I thought I would go into a little more detail about how I am eating for the Fit Female program. It’s actually pretty similar to how I normally eat, which you probably notice since I post photos of my food pretty much every day.
Rachel Cosgrove has you eating 6 meal/snacks a day. Really, 3 meals and 3 snacks. She stresses to eat enough of the good food to fuel your body and not starve. She also stresses the importance of protein so that you don’t lose muscle as you lose fat. Always a good thing to keep in mind. Who wants to be skinny fat? Not me!
Rachel does not advocate calorie counting, at least not in the beginning. She just wants you to focus on getting the processed food out of your diet, limit wheat, make sure you eat protein and a fruit/veggie with every meal/snack and don’t be afraid of fats. Gee, sound familiar?? That was a big appeal to me for this program, I have to say.
One term I loved that she used in her book was called “nutritional freestyling.” This is how people eat most of the time. When you eat whatever, whenever without planning. Then there is being compliant and the various stages of that (70%,80%, 90%… 50%)
An example of a workout day would be:
1. 1 to 2 eggs, 1/2 to 1 cup of oatmeal, a banana
2. Postworkout shake: 1 scoop of protein powder, 1/2 cup of milk, water, ice, strawberries.
3. Mixed salad with chicken breast, olive oil and vinegar, an apple.
4. Rice cake (ewww) with peanut butter and an apple.
5. Turkey, brown rice, and asparagus.
6. Yogurt (no sugar added) with walnuts and blueberries.
Note there are no real measurements of food here, but to try to use serving sizes as a guide. The caveat is to have your workout shake right after the workout. I have to alter this because I workout before breakfast, so I drink mine half before and half after the workout – then eat breakfast when I get home. Gotta make things work, right?
An example of a rest day or cardio (oops) day would be:
1. 1 to 2 eggs plus as many egg whites as you want, spinach, mushrooms (double ewwww), Ezekiel toast, 1/2 an avocado and a small orange.
2. Cottage cheese with walnuts, cinnamon and chopped apple.
3. Turkey breast on Ezekiel bread with lettuce and tomato. Carrot sticks.
4. Ground turkey chili with beans
5. Broccoli (yay!), lean meat, sweet potato.
6. 2 hardboiled eggs and cantaloupe.
So, a good amount of food during the day. And you all see how I make this work with the types of food I eat. No rice cakes, no mushrooms, no avocado, etc. Rachel says to not worry about calories or even changing the eating *at all* unless you stop progressing. That’s kind of refreshing. However, I do log my food so I do know how many calories I am eating.
So, the compliance part comes in with being 90% compliant. This means that 4 to 5 meal/snacks can be indulgent where you can have the other things you like such as pizza or cupcakes or lasagna, beer. That way you don’t feel like you are deprived. When you get to a maintenance mode, then 80/20 comes more into play.
The weekends are where I use more of my indulgent meals. We usually go out for either lunch or dinner on Saturdays and have a pizza wrap or I will get a sandwich and fries. Nothing really crazy, but definitely tasty! Sunday morning is our usual Bagel Day. And then I will have a treat with coffee one of those days. That could be a cookie or some type of dessert with a latte. I really enjoy those and don’t let myself snack and indulge all day all weekend. I am not sure what will change with this as the warm weather really comes on and John and I are doing our distance biking and I need to eat much, much more. I don’t know if I can do the 6 meal thing on those days or not. We will have to see. It certainly wouldn’t hurt me to bring a protein drink to chug down while riding and that might be a good experiment.
One thing Rachel also says is to really not care about the scale number. She says if you fit into the size pants you want, what does it matter what the weight is? And she is right. If I can fit into smaller pants and be heavier, who cares? It is just so ingrained to have a goal weight and get there – sometimes unrealistically.
As far as the scale, I am really trying not to focus on it. Again, my scale doesn’t have numbers, but it does tell me how many pounds above or below my ‘starting’ weight I am. I am trying more just to focus on the workouts and hopefully make myself smaller and stronger even if the scale doesn’t tell me that.