It's time to take with my diet and my budget more seriously, so I'm cutting unnecessary processed foods out of my diet.
While I'm all for moderation, I was becoming heavily reliant on protein bars, powders, and Starbucks soy Americano mistos to get through the day. Not only are these habits expensive, they're wasteful (so much paper and plastic!) and not doing my physique or my digestion any favors.
As I reduce my macros I need to focus on foods that keep me satisfied. Personally, if I eat a protein bar or drink a protein shake, it triggers my sweet tooth more than it quenches my appetite.
So I've been focusing on cooking bigger meals from scratch and eating more nutrient dense meals. I'm already noticing less bloating, increased energy and improved sleep. I'm also saving a lot more money that can go towards competing.
And while my calories and macros are still fairly high, one of the things I'm working on is learning to be okay with hunger. During my bulk, and in general, I've become afraid of being hungry. While I would never encourage anyone to starve themselves or under eat, a little hunger is totally healthy. Needing to eat every 20 minutes, and getting up in the night for a snack, is not necessary.
I've been reading Lean Habits For Lifelong Weightloss which provides great advice on getting comfortable with hunger. The book suggests being comfortable with 30-60 minutes of hunger before eating - and then focusing on 3-4 meals a day to help understand when you're truly hungry and satisfied. There is a strong focus on whole foods and trusting your body's intuition. While this is something I mastered in the past, the typical bodybuilders diet of mini meals can take away from this. Since I'm training and need to support my pre and post workout nutrition, I've settled on 4 meals a day, and a shake after training. Nice and simple. I find I'm enjoying my meals far more than when I was grazing all day and feeling mentally more prepared for the next few months of training and dieting.
It is a totally bizarre and exciting experience to see my body change throughout this process. My shoulders are popping, my back is wider, my waist appears smaller and my butt has lifted. Bodybuilding is such a cool tool to work on your shape and strength!
It's also interesting for me because I'm realizing it's not a look for everyone. While I find a muscular body and big glutes aesthetically pleasing, it's not everyone's cup of tea. Which is totally ok. I feel very calm and confident in knowing I'm doing this for me. It's such a rewarding learning process and I love seeing the change.
And so the adventure continues! My computer is out of commission so I'm taking a mini break from YouTube and will do more written posts in the meantime sharing progress, workouts and recipes. Thanks for tagging along!