Tag Archives: calories

I’m Mind F&*king You Right NOW

23 Aug

Eating at maintenance calories is, as Diddy would say, a total mind fuck.

After spending so many years meticulously counting calories, making sure I never go over 13oo/1400 calories, the prospect of eating a whopping 1900 calories was extremely exciting at first.  YES!  MOAR FOOD WILL GIVE ME STRENGTH AND ENERGY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!

And then it was daunting and overwhelming.  I found it hard to eat all of my meals and was even leaving food on my plate (GASP!).

Now, it’ just damn confusing.  I’m eating all of my food (although sometimes  it takes me an hour or more to finish a meal) but I’m still hungry.  I feel like I could literally be munching on something for 24 hours straight.  I’m a hungry beast, I’m ravenous, I’d eat your face if you let me.   Some say this is due to an accelerated metabolism but I don’t know if that is just bro-science.  Whatever it is, it’s messing with my head.

Also, there is the fact that the numbers on the scales are all over the place.  Losing, gaining, losing, gaining – I should just throw the damn things out but I’m also fretting the measuring tape as my mind is telling me, “You’re eating so much food, surely you’ve gained centimetres!  All your hard work is coming undone!”.

It’s stupid and lame and I HATE having these thoughts.  I now think that losing weight is the easy part, it’s maintaining or gaining strength that is the hard part.  When you’re losing weight it’s just a matter of following the program and if you follow it right, you will see results.  At the stage I am at now, trying to increase lean muscle mass, it’s hard to envision that there will be results at the end of all this as all I can think about is all the damn food I am eating!

I’m not sure if any of this is making sense to you guys, feel free to call me a lunatic, but all I know if I can’t wait until this recomp phase is over and I can start cutting to reveal the sexy, lean muscle that I hope I am building underneath the bulk!

So, usually I would have taken some updated bikini pics by now but I am still getting used to my new eating and exercise program so I’m going to hold off for a few more weeks.  I did take a couple of pics the other night though to gauge where I am at.

Now I just need to switch of and allow my body to do what it needs to do.  All I have to do is train hard, fuel my body and allow recovery and everything will fall into place… *breathe*

Have you lost weight and are now at maintenance stage?  How did you adjust?

Project Tighten Up: Update 1

29 Apr

Hey Team Tighten Up!

How is your week going so far?

My week has been going very well and I am just a couple of measly 100 grams away from pre-Easter weight. I’ve gone hard with my training the last 3 days and my eating has been 100% clean. I am going to a mexican restaurant tonight though for a friend’s birthday but they have salads with chicken and pork so I’ll be having one of those (served in a crisp tortilla bowl mind you – may need restraints applied to me so that I don’t eat it! Nom Nom Nom).

One thing I have found with the meal plan I posted in my last entry is that it may be a tad low in calories and a tad low in carbs too as I have been quite tired and headachey over the last few days. And as my trainer has said, my workouts have been fucking rubbish. Eep.

So, I’ve been scouring Bodybuilding.com’s Plans & Programs section for advice. This site is a fantastic resource full of FREE personalised plans that are not only for body builders but for people looking to lose weight too. There’s also incredible transformation stories that you can read which, I don’t know about you, get me so amped up and inspired that I want to drop whatever it is I am doing and smash out a workout right then and there. Truth be told, I have been known to save an incredible transformation image on my phone and set it as my screen saver. What an exercise GEEK.

I spent a long time reading Jamie Eason’s plan. I find her so inspiring – at one point she was leading a fairly sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle but a cancer scare prompted her to transform her body, her health and her life. It’s women like this that I think young women should look up to as role models rather than stick thin celebrities and supermodels who maintain their figures by taking illicit substances, chain-smoking and sipping on coffees all day.

The incredibly inspirtational, fit and toned Jamie Eason

Now all of that has been said I am modifying my meal plan based on Jamie’s (and my super-trainer’s) recommendations. Because, as Nat says, if you want the shapes, you’ve got to feed the shapes. And no, not Pizza Shapes.

Now remember! This is MY meal plan. You will need to get your own so that it is tailored to your needs! 😉

The Diet

Calories: 1600 – 1700

Fat: 35g

Protein: 170g

Carbs: 170g

Fibre: 35g

Meal 1

Double Barrel Nutrition Protein Powder, raw oat, rice milk and honey smoothie

Meal 2

Green apple with natural peanut butter

Meal 3

Chicken breast, brown rice, steamed vegetables and olive oil

Meal 4

Chicken breast, spinach, chia seeds and olive oil

Meal 5

Chicken, fish or lean pork, beef or lamb with sweet potato, steamed vegetables and olive oil

So much food. So much better. So very excited.

The official start date for Project Tighten Up is Monday the 2nd of May. I’ll be adding some discussion boards on my Facebook page so we can all discuss our progress, our hurdles and our triumphs!

A few people have said they would love to join in but don’t feel they are at tighten up stage yet. That’s cool – I still think you should formulate your own plan and go hard with us for the 12 weeks and give that fat a good swift kick in the buttocks!

What are your goals over the next 12 weeks?

It’s Official!

8 Apr

I’ve lost exactly 15kg since keeping this spreadsheet and a little more than that since training with Nat at New Outlook Fitness.  The road has been long and exhausting but I couldn’t be happier!  And you may be pleased (who am I kidding, you will be ECSTATIC) to know that I am now 68.5kg! “I throw my hands up in the air sometimes, singin’ a-yo, I’m 68 kilossss!” 🙂

I’ve had some great loses over the last couple of weeks and I put it all down to nutrition.  You see, it’s all well and good to be training hard and to be eating a certain amount of calories but how important is it to make sure those calories come from the right places?  I’m talking about macro-nutrients people.

There is some debate about how important the distribution of calories is to lose weight.  Some say it’s not important, just as long as you are expending more calories than you consume, whilst others argue that it’s very important.  All I know is since I have paid more mind to the distribution of calories I have seen a huge difference.  That might not be the same for other people but it’s all about finding what works for you.  If you are interested, here’s a great tool to use when calculating macro-nutrients.

Now, don’t think I’m one of those crazy ladies that spends all day calculating everything I put in my mouth.  All I do is plan out my meals for the week and then do a quick check in CalorieKing to make sure I’m on the right track.  Then that’s it – I don’t need to look at it again because I know what I have planned is right.  And I do treat myself weekly so I don’t completely lose my mind!  I’m a food lover!  I’d surely die if I didn’t have some kind of treat!  😉

Here’s my measurements graph for the month:

Click Image to Enlarge

I’m getting closer to that size ten goal!  I’ll probably keel over in the change rooms and have a heart attack when I slide on a pair of size ten jeans.  Check the obituaries if you don’t hear from me again!

Speaking of Taio Cruz (at the beginning of this post), I’m going to Supafest tomorrow!  I’m extremely excited – all my favourite artists in one place!  I’m going to marvel and gasp at Ciara’s booty, swoon to the smooth vocals of the Big Snoop Dogg, take my shirt off to T-Pain, break my neck to Busta, shimmy shimmy to Nelly and scream at the top of my lungs to Timbaland!  I don’t think I’ll sleep tonight, I’m so excited!

Okay, on a serious note, who pays attention to their macro-nutrients?  I’d love to hear your breakdown and what works for you.

Just Call Me The Plateau Breaker!

29 Mar

 

Haaaaaaaiiiii yah! Source: weheartit.com

As most of you would know, weight loss has been slow as wet week around here lately.  *queue crickets*  * queue tumbleweeds* *queue awkward coughing*

I mean, I HAVE been losing but it has not been as consistent as what I would like.   Look, I’m not looking for an unhealthy 5kg loss in a week but at this stage 500g – 1kg a week would be desirable rather than the 200g – 300g a week loses I have been experiencing.  1kg a month?  I find you offensive.

In an effort to get the weight loss flowing again I have been playing with my calorie intake.  Firstly, I tried increasing it to about 1600 calories a day but unfortunately that yielded little results.   Don’t get me wrong, this is a great idea for people who have been eating too little calories for some time and has worked for me in the past but, sigh, not this time.

Then, after reading Michelle Bridge’s book How to Lose the Last 5kg, I reluctantly decided I would try the old 1200 calorie meal plan.  I am not a huge fan of low-calorie diets but sometimes it’s necessary to shock the body back into weight loss mode.  I definitely would never go below this many calories.  That’s basically starvation and sends your metabolism into shut down mode and it hangs on to fat for dear life.  Do.  Not.  Want.

I haven’t stuck to Michelle’s exact meal plan but I have adopted the following principles:

  • 1200 – 1300 calories per day
  • No grains after lunch
  • Eating breakfast within 30 minutes of waking
  • 60 – 90 minutes of exercise (a mix of strength and cardio) a day, 6 days a week

For breakfast I have been having my quinoa porridge with banana (but I’m thinking of taking the banana out and having it when I get to work as I am HUN-GRY by the time I get to work after my morning cycle).

Lunches have been soups that I make on a Sunday night.  I make a big pot and then just freeze portions.  This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to worry about lunch every day being within your calorie limit.  Last week’s soup was Chicken, Veg and Barley and this weeks soup is Beef, Veg and Barley (features onion, paprika, celery, cabbage, zucchini, carrot, chilli and chicken stock).  Next weeks soup… who knows?  The anticipation is killing me!

I have two snacks a day and these are things like as small handful of nuts, 30g of cheese, 100g of cottage cheese, handful of steamed chicken, 100g of natural yoghurt or a hard-boiled egg.  I also have a cup of green tea with both of these snacks.  And water!  I have at least 2L a day, but that is nothing new.   I’ve always drank a lot of water… and if anyone needs to find me, I’m usually in the loo.   TMI?

Dinner has been 120g of lean protein (chicken, beef, lamb, pork or fish) and vegetables or salad.  I may also throw in some cheese or sweet potato depending on whether it is within my calorie allowance.

The first couple of days were tough, I ain’t gonna lie.  But I have gotten used to it and now I’m doing fine!  Hungry… but fine!  (But I’m always hungry, let’s face facts here people).

I have even managed to get that 69.9kg that I reported last week down to 69.2kg!  Oh hold me back people puh-lease because I am jumping for joy!

I am resenting not being able to eat more though (grumble) but I know this is only a short-term tactic to get the metabolism fired up again.  In the next week I will start to add more calories each day and get back to a more sustainable 1500 – 1600 calories per day.  I’m just hoping my body will continue to burn as well as it has been in the last week or so.  Time will tell!

I’ve also read a lot about calorie cycling recently and it may be on my “next to try” list should my current plan fail.

Has anyone given calorie cycling a go?  And what are your best tips for breaking a weight loss plateau?

 

 

Creamy Chicken Tenderloin Salad

24 Mar

I love this salad.  If it had lips I’d kiss them and gently thank the salad for being so delicious, filling (oh hai protein!) and kind to my waistline.  It’s perfect for either lunch or dinner and super quick and easy to whip up.   I prefer it for dinner because of its low carb content!

The dressing is inspired by Natalie’s Faux Caesar Salad but slightly tweaked (I omitted the olive oil and added lemon juice).

Ingredients

Two handfuls of mixed lettuce leaves

1 medium tomato (sliced into wedges)

Handful of capsicum strips

3 chicken tenderloins (120g)

15g of shaved parmesan cheese (no more than this!  It is unexpectedly calorific and easy to go overboard on)

Dried or fresh rosemary

Salt & pepper

Olive oil spray

 

 

Dressing

1 tablespoon of natural, low-fat yoghurt

1 teaspoon of dijon mustard

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

 

Sprinkle the chicken with a little rosemary, salt and pepper.  Heat a little olive oil in a pan and grill the chicken for about 3 minutes a side or until cooked through.

Combine the salad ingredients and parmesan in a serving bowl.  Shred the chicken and place on top of the salad.

Combine the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the chicken and salad.

Now, if I weren’t watching my calories like a damn hawk at the moment I might also add a boiled egg or some crispy prosciutto.  OR (gasp!) both.  Drool.

Nutritional info: 324 cals, 9.3g  fat, 4.2g sat fat, 47g protein, 8.6g carbs, 7.6g sugar

 

 

A Week In The Life Of…

7 Mar

ME!

Well, I lie.  It’s actually 4 days in the life of.  Let’s be honest, this post was growing out to mammoth proportions so I cut it down to four days.  I mean, you get the gist of it, right?  The other 3 days are pretty similar although I will do a weekend post soon to show you what my typical weekend looks like.

It was actually very interesting recording everything I ate for a week and it was also a challenge.  It made me really be mindful of what I was eating because I knew I would have to write every little morsel of food down.  This really curbed any thoughts of, “Oh, I’ll just have a bite of that” or “I’ll just have a couple of these”, let me tell you!  I think anyone who is looking to lose weight or establish a healthier diet should give this a go.  You may be surprised!

Now, by no means do I think my diet is perfect nor do I condone my readers replicating what I eat for themselves. This post stemmed from getting a few requests from readers who were interested in what a typical week looks like for me.  Eating this way works for me, you need to establish a diet plan that works for you.

Last week seemed to be a dark chocolate week.  This is simply because I bought a block of organic chocolate so therefore it HAD to be eaten, right? 😉  I don’t usually keep any sweets in the house therefore the temptation is gone.  If my sweet-tooth comes-a-knockin’ I usually have a warm glass of rice or goats milk with vanilla and honey.

Monday

Breakfast– 7:00am

  • Smoothie with ½ cup of calcium enriched rice milk, 2 tablespoons of natural, no fat organic yoghurt, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil, 1 tablespoon of LSA, 1 medium banana, 1 teaspoon of organic dark agave syrup, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Morning pick-me-up – 9:30am

  • Green tea

Morning snack – 10:45am

  • Protein shake with 200ml skim milk

Lunch – 1:15pm

  • Bowl of steamed vegetables, ½ cup of cooked shredded chicken and ½ cup of roasted kale
  • Green tea

Afternoon snack – 3:00pm

  • Handful of almonds & a cup of miso soup

Dinner – 7:00pm

  • 120g of lean pork steak with Moroccan seasoning served with salad leaves, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas and reduced-fat feta dressed with EVOO and white wine vinegar

After dinner snack – 8:00pm

  • 6 pieces of Green & Black’s Organic 85% dark chocolate

Total Calories: 1700

Exercise:

  • 60 mins walking
  • 40 mins road cycling (8.5km)
  • 15 mins swimming laps

Tuesday

Breakfast – 6:45am

  • Smoothie with ½ cup of calcium enriched rice milk, 2 tablespoons of natural, no fat organic yoghurt, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil, 1 tablespoon of LSA, 1 medium banana, 1 teaspoon of organic dark agave syrup, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Morning pick-me-up – 9:30am

  • Green tea

Morning Snack – 11:00am

  • 1 apple

Lunch – 1:45pm

  • 2 small tins of tuna, grated beetroot and carrot, lettuce, tomato, avocado sprinkled with olive oil, lemon juice and chia seeds

Afternoon snack – 3:30pm

  • Handful of almonds & a green tea

Dinner – 7:00pm

  • Handful of chicken thigh, capsicum, onion and bok choy stir-fried with peanut oil, garlic, chilli and soy sauce served with ½ cup of cooked quinoa

Total Calories: 1400

Exercise:

  • 40 mins road cycling (8.5km)
  • 45 minute group training session

Wednesday

Breakfast – 6:45am

  • Smoothie with ½ cup of calcium enriched rice milk, 2 tablespoons of natural, no fat organic yoghurt, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil, 1 tablespoon of LSA, handful of frozen berries, 1 teaspoon of organic dark agave syrup

Morning Snack – 10:00am

  • 1 orange
  • Green tea

Lunch – 12:30pm

  • Leftovers – handful of chicken thigh, capsicum, onion and bok choy stir-fried with peanut oil, garlic, chilli and soy sauce served with ½ cup of cooked quinoa
  • Ginger tea

Afternoon snack – 3:30pm

  • Handful of almonds & a green tea

Dinner – 8:00pm

  • 150g lean grilled steak & two cups of steamed broccoli, cauliflower and carrot

After dinner snack – 9:00pm

  • 6 pieces of Green & Black’s Organic 85% dark chocolate

Total Calories: 1450

Exercise:

  • 40 mins road cycling (8.5km)
  • 45 minute personal training session
  • 60 mins touch football practice

Thursday

Breakfast – 6:45am

  • Smoothie with ½ cup of calcium enriched rice milk, 2 tablespoons of natural, no fat organic yoghurt, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil, 1 tablespoon of LSA, 1 medium banana, 1 teaspoon of organic dark agave syrup, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Morning Snack – 11:15am

  • Small tin of mixed beans with balsamic and olive oil dressing

Lunch – 1:15pm

  • Café lunchtuna salad with grated carrot, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and avocado with balsamic and olive oil dressing (TIP: buying a healthy lunch is easy.  Most sandwich bars will have a few salad options available.  I usually request a garden salad and ask the them to put in a handful of tuna or chicken from the sandwich meat selections)
  • Small apple

Afternoon snack – 3:45pm

  • Chai latte made with lite milk

Dinner – 6:30pm

  • 150g  chicken tenderloins with lettuce, cherry tomatoes and a small handful of shaved parmesan cheese dressed with a yoghurt, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and olive oil dressing

After dinner snack – 9:00pm

  • 4 pieces of Green & Black’s Organic 85% dark chocolate

Total Calories: 1550

Exercise:

  • 40 mins road cycling (8.5km)
  • 45 minute group training session

 

So there you go!  There’s my life!  It’s thrilling, isn’t it?  Do you feel a little creepy now?  A little stalker-ish?  😉

 

Mighty Marinated Chicken Thighs

23 Feb

Many people steer away from chicken thighs because they are told they contain too much fat.  True they contain more fat than their leaner counterpart the chicken breast but the truth is chicken thighs only contain 9g of fat per 100g serve.  That’s less than what is contained in the same serving size of beef, lamb or pork.

What’s more, a medium thigh contains only 117 calories and has a whopping 24.5g of protein.  They do contain a moderate amount of cholesterol though (about 12% of your RDI) so if you are watching your cholesterol levels, limit your intake of chicken thigh.

Dark chicken meat also has zinc, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, vitamins B6 and B12, amino acids, iron which are all essential if you are leading an active lifestyle.  (Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Is_white_or_dark_meat_better_for_you#ixzz1Edsvw8k1)

Chicken thighs are also usually cheaper than the breast and you can buy them without the skin which is better for you.  They are wonderfully juicy and do not dry out as easy as breasts do.  They hold flavour remarkably well and are perfect for marinating, stir frying and using in soups and stews.

 

Marinated Chicken Thighs

4 x boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Small handful of fresh thyme, squashed and roughly chopped

Juice and zest of one lemon

Dried chilli flakes (to your taste)

2 cloves of garlic (crushed)

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

Place the chicken fillets in a flat dish.  Combine the thyme, lemon juice, lemon zest, chilli and garlic in a small bowl.  Pour over the chicken and season with salt and pepper.  Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 30 mins (longer for better flavour).

To cook, heat a non-stick grill pan over medium heat.  Cook the thighs for about 5 – 7 minutes each side or until cooked through.  Take out of pan and leave to rest on a warm plate, covered, for a few minutes.

I served this with baked sweet potato and grilled asparagus but you could slice it and serve over a bed of quinoa with a side of steamed vegetables or accompany it with a simple garden salad.

Have you changed your mind about chicken thighs?