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We always here about cheat days, or sneaking treats, or many other variations. What it all boils down to is, our bodies burn calories for us to live, breathe and move. Whether we want to or not, if we’re breathing, we’re burning calories. You may not count calories, but your body does.
You’ve probably fallen off diets, or just not started diets because you can’t have that 1 favorite food/drink of yours. Well, let me fix that for you – have that favorite food or drink… Every. Freaking. Day. If you want.
Just factor it in to your daily calories. You want a 210 calorie Snickers bar? Go for it! If that will help you keep on your Lean Life the rest of the day/week/life – go for it! If your caloric limit is 1800 for the day, you still have 1590 calories for the rest of your food for the day. Want to enjoy a couple of beers each night? Do it – just take it from your daily calories.
Do take caution in the quantity of your “snack” foods, because they tend to be less filling than your more protein or fiber dense foods. But that doesn’t mean you can have (any). It’s all about #balance
So, you’re ready to kick off your new “diet” tomorrow, but you have no idea where to start. You don’t want to take the time to scan and log everything you eat. You don’t really even want to have to change your lifestyle all (that) much.
If you’re a professional athlete, stop reading. Otherwise, give this a shot – just break your day up with (maximum) calories goals. Start with what I’ve given you here. For breakfast, eat (no more than) 250 calories. For lunch, eat (no more than) 500 calories. For dinner, eat (no more than) 750 calories. And, if you get hungry here and there throughout the day, sprinkle in 3 snacks with (no more than) 100 calories each. Guess what, those 3 – 100 calories snacks, could even be wine/beer with dinner, if you want. Heck, they could go with breakfast… Just let me know how you got a job that let’s you drink beer with your cheerios 🤣
Weigh yourself the morning before you start your new life. Then, try your new “diet” for 1 week and hop back on the scale and check your progress. If the scale dropped, awesome, keep going! If it happened to go up, don’t sweat it. Just adjust your intake in some way. Maybe knock off a snack or two. Then try again for a week and reevaluate. You may find, after a month, you’re on a completely different track than where you started. But, if you’re losing, you’re winning 👍💪👏🔥
So you’re starting your new journey tomorrow? Awesome! Don’t hesitate to give me a shout if you have questions. One thing that can be a challenge is to hit your caloric goals each day.
Don’t worry if you are over or under some days… many days. As a matter of fact, you can even plan your entire week around NOT hitting your (daily) goals.
Plan A above is the most ideal path, if possible. But let’s be real, there are many reasons it might veer off that course. Path B gets you to the same weekly caloric goal, but gives you some weekend flexibility for those days you might “need” a few extra calories. Plan C is good if you have a birthday party or happy hour or whatever during the week where you need a little leeway a couple days. Plan D is an example of needing extra calories for strength training and/or cardio days.
Plan E is what you want to avoid if at all possible. All the calories you saved during the week could be wiped out by a couple of days of loose eating.
Don’t let perfection (A) get in the way of progress. Think of ways you can adjust your new way of eating to fit your life.
There are many, many… many, different diets out there. Some will try to adjust your macro intake in different ways. What they all boil down to though is a caloric deficit.
Want to bulk up for strength training, consume more. Want to slim down, consume less. It’s that simple. (maybe not “easy”, but simple)
Where adjusting some of these macros can help is by getting you to adjust the “types” of calories you consume. Carbs and sugar don’t make us fat. Over consumption of them can. Protein, fats, and fibers don’t make us skinny. They just tend to make us feel fuller longer, so we tend to eat less. As a matter of fact, over consumption of those can still make us gain fat – just like carbs and sugars. It’s all about #balance and making sure you eat a well balanced diet, and not going over the caloric needs of your body.
What are my caloric needs Eric? Well, take your IDEAL body weight and multiply times 13. This will give you a rough place to start for your (maintenance) level. If you want to lose fat, you will need to consume 300 – 500 fewer calories than maintenance per day.
A friend of mine text me these 2 sandwiches the other day. One was what she ordered and the other was her husband’s.
This shows how making a quick choice can make (more than) twice a difference in your calorie intake. The sandwich on the left would possibly take up most of your calories for a day. Whereas, the sandwich on the right is still plenty filling and will leave you with a lot of calories for the day.
Before you head out to lunch today, hop online and take a quick peak at the calories and see if you can make a Lean Choice. ❤️
And, of course, you can always have the burger on the left as long as you remember #balance
Going out to eat can really be a hit to trying to Live Lean. But, there is a really easy way to reduce calories quickly… Split it. Julie and I have it almost down to second nature when going out to eat that we look at the menu and look for something we can split. Many times we don’t finish half of our half… Ok, ok, I almost always finish my half… But she doesn’t 😂
(American 🇺🇸) restaurant portions are entirely too large these days. Half a serving is likely a “splurge” for me as it is. There’s no way I could, or need to, eat the full portion most restaurants serve these days.
I’ve been doing this so long now that I’ve even talked friends into splitting menu items when Julie isn’t with me. No, I’m not pushy about it… But a quick offer usually results in a good response. If not, I’ll order a full menu item and simply portion out half when it hits the table and take the remainder home.
(Some) restaurants are beginning to offer smaller servings of their menu items. But, those are still far and few between. Plus, you don’t save much $$. So, if you can share with someone, there’s the cost saving aspect as well
A few weekends ago I went on a small corn dog kick. They were in the freezer, they were quick and how much “damage” could 2 corn dogs do?
I don’t want to say 460 is “high”, if you only have 2 dogs as your meal, that’s not terrible. But, it was a slightly higher number than I like for 2 little dogs. So, I wondered if there were any lower cal alternatives out there.
Then I remembered back to a sausage patty comparison I did a few weeks ago with Morning Star and decided to see if they have corn dogs… And they do! Well, I picked a box up and have to say, they’re pretty good! Throw a little mustard/ketchup on there and you’d be hard pressed to tell a difference.
So, you’re tracking everything you consume, but you’re still not losing. There are 2 reasons this can happen.
First, and quickest, fix – you’ve lost weight to a point where what used to be a deficit is now your maintenance level. It does kind of suck, but the truth is, as we lose weight our bodies need fewer calories to operate. As a result, we have to go to an even lower deficit. Over the course of losing 100 lbs, my deficit went from 2200 calories a day to about 1600 calories a day. But hey, that means we’re healthier 👍🔥 – and, there’s a way we can bring our caloric needs back up, but in a good way… I’ll post about that in the near future.
Second, and a little harder to sometimes figure out – hidden calories. Yep, you logged what your favorite restaurant says is the calories for your favorite meal. Awesome! But guess what, the old cook quit and the new cook has been sneaking a little extra cheese and dressing on your salad and a little extra butter on your burger bun. Also, that glass of wine you have with dinner… Is a little larger than what you think it is. Those healthy eggs you have for breakfast, don’t forget the oil/butter you cook them in. Hey, you went for a run today, you freaking rock! Your app said you burned 400 calories… That’s perfect because your favorite ice cream is… 400 calories! Except, that means 1) all the exercise you just did is (at very least) pointless now because you ate it all back in 1 snack/meal. And 2) there is a good chance your exercise app is overestimating your burn. Unless you’re training for a marathon, I would never suggest eating back any more than 1/2 what you burned… IF you eat any back at all.
Basically, if you’re at a plateau, you may need to reduce your intake goal, or check for hidden calories throughout your day.