Macros

What are Macros?

I’ve had several requests asking me to blog about macros and essentially why you don’t have to diet to lose weight. I’m going to try and make this blog as simple as I possibly can because the subject of macros can get really confusing.

Macronutrients aka macros are basically your fats, protein and carbohydrates in your diet. There are also micronutrients which are fibre, iron, vitamins etc etc but let’s not get into that.

Calculating your macros.

Everyone’s macros will be different; it depends on your height, weight, age and how active you are which determine what your macros will/should be.

If you just type on Google “macro calculator” and input your details, you will get the amount of calories you should be eating everyday to maintain your current weight. You can also use this to work out how much protein, carbs and fats you should be eating.

Carb intake really varies from person to person so I’ll use myself as an example. I’m really carb sensitive, so carb cycling really works for me. My maintenance carb level is 160g of carbs a day (worked out using tools on Google, also depends on how active you are also because carbs are our main source of energy). So on my “high carb days” I eat 160g of carbs from “clean foods” and have one big meal where I don’t calculate the carbs, on low carb days I eat around 60-80g of carbs. Here’s where macros get complicated; the most important aspect to your macros is the amount of calories you eat – energy in, verses energy out. It’s argued that as long as you know what your weight maintenance is, calorie intake should be; subtract 500 calories from your weight maintenance calories allowance and you should technically be allowed to eat anything you want and still lose weight. This includes “bad food”, so for example if you eat around 1500calories to lose weight and your carb intake is 100g, fats 40g and protein 160g (hypothetically) while also eating properly all day AND track everything you eat using the myfitnesspal app; and you see that you have 200 calories left and 40g of carbs and 20g of fats (hypothetically). Let’s also say that you’re really craving a chocolate bar and you choose one that has 200cals, 20g of fats and 40g of carbs you haven’t gone over your macros. You eating chocolate in this scenario should be fine.

The argument is as long as you eat within what you are supposed to eat it’s fine. Your body doesn’t differentiate between types of carbs and fats and treats them all the same. However with all this said, it doesn’t mean you can eat burgers all day long and still get lean. You do have to eat enough good food to get in your micronutrients for your body to function properly.

My main point is that as long as you eat 80:20; so 80% good food and 20% bad food (all within your macros), your weight loss goals can still be reached!

Don’t super restrict yourself but at the same time don’t over do it. It’s all about balance.

Top 10 weight loss tips

10 Weight Loss Tips

 

1) SLEEP!

If you do not get an adequate amount of sleep you will not lose as much weight as you should. Why? Because a lack of sleep increases stress levels, and increased stress levels mean higher cortisol level that will inhibit fat loss

 

2) Water.

Are you drinking enough water? Nope, 1 litre of water is not enough. I recommend at least 3 litres of water a day; you have to stay hydrated 24/7 and not to mention the other benefits of drinking water such as clearer skin, fluid digestion and many more.

 

3) Quantity of food.

We tend to think that we eat much less than we actually do. I didn’t realise how much I actually ate until I started weighing my food. Remember even if you’re eating really healthy food and you’re still in a calories surplus, you will gain weight; so make sure you know exactly how much you’re eating. Weight might not be ideal for everyone but it boils down to “how much do you really want this?” then going about and doing it. It sounds cliché, but you won’t see results without a level of dedication.

 

4) Are you a Cardio bunny?

Now I’m not a Cardio basher, I do cardio 3-6 times a week. Sometimes depending on my mood, I’ll even do two cardio sessions a day (on rest days when I’m restless due to not training I’ll do cardio). However with that being said, too much cardio can actually be counter productive.

Your body may get used to cardio and take it as part of your daily routine, and at this point you may hit a plateau. Also too much cardio increases stress levels, again cortisol levels increase and that’s exactly what we don’t want!

 

5) Rewarding yourself.

People tend to do a really good gym session and then reward themselves with “bad” food, you’ve basically just undone all the work you did. Try other reward methods.

 

6) Empty calories.

Some people hardly eat anything and wonder why they are not losing weight (not a good idea either). Remember drinks also contain calories; a bottle of coke has over 200 calories and sometimes you don’t realise how much fizzy drinks you’re drinking.

 

It’s all about controlling what goes in your mouth.

 

7) You don’t eat enough food.

This might sound confusing to some people, but our body is a machine. For our body to function properly it needs energy and it gets its energy from food. If you’re not eating enough food, how can it burn fat efficiently?

Some people think by eating less, your body will have no choice but to burn fat for energy; yes, and muscle and bone too. Your body doesn’t differentiate between any of those, in terms of where it gets it’s energy, so you might be dropping pounds on the scale but messing up your insides and it’s not sustainable in the long run.

 

8) Lifestyle changes not diet.

Stop going on fad diets where you complete 8-12 weeks lose weight, come off them, go back to eating how you normally eat and then end up piling the weight back on (and more).

Change your attitude towards food and exercise – view food as a fuel and not a comfort. Use exercise to strengthen your body and not because you want to want to look good in the summer – the other perks will come with it. Change your lifestyle, not just your diet.

 

9) Eating out.

I am also very guilty of this. I love going to restaurants and trying new things, but the truth is you never know exactly how much food your eating and what’s in it.

 

A tip around this is being very specific about what you want or don’t want in your food. For example, whenever I eat out now, I tend to get chicken and salad while always specifying that I do not want any dressing on my salad and requesting that my chicken should be lightly seasoned.

Obviously the safest thing is to either limit how many times you eat out or just not eat out at all.

 

10) Branding.

Beware of products that are labeled “low fat” or “low carb” – they are luring you into a false sense of security. Always check the nutritional content; it’s probably packed full of sugar. The best thing to do is stick to natural products at all times.

 

Health vs Fresher

I started university about 5 weeks ago and the first week is called freshers week. It’s a week of mingling, making friends, getting wasted and nursing hangovers with junk food. Before starting Uni I thought about how this would affect the healthy life style that I’m trying to build and I just said to myself “I’m dedicated enough so I’ll say no to bad food and alcohol” and that would be it! But then the first week of Uni arrives and this is how it went…

 

My first day here was also my first night out. While I managed to resist drinking, which I was very proud of, the next morning I also resisted eating a full English breakfast too. To my own surprise I was actually sticking to my fitness lifestyle – for about two days.

 

Now I’ll say it wasnt peer pressure but I definitely felt that people were connecting and building friendships over alcohol and pizza and somewhat felt left out. Like they say, if you can’t beat them join them, right? Throughout the remaining freshers week I went out, got drunk and ate crap – lots of crap. 

 

During the second week of Uni however, I disliked my body and was not happy with what I was seeing. I had put on 3lbs but felt at least a stone heavier. On top of that I felt totally untoned, very loose and saggy. So I sorted out my gym membership, started working out again but diet still wasn’t in tune.  After everyone settled in Uni and we all actually went out to buy food that can be cooked instead of takeouts everyday, my diet slowly returned back to healthy. 

 

Now I can sit and watch my flat mates eat pizza while I tuck into my tuna and veg. In saying that, I allow myself 2 cheat days so I can mingle and actually go out for lunch/dinner with new people. 

 

What the initial few weeks taught me was that it’s all about finding a balance for yourself and right now I think I’ve found my balance. I’d be lying to myself by saying that I wont drink or go to social events. Depriving my self of the social benefit of Uni wont help my mental state. You cannot out train a bad diet but when I drink I do extra cardio to try and compensate for it; thats just to make myself feel better and not get depressed.  

I’m currently consuming 3 meals a day but slowly trying to get that to 5 small meals. My body is responding really well and I no longer feel huge! 😂

 

GOALS!!

Once in a while we all sit back and ask ourselves “What exactly am I trying to achieve?” and today was when I asked myself exactly that. Oddly enough I decided everything I want to achieve and the time frame in which I want to achieve it in.

Short term goals:
1) My short term goal is to compete in Musclemania in 2 weeks because I’d really like to gain experience on stage and to confirm to myself that this is what I want to do.

2) To work my ass off after Musclemania and to get my body in an even better shape, which I know is going to be extremely difficult primarily because I’m starting university one week after Musclemania.  We already know that Freshers Week means Alcohol week, but ultimately I’m going to try to limit my alcohol intake and gradually quit for good.

Long term goals:
1) To do 2-3 more shows while I’m at Uni because I can only really prepare and go into full contest mode after exams. This means I can only do shows that are in September or October. During the Summer is when I’ll be able to do a lot of my preparation work.

2) While after University, so basically after 3 years of intense studying,  I’m hoping to pursue and gain my Pro Card. Yes guys,  I’ve decided I want to become a professional bikini body builder. I’m waiting till after University because,  although I’m very passionate about fitness my education does come first. Trying to go Pro takes the dedication of a full time job and I am not willing to sacrifice my university results for that. 

Once you get yourself goals it’s much easier for you to follow and actually achieve them because you know exactly what you want. 

I’m overwhelmingly excited for my future and as always I will be posting progress pictures (good or bad) on my instagram which is: lolasfitnessjourney

Let me know on twitter what your long term and short term fitness goals are: @lolafithd

Body(muscle) dysmorphia

I want bigger quads, bigger calves, bigger hams, bigger biceps, BIGGER EVERYTHING! I train calves 3 times a week because I want bigger calves and hamstrings twice a week because I want them bigger also. I find myself doing bicep curls inbetween sets because I want bigger biceps simply because i’m just not satisfied with my improvements where I want them more than anything and faster. 

This is a good and a bad thing, good because I improve my body and look better, bad because I let it consume me and i’m also forgetting the fact that genetics plays such a big part in the growth of my muscles. My calves wont get any bigger they’ll just look more toned, my biceps will never be as big as I want them to be because I’m a female and my hams are probably reaching their growth capacity. This is an upsetting fact but its a fact non the less. 

We all have to get to a stage where we accept that genetics are a bitch and start cutting ourselves some slack, but not to much slack. 

I just want more and I dont think i’ll ever be fully satisfied yet I think to myself “Yeah they are bigger than 2 weeks ago but they are still not big enough”. While other times  I think to myself “It doesn’t look any different”. I even think one bicep is bigger than the other although I work them just the same amount.  Its hard to accept that its all just psychological when you’re convinced you’r right!

3 weeks and a bit till the competition so muscles better just GROOOOWWW, GROOOWWW, GROOOWW!!!!!!

Self doubt

Its officially 6 weeks before competition.
For the past 2 days i’ve had a major drop in confidence, i keep looking at pictures of girls that are competing in 6 weeks time and they look so much better than me, they could probably go on stage right now and win, this has lead to me questioning why i’m putting myself through this emotional stress, and lead to a mini binge (when i say mini binge i mean eating food i enjoy such as brown stew chicken and rice) it did NOT make me feel any better about myself infact it made me feel soo much worse and made me question how committed i really am, leading to more self doubt and more loss in confidence  (vicious cycle), although my diet wasnt going to plan i was still following my exercise plan. 
I had a mini epiphany this morning and decided this is 100% what i want, i am 100% dedicated and will work my ass off to get where i need to be, it wont be easy and i do have to work harder than other girls but it’ll be worth every second of it, also decided i need to stop looking at what others have achieved and how far i have to go but instead look at what i’ve achieved and how far i’ve come, i recommend taking progress pictures, mine just stopped me from giving up and going back to square one, the next 6 weeks will be blood, sweat and tears but i’m ready for it.
 I wrote top half of this blog a week ago, since then my confidence is back and i’m working harder than ever, my revised diet and exercise plan makes me feel better and more confident i now have 5 weeks before competition time and i’m so ready, i can see the significant changes in my body and it excites me that i’ve changed this much in such a short time.

Why?

The most common question i get asked in regards to fitness is “why are you doing this?” So it makes sense that my first blog will be an explanation of what i’m doing and why i’m doing it.

 
I’ve been going to the gym on and off for the past 3 years, and i’ve always stopped because my main goal would be to lose weight, and since i lose weight pretty quickly i get bored and stop and the weight piles back on.
 
When i started working out again about 5 weeks ago again my main aim was to lose weight,  i  just wanted to be 9st, i got in touch with a personal trainer and trained with him and my sister(who’s also my gym partner).
 
 A week into my training sessions with my personal trainer he had me doing deadlifts highly weighted squats and lifting weights i didn’t know my body was capable of lifting, so it stopped being about losing weight and about actually getting strong, i’m naturally a competitive person so i loved beating my personal bests each week, during this time i also started eating really healthy and limited the amount of carbs i ate, i also introduced more fruit and veg into my diet, i then created an Instagram page to document my “journey” the response i got from my Instagram page was over whelming, people were messaging me telling me how much i inspired them to want to get fit after seeing my progress.
 
Fast forward to week 4 of starting fitness, i met up with the founder of team HD (champion of musclemania 2013) who had seen my dedication and progress online and asked me to be part of the team to which i agreed, then came the suggestion that i actually start training to compete in the bikini division of muscle mania in September, i protested because it would mean i only had 8 weeks to get my body competition ready, and that would be gruelling, after a long conversation and the use of “theres no such thing as cant” i actually agreed, so for the past week i’ve been prepping and training to compete  for Miss bikini uk, its important to remember that some people have been prepping for this competition for about 5 months and i’ve only had 2, i’m doing this for the experience (but who doesn’t like to win) and to get a taste of competition life.
 
So to answer the question no i’m not doing this to get a summer body, i’m not pushing my body to its limits to be accepted by people, i’m doing this for me, i’m doing this because i’ve learnt to love the sport and because nothing makes me happier than training, i’m 100% addicted to the endorphins and to the lifestyle.