Welcome to my blog! Here, I will be discussing numerous topics. Topics may include but not limited to StarCraft, streaming, my career, political issues, philosophical ideas, wellness, or just plain ol' musing! So, with that intro, let's get started.
As someone who eats almost anything (except for the spicy/hot stuff!), I could almost get away with eating junk food my entire life. I'll eat to my heart's content on that stuff. Anyone that knows me can attest to my previous eating capabilities (at least in high school in college). Since then, I've kind of mellowed out, but people who have lived with me still say that I raid the fridge for leftovers at random hours on top of the main meals.
So, I took it upon myself to eat better. Much better than I have in the past. So, there's two topics I wish to discuss.
- Portion Control
So, the #52MealsChallenge is my 2015 New Year Resolution. It consists of trying a new meal/recipe every week to expand my cooking experience. This has other intended results outside of the experience of cooking food, such as spending less money eating out and being able to portion control (which I'll explain later). Every week, I either come up with a meal idea in my head, go online to find a recipe at budgetbytes.com or allrecipes.com, or talk with friends and have them recommend me a recipe. This week is #Week9 and I still have to choose a recipe, but I've been going strong since the beginning of the year and we're already 20% through the challenge! I've had items such as Spaghetti Bake, Maple Dijon Chicken Thighs, and Pizza Burgers! It's been a low key, but awesome challenge to get you motivated to doing more with your life, even if it's a tiny step in that direction! If you want to follow along, follow my Instagram account to see weekly updates!
Alright, so the fun part. Portion Control.
I am a huge proponents of calories in / calories out philosophy. I used to count macronutrients, but it got too tedious planning meals to hit macronutrients (Carbs/Fat/Protein) and it forced me to stick with consistent meals, which got boring after a period of time. Due to this, as long as you're burning the calories you take in, you should be maintaining. If you have a net positive calorie intake, then you should gain some weight. net negative intake will result in losing weight.
I started at 170 lbs at the beginning of 2015 and haven't been below 165 lbs since freshmen year of my college years, over 5 years ago. Even though I was fit and going to the gym often, I could never get low enough and wasn't willing to cut calories. However, I realized that I wanted to start losing some weight, and since work started scaling up like crazy, I didn't make time to workout (we'll explore that in another post) so I was left with no other choice but to cut calories.
The most effective way of doing this is to portion control. I accomplish this in two ways.
- Meal Prep Sunday
Meal Prep Sunday is the day I cook all of my meals for the week, so this essentially is about an hour or two set aside just for cooking. I cook all of my meals for the week and then all I have to do is go to the Fridge and pull it out and voila, we have a meal (microwave may be required). This works well with the #52MealsChallenge. The second, is the tupperware portion. I have 24 identical size tupperware containers. Before I plan the meals, I plan on making 500 - 600 calorie meals and then buy groceries/cook to portion out meals targeting that size. Then I place them individually in tupperware containers so that every time I pull out a container, it's just a single meal ready to go, and I move on with my day. This also contributes to other conveniences in my life as well.
It also helps to do a Calorie Challenge! A couple coworkers and I all went in together on a challenge. Every day, you have a calorie goal to hit (after exercise) and if you go over that calorie goal, you pay a penny in for every calorie you go over! You get one cheat day a week where you don't pay in for that day's worth and you can't use calories saved from other days as allowance for next days. It adds up quickly! I definitely lost the first month, but I tied at 0 calories over the entire month of February! (Save the four cheat days, of course). What is cool about this is that we encouraged (and trash talked) each other towards meeting our goals and many of us actually lost weight in the process (my lowest so far this year is 161.8, but right now I am more at 162.7) so it's been incredible how fun, powerful (and even punishing!) this challenge can do!
So there you have it! It's my secret to eating well. Of course, you can still go eat out, just watch what you eat and focus on portion control! I still struggle to deviate from my normal meals I eat (JL Beers, for instance, 1st Ave Burger with Egg and sea salt chips with Ranch dipping sauce... calorie nightmare or stomach's best friend?) and I have to remind myself to watch what I eat. This helps in two ways. Calorie restriction and helps focus your money towards what you really want to eat, which in theory should be less food = less money spent.
So, to recap.
- Follow me on Instagram if you want to keep up with the #52MealsChallenge
- Your Calorie Intake should be less than your calorie burning
- Plan one day (or hour/two hour session) to cook all of your meals for the week, and separate each meal into its own tupperware container.
- Not previously mentioned by important, Use MyFitnessPal to track your calories (or an alternative app)
There you have it! My first blog post, topic requested by my dear friend FoxeR from Rival Gaming! I hope this blog post was sort of coherent! I'll work on more formal writing next time!