Now that I am one week out of school, I am trying to remember what I did before I went back (again) to entertain myself on the weekends and evenings. It is so odd to go from one set of routines to trying to find another set to fill the empty void. The gym really, really helps a lot, it only makes up for around 60-120 minutes of a day and I only do that 5-6 times a week. Actually, now that I am eight weeks in, I finally have my first session with my new trainer. I am kind of stoked. I met with him briefly on Saturday and told him about how I used to be quite the serious athlete – from kickboxing and wrestling to cheerleading and soccer. He even jokingly asked, “I think you covered everything but basketball; wait, did you play basketball?” I retorted with, “I was too short for basketball.”
Actually, it is good that I am going to have a demanding trainer helping me put together a more maximizing routine. As of right now, I have created a make-shift routine for all my bits and pieces, but they are going off of the weight training and physical demands of when I was an athlete, and it would be nice to get the whole package together. I know I am getting stronger. I see it in the mirror and I notice it in my clothes; even if the scale doesn’t want to cooperate.
In all this “non-school” time, I spend a lot of time reading up on things. Meal planning has become a bit of an interesting thing. When I first began, with yoga and cardio, I was eating a lot of clean stuff, but I was neglecting the proteins outside of beans and nuts, and the nutrients from juicing, smoothies, and sides from my meals. During all this reading, I am coming to the assumption that I need to focus on the food groups in each meal and snack rather than focusing solely on just “eating the healthy stuff”.
You know the term, “Man shall not live by bread alone”, well, it is true. You need a certain complexity to see results that will last with your lifestyle change. Too much of anything disrupts the balance in the body. It is all about ratios – simply put, you need a 40/40/20 or 50/40/10 – Protein, Carbs, and Fat. Calories in and calories out (alone) does not equate to fat loss. So, while I was eating clean and getting moderate exercise before, it wasn’t the right ratio for me to notice good results. Also, the appropriate portions are important when considering your ratios.
Even healthy, clean foods are not calorie free. Overeating is overeating, no matter how you look at it. That is why I find the guide above and all over my Pinterest walls so helpful. They are a reminder, even when I cheat, exactly what a “portion” is. I still sometimes find it hard to stop snacking on raw almonds or cashews, so I have resorted to pre-preparing the portions when I get my lunch bag ready so there is no more than I have taken with me to work.
Another thing to wrap my head around is more protein in the diet can mean more significant weight loss as well as muscle gain. Protein helps to build and repair muscles. It is digested slower as well so it will help with those hunger cravings or crashes. As it was stated to me before:
Protein = Muscle Builder (Something I am going quite well)
Carbs = Body Fuel
Fat = Energy and Protection
As I have been devising my nutrition, I have found that I do a bit of carb intake prior to an intense work-out with small amounts of protein and little to no fat as you want to burn the fuel and attack the fat during the training. After I leave the gym, I make sure to ingest a protein shake or smoothie to recover the muscles I just broke down. Also, I have added BCAA powder to my hydration in the gym to give my muscles a little love. The rest of the day consists of balancing my ratios with my mini-meals.
Interestingly enough, this type of planning and consideration has helped to eat up my spare “no homework” time a lot more than I thought it would, but I am glad. Between hitting the gym at 5:30 most mornings, kicking my but repeatedly by trying out new things, I think I am going into my training session with a strong foundation and an open mind.
My next goals are relieving some of the stressors in my life and making sure I get some good consistent sleep going on as I go forward. This is not always something I master with life and the really real world, but I am willing to give it the old college graduate try!
Until next time…