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When food hits the scale

We have all experienced our own forms of adversity at one point (or many times) in our lives, but have you yet succumb to the harsh reality of portion control? More specifically, do you really know how much, and in what proportions, of food you serve yourself each day? My gut-clenching episode occurred in the kitchen back in January while standing over the small scale I have had stored in my junk drawer. I never should have asked myself just how many grams of peanut butter constitutes a single serving (apparently 32g is pretty standard for nut butters). I tared a small plate before plopping a scoop of what I perceived to be my desired serving size, only to watch the digital numbers escalate well past one serving. Actually, well past two. After letting out one (or two?) mild expletives, I decided I had two options.
  1. I cheat myself with whimsical delusions and eat what and how much I want, continuing to wonder if I am meeting my nutritional needs each day.
  2. I challenge myself to pay closer attention to how much I eat and reap the benefits later.
While I rate the quality of food I consume to be very high, I have spent the past two months better analyzing my food consumption. Dr. Stacy Simms' book, Roar, inspired me to look more closely at the ratio of macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fats) I eat for better health and performance in my training. For about two years, I have successfully excluded refined sugar and vegetable oils from my diet, as well as all but a few processed foods. Recently, I have used Excel to track my food intake and the ratio of macronutrients that make up these foods on a spreadsheet. Per the suggestion of Dr. Simms, I started with a ratio of 30/40/30 (protein/carbohydrate/fat) and have since started working toward a ratio of 35/35/30 with more strength and endurance-type training I have pursued. Ultimately, my goal of decreasing my strong carbohydrate dependence to allow for more protein intake has served me well. Since January, I have built more muscle with regular strength training two to three days a week, and I have also experienced some unplanned weight loss of about 3-4 pounds, depending on the day (I appreciate your understanding with that disclaimer). 

See an example of what an average day looks like for me:

Per Dr. Simms' suggestion, I started consuming a bit of protein before my workouts rather than start my training in a fasted state. F2C's Natural Whey Pure Energy blend and Pharma-pure Whey Natural serve as my pre- and post workout calorie sources, mostly because my stomach tolerates them best. By more closely watching my ratios of macronutrients, I do not exceed my intake of carbohydrates quite like I used to do. In fact, by getting more of my carbohydrates from whole, natural sources like fruits, vegetables, and oatmeal, my reliance upon my beloved sourdough bread and toast has diminished significantly. An unintended result is I have not experienced quite the GI distress and bloating I once did. (Bryan says hooray! to that).

If I am not using it as a pre workout calorie source, I enjoy it
at the end of a long day in the form of a smoothie or ice cream.
I cannot go wrong either way. 

Through all of this, I may appear even more picky about my food now than I once did. In fact, Bryan rolls his eyes when his dinner has been portioned, too. I remind him that his spaghetti tastes just as good with the Italian sausage cooked into 4oz meatballs as it does when the meat is floating freely throughout. 

It does not hurt to be picky about your food.
When you train to perform at your best, only
the best food will do. 

My more careful attention to ratios has not affected my overall calorie intake, however. In fact, I am less concerned about that as I am about my ratios. Over the past couple months, I consistently put down over three thousand calories a day, and as my training hours have steadily increased, so, too, has my food intake. I remind myself daily that developing a healthy relationship with food does not revolve around depriving myself of it, but more importantly, eating the necessary amount of quality fuel my body needs to perform at its best. My foray into this year of 2019 has challenged me tremendously, and I recognize my ability to eat consciously will help my body heal and move forward into training that more closely resembles that of a professional. 


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