Monday, October 20, 2014

Trying New Things: I Hired a Nutrition Coach

Joy Victoria
Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach

Even coaches need coaches. 

And I hired a nutrition coach. 

As a fitness professional, I can help the "average person" with their nutrition. I've tried a lot of fad diets and I can speak from experience about them. I've had disordered eating in the past, I've tried ketogenic, Paleo, carb back loading, etc. I understand that for the vast majority of people, it's going to be about calories and portion control. And how one goes about reining in their calories is about individual variations in psychology around food. 

So if I get that calories in and calories out is the biggest piece, and macro nutrient ratios is the next biggest piece, why did I hire a coach to help me with it?

Like I said: psychology. 

I used to do my own strength programming. And for the 1+ year after shoulder surgery, that was fine. I would make progress until I didn't, change it up a bit, then continue making progress. No problem. But when the gains started coming slower, I started getting frustrated and that would cloud my judgement in making alterations to my program. That's when I started following the Cal Strength club program. 

I'm at the same point with my eating. I'm older now, and these things matter more. Nutrition and recovery are so intertwined, that I knew if I let my emotions cloud my food choices, I'd only be hobbling myself. 

So I get my initial plan...

Let's start this by saying, intellectually, I know that getting sufficient carbs is important for performance and recovery. But I'm surrounding in this world of Paleo, keto, carb-cycling where so many Instagram hashtags are all #waroncarbs and #carbsarefortheweak. So when I decided I was going to make myself get 160 grams of carbs a day, and started eating two donuts after training, it felt revolutionary and was treated revolutionarily by others. 

Then Joy sends me my macro breakdown:

I'm supposed to eat calories in carbs what many women think they're supposed eat in calories all day.

So I went home that day and spent 1.5 hours on MyFitnessPal trying various portions of the food I already cooked along with easy to add carbs. I wanted to try to hit these numbers right away but in the easiest way possible. I can "complicate" it more later. 

Other guidelines for hitting these macros

Since I admitted to sleeping poorly (I only get 7.5 hours of sleep most nights, and that sleep I do get is pretty bad), she asked that I stop drinking coffee after 12pm, nix the glass of wine before bed for a while, and have me eat the bulk of my carbs with dinner. 

This isn't comfortable to do, but I've been sleeping like a fucking champion this week. 

The "no coffee after 12pm" is tough because I JUST LOVE COFFEE. I drink coffee flavored protein! I love coffee flavored ice cream! I want coffee smelling candles! However, it's had the unintended consequence of me drinking a lot more water. Logic: if I fill my stomach with water, all the awful sloshy feelings will make me less attracted to wanting more liquid. So far, that's working. 

The "bulk of carbs at night" thing is tough, too. Since I've already made a bunch of food, enchiladas, quiche, and meatballs, that only have so much carb in them, I'm left eating a medium bowl of white rice followed by two cups of frosted mini wheats to hit the numbers. To almost hit the numbers, anyway. 

After that I'm laying on the couch, groaning and whining to my boyfriend for about 10 minutes and then I pass out. My boyfriend, the saint that he is, doesn't leave me there to sleep, but relentlessly works to make me go up to bed. I'm a big girl, so carrying me there isn't an option. 

Four days in...

So far I feel great. I really expected to feel bloated eating so many carbs right before bed, but my body doesn't seem to be responding that way at all. The macros right now are supposed to be at maintenance level, and that is whats happening so far. I weighed in today at 182.3 lbs, which is right at normal, so no water retention happening here. 

Coupled with feeling pretty recovered from picking back up normal lifting work again, and sleeping pretty deeply at night, I guess there is something to this eating all the carbs. :) 

I'll be posting updates as things go along and we make changes. Take-away, carbs really are our friends. (Protein, too, but you already knew that.) 

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