Growing up, I always thought that I ate relatively healthily and lived a pretty active lifestyle. I ate home-cooked meals, played competitive sports, loved to play outside, and was very adventurous. I never thought that I would become overweight, especially since it never seemed like my body could become overweight. I wasn’t wrong, but I wasn’t 100% right either.
I went to college and ate like a typical college kid. Most of my meals were from the cafeteria, or were simple, easy groceries that would fit into a dorm room. I wasn’t as well-informed back then, and I actually thought that fruit snacks were healthy. Oi. I ended up gaining a large amount of body fat without gaining too much weight, so I never noticed much until I ended up losing what I now call my “college athlete fat”. Once I looked at myself in the mirror, I knew I that wasn’t overweight or obese; I just knew that I needed to learn the healthy way to eat and find a new hobby to stay moving.
Once I determined that I wanted to make the positive changes to my lifestyle, I did a fair amount of research as well as asking my peers for advice on better eating habits. Eventually, someone told me about the Paleo Diet. The Paleo Diet is a diet based on only eating the types of foods that caveman would have had access to–foods that are huntable, pickable, gardenable, or farmable in the wild. I then started to wonder how to know how much to eat when following a diet plan. This is when I decided to really study macro-nutrition. Once I figured out how many calories, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates my body needed to function optimally, the Paleo Diet just made sense! I started off creating my meal plan by breaking everything down into 3-4 meals a day. This worked best with my schedule at the time.
My Macro-Nutrition Plan:
Keep in mind that the following information is tailored to my own macro-nutritional needs. Everyone has different macros, and if you’re interested in finding your own, all of my nutritional guidance clients get their own, customized programs!
Every morning before my 4:00AM shift at Dunkin’ Donuts, I would eat three-to-four eggs whites, half an avocado, two turkey sausage links, and one apple with some almond butter. Working in the food industry can make it extremely easy to sabotage your nutrition, so this prevented me from eating the food at Dunkin’. Once I got home around noon, I would have a lunch typically consisting of a simple baby spinach salad with some other vegetables, apple cider vinegar, and a baked potato.
Don’t forget that, on the Paleo Diet, I was striving to eat as a caveman would have. This means that butter, sour cream, and shredded cheese, etc. were off-limits, as cavemen didn’t have access to such processed foods. The meals were very healthy but also very bland tasting without any added condiments, seasonings, or complex ingredients.
During this time, I also had a personal training gig at a local gym. I had an hour or two between jobs, so I would rest up quickly, eat a bowl of oatmeal with some nonfat milk and two pieces of fruit, and then strive to get to the gym by 3:00PM, an hour before my shift started so that I could lift. My mid-work snack was typically an orange and a protein shake, and I then wouldn’t eat again until dinner. After finishing my shift at 8:00PM, I’d finish my workout, head home around 9:00PM, and then eat some chicken, brown rice, and peas.
I did this meal plan for eight months. I went down in pounds, became stronger, became more active, and was eating a lot healthier, too. Eventually, the habits became second-nature, and I stopped having to weigh or measure my food. I no longer had to eat the same thing day after day, week after week. I became aware of portion size and control, of good nutrition, how some condiments can turn a good food bad, and how to balance out each meal to a natural fullness within my macros for that day.
The sooner that you start improving your diet and lifestyle, the sooner the habits will form and the healthier that you’ll be!
That is the 3GX Way!