A common question I get asked – – “Hey Chriss, what do you eat?”
Personally I think the answer is pretty boring, but I decided to put in here in black and white for anyone who might be interested.
Before I start, I just want to clarify a couple of things about me…
1) I am not super lean, ripped or shredded.
Even at my leanest I don’t have the perfect bikini body. I am a 46 year old Mum, who happens to also be a Personal Trainer. Being extremely lean and ripped is not that important to me. I am perfectly happy a little bit soft around the edges. The extra few kgs of body fat I hold represent the fun parts of my lifestyle that I am not willing to go without. To get leaner would “cost” more than I am willing to “spend”. (By cost I mean on time and effort).
I fluctuate between 62kgs (pretty lean) and 68kgs (soft edges). I am happy enough at around 64kg. (A nice balance of my vanity and lifestyle). I am 175cm tall.
For the record, as of the time of writing (Jan 2016), I am at my upper limit of 68kgs.
** Oh, I know someone is going to ask me about measuring my weight on the scales. I promise to address that in ANOTHER POST soon.
2) I am a creature of habit.
I am sure that my eating and exercise plan will sound super boring to some. I feel better with more routine and less variety. It doesn’t feel like restriction to me, I like it that way. This may be different for you. Do YOU, become the expert on yourself
3) Most of my food choices are simply because I like them.
Not because they are super healthy or the perfect choice. Don’t assume that my plan is what you should be eating.
4) I am really hungry in the morning and not hungry at night time
I plan for this. If you are hungrier at night time, please plan for that.
Ok, now that is out of the way…
What do I eat each day?
Breaky – around 6.30am – 2 weet-bix with low fat milk. I have had the same breakfast almost every day for the past 30 years. It’s my non negotiable. I LOVE my weet-bix.
Why low fat milk? Because I prefer the taste.
1 cup of tea with 1 sugar and low fat milk. Yes I eat sugar, however I do read my labels and aim to keep my daily sugar total to under 25grams per day (as recommended by World Health Organisation). I don’t “waste” my sugar budget on sauces, flavourings and low fat smoothies / yoghurts etc.
1st snack – around 9am – 2 slices of grain bread (I like Helga’s lower carb bread) with tinned tuna or egg. I add some salad where possible.
** These first 2 meals plus tea are EXACTLY the same every day. Less thinking = less willpower used = more will power left for the important decisions. I talk more about that HERE
Lunch – 12ish – I try to ensure that most of my main meals look like the portion plate pictured in THIS POST. One handful of carb rich food, one handful of protein rich food and lots of salad / veg.
My ideal lunch choice is left over dinner (see below). This doesn’t always happen. Lunch can be my downfall. I can end up at the local takeaway ordering my favourite satay chicken and white rice (much larger portion than I need) if I don’t prepare and plan.
Arvo snack – If my lunch was big, I don’t have one. If my lunch was small, I may have half a sandwich with protein and salad or left overs from the fridge. Ideally it will contain all 3 macronutrients. Protein, fat and carb (with fibre from salad or veg too).
Honestly, the afternoon snack can also be a downfall of mine, I’m working on it.
Dinner – I am a very plain eater. I don’t add many flavours, sauces, oils etc. As previously mentioned I aim to make my meals look like the portion plate .
A regular dinner is our house is
- small piece of steak on the BBQ, potato and lots of veg,
- spaghetti Bolognese with hidden grated carrot and zucchini plus a side salad
- taco’s with hidden grated veg in the mince
- fish, chips and salad
- baked dinner with lots of veg and limited potato.
- rice paper rolls
- chicken, rice and veg
I also keep cut up celery, carrots and beans in the fridge to snack on with THIS dip. However as I will discuss below, sometimes I snack on things that perhaps don’t help my goal.
All pretty normal and boring huh?
If I eat the same thing most of the time, why do I fluctuate weight? Why am I at my upper limit at the moment? What did I do different in that 62kg photo compared to the 68kg photo?
The answer really doesn’t come down to my meals. It comes down to all of the “little extra’s” that slip in. The mindless snacking on rice crackers, flavoured nuts or little packets of chips that are meant to be for my daughter. I like anything with crunch and flavour. And alcohol, way too much of that lately. Time to cut down.
I am not really a sweet eater, its not my taste preference, but I ate quite a few choccys over Christmas, because “they were there”.
Also I have been weight training less, which means less muscle on my body. 🙁 I aim to rectify that soon.
More important points about my eating plan…
(again, this doesn’t make these points “right”, just “right for me”)
- I don’t drink soft drink with sugar, fruit juices, flavoured tea, smoothies, sports drinks etc. I am a HUNGRY person. The more I “waste” calories on drinks, the less I get to eat. (Hypocritical when I drink alcohol. Don’t think I don’t know this about myself)
- I do drink coke zero. I can drink too much of it at times. It’s something I am not proud of. This doesn’t cause weight gain, but lets face it, water is a better option.
- If I have an unplanned processed carbohydrate on its own (think crackers / chips), I will reduce the size of my carb portion at my next meal.
- I really try to wait til I am “fairly hungry” to eat. Food tastes so much better when I do.
- I really try to stop eating when “satisfied”, not full.
- I don’t eat much fruit. This is not a positive. I need to address this. I don’t like a lot of fruit. My goal is to include an apple most days.
- I drink lots of water, I like it.
- I don’t drink coffee – I hate the taste.
- I love veggies, eating them is not a chore.
- I compensate for eating more at one meal by eating less at another. This doesn’t feel like punishment, it just feels like natural balance.
- When eating out I NEVER order the bread. More because I think its such a waste of money than any other reason.
- When eating out I will share a meal with a friend wherever possible. Its way more cost effective too.
- I am not ashamed to take my leftovers home (this goes back to my rule of “stop eating when satisfied”)
- I know that the weekly total is what is important, not micro-managing each meal.
- You will notice I eat 5 x per day. This does not boost my metabolism, that’s a myth. Its a routine that works for me however, so I stick with it.