It's always good to think outside the box, right?
This is the great thing about the online tools for tracking macros and calories. We can think outside the box and don't have to rely on the old boring meal plans given to us in the past, that are designed for weight loss.
I often hear people say, they fall off the rails big time when they don't track their food.
But yet others track their food, day after day, month after month, year after year, and are still frustrated because they have not lost the weight they want to lose.
Often when we rely on tracking as we go, the problem is that we miss the mark. There isn't enough planning. It's a free for all, eating what we feel like eating without a plan, then we just stop at a certain point.
It's still just winging it.
Even if we do a good job and making sure to get in protein at every meal, we end up missing the mark.
We get stuck in this endless loop with "Oh well, tomorrow is a new day!"
We often go too high on calories, and sometimes we go too low. We also miss the mark on our protein goal.
If you are failing at this method, it's time to think a little more inside the box. Instead of winging it, make a plan, and follow the plan instead of winging it. Plan out your whole day the night before, then follow the plan! You will need to either write out the plan or pack it all in a box.
If you write out the plan, check off each meal or item as you eat it, making sure you actually follow the plan.
The days I work in the warehouse, I have a long commute. I don't have time to take a long break to forage for food, so I pack everything I need for the day.
It's almost a whole days worth of food. I have a few more calories left at the end of the day for a light dinner.
The recipe for my soup in the thermos is inside the forum in the recipe section 😋.
I think about this box often, because I have to carefully plan what goes in the box. If I happen to pack the whole days' calorie budget it's a perfect box. I only eat what's in the box and I'm golden. I can visualize the day. I can eat the whole box at once, or I can pace it out and make it a nice smooth day.
It's no joke, that sometimes I want the whole box at once! I have to teach myself to smooth it out. I drink a big glass of water, or sip on some nice hot tea, and get myself back to work.
Emmersing myself at work makes me forget that I want to eat the whole box at once.
Document your perfect day of food
If you have been logging your food for a while, go find your best day. You know, the day you ate food you really liked and felt good, and the protein and calories were spot-on. I bet you already have a few days like that.
Get a hardbound journal and start documenting those days. Make one meal plan per page. Put the total calories and macros at the top. List each meal with the amount of each ingredient and the total calories and macros for the meal. Add a tab to the page, something like "1500 calorie day".
Make some days up to your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) and some days at various deficit points, all with tabs indicating the calorie total.
Who can tell me why the TDEE days are important?
See, every day doesn't have to be the same.
Some days we can think out of the box.
Some days we can think in the box!
Whatever you choose for today, make it the best Tuesday of the week!
PS the Level-1 Bar is basically a candy bar with 20 grams of protein. It's my comfort food many days and helps me stay on track with protein and calories, especially when I'm not in the mood for my savory soups. At first I thought they were too expensive, but they are a meal, they cost no more than any other high protein meal, and they offer me tremendous enjoyment. My favorite lately is the Chocolate PB Pretzel, OMG, heaven!