As you are preparing for the Lifestyle Challenge, there will be LOTS of questions and uncertainty. Am i eating the right things? I am eating too much? What about this, and that?! This blurb will hopefully clear a few things up and make you feel more at ease and ready come January 16th (kick-off day).
Where to ask questions
The facebook group will be an excellent place to ask your questions. If you’re unsure about something, someone else likely is as well. Please, don’t ask your coaches something you can research yourself such as nutrition information of foods or high-protein recipes. Remember, they are supporting others in the challenge as well.
How to track macros
You are STRONGLY encouraged to start practicing tracking what you eat, like now. There are tons of websites such as calorieking.com, eatracker.ca, or myfitnesspal.com where you can search common foods, create and save recipes, and track your macros. You can always track using an app on your phone and transfer the information to your spreadsheet.
Hint* MyFitnessPal and Lifesum are great apps that allow you to enter your calories and adjust your macros and make tracking simple and easy.
Your macro numbers
The numbers you were given are an ESTIMATE. So is the exercise factor. There are many things that impact our calorie needs. If you don’t see progress by week two check in with your coach to have your numbers readjusted. If you are within 5% of your target numbers for the day, you’ve hit your numbers! For example, your protein allotment is 100g, and you got 95 or 105g, you’re golden. If you only got 80g, you didn’t hit your macros for that day.
The easiest way to know you are hitting your macros is to follow the simple rule layed out in the challenge; eat a balance of carb/fat/protein and fibrous vegetables at each meal. That’s it, that’s all. If you have snacks, aim for mainly a carb and protein choice.
Healthy eating and fuelling for performance is all about preparing your food ahead of time and being ready for what your day throws at you. We want to avoid the “Oh crap it’s 2pm and I didn’t eat lunch… I didn’t even bring a lunch and I’m starving! Let me run down and get a sandwich with high fat meat, mayo, white bread, and top it off with a cookie”.
In general, these are a no-no. Many energy/protein bars have added sugar and that is not part of the challenge. If you find one with only whole foods all the power to ya! An example of a bar with all natural ingredients is LaraBar. Instead of processed snacks aim for whole foods such as a fruit and nut butter or greek yogurt with berries. Real food = real fuel.
Below are some guidelines to help you organize your meals based on your calorie goal:
If you have following a 1500 calorie diet, aim for 400 calories at a meal and 2 snacks at 150 calories each
If you are following a 2000 calorie diet, aim for 500 calories a meal and 2 snacks of 250 calories each
If you are following a 2500 calorie diet, you can either have 600 calories per meal and 3 snacks of 200 calories, OR 700 calories per meal and 2 snacks at 200 calories
Example of 400 calorie meal with 35g carbs, 13g fat, 35g protein:
½ cup quinoa, 4oz chicken breast (boneless skinless), ¼ avocado, 2 cups steamed broccoli.
Example of 530 calorie meal with 60g carbohydrates, 40g protein, and 15g fat:
4 oz (113) lean beef, 8 brussel sprouts, 1 medium sweet potato (1.5 cups), 1 tbsp oil
Example of 650 calorie meal with 75g CHO, 45g protein, and 20g fat:
5 oz (141g) salmon, 1 cup brown rice, 1 cup green beans, 3/4 cup carrots. Dessert: ½ cup plain greek yogurt & ½ cup berries
Example of 150 calorie snack
1 medium apple & 1 tbsp nut butter
Example of 250 calorie snack
2 eggs, 1 slice 100% stonemill bread (100 calorie slice)