Lately I’ve been alluding to a new fitness program that I started. What is this mysterious program? It’s called 12 Weeks to A Fit Physique, a program put together by Jolynn Toma, a certified personal trainer, specialist in fitness nutrition, NPC bikini competitor and fellow Fitfluential Ambassador (how’s that for a resume?!).
After sustaining a running injury, I was forced to switch up my routine. I started doing a little more weight lifting and really liked it! When Jolynn offered up her new fitness and nutrition plan to a few Fitfluential folks, I decided to jump on the opportunity. I love trying new things, after all!
I’m about a week and a half in, and so far I’m loving it! The workouts are challenging but doable (right now it’s 3 days of lifting, 2 days of cardio, & 2 days of rest), and I still get to work in some running now that I’m healed – you know I can’t go without my running. I’ll post progress posts along the way (probably at the 4 week, 8 week, and final 12 week marks), but today I wanted to focus on the part of fitness programs that most people neglect: nutrition.
I’ll admit it. I’ve followed many a workout regime without following the meal plan. Insanity. P90x. The marathon meal plan I set for myself – yep, didn’t even follow my own plan! But this time, it’s going to be different.
Jolynn wants us to review and provide feedback on her program. She put all the hard work into creating this program and figuring out my nutrition needs, so I am going to make the biggest effort to stick to it so I can give a full, well-rounded review.
So what does this nutrition plan entail? There actually isn’t a set meal plan – which I like. Less strict this-is-the-exact-meal-you-have-to-eat = less slip ups. What I have to do instead is track my macros.
Macros? Say what now?
“Macros” is a term that I’ve been hearing a LOT more of since starting to get into the strength training world because competitive lifters and body competitors religiously track them. Sooooo what are they?
“Macros” is short for macronutrients, which, according to Google, are substances required in relatively large amounts by living organisms. Food-wise for us people folk, those macronutrients are fat, protein, and carbohydrates.
Based on my numbers (height, current weight, etc) and goals (which are to lean out and build more muscle), Jolynn gave me these numbers:
36.8 g fat
165.3 g carbs
30g fiber <— when broken up throughout the day, this seems like the perfect amount for my sensitive tummy.
I can eat whatever I want as long as I hit those numbers every day. It’s freeing, but at the same time, I wish I had a meal guide to kick me off – an example day or just a few meals to work off of. It took me HOURS to plan out my first week of meals, but now that I have a base, I’m hoping I can just make little tweaks moving forward. I’m also hoping it will get easier overtime as I learn the macros of certain foods. MyFitnessPal has been a HUGE help in helping me keep track.
What I’ve found so far:
- My tummy has been happy. – When I stay away from wheat and peanuts (my two biggest allergies) and stick to lean proteins, fruits, veggies, and my fiber limit, I find my tummy has been less grumbly and less prone to bloat. Win!
- Getting in all the carbs has been tricky. – As a runner, you’d think carbing up would be a cinch, but since I’m trying to avoid wheat, other grains, and legumes that are really high in fiber (like quinoa, wild rice, and too many beans), that eliminates a good chunk of carbs. So far, I’ve been getting them in with some fruit, Quest Bars, and a non-wheat whole grain at dinner (like brown rice). This is definitely something I need to keep working on and experimenting with. I can only have so much rice, after all.
- I’m still not a fan of counting. – I’ve never been a calorie counter. It’s time consuming and just makes me think about food constantly. Counting macros is just as time consuming, but I’m trying to avoid the food obsession by planning out my week in advance. The weekends are tricky, but I’m trying to learn, estimate, and stick as closely as I can to my macros without obsessing. Again, I think this will get easier as time goes on – hopefully.
- I’m actually eating more! – Jolynn suggests eating every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism up and to avoid overeating at the next meal. This means I’m eating more often than before. I now have a small fuel-up before the gym, and have 2 snacks instead of just one in the afternoon. I really like this! Some days, I would come home from work so hungry that I would have a HUGE snack right before dinner – no good. The combination of ensuring every meal/snack has protein, fiber, and good carbs to keep me full plus eating more frequently keeps me from getting too hungry and wanting to binge.
I’ll definitely be posting more about my meals, the workouts, and the program as I go along. In the meantime, you’ll notice (if you haven’t already) that any new recipes will contain macronutrient info. I’m tracking it, so why not share it! I hope you like that new addition.
Now let’s chat:
Have you ever tracked your macros?
Do you know of any good wheat-free carbs to help me break out of the rice mold?