After over 2 years of Living Lean following the weight loss program I used to lose over half of my body weight, I have had to revise my Living Lean program from this point forward. It seems that I was seriously undereating for the amount of activity I now do and I was also not consuming enough healthy fats. My body finally said enough and would no longer shed fat or gain muscle. As a matter of fact, I gained fat because I was UNDEREATING! I did lots of research and when I discovered what I was doing, I decided it was time to GET IT RIGHT!!! You must FEED your muscles and burn off fat, NOT STARVE IT OFF like I was doing staying 100% Perfect on plan even Living Lean…..
Although I no longer strictly follow the previous program I used, I do use most of the same principles now. Eating clean and often (6 times a day), drinking water (120+ oz. daily), no added salt, sugar, processed foods or bad fats and lots of cardio and strength training. I am mindful of my daily caloric needs, check my bodyfat percentage and not worry about scale weight anymore and also use a variety of workouts of keep my body guessing. I try to maintain my Protein/Carb/Fat ratio to 30/50/20 per day.
The healthy fats I have added include unsalted nuts, nut butters (100% nuts - nothing else), olive oil, flaxseed, and fish oil supplements – all in measured and controlled portions to keep my calories in check. You need healthy fats for long term health.
Since I started my new healthier lifestyle adjustments, I feel much better. I know what I am doing is right for me. Now I just have to be patient while my body adjusts to actually getting everything it needs….
I also cycle my calories. Every 4th day, I eat closer to my maintenance level of calories. These are my high days. The other 3 days I eat at about a 500 calorie deficit of my burn number. This is still a lot of good, healthy food for me!!!
Here is a typical day of my meals: [Slightly different now since my training routine is different and I am working on getting the fat off again..]
Breakfast (Preworkout most days):
2-3 oz. turkey sausage or egg whites
1 cup oatmeal with flaxseed meal - [now about 1/2 cup oatmeal with some kind of healthy fat either peanut butter or flaxseed meal]
1/2 - 1 cup of fruit [depending on the type of muffin I am eating that day and how much cardio I am doing after breakfast]
Post workout meal (I eat this as soon as I finish my bike rides or strength training. If no workout, then no post workout meal for me):
1 egg white
½ cup fruit (like pineapple or grapes) [I have been skipping this lately since my morning workouts are not as intense...may add this back in when I am training hard for my bike ride]
2 egg whites or other lean protein
1 cup veggie soup or fruit
3 oz. lean protein
1/2 -¾ cup starchy carbs
Salad or hot veggies of the week
2-3 oz. lean protein [usually egg whites]
Veggie soup or fruit
1 oz. almonds [some days - not every day lately though]
2-3 oz. lean protein
½ cup starchy carbs
Salad or hot veggies of the week
2 egg whites
Small salad or 1 cup veggies or fruit [depends on what type of workout I do after dinner]
On High calorie days, I have both the salad and hot veggies for lunch and dinner and also have fruit instead of veggies for my evening snack. If I need more calories, I may add a little protein to lunch and/or dinner.
On days I workout after dinner, I also substitute fruit for the veggies at my evening snack.
[Daily Calorie goal is approximately 1800 calories per day...I will adjust this number as necessary to reach my goals, but at no time will this number be less than my BMR - which is about 1600 calories per day - just to be alive!! I want to minimize my LBM losses while shedding the excess fat! And there is NOTHING wrong with keeping track of calories...actually, you should always be aware of how many you are consuming each day...just another tool in the box to help you reach your goals!]
My goal is to get to 20% body fat no matter what the scale number is. I am concentrating on FAT loss, not just weight loss. There is a difference and now I know what needs to be done and am doing it!
For more interesting reading, check out these links:
Burn the fat blog