Fitness

Overall View Of My Diet – Before My Fitness Journey, During & Now

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First of all, what is a diet?
A diet is the kind of food and beverages you habitually consume.
My diet consists of a variety of foods. Grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats. It even consists of brownies, cookies, cakes and fried foods. Yes, all that “unhealthy” food, it’s part of my diet and I enjoy it. I never say I’m on a “diet” because I’m all about balance and moderation, not restriction.

Secondly, what should your diet consist of?
1. Whole Grains – brown rice, quinoa, bread, crackers, oatmeal, pasta/noodles
2. Vegetables – salad greens (spinach, kale, lettuce), cooked (broccoli, zucchini, carrots), sweet potato
3. Fruit – banana, apple, kiwi, orange, grapes, fresh fruit juice
4. Lean Protein/Alternatives – chicken, tilapia, salmon, eggs, tofu, tempeh, legumes, beans
5. Healthy Fats – avocado, olive oil, nuts, nut butter
6. Dairy/Alternatives – low fat milk, almond milk, cashew milk, yogurt, low fat cheese
7. Fluid Intake – water, coffee, tea

Lastly, what is a serving size?
A serving size is a standardized way of measuring food based on one’s specific nutritional requirements. Imagine a baseball, deck of cards or computer mouse. These are all ways to picture a single “serving size”. Recognizing these comparisons will help you eat foods in moderation & ensure you get your required needs.

Grains:
½ cup rice, pasta, cooked cereal
½-¾ cup dry cereal

Vegetables
½ cup cooked vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions)
1 cup raw leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, arugula, mixed greens)

Fruits:
½ cup canned, cut or cooked fruit
½ cup fruit juice
1 medium fruit (size of a baseball)
1 apple, orange, banana
2 kiwi, 2 tangerines

Protein: Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans & Nuts:
3 oz cooked lean meat, poultry, fish (size of a computer mouse)
½ cup cooked beans
2 tbsp nut butter
2 whole eggs

Dairy:
1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk/yogurt
1 ½ oz fat-free or low-fat cheese

Fats
1 tbsp oil
1/5 avocado


One of the most common questions I get asked is, do I count calories or macros?
I use to count calories but it got to my head. I got obsessed. It became unhealthy for me because I wouldn’t eat an extra bite of food once I hit my caloric intake because it was “too many calories” for the day. I wasn’t happy. As for counting macros, it was too much effort for me to do. However, I believe counting macros is a great way of flexible dieting and to eat what you enjoy!

I’m not against counting calories or macros, but if you have the wrong intentions of doing so, it can be harmful in the long run and lead to other problems. I focus on eating an overall healthy balanced diet. I don’t want to put TOO much emphasis on what I can and can’t eat. I like to enjoy the different types of food instead of overanalyzing everything in it. Basically, I eat as healthy as I can when I cook myself but when I’m out and socializing, I’m lenient. Food is used as a social interaction and a way to bond with friends and family in my opinion. You would be missing out if you restrict yourself all the time!


My diet before starting my fitness journey.
In case you all didn’t know, my fitness journey started because I wanted that “ideal body” in 12 weeks. I was heavily restricted during this time. I weighed myself several times a week. I DID eat 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) but rarely any snacks in between. Typically, it was a very low-carb diet. I fatigued easily. I got migraines and was constantly tired. I tried to push myself through my workouts but I was difficult. I didn’t know what the cause of my conditions were until I started eating more!

My serving intake:
Grains: 2-3
Vegetables/Legumes: 1-2
Fruit: 2-3
Dairy: 0-1
Lean Meat/Fish/Alternatives: 2-3
Healthy Fats: 1-2

Example:
Breakfast: 1 slice toast, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 banana
Lunch: ½ cup quinoa, 3 oz chicken, ½ cup broccoli
Snack: yogurt and blueberries
Dinner: ½ sweet potato, 3 oz tilapia, ½ cup green beans


My diet 12 weeks into the BBG Guides.
I changed to Kayla’s BBG HELP Guide. I didn’t follow the recipes but I followed the serving sizes. The recommended servings were 6 grains, 5 vegetables/legumes, 2 fruit, 2.5 dairy, 2.5 lean meat/fish/alternatives, 2 healthy fats and 8 cups of fluids. This is an average of 1600 calories a day. You should be adjusting the servings accordingly to your needs. The hardest part for me was upping my grain intake. I was SCARED of carbs. I wanted to reach my goal so RESTRICTION was my main goal at this time.

My serving intake:
Grains: 4-5
Vegetables/Legumes: 2-3
Fruit: 2-3
Dairy: 1-2
Lean Meat/Fish/Alternatives: 2-3
Healthy Fats: 0-1

Example:
Breakfast: 2 slices toast, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 banana, ¼ cup yogurt
Lunch: ½ cup quinoa, 4 oz chicken, ½ cup broccoli, 1 tsp olive oil
Snack: 10 almonds, yogurt and blueberries
Dinner: 1 sweet potato, 4 oz tilapia, ½ cup green beans


My Current Diet. 75 Weeks In.
I eat A LOT more. If you’ve seen my food diaries, it does look like a lot of food. I still follow Kayla’s HELP guide servings but I have more servings. I eat about 2000 calories a day. Sometimes even more! I don’t count but I will randomly input my food into FitnessPal to make sure I am eating enough or just to have an overall idea of how much I eat.

My serving intake:
Grains: 6-7
Vegetables/Legumes: 3-4
Fruit: 2-3
Dairy: 2-3
Lean Meat/Fish/Alternatives: 4-5
Healthy Fats: 2-3 

Example:
Breakfast: 2 slices toast, 2 tbsp peanut butter, 1 banana, 1-cup yogurt w/ honey & sunflower seeds
Snack: handful of mixed nuts, ½ cup fruit
Lunch: ½ cup quinoa, 4 oz chicken, 1 cup broccoli, 2 tsp olive oil, ½ cup tofu
Snack: 20 almonds, yogurt and blueberries, crackers w/ hummus, ½ cup edamame beans
Dinner: 1 sweet potato, 4 oz tilapia, 1 cup green beans, 2 tsp olive oil
Snack: 1 hardboiled egg with string cheese


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Overall, I’ve learned that eating more is required for me to see greater results. I’ve discovered how much I need to eat for lasting energy during my workouts. It took a long time for me to overcome counting calories. It took a while for me to understand that restriction is NOT the key.

I’m here to let you know if you’re in any of these positions, you aren’t stuck. Feel free to ask me any questions and I’ll be glad to help!

** Currently eating & writing this post :’)

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9 thoughts on “Overall View Of My Diet – Before My Fitness Journey, During & Now

  1. I’m tracking macros from a trainer right now and I’m fine all day, then I binge at night. 😝 I feel silly because I track so carefully all day. I’m between 1,600-1700 everyday but probably eating over 2,00 everyday when night time snacks. I still want to track macros, but I don’t know what to do to avoid these night binges. Any advice?

  2. I have been doing BBG for 15 weeks now and I don’t feel like I’m seeing much progress, even though I push myself 110%!! The first period I ate low carb and maybe around 1500-1800 calories a day. Now I try to just eat when I’m hungry and I’m trying to don’t count calories – even though my head automatically counts.. I felt like I was still hungry eating 1600… But now I feel that I have gained more fat eating more. So basically after eating more in general and more carbs I feel much worse 😦 It makes me so sad, because I think I will never be able to enjoy my food without restrictions and still see results! I love the workouts and I actually have fallen in love doing BBG. It’s just makes me so sad when it comes to food. Sometimes I want to just binge because I don’t see any results, and sometimes I want to eat little again 😦 Do you have any advice? Thank you for being inspirational!

    1. Hi! I believe you can enjoy food without restrictions! It will take time but it can and will happen if you don’t give up 🙂 I personally think thatt eating more carbs and getting that “bad” feeling is more mental. It’s a mindset perspective that needs to be shifted but of course it takes time. I recommend to stay away from the calorie counting and enjoy your food in moderation. If you watch out on your portions and don’t overindulge often, you will be fine. Everyone’s body reacts differently so patience is key. If you are hungry, you can maybe drink some water first because you might just be “craving”. If you’re still hungry, have some fruit or something light. Sometimes “cravings” get misinterpreted as “hunger”.

  3. Hi Winnie, Thanks so much for the great post! You have been such an important influence on my journey to find balance and abundance in what I eat 🙂 Keep up the great work!

    One question: I was looking at my HELP guide and the fat servings says 2 teaspoon of nut butter is one serving, but one serving for you is 2 tablespoon? I know it’s a tiny issue but I’m just feeling confused and conflicted. 2 tbsp and 2 tsp seems to be pretty different. What do you think? What really is a normal serving of fat? Thanks so much for your time!!! You are amazing

    1. Hi, thank you! The HELP guide says one serving of fat is 2 tsp but I lean more towards of 1 serving as 1 tbsp just so it’s easier for me. Sorry if that was confusing! I gave a range of how many servings I eat because it can change day to day. So basically to me, 1 tbsp = 1 serving. 2 tbsp = 2 servings 🙂

  4. Hey Winnie,

    Just wondering how you count sweet potato and yam, do they count in grains or vegetable? Kayla’s HELP guide counts half a medium sweet potato as 1 serving or vegetable, but I like using it as my carb sometime, and I see that you do it with your meals too. So how do you could them? Thanks so much!! You rock

    1. Hi 🙂 I generally use it as a “carb” serving and sometimes it takes place as a grain serving but it’s not often! I’ll have some quinoa, rice or bread with my sweet potatoes often! it goes in between my veggie & grain servings

  5. Hi.😄. Just found your website. I must say it had been very helpful. I am still don’t understand. I want lose weight / fat. How do I do that with out restricting my calorie intake? Plus help . I am 5 2 and 132 pounds eating around 1300 and low carb and moderate fat and protien. Is that right. Should I be eating more. Help a girl out. Thank you.

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