A lot of my clients keep food journals for me, and we review them weekly (or more frequently, if needed) to strategize ways they can cut down on extras and eat more in alignment with their fitness goals.
I don't prescribe diets or tell them what to eat. That's what a dietitian or nutritionist is for. But I am in the business of women's fitness, and a large part of fitness involves the fuel that goes into the body you are trying to sculpt and strengthen. You can hit the gym and kick your own ass around the block five days each week, but if you are eating processed foods and/or overeating on a regular basis, you'll never see the results you deserve.
You deserve those results!
One of the biggest challenges I find my female clients have is how to eat lower-calorie and lower-carbohydrate in order to support their fitness and fat loss goals while still feeding their husbands and kids in a way that keeps everyone satisfied, healthy and not secretly ordering pizza after mommy goes to bed.
Chances are, hubby & kids don't want to sacrifice potatoes, rice, pasta and bread at dinner every night just because you went a little too crazy over the holidays and need to take off a few pounds before swimsuit season.
1. Prepare those healthy family meals that everyone loves, with lots of vegetables and salad on the side so you can round out your plate with plenty of lean meats and produce, and a smaller serving of the starch which is likely responsible for that muffin top you're fighting with lately. I'm not a low-carb freak, but few people ever went overboard on chicken breasts and broccoli...
2. Cut back on unnecessary extras—like starches and sugars—at lunch, when you are likely eating alone at home or at work! This is such a simple strategy and it TRULY works. In a recent email with a personal training client, I provided some of my go-to lunch solutions when I need to keep carbohydrates and calories in check (which is, let's face it, always in my line of work...):
1/3 package of extra firm tofu, stir fried with garlic, onion, broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, mushroom, or greens of choice—use low-sodium soy & curry powder & chili or sriracha for some flavouring
2-3 egg omelette with light feta cheese & spinach, dried oregano. Serve with salsa
Canned soups that contain 4-8 g protein per serving, with salad or a bit of meat or dairy on the side
Spinach, arugula or greens of choice with ¼ avocado, 2 hard boiled eggs and veggies of choice—sprinkled with red wine vinegar & olive oil
¼ cup cooked quinoa tossed with arugula, tomato, cucumber, ¼ avocado—sprinkled with lemon juice & olive oil
Turkey Italian sausage or breakfast sausage fried with brussel sprouts (halved), kale or other greens, garlic, onion & coconut or olive oil
½ English muffin with sliced tomato, 2 scrambled eggs on top and sprinkled with light feta cheese
The point is not to torture yourself. These meals are filling, satisfying, nutritious and easy to prepare! I challenge you to eat any of these meals and still have room to snack through the afternoon. They will hold you until dinner time, keep you within your dietary and fitness goals, and help get you out of that turkey sandwich and tuna on salad drudgery. You know what I'm talking about...
Today, I missed breakfast. I was working at home, enjoying some time on my laptop to catch up because I had a rare morning free of clients. I drank six thousand cups of coffee and then it was time to go teach Belly Bootcamp! On my way home I contemplated swinging into the grocery store to pick up one of those pre-packaged dirty grocery store sushi rolls...spicy salmon, probably. I resisted. Then I came home & invented this instead...and stayed on track.
Spicy Salmon Lettuce Wrap (serves 1)
1. Combine fish, cucumber, onion, yogourt, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper.
2. Distribute among lettuce leaves.
3. Top with sriracha, if using.
Yum. I'm full. I recommend following with 47 cups of coffee.
Got a go-to figure-friendly meal? Do you try to balance your day's meals to reach your fitness goals?