My lifestyle clients, brides and competitors are all macro counting. Doing flexible dieting is
an amazing experience and for some of us, we have to be super tight with macros. I’m glad I have more
options in my prep but I’m still keeping my food very tight. Lots of veggies. I love this meme though because until I found
a food scale and the ‘gram’ setting, I was all over the place. Just for fun, I wanted to show you the actual tablespoon serving of jelly for your rice cakes.
My normal thought pattern is to use that giant serving spoon in the back of the drawer!
Ok.. moving on.
Prep this week is pretty simple I got some great items at Costco. I got rotisserie chicken and
lots of veggies. I don’t prep a lot of food because I can make a lot of it as I go.
My protein sources are still meat, egg whites, eggs, whey, and some dairy like greek yogurt and cheese.
I don’t do a lot of dairy but I’m not pulling it yet, either.
Here’s how my day started post track workout which I did fasted.
Heated a pan with butter flavor cooking spray and added a bag of spinach.
Added fresh kale from my client’s garden and cooked it down.
Went with some portabello mushrooms.. mmmm.
Here’s how that came out!
This is my fun beaker from Home Goods. It’s all kinds of scientific. So that’s my egg whites.
I let that set up like a frittata and added my portabello mushrooms.
Finished that off with a serving of fat free cheese. Folded it over and let it melt. It
was perfect. I ate the spinach and kale on the side.
Breakfast for me today was
I’m on a lower carb day today so this was great! It filled me up!
Disclaimer: There are many schools of thought carb cycling. There are also many methods to doing it. I am showing my lifestyle clients one way to create flexibility in their day to day!
What is Carb Cycling?
If you are counting macros then you have a certain number of grams of carbohydrates that you are eating each day.
Carb cycling is simply eating more carbs on one day and less on another, instead of the same exact number of carbs each day.
Benefits of Carb Cyling: With my clients who’s main goal is fat loss, carb cycling offers them even more flexibility in their meal plans.
It allows them to plan for social situations where they would benefit from having more carbs to work with. It helps clients feel less restricted, because let’s be real, if you are cutting you are definitely eating less!
One of my goals is to help them not feel so restricted that they binge. Carb cycling can help them be successful by giving them an opportunity to enjoy foods that normally might not fit their macros.
Carb Cycling is often used to break plateaus. The body is super smart so switching things up could help keep fat loss moving.
Carb cycling is amazing in prep and off season so you can really fuel and feel at peace with your food!!
Do I “have to” Carb cycle? No. You can eat your macros as they are written each day. It’s nice to have options though. Example: One of my clients had a dinner planned for Saturday night. She reserved 20g carbs a day for Saturday and had an extra 120g carbs for her dinner.
Can I save all my fat and carbs for Saturday night? No. You may not. You must be fueling your body each day. Fat cycling is not “a thing”. Your body needs the fats on your macro plan so you can be healthy. Fat in your diet can help some of us from feeling hungry.
If you are looking for a binge opportunity, reassess your goals.
Do I have to have a pattern for my carb cycling? Well.. you could. You can test the waters and see if having a few lower carb days followed by a higher carb day works best.
Frankly, I haven’t’ seen true scientific evidence that it has to be certain patters to make fat loss more prevalent. I have had clients come to me on Low carb days of 20 carbs then a high carb day of 400. I can’t even with that. No one wants to live like this. Keep it simple and see how your life unfolds. This is about YOU. You will be happier and able to sustain your program if you figure out the best plan for yourself.
Prep girls.. you know we work hard in off season so we can do carb cycling easily in prep. It’s a game changer!
Other thoughts: High carb days for training benefits is one way I use carb cycling. If I am doing a heavy leg day, dead lifts, squats, that is a great day to eat higher carb. I use my pre-workout carbs to fuel my lift. I can eat more that day because I’m really really hungry!
End game: You need to be in a calorie deficit (eating less overall) to achieve fat loss. If you are training/fueling properly, you have options with your food.
ACK:*clean. There is no such thing. For the sake of this blog, I will use this term as nutritious food. Some processed foods are very solid. I like Flat out wraps. They are processed. So is Whey and greek yogurt. I love Lenny and Larry cookies and they are A rated.. Just so you know.. I’m NOT talking about things that have to come from Mother Earth. Candy bars are discretionary. Potato chips are discretionary. Those things do have nutrition but we certainly don’t NEED them. We know the difference between Tootsie Rolls and Apples. 🙂
Food quality matters to me. If you are unsure of all this.. check out this blog.
Macro counting is for people who have specific physique goals.
WOW. Hear me out. If you want to be leaner, you have a specific goal.
Now, it’s time to acknowledge that you have the magic at your fingertips. YOU
control how well you do. If you want to reach your goals, then you must consistently
count your macros. And that means on the weekends and at social events.
You could have just joined Jenny Craig.. But, you chose macro counting to get lean, so this doesn’t have to happen.
Saying “screw it” and eating whatever you want will continue to wreck your physique.
You will feel bloated-because you are. You certainly won’t be happy when you check in with your coach.
You are reinforcing negative behaviors that probably got you to a point where you are now.
How to be successful.
First and foremost: Set a goal. If you don’t have one, get one and write it down! What are you aiming for ?
How about 1 pants size? Write that down and eat according to that goal.
Flexible dieiting is great because you are not limited to turkey chicken, fish and lettuce!
But it’s not a free for all. You must reach your macros consistently +5/-5 each day.
***. You can eat foods you like so There is no need for binging.
2. It’s YOUR job to plan your events. If you have a party to attend, hold back some carbs.
As long as your carbs equal the total amount you have for the week at the end of 7 days, you are good to go.
3. Having social situations is going to happen all year round. When is the best time to lean? it’s right now, you made the decision to do it!
4. Finish your cut and reverse to maintenance macros so you can eat more food!
Social situations solved (good housekeeping circa 1972) But I don’t know what they are going to have to eat there? Eat before you go. Nibble. Don’t stand near the cheese table. Drink lots of water. These things all still apply because you are trying to get lean.
We are going out to dinner but the macros aren’t online for this restaurant. You can order off the menu. Ask for the food you want and have it prepared as you want. Hold the bun, steamed veggies instead of fries, dressing on the side, no croutons? These things all still apply. You know what is in a burrito, you can use Fatsecret.com for ingredient macros.
Stragetgy: Bank some carbs and fats for the end of the day. Eat lighter in the earlier part of the day so you have macros for your event.
A word about cutting:
Everyone wants to get lean, but some forget that cutting is an uncomfortable situation.
To get lean, you must be in a caloric deficit. That means, you don’t get all the food you want. If you are currently overweight then you have been eating in a surplus of calories and now you have to stop doing that. By nature, this will be uncomfortable.
Beer, craft beers, ball game beer, float trips, all the beer, and Limaritas you would like to enjoy while on your cut are not going to fit in your macros for active fat loss. So you are going to have to say no to them, while you are leaning. If you are in a social situation and need to make alcohol fit, be sure you are tracking it correctly. See this blog post.
Do not simply add it to your tracker or worse, NOT add anything. Be accountable.
This is Your project. Never use excuses to reason why you can’t get lean. Yes you can. This is your decision and
you can problem solve!
If you saw my post yesterday, I had tried to create a tasty super food salad with Kale. It was pretty much a fail.
You can see the hot mess, here…
So I took the exact same ingredients but I made some changes.
The super food salad. I had to go to the fancy store to get the ingredients 140g fancy organic kale
136g carrots 150g shredded broccoli
20g walnuts 150g strawberries
Macros for the whole bowl, which I ate up.. 344 Calories F: 16g C:49g P: 15g Fiber 19g
Wow.. ok., so this was better because I started with the broccoli and carrots in my kitchen ninja blender.
My ninja has the tall blade so it made it like tabouli.
I took the Kale and used the Ninja on it and it came out perfectly. Not juiced! I was worried.
That Kitchen ninja is a dream come true. It’s just $30 at Target! GET ONE.
Ok., I topped it with 150g strawberries and 20g of walnuts. Yes. I added more, but I had room in my macros for it and it made a difference. I used strawberry vinaigrette.
This took less than 5 minutes to prepare!
I think I won this round with the salad, because it was awesome. The Kale flavor was masked and I got strawberry walnut in almost every bite. I think it would be good with blueberries too.
Being in prep is tough. Cutting isn’t fun. I forget how much I like all the eating of ‘grow season’.
Alas… Once I begin prep.. “oh hey…I remember you”. HUNGRY.
I realize, that sometimes I’m going to be hungry. I sure was in my last preps with bro food. That food did not fill me up.
On a lovely side note: One of my dear clients told me that last year at this time (prep) I was super crabby but this year I’m much more chill. Ah… that makes sense, when you have some good food!
Poverty macros : when you have very little macros to work with.
You are going to have to stretch your food out. It can be done.
In my new series Prepping, not Starving, I’m going to share how I am going to stretch my macros as far as I can so you can see, you aren’t left with zero options just because you want to get to the stage.
The above pancake recipe might not classify as a volume food but it’s a pretty substantial meal for me and keeps me full for a few hours.
Because I am following a nutrition based IIFYM plan this prep, I’m going to use fruit. My last two preps had just a tiny bit of blue berries until those went away. Fruit is pretty much banned on bro plans.
This pancake is fantastic because it’s fluffy and delicious.
Secret to success: Don’t be the girl who eyeballs her food. Don’t use measuring spoons or cups. That’s lazy and sloppy. Use your scale every time you do your food. Leave nothing to chance!
For this recipe I used
Pourable egg whites 125g
Banana: 56g (that’s half a banana .. be sure you weigh it!!)
Quick oats: dry 15g
Chia seeds 10g
I used my Ninja Blender to blend then cooked it using cooking spray in my pan.
The banana is new to me this prep and I am excited to have it! A plain pancake with just egg whites and oats is a snooze fest and the texture is pretty dismal and flat.
The good thing is I can control my macros by adding or subtracting more of the ingredients if need be.
I have a very tough morning schedule and burn over 1300 calories from just training clients and lifting. I need a majority of my carbs to be substantial enough to have the energy to work. I made two of these pancakes for my M1 and M2 today.
I have lots of macros to work with still today because I didn’t blow my macros out of the water at 4:30am.
Note: The fats on this are a tad low. I sometimes end up with some extra fats dangling at the end of the day. I could have added a little bit of nut butter, or even 10g walnut for two pancakes. It would only add
My goal is to keep my fats per meal, below 10g if I’m going to be training. Too much fats in my meals around my workouts, slows me down.
Just a little bit of walnuts could really amp that pancake up to IHOP status!
This picture says everything I want to say. In our house, when we are out of macros we say we are on Monkey Macros. This poor little guy is inconsolable!
If you are on a ‘cut’ or ‘active fat loss’ phase of your diet then you understand how precious each one of those
macros are each day. I have had days where I was out of nearly all my macros by 2pm.
Let me explain. I wake up at 4am to go train clients. If you are a coach, or competitor that’s the normal time for your own workouts too. I have to fuel up before I start and post workout. By 7:30 am I’m already on Meal 2 and hungry.
The day progresses and by 4:30, I’m pretty much done for the day. It makes no sense for me to skimp on my necessary pre and post workout macros just for the sake of having more for couch time.
My main goal is muscle development and fuel so most of my food is eaten during the day when I’m either working out or training clients. That leaves me with “monkey macros” come late after noon or evening.
If you are low on macros, those are referred to as Poverty Macros. It’s like stretching your money from paycheck to paycheck. You must tread carefully so you don’t over spend and have nothing left!
One salvation for poverty macros is Volume Foods.
Volume foods are the equivalent of shopping at the dollar store. You get lots of stuff for a little cost.
So basically, volume foods are foods you can eat more of and that will fill you up but take very little of your macros.
Items such as
Sugar Free Jello (you know you do it- it has protein!)
and my new favorite Shiratake noodles.
My girlfriend, Christine surprised me with a spiralizer for my kitchen. It was the As Seen On TV version
and we vowed to try Zucchini pasta. That moment saved my prep and my macros!
Green Zucchini is fantastic.
Zucchini is made mostly of water and but it fills you up really well.
100g of zucchini is
There are so many wonderful recipes on pinterest for spirialized zucchini.
It tastes amazing. My kids actually ask for it.
Miracle noodles are another great volume food. These Shiratake noodles come in
orzo, fettuccini, and angle hair pasta. The mister rocks these with shrimp and Thai seasonings for me.
They are Soy Free, Gluten Free and Vegan. They can be made to taste like whatever you like!
They fill you up. I ordered them from Amazon Prime! Easy peasy.
This is a 10 calorie “Miracle Noodle ” cookie!
If you click on the picture, you can see the recipe!
Macros on Miracle Noodles are
When you become a label sleuth, you will find that you can actually fit more into your day and feel full. I encourage you to check out pinterest and RippedRecipes.com to plan your Poverty Macro meals!