I have been a BTB member for 6 months now. In that time, I have lost over 8kg, 20inches and reduced my body fat by 12%. I’m really pleased with those numbers and the best thing is that in that time I have had a life, been out for dinner, had takeaways, drank alcohol and enjoyed the calorific glory of birthday cake and Christmas dinner. I have also consistently dropped weight and inches while getting stronger and fitter.
There is no magic wand. I have put the hard work in at the gym and I have learnt about planning and control. I have put this post together to share how I have managed to stay on track (not all the time) while balancing work, being a mum and a life surrounded by temptation.
If you have found this post then you have probably read things from Glenn about a calorie deficit and that is what I aim to achieve each day. Glenn helped me work out the calories and macros I should be aiming for and that is what I plan against with the help of MyFitnessPal. I am six months into this now so it is pretty easy. I have a range of recipes I use regularly and have saved in MyFitnessPal so its easy to track and plan.
Its Sunday night as I write this and this is the key time for us to set up for the week as I checked our plan and the fridge in case we missed anything off the shopping list. At lunchtime today, I cooked a batch of piri piri chicken and rice and portioned it out ready for the next 3 days of lunches. On Wednesday night we don’t go to the gym so we will have something for dinner that we can make extra portions of. That will cover our lunches on Thursday and Friday at work, this week it will be egg fried rice. That’s lunches for the week sorted and I know all of them are around 400 calories. I have found that lunch was the most important thing for me to plan and get sorted because if I wasn’t working I was likely to pick and nibble all morning if I didn’t have a nice lunch planned and if I was working I would pop to Tesco in the morning and buy loads of rubbish!
When I have sorted the lunches the next thing I sort is dinners. I have always been someone that will batch cook and I am often mocked by people because my freezer if full of neatly labelled tubs. These are there as back up and for days we are rushing around, as long as one of us remembers to get one out of the freezer in the morning! This week for dinners we are having chicken and pesto pasta, stir fry, egg fried rice, beef bourguignon (from the freezer) and fajitas. All of these meals work out at around 500 calories.
So, its Sunday night and I am sorted for the week. The fridge is full as is the fruit bowl. Each evening I will input the next day’s lunch and dinner into MyFitnessPal. I then know how many calories I have left for my breakfast and snacks throughout the day. Once I have put in my breakfast I check my macros. This is where another bit of planning can really help, having snacks for each area ready. If I need more fat then I add a handful of nuts, more carbs then I have some extra fruit and if I’m low on protein I can have a protein shake. If I am wildly off then I change what I am having for breakfast. Also, if I know I have something coming up that week where I may eat more, I aim to be slightly under each day in preparation.
This may sound like a lot if you are starting from scratch but I have built this up over six months. It has built up like this.
I started by just tracking my calories for a few weeks to see how much I was actually eating. Honestly tracking. Every sneaky biscuit. Actual portion sizes. Weighed and measured amounts.
I set my calorie target (with Glenn’s help) and just tried to hit it. Starting with small changes like portion size.
I started saving recipes in MyFitnessPal to save time when tracking. I like to use recipes from FoodForFitness and The Hairy Dieters.
I started to try to hit a protein goal when planning and then the remaining calories I could use however I liked as long as I was in my calories.
I reassessed my calorie target after losing the first 7kg
I started to try and hit all 3 macros.
I have just realised how boring this all makes me sound but in reality, it probably takes an extra 10 minutes a day to check what I can eat and it makes it really easy to stick to my plan.
The main thing I have found is that now we are in this routine if I fall off the bandwagon, attack the biscuit tin at work, eat my son’s leftover dinner, drink my weight in calories on a night out or just really fancy a massive piece of cake … it doesn’t matter! My calorie goal is set to lose just under a pound a week. If I aim to be good and hit this for 30 days I would hopefully lose 4 pounds. But, if in that time I have a dinner out, a stress induced biscuit binge, a cheeky extra glass of wine and some cake I won’t lose 4 pounds … but I’ll probably lose 3 because the rest of the time I have planned to succeed.
Without the planning I would’ve still lost some weight and inches since joining BTB but it definitely wouldn’t have been as much or as consistent. I don’t think I would’ve realised just how high my calorie intake was (even though my increasing weight should’ve given me a clue) and I would’ve been able to take control.