Learning Tool #3
My #3 tool for staying on track is Pinterest!
Over the past two plus years, since right before Rey was born, my husband and I take turns picking a meal to prep for the week and prepping it. So we each have a week on and a week off. We find the recipe on Pinterest 99.9% of the time. We’ll pin ideas to a board we created called Dinners to Make. Once it’s been made we move it to the one you see here, Dinners we’ve made so we know what we’ve done and if it was good or not! 😅
We usually decide by Wednesday what we’re making for Sunday for the following week’s dinners. We double the recipe because most recipes usually make 4-6 servings, and we’ll make it so we each have 6 portions. Then one night a week we’ll typically eat out. We add all the ingredients to our list that we have shared in our phone and Michael typically does the grocery shopping on Thursdays.
Recipes from Pinterest can be easily copied and pasted into the recipe link in My Fitness Pal. You make sure all the ingredients you used and amounts are correct then enter how many it will serve and it will give you your calories and macros per serving. To know how big a serving is we will weigh the pot of chili or soup on the food scale and divide by 6. If it’s a casserole you can evenly divide into 6 squares and just assume the macros are the same per square. It’s never 100% perfect!
If you need some recipe inspiration, find me, Sarah Shearer on Pinterest and Follow my board Dinners We’ve Made! Pick one and prep it for your meals this week. Bonus points if you add the recipe to My Fitness Pal and track it!
My #2 tool for making sure I was doing it right is the food scale.
If you eyeball a portion of food without knowing what 1 Tablespoon actually is, most likely you are eating way more than the serving. Most food servings are in grams or ounces so taking it out of the container and weighing it is the most accurate and least messy way to measure your food. In my Story, you can see that when I eyeballed two tablespoons and then weighed it, it weighed 48 grams and the actual serving size is 33 grams—so I would have really been eating 1.5 servings 😱
The measuring spoons were close but you can’t fool yourself by over filling the spoon or cup to get a little extra, which I would definitely do, and you’re washing teaspoons and measuring cups all the dang time.
The more you use the food scale, the better you get at eyeballing your portions and then when you go out to eat, you can accurately guess how much you’re eating without bringing the scale along! It also helps you know how much to eat and exercise some restraint.
For example if you typically eat a 4 ounce chicken breast for dinner and you go to a restaurant and the chicken they give you is the size of your head, you’ll know not to eat it all!
This can be tedious, but it is a learning tool, it will get you from point A to point B, you won’t have to question your decisions about how much food you’ve eaten, and eventually you will only use it on an as needed basis.
At this point, I still weigh my coffee creamer, peanut butter, protein portions like ground turkey or chicken, avocado, vegan cheese, vegan butter, or for a recipe or portion size of a prepped meal. (I’ll explain this more in a later post) Everything else I can pretty much eyeball.
Let me remind you, I have maintained the same weight with a few minor fluctuations for a year and a half now and have gotten stronger and leaner because some of the weight has gone from fat and turned into muscle.
These are tricks so worth learning guys!! 😘
If you feel lost in the sea of food and fitness information and are ready to get off the diet roller coaster go here to apply: https://shearernutrition.com/client-application/
Learning Tool #1
Tracking macros in My Fitness Pal is the main tool I have used to stop being afraid to eat foods I love for fear of bingeing, and to stop wondering if I was “doing it right.”
Quick overview for those not familiar with how to use it: you have a set amount of calories you eat per day that is made up a certain amount of fat grams, carbohydrates grams and protein grams. The Macronutrients that comprise the total amount of calories in your food.
You enter in how much of each food you eat at each meal and snack and try to hit your goal everyday. How do you know what your goal is? There are hundreds of free calculators online that work to give you a general idea. Working with someone like myself with years of experience in nutrition is another way. –
Using this tool helps you:
- Learn the nutritional value of the foods you’re eating and make informed decisions about how much of it to eat.
- Learn to balance your intake over the course of the day.
- Learn to plan ahead so that your day is in order, and you eat enough to sustain your energy over the course of the day.
- Stop being afraid that you won’t lose weight or get lean if you eat some bread/chocolate/ insert whatever food you love that isn’t traditionally thought of as healthy.
- Know what a portion sizes looks like. You NEED to weigh and measure your food at home on a food scale for awhile for accuracy and this will make you able to eyeball it when out. 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter on the food scale is most likely a lot less than 2 Tablespoons you scoop out of the jar!
- Learn your hunger and fullness patterns so that we can ensure you’re getting just enough food to create sustainability and satisfaction. –
The end goal is to learn to trust your bodies needs and then no longer need the tool. It’s a process, but so, so worth the effort!