Monday, April 9, 2012

A Calorie is Just a Calorie....Right??

Here's a quick story, just to prove a point. 

A few posts ago I advised women to "Ditch the Scale"- and I still hold on to this argument. But I wanted to add a few more words.

First of all - a little over 6 months ago I was in the habit of "clean eating." I weight trained, did interval cardio, and enjoyed going for long hikes and bike trips. My body fat measured between 13% - 15%. But I weighed myself DAILY and counted EVERY CALORIE. I kept my calories at just under 1200 a day. This kept the scale in my bathroom from going higher. Maybe you're familiar with this method of weight loss, too.

While I counted every calorie of every piece of food that entered my mouth, I wasn't paying close attention to what the quality of those foods were. I ate little to no protein, lots of fruit, chocolate (duh), and stir fried my veggies whenever possible. I controlled my hunger with air popped popcorn and seltzer water. (I feel like I'm confessing my sins here!)

Anyways - this was my method until 6 months ago. Because of my poor nutrition planning, I wasn't making anymore gains in the weight room, I couldn't run any harder or longer during my sprints, and my weight had plateaued  at 115 pounds. And I felt trapped by my food diary and the bathroom scale. Those numbers were controlling my life. 

This was my wake up call. I did some research, and happened to be studying for my nutrition exam at the same time. These events seemed to coincide perfectly. I came across fitness model Jamie Eason's 12 week LiveFit program. It laid out an eating and workout program for 12 weeks that was simple to understand and challenging in the weight room. Plus- this petite 5'2" and 110 pound lady insisted eating more of the right kinds of foods would make you look lean and toned. I was on board. 

Long story short, I was concerned that by eating her required 6 meals a day and 1600 calories would cause me to gain weight and my coveted Size 2 pants wouldn't fit anymore. Plus- my weight would surely skyrocket after I had been what some refer to as "skinny fat."

Here's the BIG SECRET, ladies: Eating more, as I've said before, will get you the toned, lean physique you want. It won't happen overnight- but it will happen. Hard to believe, but this:

This strong physique requires lots of eating.

Requires eating a HELL of a lot more than you would think. I think that's kind of nice.

So back to my "real quick" story - I trusted Jamie Eason and her program. I tried it out- I ate 6 meals a day, 1600 calories a day, of lean protein, veggies and complex carbs. She had some amazing food ideas that tasted great and gave variety to my meals. And by the end of her program, and even now, I can just say WOW.

First of all, I GAINED 7 POUNDS. That's right - I went from 116 to 123 pounds. But the coolest part is my size 2 pants, skirts, shorts, bathing name it - are now all LOOSER on me. And people kept commenting how much I looked like I had lost weight. My body fat remained at 14% as well the whole time.

I'm not telling you this to brag. I'm telling you this because it's amazing. And it's what women, at least in my opinion, need to hear. You don't have to starve yourself, work out till you want to pass out. You just have to follow a plan that keeps your body satiated and nourishes you with the right kinds of calories.

Body Fat Charts are essential for tracking progress beyond the weight scale.

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Hi! I 'm Karlene Murphy. A lover of food (especially if it's gluten and dairy free!), getting outdoors, lifting weights, travel, writing, and snuggling with my two puppies. My addictions include chocolate, coffee, cookies, and sharing my love of being HAPPY and HEALTHY! My passion is educating others - whether at my full time job as a high school Psychology teacher, or with YOU my readers. I have been in the fitness wold for almost 10 years, and currently am an Online Fitness Coach, Fitness Instructor, Pilates and Yoga and Aerial Yoga Instructor in Southern New Hampshire. Contact Me if you need help with designing your own fitness and nutrition program.

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