Let me start off by saying, I am in no means promoting this method or ideology nor do I know a whole lot about it. I am just in the very baby, beginning stages of learning about it and am just sharing with you my findings so far.
I have been looking for new ways to view my nutrition and an article from this organization popped up in my Facebook feed. I read a few articles, as well as some information on their website, which is bloody AWFUL, by the way! So incredibly difficult to maneuver, scroll, pull up information, etc. However, if you are curious like I am, you can view it here:
The very top level concept of Eat to Perform is that most people who are health conscious, work out regularly and trying to lose weight and/or body fat just plain don’t eat enough food and if they do, they may be eating the wrong mix of food to get the results they want. WELL, DUH! I know that has been my problem for a very long time. For the most part, I have the workouts down – I have a good mix of cardio and strength, though I am looking to up my strength and weights and the only way to do that is eat more protein. I struggle so to understand how much I need in relation to all of the other calories I eat in a day and this is where the Eat to Perform calculator comes in.
They propose you eat AT LEAST, your body weight in grams of protein to start. WOW, that is a lot! A lot more than the government nutritional guidelines which say that you should get at least half your body weight in grams of protein. But, it makes sense – if you work out regularly, you need the fuel to keep your body moving, to keep muscles and your body from breaking down and give you enough energy to reach your goals.
Then, it says that most calorie counting apps like My Fitness Pal, Fitbit, etc underestimate the number of calories you need in a day and therefore, we are never getting the right amount of food. You mean I get to eat MORE and be healthier?? Sign me up!
I used their calculator and discovered for most days, instead of the 1,400 calories I try to stick to, I need more like 1,800 and not only that, it gives me the specific grams of protein, carbs and fat I need in a day. Joy, rapture – the heart of this accountant was singing because I love numbers, I love having formulas to work with and strive for. It just makes sense to me in every way, shape and form. So, for the next month, I am back to tracking my food but in a much different way. Instead of looking at calories, I am focusing on grams of each of these 3 types of calories and how to get the right balance every day for my best physical performance.
For me personally, the Eat to Perform calculator says I need at least 100 grams of protein a day (technically my body weight, which is 110), 174 grams of carbs, which I think is incredibly generous and 75 grams of fat. So far, the toughest part has been the fat. . .I have avoided fat for SO long and that’s the final piece of advice I took away from this philosophy – most of us are so fat deprived and we NEED fat for our bodies too. I eat no fat yogurt, skim milk, egg white scrambles, all which take out good fats my body actually needs. The list of good fats isn’t too long, so for me, it’s tough to find a variety that work for me but it’s thinks like nuts and peanut butter, avocados, whole milks, cheeses and dairy, dark chocolate, fats from meat, olive and coconut oil.
So, I have tried to change the way I eat, up my protein and fat and like I said, so far, I have been successful with the protein and not so much on the fat, but I hope to remedy that a little when I hit the grocery store this week and add more higher fat alternatives to what I normally buy. Here is what a typical day has looked like me so far:
You can see yesterday, I went slightly over in carbs due to my super carb-y Evol lunch time meal so going to need to look for better lunch options like tuna salad and today, I am picking up some chicken teriyaki from a local Japanese restaurant. Protein is tough too – you need to eat a LOT of meat to get enough protein in a day so I have been supplementing this with 1 protein shake a day, which has 30 grams of protein each. So, the other 60-70 grams is truly from food.
Here is a great article from Eat to Perform on meat and even if you don’t plan to try their food method, if you are health conscious, you certainly can just like their Facebook page and lots of great, general tips show up in your feed.
Luckily, the meal I choose for our dinners this week was very protein heavy with ground beef, ground chicken and sweet potatoes. If you get online, you can find all kinds of paleo type recipes with meat based dishes to try, which is what I am going to do. Keep in mind – this is NOT paleo at all but more of a modified version of it. Paleo is WAY too restrictive to me, as are most diets you have to follow. This is simply just tracking your grams of protein, fat and carbs and working to try and eat the right mix.
I am on Day 5 of this eating method and plan to keep it up at least a month, to see what kind of results I get. So far, eating MORE, I have dropped a pound but body fat is holding steady. I personally am not looking to lose any weight – my goal is to lower my body fat a steady 2%. I know for my age and size, I am already in a healthy/fitness range but darn it if I don’t want to get rid of those stupid tummy rolls, or at least make them a little smaller. Plus, I want to get stronger, fitter and I really think this will help me do it.
Stay tuned as I share my results with you over the coming weeks!