Hi -- I'll be starting the program this Sunday and am trying to make out my meal plan. I'm not using the myoplex drinks and nutrition bars, so need to come up with snacks on my own. My question is how does a "snack" differ from a "meal," or does it? Does a snack need to be smaller, less calories? If so, by how much? Or could I theoretically have, say, the Breakfast Burrito for Meals #1, #2, and #4 if I wanted to? Or have grilled chicken, 1 small sweet potato and veggies for 2-3 meals in a day?
Also-- is there any real limit on something such as veggies or salad? The dressing, yes, but if I eat a handful of carrots or an extra serving of steamed brocolli, does that count toward my carbs or is it the smart thing to do to stave off hunger?
Congrats on your upcoming Challenge! It's great that you are planning ahead and asking questions. :)
The book doesn't count vegetables as a carb, and they contain a nominal amount for the most part. I think the big deviation from that is sweeter vegetables like turnips, beets, carrots, and corn; they have a higher glycemic index and should probably be eaten less frequently than other types of vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, zucchini, and so on. But I think you should be able to have as much as you want!
On the Meal/Snack area. The book and this site patterns the snacks as smaller, e.g. a bar or a shake, but I have gotten into the habit of eating approximately the same amount of food for each "meal" which has worked great for consistent portion control and regulating my metabolism and staving off hunger pangs. I also stopped worrying about typical breakfast, lunch and dinner foods. Sometimes my first meal is a turkey sandwich; sometimes my afternoon meal is protein pancakes and egg whites; sometimes I will have Greek yogurt with berries, and a vegetable salad on the side. As long as it fits with the eating plan, the sky is the limit. That, I think, is the beauty of the eating part: YOU have control, as long as you are achieving correction portioning (the fist/palm rule). If you want to eat the same thing for a couple days, I think that is fine.
Oh, I also should have noted, I do eat a smaller portion for Meal #6. Usually just 1/2 cup cottage cheese and a little fruit, like 1/2 cup blackberries or some fresh pineapple chunks. That is what the meal plan recommends and I think it's a perfect way to end the day, if you like cottage cheese. If not, maybe do lowfat or nonfat Greek yogurt and fruit. It sort of feels like dessert (well, it will after a while anyway!) and satisfies hunger pangs without you feeling like you are going to bed on a full stomach.
Thank you! Very helpful. I'm thinking I'll be okay doing what you suggest with the 5 "meals" and lightning up on the last snack of the night. I'm a runner so I'm doing a lot more cardio than what the program calls for, but just want to make sure I'm not unintentionally sandbagging my efforts before I even begin.
Also, looooove the idea of switching the meals up and eating lunch for breakfast and breakfast foods for dinner. Great tip, thanks.
Snacks or meals...that is the question. I have gotten to the place where I just "eat" 5-6 times a day. i guess my distiction of the two is dependent on my time- if I have some time I call it a meal, if I have not much time I call it a snack! And changing it up with breakfast for dinner is alway great! This program can hardly be put into the "diet" catagory with so much flexibility!
Good eatin' to you!
After doing BFL for the last 9 years I just look at the meals as 6 equal meals containing a protein and a carb. One meal might be a chicken breast and brown rice and another might be a protein shake but in my mind they are a "meal". As far as veggies go you can eat them as much as you want since they are high in fibre and hardly any calories. All the best on your fitness challenge.
fit4life "The dream must be bigger than the pain"
I am starting this challenge on the 9th of April and kinda did a "trial" week this week. I have been wondering about the veggie thing too, as far as portions go....thanks for clearing that up. I have eaten very healthy for years, but I do eat bigger portions of veggies than I really need! But, I LOVE them! In the trial week, I found that it's tough to cut back on those portions of veggies! But, I really don't need too, huh? Were you a coffee drinker before? I am and I know that giving up my mornig coffee and diet soda will be a challenge for me. I am suppose to give coffee up right? I know I ca, if I have too, it'll just take some getting used to. And, did you ever workout extra? Like more than just your 20 min of cardio? Since I already workout quite a bit, even though I KNOW that 20 min alone, can kick your butt, sometimes I want to do more in that day. I feel like I am not sure if part of this porgram is to "just" do what the book says....or it's OK to do extra? I asked a lot here, but you look like you are a great person to ask. Congrats! Amazing results! They are inspiring! Look forward to reading your tips! Thanks! Heather
The way I read the way meal are made to me is that it need to have a protein and a carb sometimes ill just eat a protein bar or shake but i have used alot of recipes off this site and i use things like the protein pudding and the rice pudding as a meal as well its just finding what works best for you I wish you the Best of luck in your BFL journey.
I think the cardio difference is that distance running at a steady pace vs HIIT are two different beasts. I run with my dogs once or twice a week, usually just around 4 miles, but I get a totally different workout from the 20 minutes of HIIT cardio that the book prescribes. It has made a huge difference in my endurance and speed. So IMO regardless of if you are a runner or not, the prescribed fitness plan will still make an impact on your fitness level.
There have been various threads on here from distance runners on how they work longer runs into the Challenge. Some people supplement the HIIT with distance running (e.g. running on weight days or doing HIIT in the morning and distance in the afternoon), and others replace one day of HIIT each week with a distance run. I think it's best to figure out what works for your schedule and meets your personal needs and makes you feel good; as long as you are getting in your 6 days a week, doing the resistance training appropriately, and following the eating plan I don't really see how you can go wrong.
Also, TransformTeach, I drink coffee every day. No exaggeration. I run a coffee service (so yes I am biased) and drink one or two double Americanos around 9 a.m. No cream, no sweetener, just espresso and water. Of course caffeine intake means you should increase your water intake (I think at least 1 gallon of water every day) and poor quality coffee can have a laxative effect on your system which no one enjoys. But, if you like drinking good quality black coffee then I have never seen a problem with it and it does not seem to be affecting my results (I'm starting Week 7 and am dropping about 2 lbs/week at this point... and I'm eating 1500 - 1600 calories a day). Also, Bill does bring it up in the book as acceptable to have with breakfast. I go by the philosophy "If it's in the book, it's OK!"
Hope this is helpful. :)
In regards to coffee....I don't think there is any need to give it up totally.I usually have a couple cups a day and don't believe it has had any bad effect on me. As far as "extra" workouts go....I know there are bfler's that do add cardio or ab training on top of the recommended amount. My advice would be that if this is your very first 12 week challenge then do it by the book. On my first challenge back in 2003 I wanted to prove the book wrong so I followed it to a tee and had amazing results. The program works great just as laid out. After you have done your first challenge and then want to add some variety to your training then by all means do so. Hope this helps.
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