending on how it fits your macros!)

Egg Muffins

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Scramble egg/egg whites and milk. Pour into muffin tin- fill each space halfway. Then sprinkle in veggies and other toppings. Bake for 20-25 minutes, edges will start to brown.  I tend to make these the day I go grocery shopping and eat them for breakfast or snacks during the week.~65 Calories: 3g Carbs, 6g Protein, 3g Fat each

This is just an example, if you need more protein per meal eat three egg muffins, more carbs? eat two slices of toast, less fat? don’t add meat or cheeses, or use all egg whites. Always stick to your individual ratios!

~215 Calories: 24g Carbs, 16g Protein, 6g Fat

Snack

Green Sludge Protein Shake (See Recipe in Example Day 1)

~180 Calories: 11g Carbs, 28g Protein, 3g Fat

Lunch

6oz Baked Chicken Breast

4oz Baked Sweet Potato

2oz Fresh Sugar Snap Peas

~270 Calories: 30g Carbs, 38g Protein, 2g Fat

Snack

Protein Bar (Clif Builder Bar, Quest Bar, Krave)

~270 Calories: 31g Carbs, 20g Protein, 8g Fat

Dinner

Fish, Rice, & Beans

  • 6oz Tilapia (I season mine with Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime- Calorie/Sodium Free!)
  • 1/2c Long Grain Brown Rice
  • 1/2c Fat Free Refried Beans

~360 Calories: 38g Carbs, 43g Protein, 4g Fat

Snack

1c Greek Yogurt (Dannon Light & Fit 2x Protein is the best protein wise 18g per cup!)

1c Fresh Berries

~215 Calories: 30g Carbs, 20g Protein, 1g Fat

Yogurt

 

Post-workout

1 Protein Shake

1 Apple

~185 Calories: 20g Carbs, 25g Protein, 2g Fat

 

Totals for the day:~1695 Calories: 184g Carbs, 190g Protein, 26g Fat

 

This is just a rough outline, adjust the portion sizes to match your macro ratio. This is very high carb and protein, and low-fat, adding things like cheese, avocado, and peanut butter are good fats to add here and there if they fit in your macros. A scoop of peanut butter at the end of a long day can be a mood booster and curb your sweet tooth, but never reward yourself with food. Food is fuel not a reward.

Happy Counting!

Example Day 2 of Macro Counting

Trader Joe’s is by far one of my favorite places to grocery shop. I’ll admit that it is pricey but you pay for the value you get. I use a few of my favorite TJ items in the follow meal plan. Visit one soon, shop around, read the labels and be shocked by the great alternatives they offer.

 

Breakfast

1 Egg

1 Boca Burger

1 Medium Apple

2Tbls. Better’n Peanut Butter (See Peanut Butter Review for more Info!)

~335 Calories: 38g Carbs, 23g Protein, 10g Fat

Snack

1 Small Banana

2oz. Low Fat Jerky (Trader Joe’s  Turkey and Buffalo are my personal favorites)

~210 Calories: 35g Carbs, 23g Protein, 0g Fat

turkey jerky

Lunch

2c Mixed Greens

4oz Salmon

2Tbls. Fat Free Salad Dressing

~275 Calories: 9g Carbs, 25g Protein, 15g Fat

Snack

2 Banana Bread Protein Muffins

  • 1 Large Ripe Banana
  • 3/4c Egg White
  • 1/2c Greek Yogurt (I use Dannon Light & Fit 2x Protein)
  • 3/4c Oats
  • 2scoops Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1tsp Baking Powder
  • 1tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2trp Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender, blend until mixture is smooth. Divide evenly into 12 spot muffin tin (use liners!). Bake for 15-20 until edges start to brown. (60 Calories: 9g Carbs, 7g Protein, 1g Fat)

~120 Calories: 18g Carbs, 14g Protein, 2g Fat

muffin

 

Dinner

Healthy Spaghetti

  • 4 Trader Joe’s Fully Cooked Frozen Meatballs
  • 1/2c Tomato Sauce
  • 1c Steamed Zucchini

~300 Calories: 24g Carbs, 28g Protein, 11g Fat

I use this handy gadget to make my zucchini like noodles!

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BUY HERE!

Snack

1 Protein Shake

1 Cup Fat Free Cottage Cheese

~270 Calories: 17g Carbs, 47g Protein, 7g Fat

Total for the Day: 1510 Calories: 141g Carbs, 160g Protein, 45g Fat

 

Remember, this is just an example. Cater your serving amount to fit your individual macros.

Example Day 1 of Macro Counting

It’s crucial to remember that you need to stick to your ratios. Once you figure them out based on your age/weight/activity level/goals you can better portion out quantities of food to fit your macros. See post on Calculating Your Metabolic Rate.

Breakfast

Scrambled Eggs [1- whole egg & 2/3-egg whites (depending on your ratios)]

2 Tbls Salsa

1 Slice of Ezekiel or Whole Grain Bread

  • 1Tbls Sugar Free Jam (10 calories 2g carbs, 0g protein, 0g fat)

or

  • 1Tbls PB2** (23 calories 2g carbs, 2g protein, 0g fat)

1 Extra Large Cup of Coffee (Black or with Sugar/Calorie Free Flavoring)

 ~250 Calories: 22g Carbs, 20g Protein, 9g Fat

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Snack

Green Protein Sludge

  • 1/3c Raw Spinach
  • 3oz Milk/Soy Milk
  • 1 Scoop Protein
  • 1/3c Frozen Fruit

~180 Calories: 11g Carbs, 3g Fat, 28g Protein

I’ve done quite a bit of experimenting with this and this is by far the best combination…I’ve choked down several failed attempts in order to not waste protein so trust me on this- it’s worth a try. Here’s the trick to it: Start with the spinach and milk and blend them together, then add protein and slightly tap the pulse button so it doesn’t explode and get stuck to the top and sides, finish off by adding fruit and blending till it’s smooth. This is great to drink right out of the blender but my favorite thing to do is triple the batch, separate in to different single serving containers, and freeze. Then when I pack my lunch for the day I grab one and eat it around 10 so it’s still a bit frozen and I can eat it with a spoon like ice cream. It seems crazy and it looks disgusting but I look forward to it every day! Try it, tell me what you think!

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Lunch

1 Packet of Tuna in Water (I add pepper)

1c Cucumber Slices

1c Green Peppers Slices

1 6oz Greek Yogurt

~250 calories: 31g Carbs, 31g Protein, 0g Fat

Simple grab and go lunches make counting your macros easy. I tend to prep all my veggies and portion them into individual servings the day I by them. Grabbing a packet of tuna, a yogurt, and veggies is easy- leaving no room for excuses.

Snack

1c Baby Carrots

2Tbls Humus

2 Hard Boiled Eggs WHITES ONLY!

~150 Calories: 18g Carbs, 10g Protein, 4g Fat

You know what I like about carrots and humus? Carrots can hold the amount of humus I like to eat per bite. Staying within 2 tablespoons of humus takes basically all the self-control I possess. I usually end up eating 4 carrots with humus and 6 plain carrots. Hard boiled eggs are simple, boil a dozen at a time, peel right before you eat, and ditch the yoke to save fats for other things. Besides, hard-boiled yolks are gross unless you’re making them into deviled eggs which definitely does not fit into my macros.

Dinner

Fajitas

  • 4oz. Chicken Breast
  • 1/2c Sliced Peppers
  • 1/4c Sliced Onion
  • 1/4c Avocado
  • 1 Multi-grain Tortilla

~300 Calories: 29g Carbs, 33g Protein, 11g Fat

Snack

1/2c Cottage Cheese

1 Large Apple

2Tbls PB2**

~250 Calories: 32g Carbs, 17g Protein, 5g Fat

Post Workout (Whenever yours is!)

1 Scoop Protein Shake

1 Rice Cake

~190 Calories: 17g Carbs, 26g Protein, 1g Fat

Total: ~1415 Calories: 140g Carbs, 150g Protein, 33g Fat

It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s a good place to start. Make sure you adjust the amounts to fit your ratios. This meal plan is high protein seeing as that is one of hardest macro-nutrients to hit in your ratio. Remember this is just an example. This fits my macros as a 135 pound active female, a male could probably double this to hit his macros. It all depends on your personal ratios and caloric intake! Feel free to post questions of comments, we can work through this together!

**PB2 IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO ME! It tastes just like regular peanut but has a heck of a lot less fat and calories!  Read more about it here: Peanut Butter Review

The Truth About Low Calorie Diets

Low calorie diets seem to be very popular these days. People think that eating little to nothing will directly correlate with their weight and appearance. What people don’t understand is that the results are short lived but the side effects can linger or even do permanent damage. The negative side effects of very low-calorie dieting can be physical or mental, but usually both.  They include metabolic damage, hormone problems, increase in hunger, binge eating patterns, decreased energy levels, loss of lean body mass, and increased chance of weight gain. Although popular, treating your body poorly by consuming a low calorie diet comes with a whole new mess of problems.

  1. Metabolic Damage: When you yo-yo diet so frequently, your body stops using food appropriately. Eating a low calorie diet for a long period of time and then binging will cause your body to store all nutrients because it is in starvation mode. Your body is basically worried that it wont be getting food later, so it stores everything that you eat. Coming back from a very low calorie diet takes slow and steady work, allowing your body to understand and use food correctly again.
  2. Hormone Problems: When you eat at such a low caloric level, you may be missing certain vitamins and nutrients that level out your hormones. Serotonin is one of the main neurotransmitters that control hormone release and it is regulated based on the amount of nutrients in your body at a particular time. Not eating enough can have a major impact on serotonin levels. Serotonin has also been linked to proper thyroid function, which has been known to be impaired during long term restrictive dieting. Without these hormones your body can see even more side effects: skin irritation, hair loss, sleep issues, and emotional irritability.
  3. Increase in Hunger and Binge Eating Patters: When you deprive your body and mind of the things it craves for such a long time, food can become all-consuming. Again, serotonin comes into play as one of the key factors in regulating hunger. Constantly thinking about food and restricting yourself from it can cause you to feel hungry all the time. Once you do let yourself indulge, it’s easy to end up binging on food. These binges can add to the metabolic damage you’ve already done to your body.
  4. Loss of Lean Muscle Mass: Your body needs a minimum amount of calories to sustain the amount of lean mass your body holds. When you eat less than your body requires, muscle mass can be broken down and used for energy. Since your body begins to anticipate not having enough energy, it will also down-regulate the amount of muscle it holds so it requires less calories in the future. The risk is even higher if you consume little to no protein.
  5. Decrease in Energy and Work Ability: The less fuel you put into your body, the less energy you have to do work. Without enough fuel coming in, you will fatigue easier and not be about not be able to work out to the level needed to burn any stored fat. To maximize fat burning you need a minimum amount of calories to work your body to that level. If you’re hardly eating, you can hardly train.
  6. Increase the Chance of Weight Regain: Most people lose weight when they begin a low caloric diet, but eventually the weight loss slows down or stops all together. When you stall you are likely to quit and binge eat. Then the metabolic damage done from eating so poorly causes you to gain back all of the weight that you lost. In many cases you can even end up gaining back more weight than you had lost. The more you cycle through very low and then very high calorie diets, the less efficient and effective your metabolism becomes.

So the next time you think about skipping a meal or doing a ridiculously low calorie diet, think through the side effects of what your doing to your body. The best way to start is to find a coach that can work with your goals and the time frame you plan to accomplish them in!

5 Rules of Proper Nutrition

Rule 1: Eat at least five times a day.

Regulating your metabolism is one of the keys to melting fat, maintaining/regulating blood sugar, and keeping your body energized throughout the day. The easiest way to accomplish this is to follow the same eating patterns daily: Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Snack, and Dinner.

 Rule 2: Plan your meals around caloric need.

Anything consumed in excess, whether it is healthy or not, is converted to fat because your body simply doesn’t use it. Click here to calculate your metabolic rate. Once you know the about of energy your body is using daily, you can plan your meals to either create a deficit to lose weight or and overage to gain weight!

Rule 3: Adjust meals to meet energy demand.

Meals should be planned by energy need for the following 2-3 hours. If you are heading to work to sit till lunch, have something small including protein and fat. If you have an afternoon on your feet, energize your body with some fresh carbohydrates! Before you plan to hit the gym have some carbs and protein so your body have energy and is more likely to burn fat as fuel and still have the protein for recovery.

 Rule 4: Balance meals so don’t store excess nutrients as fat.

A balanced meal will keep your glucose from spiking which causes excess fat to be stored and will provide your body with the essential nutrition throughout the day. Along with the first 3 rules, spread out nutrient/calories throughout the day evenly to allow your body times to process and use properly.

 Rule 5: Supplement to avoid deficiencies.

We can’t always be on top of our nutrition game. In order to avoid any issues and ensure you have the proper level of vitamins and minerals, some supplementation can be beneficial. A basic gender specific vitamin, greens supplements, and protein powder can go a long way to keep you healthy and on track.

 HauteMessMag

 

 

Diets of Exclusion

Nutrition is an extremely trendy topic in today’s society, but in reality nutrition is a science. Fad diets, food crazes, and non-evidence based nutrition theories have left many individuals in the dark when it comes to certain nutrition topics. You will never get consistent results without a basic understanding of how to nourish your body.

Diets of exclusion are becoming more prevalent with trendy nutrition followings. A diet of exclusion is a diet that promotes food or ingredient restriction.

Often times, we spend so much time focusing on what to exclude when we should be focused on what to include. When we arbitrarily label foods or ingredients as “good” or “bad,” we condition our minds to interpret food items accordingly.

Focus on a diet of inclusion before wrecking your quality of life by restricting your food choices to an absurd level. Begin focusing on what you actually need. Focus less on what you don’t necessarily need.

 I like to think of it as 80-20. 80% of the food I consume is high in nutritional value, containing both macro and micro nutrients; foods like chicken, fish, eggs, fruits, veggies, and nuts, focusing on whole food sources. Then 20% of the food I consume is low in nutritional value and high in convenience. Some examples would be granola bars and other packaged snacks, meals ready to go, and sugary sweets.

Remember: diets of inclusion, not exclusion.            

 Perhaps the most important concept to recognize here is that all food items inherently possess nutritional value. Begin filling and fueling your day with whole food sources and fill the cracks with a few sweets and convenience foods. All foods can fit into a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. Shift your focus on inclusive habits rather than on negative and exclusive habits.

There are no bad foods. There are no good foods. However, there are bad diets. And there are good diets.

Tips & Tricks for Macro Counting

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  • Don’t forget about our micronutrients!! Taking a daily gender specific vitamin is always a great idea!
  • Be careful with dairy! Most is high in fat, try to find low-fat options or soy/almond milk and yogurt products.
  • Eat endless amounts of greens and veggies! They are naturally rich in vitamins and minerals, low-calorie/carb/fat, and rich in fiber.
  • Plan your meals! Go grocery shopping and prepare everything on the same day. Separate meals and snacks into grab-and-go containers, this will help you stick to your macros.
  • Protein shakes are your friend, your new best friend- get used to it!
  • Get an App on your phone! This is godsend to tracking your macros- MyFitnessPal even has a pie chart you can lookout to see your ratios point-blank.
  • Drink lots of water and then drink some more!
  • If you’re going to cheat, designate a day to do it. It’s better to do all at once then cheating a bit every day.
  • Alcohol? No reason not to indulge on in a while, but make a buffer in your macros for all the extra carbs.

Calculating Your Basic Metabolic Rate

Once you know and understand your basic metabolic rate, it’s easy to calculate your nutritional strategy. Simply put your metabolic rate is your output for the day and the nutrients you consume are your input. Understanding this, you can now correlate a plan to cater to your individual goals. There are more specific categories of metabolic rate that you can calculate for such as: Basal Metabolic Rate, Resting Metabolic Rate, Thermic Effect of Feeding, Exercise Activity, and Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis. For now we’ll just discuss the basics but feel free to contact me for more information!

Calculating A Basic Metabolic Rate

I feel the most simple equations to use are the following two formulas:

Harris-Benedict Formula (Revised by Roza and Shizgal in 1984)

METRIC:

Men BMR = 88.362 + (13.397 x weight in kg) + (4.799 x height in cm) – (5.677 x age in years)
Women BMR = 447.593 + (9.247 x weight in kg) + (3.098 x height in cm) – (4.330 x age in years)

IMPERIAL:

Men BMR = 88.362 + (6.251 x weight in lbs) + (12.189 x height in inches) – (5.677 x age in years)
Women BMR = 447.593 + (4.203 x weight in lbs) + (7.869 x height in inches) – (4.330 x age in years)

 

If you have an idea of your body fat percentage then you’re best using the Katch-McArdle Formula.

Katch-McArdle  Formula

Men & Women BMR = 370 + (21.6 x lean mass in kg)
Men & Women BMR = 370 + (9.8 x lean mass in lbs)

Once you have a good idea of your constants you can them add in variables such as exercise, sleep time, eating patterns, and every day activity.

High Protein, Low Carb & Low Fat Foods

Eating an effective amount of protein while staying within your allocated carbohydrates and fat for the day is extremely tricky. My best advice is to plan your meals around a high protein source and add carbs once your protein source is set. The following are the best high protein-low carb/low-fat protein sources:

Beef

  • Hamburger patty 95% lean ground beef, 6oz = 36 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, and 8 grams of fat

Chicken

  • Chicken breast 6oz = 54 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fat

Fish

  • Tilapia 6oz = 42 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fat
  • Salmon 3oz = 19 grams of protein, 0 rams of carbs, 10 grams of fat
  • Cod 6oz = 30 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 6 grams od fat
  • Canned Tuna(in water) 6oz = 44 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fat

Pork

  • Lean Pork chop/loin 6oz= 42 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fat

Eggs/Dairy

  • Egg, whole = 6 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fat
  • Egg, white only = 4 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 0 grams of fat
  • Skim Milk, per oz = 1 gram of protein, 1 gram of carbs, o grams of fat
  • Low Fat Cottage cheese, 1 cup = 28 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fat
  • Greek Yogurt, 1 cup = 20 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbs, 8 grams of fat
  • Soft cheeses (Mozzarella, Brie, Feta )  per oz = 5 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fat
  • Medium cheeses (Cheddar, Swiss) per oz = 7 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 9 grams of fat
  • Hard cheeses (Parmesan) = per oz 10 grams of protein, 1 gram of carbs, 7 grams of fat

Shortcut: An ounce of meat or fish has approximately 7 grams of protein if cooked, and about 6 grams if raw.