It’s Trainer Tip Tuesday!
Today’s Tip is more like a few tips rolled into an approach to eating.
I got this question from a reader recently:
“I am writing because I was wondering if you could tell me an example of what you eat in a day and timing of eating. I am like all of the examples you write…My body is not budging from being 5-10 lbs more than I want to be. I am trying the less is more (b/c I overeat with too much cardio) with strength and interval training, but I think it’s my food that is the issue. So…wondering what u eat when wanting to lose weight just to get a idea.”
It made me think about the fact that I talk about eating habits alot, and different approaches to eating, but I guess I haven’t said exactly how I eat most days–so I’m sharing the guidelines I use on a daily and weekly basis with you today.
AND I’ll be sharing how I tweak my eating when I want to lean out a bit.
FYI, I pretty much ignore the scale because it doesn’t give me much feedback about my body composition (muscle and fat percentages) and I rely on how my pants fit–especially around the waist as that’s where I see changes happen first, in either direction!
**Spoiler Alert: I don’t count calories. I don’t count macros. And I’m not perfect eater, by any means. BUT the way I approach eating is definitely sustainable, and I’ll share why 🙂
I try to eat a serving of some kind of protein at each meal/most snacks.
What that protein ends up being really depends on the day, what I’m in the mood for, how quickly I need it to digest (I avoid heavy stuff before workouts), and what we have available!
Here are a few ways you can get more protein in your life, too: http://reallifefitbykate.com/wordpress/?p=601
I really, really focus on veggies each day.
I don’t count many things in my daily diet, but I DO track the servings of veggies each day. I try to add them earlier in the day to get more of them, but if I haven’t had many by dinner, I tend to double down on my servings or eat a #BAS (big ass salad).
My drinks are all low- or no-cal.
I put whole milk in my coffee, drink lots of water or ‘cold brew’ flavored teas, and maybe a glass of (dry) wine in the evening (on Fridays might be more than one, lol….)
I tend to save my starchy carbs (bread, pasta, rice, crackers) for around my workouts.
Currently I tend to work out in the evenings, so that means I have more carbs either for snack in the afternoon or at dinner. BUT I’ll also have oatmeal for breakfast sometimes–I just make sure it’s paired with some protein so it digests more slowly.
I plan in weekly indulgences.
Knowing I can have a couple (2-3) treats per week keeps me from obsessing or overdoing it.
It’s funny how food can lose its power over us when we stop idolizing or demonizing it.
Here’s what I mean and how I do it: http://reallifefitbykate.com/wordpress/?p=499
I often eat a square or two of dark chocolate in the afternoon.
I know that two squares hits the spot, but won’t trigger a binge, so it’s a healthy practice for me. Balance and moderation, right?!?
I pay attention to portion sizes and use my dishes to help guide my portions (more on that below).
I listen to my body carefully.
Sometimes it needs more, sometimes less, of food in general or of certain macronutrients. I stay flexible with my needs because every day is a little bit different!
AND here’s what I do when I want to lean out (usually after a vacation or holidays):
**Track my food intake using my favorite hard-copy food journal.
It helps me identify any unhelpful trends that might have crept into my diet, which in turn helps me know which one or two changes (tweaks) I can make to get the most impact.
You can grab a copy for yourself here: RLF Daily Food Journal 2016
**Use smaller dishes–bowls and plates, in particular. There’s a very natural tendency to fill a dish to its limit, and often this limit is actually more than we really need to be satisfied.
I LOVE this little trick/tweak–no diet changes needed and it’s a very low-stress way to make a big impact on our intake.
**Pay extra attention to my starchy/processed carb intake–treats, breads, crackers, pasta, chocolate, potatoes, desserts, and even wine.
This goes back to tracking, too–sometimes we just don’t realize exactly how much we’ve been eating of these things and a little hard data can help us make small but impactful changes.
**Pay LOTS of attention to my stress level and my quality of sleep.
These can be pretty big triggers for wanting to eat more–especially starchy carbs/sweet things. It’s much easier to listen to my body’s true needs and make better food choices when I’m more well-rested.
And when I’m NOT well-rested, I’m at least aware that being less rested triggers certain cravings and I’m less likely to give in mindlessly. This is when my SNAP method comes in handy (you can read about it here: http://reallifefitbykate.com/wordpress/?p=1300)
The way I approach eating is in a very flexible, sustainable and customized manner that is guided by listening to my body’s (ever-changing) needs, eating things that are satisfying in both flavor and nutrition, and not getting too hung up on numbers, macros, or anyone else’s rules.
No one knows our bodies better than we do, and when we spend the time listening to our bodies and finding out what we REALLY need we often come up with the best, most practical and sustainable eating patterns—ones no other diet’s rules can ever achieve.
And that’s powerful, life-changing stuff!
If you’re curious how you can get started creating your own sustainable diet, shoot me an email and we can chat about it in a complementary coaching call (on the phone, Skype, FaceTime or Google hangouts—whatever’s best for you).
You can reach me here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to chatting with you, and don’t be afraid to go against the grain and make your own rules!