I’ve been meaning to do an update on the whole calorie counting thing, and the six week nutritional habits program Evan and I have been doing with Gillian. I can’t believe we’re already on week four and I gotta say, I am noticing some pretty great changes. I have now lost 10lbs since Christmas. YAS QUEEN!
So, I am pretty happy about that. My clothes are fitting a lot better and I feel more confident in them.
It has not been all or nothing and I am not being super restrictive. I do not feel at all deprived. I’m still eating the world about once a week, but other than that I am prepping all my own food (with Evan’s help obviously). I am running about three times a week for about 45 minutes (doing the 10k runner program –more on this later!), walking nearly every day at lunch, following Gillian’s nutritional habits, and I am still tracking everything in MyFitnessPal. And in MyFitnessPal I’m actually looking at my macros (protein, fat and carbs) as well as calories, mainly because of Gillian’s habits plan, which I have never really done before. These little habits are all adding up and I’m starting to see results and it’s exciting and motivating!
The habits are similar to a IIFYM (if it fits your macros) type of plan, so a lot of this may be common knowledge to you. I’m a n00b though so bear with me.
When I last left off, we were on our first habit: try to eat 30-40g of protein each meal. I have been really focusing on that and am successful for most of my meals.
Our next habit was to concentrate on eating a minimum 15g of (healthy) fat at each meal (as well as keeping the protein habit), so eating foods like avocado, cheese, nuts and seeds (or nut and seed butter), olive or coconut oil, higher fat dairy, and higher fat fish and meats. The 15g is the recommended amount for optimal health and to keep you full between meals.
This habit came up in the week of Winnie and I was definitely not perfect with the healthy fats. I fell off the bandwagon a bit eating-wise and I also did not go to the gym at all this week.
It was also my birthday week so there was a lot of extra fat in the form of cake. It wasn’t ideal, but it was what it was.
The fat though is interesting, because before I started looking at this I found that I was either not eating enough fat (like chicken breast and vegetables and rice for example — no fat there), or way too much fat (like if I had a cupcake). Taking out the low fat dairy and switching to higher fat Greek yogurt and cottage cheese has helped me. And now if I have a salad for lunch, for example, I will add olive oil dressing, sunflower seeds, and some goat cheese until I hit at least 15g. If I have leftovers from dinner for lunch that don’t include much fat (for example, lentils and rice), I will add half an avocado.
The third week’s habit was to just be mindful of carbs.
Gillian is really about not labeling certain foods as “bad” which I appreciate, but basically the habit is to just be mindful of how many grams of carbohydrates we are eating. The recommendation is that we consume a moderate amount of carbs and that we get most of them from non-starchy fruits and vegetables, so therefore the flowering parts of plants (lettuce, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, spinach, mushrooms, onions, peppers and tomatoes) and non-processed foods.
The reasoning behind this is non-starchy foods are packed with nutrients but low in calories, so they provide us with the fuel we need and satisfy our appetite because we can consume more while losing weight or maintaining weight (uh, that’s basically a quote from Gillian, I wouldn’t know what I was talking about without her).
I needed some help here because we tend to eat a lot of starchy carbs. This habit is forcing me to eat my protein and fat first, and if I’m not full, then I can carb it up. I’m not super strict on the carb thing and I’m still eating starchy carbs like rice and sweet potato, but I am eating less of them and I’m cutting down on my bread consumption significantly. It’s forcing me to be more mindful for sure.
Because of the new habits I have switched my morning oatmeal (super carby and I was starting to get sick of it anyway) to two hard boiled eggs (with Franks) and then a sliced banana mixed with a handful of nuts and coconut chips (or ribbons as mine are called), or sometimes Greek yogurt. Still keeps me full all morning, it meets my protein and fat needs, and I’m being carb conscious. Wins all around.
It’s a lot to think about honestly, so I’m still getting the hang of it. I still usually eat a Girl Guide cookie after lunch, and as I said I am going out to eat the world about once a week and I will eat pretty much anything on the menu. But I think I am following the 80/20 healthy/non-healthy ratio right now, which has not been a habit for me for a long while.
This week’s habit is shaping our kitchen environment. This one has been a biggie for us because if we happen to have junk food around it is typically easily accessible (like if we have chips they might be out on the counter) and then we’ll see them all the time and want to eat them. And if we had vegetables sitting in an opaque container in the fridge or down in the crisper we might forget they’re there and not eat them, but if they’re handy maybe we will! So I am being conscious of this and I have also cleaned out my snack drawer at work because if snacks are within my reach I will snack all day long. Just because they’re there.
But if I have to go downstairs to the cafe to get a snack, I am less likely to make that trek because chances are my laziness will win.
One other habit that I have imposed upon myself is to make sure I pack a lunch every day that I look forward to eating. If I don’t take a good lunch that I’m excited about, I feel sad all day and like I have nothing to look forward to. And then I might go out and get something trashy instead.
So I try to make sure my lunches are healthy and fit my protein/fat macros, but still something that I really want to eat.
That’s how I look when I’m eating my salad (which I am genuinely excited about because it has the dressing and goat cheese in it).
So I guess that’s all. I’m trying to eat more consciously and I’m running a bit and things seem to be improving in the svelteness department, so, hurrah.