Food Journal


Here are my latest posts of my meals. I will provide the exact foods, the exact measurements, and the exact split of my meals.

As I mentioned before I am currently on prep which means that I am currently trying to reduce body fat while maintaining the muscle mass that I gained during my offseason. I started by eating 2500 calories which is 1k calories less than my maximum capacity. From here my calories will slowly be decreased to slowly decrease my fat mass. You have to make sure that you decrease your calories strategically because if you drop them too fast, you can decrease your muscle mass. If you decrease your calories too low, you can also not be ready in time for your show.

As you will be able to tell, my diet will consist of the same staples and will remain strict. No cheat meals. My goal is to be as hard core as possible and give it my all for the next couple of weeks.

I am going to be 100% truthful with you guys on my diaries to basically keep me accountable. Thus, if I have a treat and I was not supposed to have a free meal, y'all will be the first ones to know.

CURRENT MACROS

October 6, 2018

 

Calories: ~1972

Protein: 150 /Carbs: 190 /Fats: 66

currently following a meal plan! 


Food and Nutrition

One of the most important things about understanding nutrition is the impact that it could have on your goals. From a pro athlete wanting to build muscle to a lifestyle client looking to loose an extra five pounds, the way and the foods that they eat will determine their success. Moreover, no matter who you are, what you do, and the way that you eat can determine life expectancy, quality of life, and health complications.

My MAIN OBJECTIVE in this section is to enhance your knowledge of nutrition and food in the hopes that you can take your fitness journey to a whole new level. 

Calories

Ever wonder why some individuals can eat anything they want and not gain any weight and then others gain weight by eating one candy bar? The answer to this questions lies within individual differences, most specifically how each individual burns calories.

Calories are a unit of energy. Most food in America is measured in kilocalories (kcal), but the nutritional label will read in Calories (with a capital "C"). In common everyday usage, people forget to capitalize the C. You will see people write things like, "this food has 200 calories" but what they really mean to say is "this food has 200 kcal" or "this food has 200 Calories." 

Calories can be found in different amounts in different food types. Protein, Fat, Carbohydrates, Alcohol all have Calories. Each has a different amount of Calories per gram. Each of these is also a class of a Macronutrient aka Macro. Micronutrients include things like electrolytes, vitamins and minerals.

Breakdown the Macros:

Nutrition can be defined as interaction of food and other chemicals are ingested, digested, absorbed, transported,  and metabolized to support a healthy body.

Nutrients are components in food that are important for our body tissue to grow, repair, maintain and reproduce. Nutrients are split into 6 groups: Protein, Carbohydrates, Fats, Water, Vitamins, and Minerals. The basic nutrients that take the largest part of all of our foods are Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats. These are called macronutrients.

  • Protein

    • DEFINITION:

      • Proteins are considered the building blocks of muscle. To build muscle, and recover, you need to ingest protein.

    • PURPOSE:

      • Proteins are made of subunits called Amino Acids. When you link a bunch of AA's together, you have a protein. Of all the AA's, humans need and use 20 of them. 9 of these, the Essential Amino Acids, must be acquired in the diet, because the human body cannot produce them. The rest of the AA's can be interconverted amongst each other, and you simply need to make sure you get enough total aminos. Branched-chain amino acids, or BCAA's, are thought to be specific AA's that are more beneficial to building muscle due to some of their other properties.

    • SOURCES OF PROTEIN:

      • Foods with high sources of protein can be found in chicken, eggs, fish, and more. Check the Grocery List for more examples.

    • CALORIES:

      • Proteins contains 4 calories per 1 gram of protein

        • For example, if 1 scoop of protein powder has 20g of protein, it will contain 180 calories.

    • HOW MUCH:

      • Most individuals can consume anywhere between .7 to 1.2g of protein per pound of body weight. Everyone is a bit different so you may need a bit more or less based on your goals.

        • Example: a 150 lb athlete might consume 160 g protein per day ( 160 g x 4 cals/g = 640 calories from proteins)

  • Fats

    • DEFINITION:

      • Storage of energy. It has two main types: Saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are solid and come from animals, in contrast, unsaturated fats are liquid and derive from plants

    • PURPOSE:

      • Help absorb vitamins, huge source of energy storage...

    • SOURCES OF FOOD:

      • Foods with high sources of fats can be found in peanut butter, oils, avocados, and more. Check the Grocery List for more examples.

    • CALORIES:

      • Fats contains 9 calories per 1 gram of fat

        • For example, if 2 TBSP of olive oil has 27g of fats, it will contain 239 calories.

    • HOW MUCH:

      • Most individuals can consume anywhere between .35 to .5g of fat per pound of body weight. Everyone is a bit different so you may need a bit more or less based on your goals

        • Example: a 150 lb athlete might consume 65 g fat per day ( 65 g x 9 cals/g = 585 calories from fats)

  • Carbs

    • DEFINITION:

      • The body’s most effective and efficient source of energy.

    • PURPOSE:

      • involved in the building blocks of cell membranes, it is an energy source, and is part of the maintenance and regulation of steroids and hormones

    • SOURCES OF FOOD:

      • Foods with high sources of fats can be found in peanut butter, oils, avocados, and more. Check the Grocery List for more examples.

    • CALORIES:

      • Fats contains 9 calories per 1 gram of fat

        • For example, if 2 TBSP of olive oil has 27g of fats, it will contain 239 calories.

    • HOW MUCH:

      • Now this is where it gets a little trickier. To be able to calculate your carbs you must determine the amount of calories that you will be consuming per day. You first want to begin by determining how many calories your body needs to maintain its current body weight. Then you will adjust your macros based on your goals. For example, if your goal is to loose weight, you will want to set your calories lower than your maintenance calories. In contrast, if you want to gain weight, you want to go at a surplus and consume more calories than your current maintenance caloric intake.

      • Now that you know how many calories, proteins, and fats you will be consuming, you will do a little subtraction to find out how many grams of carbs you need. Lets continue with the 150 lb athlete from earlier.

        • Take your protein in grams and multiply it by its value in calories: 160 g protein per day ( 160 g x 4 cals/g = 640 calories from proteins)

        • Take your fat in grams and multiply it by its value in calories: 65 g protein per day ( 65 g x 9 cals/g = 585 calories from fats)

          • Total = 1225 calories from both

        • Now, lets say for example, this athlete is looking to put on a little muscle on the offseason. Depending on his needs, metabolism, etc, he may need at least 2700 calories per day to put on more mass.

          • 2700 calories - (640 calories from protein) - (585 calories from fat) = 1475 calories remaining to be considered carbs.

          • divide this number by 4 cal/g for carbohydrates to find your total grams of carbs: 1475 cal ÷ 4 cal/g = 368.75 g carbs

        • This brings the athlete's totals to 160 g Protein / 65 g fat / 369 g carbs per day.

 For More Information, Take at look at this post (must be an Ab Club Member)

What are Micronutrients?

These are your vitamins and minerals that your body needs for it's overall well being. This includes the health of your bones to your brain functioning. Micronutrients are extremely essential and a deficiency can cause negative health outcomes. Micronutrients also help with proper macronutrient metabolism. Most people when tracking their daily macros fail to keep an eye out for their micro consumption and not consuming enough of their required intake. This can have a detrimental impact on the individuals health and their athletic career.

Eating a nutritious diet will allow you to meet your micronutrient requirements and if your diet does not supply enough micronutrients, taking extra supplementation is recommended. I always recommend for my athletes to go for the more nutritious foods. Moreover, you should enjoy any food that you want but your diet should comprise of 80% whole foods. I believe that it is not valuable to waste a meal on junk food (e.g. pop tarts) when you can maximize your micro nutrient consumption which can take you on top of your game. 

  • Micronutrients to maximize your progress:

    • Vitamin C

    • Magnisium

    • Vitamin D

    • Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    • Calcium

Determining how many calories a person burns?

Everyone is a bit different when it comes to how they burn calories. 

To determine how much energy/calories a person burns, you want to figure out their basal metabolic rate (BMR). As stated before, some individuals are more likely than others to burn energy more efficiently and the BMR can determine this.

Along with your BMR, you want to also determine your estimated energy requirement (EER) which is the average amount of calories you should consume to maintain energy balance. Energy balance is the state at which calorie intake equals calorie usage.

Think of it this way:

  • If you wan to maintain weight, your energy intake should equal your energy usage. Thus, you should be eating the same amount of calories that you are using.

  • If you want to loose weight, your calorie intake should be less than the amount of calories you are burning.

  • If you want to gain weight, your calorie intake should be larger than the amount of calories you are burning

Determining your EER consists of a calculation based on an individuals:

  • Gender

  • Age

  • Height

  • Weight

  • Level of activity

 

Why is this all important?

It is crucial to know where your calories are coming from. We need to make sure that our macros are placed in the right proportion to be able to effectively reach the current goals that we have. For instance, if you decide to go on a diet to loose weight, you need to make sure that your protein intake stays pretty high to be able to maintain the muscle that you have and risk loosing all of your hard work. In contrast, when you are trying to gain muscle mass, you want to make sure that your carbs are higher. The fats very depending on your prep and offseason as well. Moreover, each individual person is a bit different so not everyone's diet is going to be the exact same even if the two individuals share similar statistics. I know that I share my macros is the Prep Diary section, and I advice you NOT to follow them. Your body may need more or less calories depending on YOU. The last thing you want is to get fat because you are eating too much or loose all of your gains because you are not eating enough. 

Flexible Dieting

  • What is Flexible Dieting?

    • Based on your goal and personal stats, you can track your macros (protein, fats, carbs) to achieve your goals. Your macros are determined by a calculation of your BMR, height, weight, body fat, metabolism, and other personal body compositions.

  • Benefits of Flexible dieting

    • I believe that flexible dieting has many merits. I have been counting macros for the past three years and I have seen the best results with this method. I incorporate this method with my clients as well. Nevertheless, I do keep a good eye on what they are eating, specially when getting closer to a show date. I believe that certain foods will fit the body better and will give the body better results.

    • Other benefits:

      • Effective: Eating "clean" can only go so far. By measuring everything that goes into your mouth we can be more certain of what changes need to be made and if the programing is right for you.

      • Flexible: The main focus is to hit your macro nutrients and you have the option to include nice treats into your diet (e.g. pop tarts) which can help individuals calm cravings.

      • It becomes a game trying to fit and hit your daily macros.

  • Cons of Flexible Dieting

    • As stated before, some people will try to eat most of their calories with junk food and this can have negative affect on your health if not watched properly. I have noticed that many flexible dieters fail to really watch for their micro nutrients and other sub macronutrient categories, such as saturated fats. According to the Heart Association, your diet should contain no more than 10% of saturated fats of your total fat intake, anything above this can cause a negative impact on your heart and body well being. Another example is carb selection. For instance, choosing skittles over white rice will affect your blood sugar levels, your energy levels, and how full you feel after eating,

    • Other negatives:

      • Time consuming

  • Takeaways

    • Even though it is flexible, there should still be structure to be the most successful. It plays a big impact the way that you portion, put together, and time your food to have the most success. For instance, knowing when to eat most of your macro nutrients can play a big role on how you loose or weight gain and they are both a bit different. There is also a big difference between individuals when it comes to food sensitivity that tracking on it's own won't maximize your results.  I cannot stress enough the importance of individual differences. You need to find the nutritional programing that is right for YOU. You and the person next to you may have completely identical information (e.g. height, weight, age...) nevertheless your macros will probably not be the same. (For a complete nutritional programing,  checkout my nutritional coaching

    • My three big tips:

      • Enjoy the process

      • Fuel your body with quality food

      • Find the best program for YOU

 How to track your food?

Once you determine what your macros should be it is time to start tracking them. Below are the basic steps to get started:

  1.  Determine your daily intake of CALORIES, PROTEIN, FATS, AND CARBS

  2. Download MyFitnessPal (MFP) on your phone

    • Downloading the app is free and they do have an upgraded version for an extra charge. Honestly, I went about a month with the basic FREE option and then I decided to make the investment and boy has it been worth it. It literally makes your life much easier having the extra features. You can live without it, but if you plan on doing this for a longer term, I HIGHLY recommended.

    • Once you download the app, it is time to play! Within this app you can plug in the foods that you are going to be consuming per day and per meal. MFP has a huge library of foods that you can select or even scan the barcode to auto populate the nutritional information into your FOOD DIARY. If you can't find something on the database, you can manually input it. This is a neat feature because if you decide to make your grandma's special cookies, you can add in all of the ingredients that you are using and track how many cookies you decide to eat.

    • The app keeps track of how much of what macro nutrient you have remaining and it lets you know if you are over on under on the specific calories.

  3. Measuring it out

    • I, to this date still use my scale and take it everywhere I go. If you want to be accurate and really see results, you need to know how much is going into your body. I would suggest getting a food scale, measuring cups, and measuring spoons.


Grocery List

Below you will find my favorite staples to fit into your macros. These foods are high in nutritional content and in volume. These healthy options will keep you full and energized. I would focus on comprising at least 80% of your daily intake with the food options below. 

PROTEIN

1.     Chicken

2.     Turkey Breast

3.     Ground Turkey

4.     White Fish: Tilapia, swaii, flounder, cod

5.     Tuna

6.     Salmon

7.     Tofu

8.     Blackstone Labs Protein Isolate

9.     Sirloin steak

10.  Ground Beef

11.  Shrimp and other seafood

12.  Eggs

FIBROUS CARBS:

1.     Broccoli

2.     Zucchini

3.     Mushrooms

4.     Peppers

5.     Green Beans

6.     Asparagus

7.     Cucumbers

8.     Brussel Sprouts

9.     Leafy greens: spinach, kale, lettuce

10.  Any veggie is fine; the above are examples

COMPLEX CARBS

1.     Oatmeal

2.     White rice

3.     Brown rice

4.     Quinoa

5.     Brown rice pasta

6.     Ezekiel Bread

7.     Sweet Potatoes

8.     Red Potatoes

9.     Couscous

10.   Rice Cakes

11.   Kamut rice cakes (super low on carbs)

12.  Beans

13.  English Muffins 

SIMPLE CARBS

1.     Apples

2.     Grapes

3.     Bananas

4.     Berries

5.     Pears

6.     Any fruit is fine, the above are examples

FATS:

* Make sure that you rely mostly on unsaturated fats and avoid saturated fats as much as possible. Saturated fats have been linked to causing heart disease and other health problems. It is recommended that saturated fats to be kept under 10% of your total fat intake for the day. 

1.     Olive oil

2.     Nut Butters

3.     Nuts

4.     Avocado

5.     Whole Milk

6.     Cheese

7.    Fattier Meats (e.g. yolk, salmon)

OTHER GREAT OPTIONS:

Below is a list of other foods that can be included into your diet. These foods have a combination of all macronutrient componenets

1.     Danon Lite Greek Yogurt

2.     Halo Top Ice Cream

3.     Granola

4.     Protein Bars (quest bars)

5.     Low sugar cereals
 


Psychology:

Food Relationship and Emotions

This is probably one of the topics that I am most passionate about when it comes to starting a new or continuing a nutritional regimen. Perhaps because I have a bachelor's and master's in psychology... who knows. Regardless, in this section I want to talk about how to be successful at following your new diet plan directed to your goals. I believe that many people fail at their diets because of their emotional relationship with food.

We have been programed to relate food with our emotions. For example, when you think of cookies, ice cream, or pizza, what do you think of? probably fun and happiness. What about carrots? most likely boring and a feeling of being indifferent. Why is that? Why do our hearts warm up when we see a donut? As a society we have been primed to connect these junk foods with emotions of satisfaction and joy. We begin to eat based on comfort.

My biggest tip for anyone is to build those same emotions, if not stronger, for those foods that you know are good food for you. To be completely honest, I don't crave cookies, donuts, or any other junk food. I have trained myself to really really really enjoy the foods that I eat because I really really really enjoy the way they make me feel. I know that eating a container of Ben & Jerry's is going to give me that instant gratification but I also know that within 5 minutes of indulging, I will have a huge stomach ache till the next day. Do I still eat junk food? ABSOLUTELY! I just eat it in moderation and in WAY less frequency than I do my other foods.

If you asked me if I could have any food that I wanted what would it be?  I would answer "the next meal on my plan". I eat with a purpose, whether it is to loose weight, build muscle, or just know that I am fueling my body with the best possible.

I didn't always have this mentality. It has taken me time to build this lifestyle, so if you are struggling, know that you are not alone. In fact, when I first started competing, the most difficult part of it all was the diet. I remember telling my sister how much I wanted to quit because I was so used to eating whatever I wanted. If it wasn't for my dad buying my first month of coaching... I would have probably quit. Knowing that he had invested in me and was counting on me to be great, kept me accountable into sticking with the diet. I remember that first week was the toughest, but as the weeks went by it got easier and easier. 

So moral of the story and this whole section:

  • It is all in your head

  • Remind yourself that you are capable

  • Create goals

  • Break away from emotions

  • Be patient

  • Find accountability

  • The start is always the toughest, but it only gets easier


YOUR THOUGHTS

Let me know if you found this section informative, if there was something that needed better clarification, or any other comments. Remember, this section is for you guys and I want to provide you with as much knowledge as I possibly can. You can send a message anonymously or include your email so I can respond personally. Your feedback is extremely appreciated it. 

Name *
Name