What the heck am I going to eat? How much? Are you going to tell me exactly what to put in my mouth?
THIS IS A LIFESTYLE, so you need to learn the ins and outs of it without always having someone spoon-feed you. After all, it’s not rocket science, and I promise you will love me for the information you will be receiving on this lifestyle. I will be providing your preferred grocery list that will include CLEAN food and CLEAN junk. (You’ll understand later on).
OK, now what’s with all this “flexible dieting/ macro counting” that you swear by?
You may get severely confused on this next part, and it’s going to seem a lot more complicated than it actually is. Bear with me! Once you learn it, and live it, I promise it gets easier, and actually fun trying to hit your numbers. These macro numbers will be based on your goals: whether you are looking to build, or cut. You’re numbers will be different from anyone else’s. You are a unique little snowflake! Everyone’s metabolism, overall health, work ethic, and other factors will play vital roles in energy expenditure, which means everyone will have different numbers.
Some people respond better to higher fats, and some to higher carbs, some bodies like low fats while others work well on low carb. We can always adjust the numbers if we don’t like what we are seeing progress wise. This is going to be a science project on your body at first. You have to really figure out your body, which is super beneficial in the long run. Hopefully, by the end of 12 weeks you will be very in tuned with your body along with eating all the foods you LOVE. Anywaysss. Let me try and break this down.
Alright, alright. Well, what the freak are Macronutrients exactly?
Well, macros are comprised of 3 major categories: Proteins, carbs, and fat. Let me give you some info.
Proteins: Essential nutrient your body uses in your diet to build new cells, maintain tissues, and synthesize new proteins that make it possible for you to perform basic bodily functions. The RDA (recommended daily allowance) is 0.8g of protein per pound of body weight daily. If trying to build slight muscle tone (surplus of calories, try to stay around 1.2–1.5g of protein per pound bodyweight. If cutting, stay at 1g per pound bodyweight.
Carbs: Carbs are NOT your enemy! Simple processed carbs are. Complex unprocessed carbs provide the body with glucose, which is converted into energy used to support bodily functions and physical activity. Because there is a connotation with carbs being only donuts, bread, chips, etc.– many people forget that many carbs are unprocessed or minimally processed foods such as: whole grains, veggies, fruits, and beans as well. This is why close to 40–45% of your diet should consist of carbs.
Fats: Not only serves as an energy source, especially effective over a longer distance, but it is responsible for the construction of every cell in our body and the regulation of most of our bodily processes. Fat is also not your enemy, but trans-fat or saturated fats are. Keep your fats clean as possible.
Monounsaturated/Polyunsaturated fats = GOOD Trans/Saturated = BAD
Remember, macronutrients and micronutrients are what all food consists of. Notice I said ALL FOOD consists of these. Even freakin’ Doritos have a macro count. So below, I will be teaching you how to calculate your macronutrient intake. Technically, you could fill these macro numbers with anything and still see some results. However, we need to take baby steps into this, so I have a few rules you will stick by!
Flexible dieting rules:
1: Track Everything
Nothing crosses your lips without being tracked first. NOTHING. Even supplements.
2: Stick to at least 60% of clean foods-
When I say clean foods, I mean essentially unprocessed foods. (Chicken, turkey, beef, veggies, rice, sweet potatoes, fruit, etc.) Basically, if you can kill it and eat it, you can consider it “clean”. If you find it in the produce aisle, or you can grow it in your backyard, then eat it! And try to fill your number as much as you can with them! These are the $MONEY$ foods, packed
Disclaimer: If you want to eat more towards 95% or 100% clean, then by all means. Feel free. This is just guidelines to go by with me in order to really understand that being flexible with your food is OK. Do NOT go under 60% clean though, at least until this program is over. Unless it’s a special occasion.
3: I’m going to allow 30% of foods from “clean junk”-
My definition of clean junk is foods that have been processed, usually found in a box or bag, but are very macro friendly. I will give some examples of my favorites later, but for a quick example take Dannon Light and Fit Greek Yogurt. It’s only 80 calories, and packs 12g of protein, 0 fat, and only 9g of carbs. Processed, but very macro friendly.
4 10% CAN BE FILLED WITH _________________
That’s right. BLANK. Which means, you can fill that small percentage with anything you want!
I’ll give you an example: Jackie has to fill 160g of carbohydrates a day. For her carbs that day, she eats a cup of oatmeal for breakfast (51g), 10 whole wheat crackers with her tuna snack (24g), a cup of strawberries with lunch (11g), some low fat pretzels (24g) before her workout, and a sweet potato with dinner (23g). Tally all these carbs up and she is at 133g of carbs after dinner so she has 27g of carbs to complete! 1 Skinny Cow Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwich contains 29g carbohydrates, so guess what? She can have it. (If, of course it will fit into her fats as well.)
Your “macro budget”
If you want a “cheat” meal from dirty food (pizza, Mexican, etc.) or want to go out to lunch/ dinner with your friends then make it fit your calories/macros. To do this, you just need to plan ahead! Think of your calories/macros as a budget.
For example: you’re not going to go buy a Lamborghini when you don’t have the money for it, so why would you try and eat 4 pieces of pizza when you only have 5g of fat, and 15g of carbs left in your macro budget?! Noooo. Plan ahead, and eat the foods you need in order to reach your macro numbers, even if it means that you have to skip some pizza sometimes if it’s not in the macro budget. Going over your numbers will only hurt you in the long run. Don’t be stupid.
This is the beauty of flexible dieting ladies! No food is necessarily “restricted.” However,
even though it’s not restricted, doesn’t mean you can go crazy. Just about anything is OK in moderation. Also, like I said, it’s very important to get in your protein, fruits and veggies for your micronutrient intake. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals. They include minerals such as: fluoride, selenium, sodium, iodine, copper and zinc. They also include vitamins such as vitamin C, A, D, E and K, as well as the B-complex vitamins. You can’t get this from eating mostly processed foods. You got to get those fruits and veggies in in order to get the proper amount of micros in. They’re vital to all proper functioning of all of your body’s systems. So yeah, you don’t wanna miss out on ‘em. Micronutrients are harder to track, So we’re not gonna, but if you are eating mostly clean and getting in those fruits and veggies, you shouldn’t have a problem.
Let me also say this– if you are nervous about the flexible dieting/macro counting… don’t
be. I know it seems intimidating and crazy to believe that you don’t have to just eat chicken, rice and green beans or tilapia and egg whites for every meal in order to reach your goals.
I can promise you that it works if executed correctly, so just trust me :). I have made myself, clients, and alphas test rats for flexible dieting, and I have seen first-hand that it works, and is incredibly sustainable because it’s not restrictive like most diets. Again, if you want to do this whole program reaching your macro numbers with super clean “bro” foods for every meal, I completely support that as well. Whatever makes you feel the BEST, and whatever you know you can eat for the long term!
Where do you count these macros?
First off, you need to buy a food scale RIGHT now. Actually, like, last month. Order it today, or go pick one up! I have one from Walmart. Search “EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale” and you’ll see the one I currently have. I think they are about $20, but definitely worth it. It’s going to be your best friend for the next 12 weeks while prepping meals, and long thereafter since you are definitely going to continue with this lifestyle!
I’m sure most of you know the answer to this question or know what I’m about to say about where to track, and that is: FatSecret. That’s right. Download the app right now on your phone (or track on your computer). It will literally be your best pal. All pun intended. You will log everything that passes through your lips! This will ensure that you are keeping up with everything, and will help you hit your macro numbers by showing what’s left in your macro budget! 🙂 I sometimes, will plan out my whole day’s eating in advance on it. This keeps me accountable, and lets me know what I can and can’t have that day. I definitely encourage planning ahead for the first few weeks. Later on, once you get the hang of it, you can log as you go, and then hit the remaining macros at dinner! It’s all up to you, and what you prefer. Fat Secret has the biggest database of foods. Literally, just about every food from every grocery store, restaurant, even fast food is on there. All you have to search for it and it will pop up with the macros. I know, I know, awesome. If, by chance, it cannot find what you are looking for, you can manually add the macros. If you’re at a restaurant, and for some reason Fat Secret doesn’t have the item or meal, you can either look up on the restaurant’s website for the calories or you can estimate by seeing what’s in the meal and adding it individually. Yes, I know, tedious work. But like I’ve said before, even if everyone makes fun of you for weighing and tracking everything, you can laugh in their face when you have abs and they don’t.
Macro Meal Timing-
I’m sure you have heard it all when it comes to this subject but I’ll give you my input. I would prefer that you eat close to 4-5 times a day or every 3-4 hours. So if you can manage that, I definitely encourage it. Not because it “keeps your metabolism in check” but because after a lot of research, that has been proven to be bull snot. Eating every few hours will help you stay satiated and never get to a point of starving for food and tempting you to binge eat. Also, if you are looking to put on some muscle, it does take multiple doses of protein to stimulate protein synthesis throughout the day. So don’t try to get all your protein in in 2 meals.
However, if we are being realistic, some people’s schedules won’t allow this, and some people just downright forget or don’t want to eat that many times a day. The important thing is that you get your macros in within the 15-18 hours that you’re awake, and don’t go overboard. AKA don’t try to get ALL of your macros in 1 or 2 meals. I will give you some tips on the next page or 2 for counting macros and some tips about meal timing and such, in order to be optimal.
What about fiber?
There’s not a “perfect” number for this, but I like to shoot for 20-25 grams. If you are eating near 60%-70% clean foods, then hitting your fiber intake should not be hard, but definitely keep an eye on it, as it is vital in keeping everything flow nicely if ya know what I’m sayin’.
POST workout nutrition
You’ve probably heard a lot about post-workout nutrition as well. I’ll say this, I’m no scientist but I’ve researched and educated myself more than many on this subject. When you work out, you start a process whereby muscle proteins are broken down. The nerdy term for this is proteolysis. This is very mild during a workout, but increases after you have completed. (If you train in a fasted state, it is even greater.) Does this mean that if you don’t eat 30 minutes after you finish, you’re doomed? No. It’s not THAT extreme, but just to be optimal, it’s effective to get in some nutrition soon after your lift. Especially protein, because when the body synthesizes more protein molecules than it loses, the result is muscle growth. 🙂 The goals of post-workout nutrition is minimizing muscle breakdown, and stimulating protein synthesis. These two effects result in greater total muscle 11 growth. Again, don’t think because of the verbiage that I’m using to explain this that it means if you drink a protein shake after your lift for a week, you will gain 5 lbs. of muscle. No. It takes a lot of time doing this over and over again. It’s a lifestyle remember? As far as carbs go, it is beneficial to get some carbs in soon after your lift. It’s not CRUCIAL, but beneficial. I’ll explain. Ingesting carbohydrates post lift will spike insulin levels, which is supposed to kick muscle growth into overdrive. Insulin is said to have anti-catabolic properties, which means that it will minimize the breakdown of hard earned muscle. So, carbs are worth including in your post workout meal to keep those insulin levels elevated longer. Protein is still more important though. So if protein and carbohydrates swim out into the ocean and start drowning, save the protein. 😉
Kayli’s Flexible Dieting Tips For Success:
Eat the majority of your food from super clean “paleo” foods. This will allow you to have more food, since the caloric density on whole foods is so much different than that of processed foods. With processed foods, you really have to regulate portions because you could eat 1000 calories in one sitting.
Plan your meals ahead. It’s a heck of a lot easier to be successful when you know what you’re going to be eating for the day.
Hit your fiber early.
Try and save fats for later since they are easiest to go overboard on.
Don’t eat anything until accounted for in Fat Secret
Always round UP when tracking macros. Meaning if you need 190 carbs and you get to 187, just
round up. It’s better to overestimate than underestimate when losing fat.
Try and eat a variety of foods in order to get different nutrients. (I understand some of you will do better just eating the same thing every day, but it is beneficial to switch it up every now and then).
Track your supplements.
Don’t feel guilty after having a “clean junk” snack. Trust the process.
It really is that simple. Shoot me an email if you have questions or jump over to http://www.kaylimonotyafitness.weebly.com to apply for a free coaching call and I will explain the process in more detail.