Hey everyone <3 This is the second part to my series of my healthy weight loss blogs there will be a part 3 next Monday. Last time I spoke about how to calculate your calories and how to track them and spoke a little bit about what Macros are, this week I wanted to help you understand how to balance your macros out.
**Okay so again I want to put a disclaimer! I am not a Doctor if you’re feeling unwell or are worried about something medical then please go to see your local GP I am simply sharing the tips and tricks I have picked up along the way through research and self observation.**
Before anyone becomes over whelmed with too much information remember In part one I mentioned you can absolutely loose weight just keeping in your calorie deficit however monitoring Macros can truly help you lead a balanced life style as well as making sure that you’re not lacking in all your vital nutrients which will help you on your journey.
At the beginning of my weight loss journey I felt super pumped and motivated and for awhile I found myself doing all the toxic diet habits thinking that I was doing everything right. At first I lost weight however it didn’t take long to get frustrated after I hit a plateau and would constantly feel hungry, tired and irritable. That was when I decided to really do some research and discovered tdee and learned all about Macros. Feeling a new lease of excitement I input all my details into fitness pal and after a couple of days I had realized how wrong I had been eating. After monitoring myself I discovered not only had I been massively under eating and putting my body into starvation mode but I also had been way over eating carbohydrates and not eating anywhere near enough Protein. It was no wonder I was feeling tired and irritable and getting a serious case of the hangries often!
So how did I amend this? For someone that has come through the other side of having an incredibly toxic relationship with food for me to change this, knowledge gave me power. Learning to not be afraid of food and learning how to nourish myself correctly so I felt good on the inside has helped me combat my destructive patterns. So i’m going to teach you a little about the different macros and what they’re good for.
Macros (macro nutrients) as I mentioned in my previous blog are the carbohydrates, protein and Fats that are in your food.
Carbohydrates are found in almost every vegetable product and also commonly known to be things such as rice, pasta, bread. Carbohydrates are used in the body to create glucose a form of sugar which is then turned into energy. There for it’s important to make sure you’re eating the right types of carbohydrates regularly and then allowing yourself to eat delicious sweet treats in moderation.
It’s important to eat slow releasing carbs on a regular basis so that you have lots of energy during the day, If you’re not follow a paleo diet or alternative diet then carbohydrates will be your main source of energy.
If you eat a heavy carb diet or you have a heavy carb meal one day you may notice that for a couple of days or at least the day after your weight will be higher, this isn’t actual weight gain this is just water retention. When you eat heavier carb meals your body holds water weight more, often when you start a Keto diet you’ll notice a big weight loss at the beginning this is because you aren’t eating carbs and you loose a lot of water weight that you were storing from carbs, so don’t fret if one day you eat pizza and the next few days you weigh 2 or 3 pounds heavier.
A good example of carbohydrates that you should eat often are:
Protein Is found in numerous plant sources, and it is needed to help build muscle, repair broken tissue as well as help your skin, blood and brain function. Unlike Carbohydrates and fat your body doesn’t store protein in the same way so it’s really vital that you keep working towards eating your protein goals daily. Of course I mentioned in my last post that having one day where you eat higher carbohydrate content or fattier foods isn’t going to harm you in any way and you should by no means feel guilty over this but keeping the right balance is important.
Some really good plant sources for Protein are:
Healthy fats are also important to eat. I mentioned in my last post that I’ve met lots of people who see the word fats and shy away from eating anything that contains them but eating certain fats are a vital part of being healthy. Fats help you absorb some vital nutrients as well as helping you burn away fat that is already on your body. A good source of healthy fats are
- oils such as olive, coconut and avocado,
- nuts and nut butters,
- chia seeds,
- raw cacao nibs or small amounts of dark chocolate,
- Flax seeds,
- Tahini. (found in hummus)
Okay so now we know about what macro nutrients are and what they’re used for lets talk about how to balance them out. You may of noticed that yours swing one way or another, most likely your carbohydrates are higher, this is because they’re in so many foods. I find the best way to Keep my plate balanced is to make sure that you’re mindfully eating, instead of making your carbohydrates the key element in your dinner make your protein is your key element and do this for every meal. I try to keep my carbs balanced throughout the day but some days If I know i’m going to have a heavy carb dinner I will make sure that I eat higher protein meals and less carbs earlier on in the day. Always trying to maintain a balance between each day. Again do not stress if one day you eat too much of one or the other as long as you are generally eating with balance it’s perfectly okay to have one day higher than the rest, chances are you’ll end up balancing out anyway!
Below i’m going to show you a couple of examples of the kind of days I would do for myself whilst I was trying to loose weight. You’ll see that I have 5 small meals a day, I prefer to eat little and often as I find this suits my body better than having three separate larger meals a day, I will talk about this more in next weeks blog so keep your eyes peeled.
The first example is keeping my meals balanced through out the day and the second are how I’ve balanced my meals knowing i’m having a heavy carb dinner.
Example 1: balanced:
Porridge with almond or peanut butter mixed in, half a scoop of protein powder, raisins and cinnamon mixed with almond milk.
A couple of brown rice cakes one with almond butter and sliced strawberries on the top and the other with dark chocolate spread and sliced strawberries.
Quorn chicken pieces with vegetables such as peppers, mushrooms, courgette, tomatoes cooked in a tomato sauce and herbs served over salad. I’ll usually add seeds or nuts to my salad too and create a dressing from scratch using either avocado oil or cyder vinegar.
Yogurt over the top of mixed berries, a sprinkling of either paleo granola or seeds and a couple of pieces of dark chocolate.
Home made seitan burgers with sweet potato chips, salad or steamed vegetables.
Example 2: heavy carb dinner:
Protein shake with frozen banana, spinach almond milk and almond butter.
handful of almonds and a bowl full of fresh fruit with yogurt.
Scrambled tofu with vegetables over salad.
cucumber, carrot and sweet pepper sticks dipped into a nut or seed butter
Pizza with vegetables on and salad. If there’s the option I almost always will get tofu on my pizza too.
So as you can see from my examples above planning out my meals is key and working out a balance between each of the days. For each of my meals I try and make sure i’m consuming protein in some form in every meal i’m eating. Whether it’s in the nut butter on my crackers or having it as my main focus for my meal. I usually plan my meals around the protein i’m going to have and everything else after as fat and carbohydrates are easy to incorporate that way I’m usually able to hit my calorie intake for the day as well as hitting my protein goal. (I aim to eat between 85-100 grams of protein a day minimum.)
So that’s it for this weeks blog I hope you’ve found it useful, as always if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below.
I originally mentioned that my upload schedule would be Monday’s for a blog and Thursdays for a recipe. This will actually be Tuesdays for a blog and Thursdays for a recipe.
My final part of weight loss tips will be coming next Tuesday. <3