I haven't come up with some clever name for this so "the project" it is. As I've finished my yoga teacher training, been working on my sports nutrition and competed in the fall I've gotten to have a good understanding of a lot of things related to the body and fitness. Above that I've also done a lot of research online and in numerous books.
So I've decided to take some test subjects and apply my knowledge and blog about their results/experiences and the process. I first did a call out on my Facebook for a volunteer, thinking nobody would want to let me blog about it. The response I got was flattering and amazing, so I picked three.
Vanessa is a fun social girl. 28 years old, was a competitive cheerleader in jr high, high school and leagues after high school for 3 years and also used to coach. She stopped cheering approx 4 years ago. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and is currently working on her Masters of Counselling via distance with Athabasca University. Currently works out about 3 days a week mostly cardio and some strength training. AS she refers to it though she's been "lazy" with it and not pushing herself.
When I asked her why she wanted to be a part of the project here is what she had to say:
I want to do this project because I need that extra push to get me into shape. I am usually pretty good at eating healthy and using my will power, but it is easy to veer off track. I also like having someone who is knowledgeable plan meals so that I know I am eating properly. I have been working out for a long time. I used to do crossfit, but they no longer have that at my gym. Therefore since switching gyms, I have been a bit "lazy" and not feeling up to making myself work hard, therefore, this will give me that push and make me fulfill this project! I am also all about challenging myself, and I know this will be a huge challenge.
Vanessa's goals are to loose 12 lbs and look great for a trip in March. She uses her goal weight number based off the last time she felt really good.
Jenn is one hard working super mama. She has a full time job, two young kids and a busy life. She has lost 35 lbs on her own since the spring. She is training for a half marathon this spring, a half iron man, long bike ride and 4 triathalons!!
When I asked her why she wanted to be a part of the project here is what she said:
I've been thinking about getting a trainer but cost is sometimes an issue. So I opted instead this year to get a triathlon coach as I thought that would be good start. But to have a fitness trainer that can help me focus on strength and nutrition will be a huge asset.
Jenn's goals are to loose another 35 lbs and to be in a size 8 or less pant. She says she wants to be lean and strong.
Dylan is a pretty physical guy used to play lots of hockey and still plays baseball. He is in the construction industry so his job can be physically demanding most of the time. Dylan usually works out at the gym 4-6 times a week, weights for an hour and cardio for 45min to an hour.
When I asked him why he wanted to be part of the project here is what he said:
Well i have been thinking about talking to a dietitian for awhile now and then it just so happened you needed a guinea pig. (Ah men, so few words. ha ha)
Dylan's goals are to loose 25-30 lbs and be down a pant size. This goal weight number is when he felt really good.
I had each of them take their weight, pictures and measurements, gave them a meal plan based of the calories/macros they need. I calculated these numbers based off of their weight, goals and activity levels.
I sent them all this first letter with some additional instruction on what to drink, supplements to take etc.
So the plan is that you will follow the diet plan for two weeks. I know it might be boring eating the same thing for two weeks, but its the easiest way for me to make sure the macro numbers I gave you are correct, and get a good reading of how the meal timing etc works for you.
After the two weeks, we will be starting to swap meals out for similar macros. So when you are preparing your food, please weigh on a food scale if at all possible (this applies to things that you will see with grams next to it) and log it into my fitness pal, for a few days at least to get the idea of how logging works. When you pull up an item you will be looking at the three main macronutrient components. Fat, Carbs and Protein.
Eventually we will have you swap out foods and meals for similar macros. So say you have chicken, salad and bread on your plan, you find out that the local Tim Hortons chicken sandwich has roughly the same macro makeup (carb,fat and protein amounts) you can have that instead. You all have a small treat at the end of your day. This treat fits the macronutrient profile you need, but because of the other foods you've eaten throughout the day your fiber and micronutrient profiles are fullfilled.
Ever heard of the quote everything in moderation? Well this is exactly it. Your little treat is in moderation. It may be hard at first to have a bag of Oreos or whatever your treat is, in the house. You may normally never buy these, because when you do you sit and eat a whole row or whole bag. Then, what normally happens is some sort of guilt associated with eating these foods. This project is more then just loosing weight or whatever your goal is. It's to help develop a better relationship with food and those foods we think are so evil. Everything in moderation also applies to healthy whole foods. Many of us get on the healthy eating train and a few days later eat a food we think is not considered healthy or "clean" and fall off our plans. Eating whole healthy foods is certainly best, but for mental health and to satisfy our taste buds we can also have treats.
Sometimes we get off track on things and eat things we arent suppose to, or some even under eat. Both are not great habits. Both are also very hard to break. So we may have slip ups and that's okay. We forgive ourselves and move on, staying on track the next meal. Please just let me know when this happens. Macronutrient counting is sort of a specific science so if you over eat or dont eat enough I need to know how its reflecting your weightloss or inches numbers. I promise you wont upset me or dissapoint or anything like that! That said of course, please stick to the plans as much as possible, this only makes your results that much better and faster.
Don't be frustrated by numbers on the scale. This is only one measurement we use. Generally most of us are more concerned with inches. But again, the scale is another hard habit to break.
Please enjoy the journey reading! Let me know in the comments what your goal is and why!