Now obviously I have to give a big shout out to my semi-decent metabolic rate. I won't deny even for a second that I'm naturally a slim girl, but I do have a wobbly belly. Of course, you guys will never get to see that because - let's face it - an Instagram feed of pretty makeup products and carefully selected selfies mixed with the odd snap of my bloated belly after a binge is not what you guys bargained for. I post photos when I look my best - like most other internet folk. Half the time I don't even look like the me I portray on the internet, and the fact that I'm admitting that will hopefully indicate to you guys that - despite how things might have looked before - I'm being utterly truthful when I say that my belly maybe wasn't/isn't as flat as you might think it is and - more importantly - I'm probably not as healthy as I night look either. But I'm working on it.
Now like most girls my age, I'll admit to trying pretty much every weight loss technique in the book. Low carb diets that leave me hungry, weight loss teas that just make you poop, waist trainers that hurt and restrict breathing. I've tried the healthy, the not so healthy and the downright stupid but - despite it being potentially the most basic method in the book - I'd never really tried calorie counting.
I wish there was a way for me to make the whole calorie counting thing sound more exciting, but I'm just going to have to hope you guys take note of the fact that, hey, I'm not promoting a product and I'm not sponsored to say any of this. It's simply what worked (and what is still working) for me. It's the easier 'diet' I've ever done.
So anyway, the idea of Macro dieting is that you work out how many calories you require per day (using an online Macro calculator) to both function well, whilst working towards your goal, whether that's fat loss or gain, body building, whatever. Everyone varies depending on their age, size, gender, job - all of the above - so I'm not even going to get into the numbers of calories I eat per day, because the number of calories I might have could be vastly different than what you might need for your goals. The idea is to eat as much as you can whilst working towards your goals, and so I've put together some tips (that work) if you're a McDonalds munching maniac like me.
Granted, the title of this blog post either sounds too good to be true, or strangely like one of those spam emails informing you how to get a twenty inch penis in just twenty four hours (which by the way, is in fact the title for an upcoming post). But - believe it or not - I have come across a way to slim down, whilst still being able to scoff pizza and pastries. And no, you don't have to drink any strange tasting teas or work out at the gym ten hours a day (although a few gym sessions here and there does help move things a long a little). All you have to do, is track the number of calories you consume each day.
Now I know what you're thinking. Steph, is that it? You want me to eat a few less calories and I'll apparently turn into some sort of Sports Illustrated model? But I'm not talking about switching up your morning cereal for a bowl of Special K (other cereal brands are available), I'm talking about a complete calorie controlled diet. Pretty boring, right? But hey, remember what I said at the start - you can lose weight, and eat whatever the hell you want. And you can throw in one or two cheat days a week too.
C'mon guys, did you really think I was gonna go all kale salad with a side of avocado on you? Pizza still makes up the majority of my diet - cheat day, or no cheat day.
So what on earth is this pizza fuelled diet that has apparently made me lose weight? Well you may have heard the 'If It Fits Your Macros' slogan cropping up on Instagram in the past few years, accompanied with photos of oiled up men and women tensing at body building shows and fitness expos. It can be kind of daunting. But let me tell you this. If I, the biggest pig in the whole world - can manage this diet, then I'm almost certain you ladies and gents with some for of restraint will kill it.
See, an average day for me before macro dieting consisted of pastries (yes, plural) for breakfast accompanied with copious amounts of sugary coffee, followed with about four cheese toasties for lunch, a large dominos pizza for dinner with full fat coke and as many sweets as I could humanly fit into my stomach as possible (which is a lot, if you were at all curious).
Let's just say, that diet did not fit my macros.
Weigh your food
Seriously, I promise I'm not crazy. Ollie has been doing this diet for months (and he looks great for it) and every time he whacked out the weighing scales I thought he was being obsessive. Sure, it doesn't matter if you underestimate how much cheese you're having one day. But if you do that for every day of the week, as well as evertthing else you'll eat, you might find yourself scoffing an extra 1000 calories a week without even realising it. As soon as you know exactly how much of something youre eating, pop it into MyFitnessPal and it'll track exactly how many calories that one serving contains. It'll also save the foods you eat often, so you don't have to keep scanning a piece of bread whenever you eat it.
ENJOY WHAT YOU EAT
Why eat food if you don't enjoy it? I mentioned all of thse diets I've tried (and failed at) before, and the reason they never worked out for me was because I couldn't eat bread, or I wasn't allowed to snack. I don't know about you guys, but when I get told I can't do something, I kind of want to do it even more. The best thing about Macro dieting is that, yeah sure, you do have to stick to a certain number of calories some days, but you can also eat whatever you want within those calories. Obviously you still want to eat as healthy as possible, but when PMT (or the male equivalent) strikes, you can stock up on all the baked goods you want without the guilt.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Last but absolutely not least is that you need to listen to whatever is going on with your own body, not someone else's. Just because someone else you look up to eats a certain amount of calories a day, doesn't mean you should too. Just because I'm telling you the Macro diet works for me, doesn't mean it'll be something you enjoy doing. If you're hungry, eat. If you're feeling sluggish, make sure you're eating healthily. No matter what, a healthy body is always better than any other type of body - thin, curvy, athletic, whatever. Make sure you're healthy on the inside first, then focus on the outside.
Track your food
How does one track how many calories one is eating per day? One downloads the MyFitnessPal app. It took me a while to do this, but now I do it almost religiously and it's the main thing that has kept me in line with my diet. All you do is simply scan your food (yes, it sounds insane) and/or select it in a search bar and save it. You'll be able to see everything that you've eaten all day for breakfast, lunch, whatever. Like I said, it sounds utterly insane - and it is tedious at first - but it really makes you think about what you're eating. The app also lets you track the amount of nutrients you've had, whilst also warning you if you've eaten a little too much salt or sugar. You'll start to think twice about scoffing those sweets. But hey, if it fits your macros..
Skimp out on the sauces
Sauce is like crack to me. In fact, apart from Haribo and pizza, sauce probably makes up the majority of my diet, which is exactly why I'm not going to tell you to get rid of it in your diet. I'd never force you to do such a terrible thing. But, if you do want to cut a few more calories out of your day (and only if!) then be sure to pay attention to how much sauce you're eating. I'm the sort of person that will drench fries in their weight in ketchup. I still do that, but, if I want to be extra good that day I'll skimp out on some of the things I don't 'need'. I mean, I'd much rather eat a few more fries than a mouthful of ketchup. Sauces are just empty (but delicious) calories.
Load up on vegetables
Vegetables are seriously, seriously low calorie, and yeah sure they're not always the most interesting things to shove in our gobs but they do full your belly. So from this day forward, I want you all to eat vegetables and just vegetables for the rest of your life. And I'm completely joking. Eat the food you like, but mix it with a side of veg to bulk out your meals a little more and keep you full for longer. If you want pizza, eat pizza. But instead of eating an entire deep pan by yourself, save half for the next day and load up the rest of your plate with salad. FYI: Half a tub of ice cream with a side of salad tastes rubbish.
DO YOU GUYS HAVE ANY CRAZY EATING HABITS?