This post is part of a weekly series about nutrition and meal planning. I am not a registered dietitian or nutritionist. This is simply what works for me and is not a recommended meal plan.
Since I’m carb cycling, I’m adding in one day a week of very high carb intake (about 200g.) Because I am petite, I only need one day of extra carbs. That’s the plan that works for me and it is different for everyone.
I thought I would really enjoy the high carb day, I get to eat more than usual which is always a plus. However, I don’t actually like it much. All the carbs actually make me hungrier than I usually am, plus there’s the gnawing guilt that I shouldn’t be eating this much food.
High carb day falls on my toughest workout day: a heavy lower body lift and 30 minutes of cardio on the treadmill. The extra fuel helps me get through without fatigue.
4 egg whites
1/2 cup spinach
Overnight Oats (1/2 cup old fashioned oats, 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein, 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, cinnamon, 2 tbsp PB2)
(I eat pretty much the same breakfast for all three carb variations, with a few small changes on low carb day. That way I am not starting off the day feeling deprived, and it fuels me for what can be almost four hours before my next meal.)
One cup unsweetened almond milk
Red Delicious Apple
3 ounces lean chicken breast
2 cups green beans
5.5 ounces sweet potato
Two organic brown rice cakes
One low-fat Swiss laughing cow cheese wedge
One scoop vanilla whey protein powder
Two ounces lean ground turkey
One cup broccoli/cauliflower mix
1/3 cup (cooked) brown rice
1/2 cup no-fat cottage cheese
Two tbsp PB2
This feels like a lot of food to me because I am used to eating in a lower calorie range. Remember- I am very petite, only 5′ 2″ and about 110 pounds. For that reason, I have to keep my calories a lot lower than a larger person would to lean out.
Be careful you don’t cut your calories too low. The body needs fuel and if you don’t eat enough, it will start to break down lean body tissue. Yes, a calorie deficit is needed for weight loss, but don’t go so low that you essentially stop your metabolism.
Additionally, very low carb/low calorie diets are hard to maintain over an extended period of time. which just increases the likelihood of giving up altogether.