I think about food all stinking day long. Most days, I am constantly hungry. If you were to look at my petite frame, you would not believe how much food I consume daily. I have a daily goal of 2500 calories. A little over a year ago, I had my resting metabolic rate calculated. I had to wear a mask hooked up to a computer and sit still in a dark room and just rest. The computer calculated my resting metabolic rate and then gave me the daily calories I need to consume. It shows you how many calories you need for your organs to just survive and then how many calories you should eat on your rest day. The formula is different for everyone since we all have unique metabolic rates and fitness goals. My goal has a slightly higher number since I have been trying to gain weight by adding more lean muscle.
When I saw how many calories I had to eat daily, I laughed. There was NO WAY I was going to eat that much! My trainer had me join My Fitness Pal so I could start tracking my calories. He told me to just track a normal day of eating so we could see how much I actually eat. He was always telling me I had to eat more food. In our boot camp class, we weigh in monthly. Our gym’s scale calculates body fat, as well. My weight and body fat dropped quickly once I joined boot camp. However, most women do not want to hear that they need to eat more food. They especially do not want to hear that they should GAIN weight. Women, in general, are serial under eaters. Those words come from my trainer. It took me about a year to finally believe him. I HATE admitting he is right but dang it, he is usually correct. UGH. Back to My Fitness Pal: I tracked a normal day of eating and I was barely getting 1500 calories a day. Yikes. My body needs a little over 1900 calories to just function! I freaked out a little so my trainer said to just start at getting 2000 calories a day. Some of you may wonder why I am complaining about having to eat more food. Sounds fun to some of you, doesn’t it? Sure, I could easily eat more calories by eating junk. However, I do not want to eat junk. Eating junk daily just to get to my calorie goal is NOT the point of my fitness journey. It is very difficult to eat more calories and eat healthy food. When I first started tracking, I remember making a huge salad. It was barely 200 calories. Seriously?!
Since then, I have gotten used to eating differently. I purposely add certain foods to my day that are full of calories such as avocado, flax meal, raw nuts and black beans. My macros tend to be high in fat but they are the good fats that your body needs. Yes, you need fat in your daily diet or your body will hold onto the bad fat you are trying to lose. Something I have noticed since eating differently: I tend to look leaner when I eat MORE FOOD. My weight is higher but my body fat is low. That basically means I am replacing my body fat with muscle. Remember how I said I hate admitting my trainer is right? I am cringing right now. Why must he always be right? In turn, he would respond with, “why must you always fight me?” In the beginning, I did fight this whole eating more food thing. I finally stopped fighting once I saw how eating more affected my body in a positive way. My body has gotten used to eating more, as well. I am consistently eating almost 2500 calories everyday. I might even be ready to replace the calories I burned during my work outs. I always say fitness is not a sprint. It is a marathon. It took me over a year to get to this point with food.
While I am on the subject of food, let’s discuss food choices. I touched on it slightly already in this post. Not all calories are created equally. Sure, I could fill my day with eating chips, fries or pizza (all of my favorites) and easily get to my calorie goal. However, I choose to live my life making healthy food choices. Food companies have taken advantage of the trend in wanting to eat better but most of the “healthy” food you see advertised are JUNK. Do not waste your time buying those 100 calories snack packs. They only consist of processed junk. The same rule goes for Special K products. How can anyone function by eating only cereal for breakfast and lunch?! The idea is just ridiculous. I could call out a ton of companies that promise you will lose weight eating their processed crap. Sure, you may lose weight but will you maintain that lower weight? Can you eat cereal twice a day for the rest of your life? NO. While I am on my rant, we could discuss popular weight loss “diets” but I feel like the topic of diets can be discussed in an entirely separate post. If you want to get my blood boiling, give me your sales bit for a meal replacement shake. Try it, I dare you. Go ahead and have the shake as a supplement to your day (like as a snack) but do not use the shake for a meal. Fill your day with better food choices. Do not buy into these companies trying to sell you a weight loss secret. There is no magic pill, powder or shake. Just eat food and exercise- that is the secret! Most likely you already know what kinds of foods you should be eating. Choose the lean meats, veggies and fruits over the 100 calorie packs and cereals. Ditch the processed junk. Pay attention to ingredient labels. If you can’t pronounce most of the ingredients, why would you want to put it into your body? Does that mean I only eat wholesome, healthy foods? Nope, I am human. I still believe in treating myself because life is too short! I can throw down if you put chips and queso in front of me. However, I do not eat chips and queso often. I only treat myself occasionally. The old rule applies here: everything in moderation. I fill my days with healthy food choices but still treat myself. I love chips and queso too much to give them up entirely!
So what have we learned today? Eat wholesome food. Most likely, you need to eat MORE food. If you work out, I can almost bet you need to eat more food. Food is fuel for your body. It cannot function if it is not fueled properly. If you have access to the resting metabolic rate test, do it! Find out how much you should be eating daily and then DO IT. Learn from your friend Missy’s stubbornness. Eat more food. You will feel better and look better. Just don’t eat more junk.