As time passes, the more I am aware of the psychological component of adhering to a nutrition plan. For those of you new to reading the blog, a little over a month ago I reconnected with a high school friend of mine, Evan Lagace, who also coaches and is very knowledgable with nutrition and training. He asked me if I had ever tried ketogenic diets. We all know how much I love my carbs so I said no I have not. I’m always up for trying something new and love to experiment on myself. I think the key to changing your nutrition plans according to your goals and lifestyle is to make sure you are not eliminating one macronutrient group for too long, or eliminating entire food groups that could provide valuable micronutrients. (That is why I love carb cycling)
I have done single low carb days in the past, at 50 grams per day, but Evan suggested I try two days per week. With a cycle of 2 high, 3 moderate and 2 low it made for a perfect week, and I will likely adopt a such cycle for my clients in the future as nothing frustrated me more than having my high carb day change each week and then attempting to put legs on high carb day and getting stressed out when the stars didn’t align. So I chose my HCD to be Friday and Saturday (duh), low carb day Wednesday and Thursday when Nolan is with his Dad, and moderate Sunday- Tuesday. I put one leg session on Monday and one on Saturday. I am a routine type person, so having a schedule and getting in a groove helps the days tick off the calendar and consistency appear.
This was my first week. I have to admit that the macros I was suggested to follow were out of my comfort zone and I had a few urges to say why it wouldn’t work for me before I attempted it. Then I realized there is nothing worse than giving up before you even TRY, so I would give this my best efforts, see how I felt, and evaluate after. For sake of satisfying everyone’s curiosity, I will tell you my prescribed macros for this week. On my HCD I am at 120P, 200C, and 60F. At these macros I really want for nothing and am completely satisfied. When I previously reversed, when I got over 235 grams carbs I continued to gain. I am hopeful that my next reverse I will be able to get higher in my intake but after I pushed the envelope too far the first time I have learned to listen to my body and understand when it is and ISN”T ready. My moderate days are at 120P, 150C, 80F. The caloric amounts are very similar and again this is comfortable for me. My low carb/ high fat days are currently 90P, 50C, and … wait for it… 130 grams fat. I felt like I was playing a game of tetris trying to figure out how to keep my protein down and my fats up. (yay egg salad!)
At the close of week one of this such cycle, without cardio besides a few bouts of high intensity movements between sets, I am down one pound and feeling tighter. I have been slowly plugging away at my nutrition the past 6 weeks and the scale has moved about 4 lbs but my photos have shown a greater improvement then I could have hoped for. (This is why we shouldn’t get hung up on the scale! It would have made me give up!)
Now that I found some foods I am happy with on each of these days, I will likely repeat exactly what I ate for all days except Friday evening and/ or Saturday evening. I already know I’m having the girls over for a lifting session and dinner on Saturday and I’ll want some flexibility for that evening. Taking a quick snapshot of my week and meal prepping some sure fire items today helps me stick with my plan as the week plays out.
Hard boiled egg hack: This has been my go to! I’ve been making egg salads on my low carb day with two whole eggs, Just Mayo, and salt and pepper and it is amazing! Pick up the Pressure Cooker XL, put a 1/2 cup of water in it, put the steamer tray in, and set 12 eggs in the top. Close the lid and press the risotto button- 6 minutes!- and bam! You are set for the week with perfect hard boiled eggs!
I don’t care for oils much but I LOVE mayo! (Fun/ disgusting fact about me: I used to dip my grilled cheese sandwiches in mayonnaise when I worked as a waitress in Pittsburgh)
I have never had to formulate a day such as the one described but now that I am fluent in tracking I can create one of these days with minimal effort and frustration. The only time consuming task was locating higher fat foods that I didn’t usually eat. I was recommended a very low fat diet in the past for months- only 10- 20 grams!– and I got into the habit of not choosing foods with dietary fat in them. I’ll save the importance of dietary fat for another blog but lets just say it can wreck havoc on your hormones as a female and stop at that for now. So pull out Fit Pal, use Google, and scan the grocery store, and I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how resourceful you can be.
Since creating our business, I have learned a very important fact; humans with the Internet are extremely resourceful! I can problem solve and figure out things using the Internet that I never thought possible. I joke often that I can “learn anything on YouTube”. I went back to how I was told to conduct myself as a nurse and used many of those tactics in learning how to create my business and how to conduct macro changes in my nutrition. When I was in nursing school, if you didn’t know the answer, you had to know how to find it. I have adopted that in my current life. If I don’t know how to have a high fat day, I look it up. If I’m confused on what foods to use, I will browse the grocery store. Eric and I put our heads together, read some nutrition labels, and picked foods I enjoyed. I have realized that to get the full benefits that flexible dieting has to offer, I need to participate in finding the foods I enjoy eating to keep me satisfied and on track. (Also, I wish I had my iPhone when I was in nursing school!)
I’m on to week 2 of this plan. We decided not to change a thing at this point as the week went as well as we could have hoped. I wasn’t exhausted and was actually more satisfied during the high fat days. For the first time in my life I had meals to eat at 9:30 pm and if you know me, I usually am the one that is out of food for the day way too early!
I am looking forward to keeping you all in the loop as the summer progresses and I slowly make my way back to the stage. I’ve been out of the game way too long and now that I have worked my booty off (luckily this isn’t literal) I finally have the freedom of a more flexible schedule at the close of the month and am ready to focus my efforts back on the sport I love- competing in the IFBB.
MY TWO CENTS ABOUT TRYING THIS WITH MY MACROS: I know what macros I currently can maintain with, shed body fat with, and what will cause a surplus. If you are new to tracking, you may want to find the highest calories you can consume while maintaining your weight before deciding to diet or utilize low carb days/ carb cycling. I posted my macros here for uses of example, you should never compare your macros with anyone else’s or try to mimic their diet exactly and expect the same results.