Lysse On Fitness: Sustainable Nutrition

Hey y’all! I’m back to the Lysse on Fitness series to talk about nutrition! If you’re behind on the series make sure to check out the intro post, the post about matching your method to your goal, and the most recent post about creating a workout schedule that fits your lifestyle.
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I never paid attention to my nutrition until I stopped rowing in my second year of college. I grew up in a home where every homemade meal had a vegetable, I never ate white loaf bread, my mom bought a lot of organic products, and there were certain sugary cereals I was never allowed to have. Though I probably had fast food 1-2 times a week (thanks to late sport practices), Pop-tarts (Wildberry) are my favorite, and Oreos we apart of my nightly dessert. I had balance.

I also had a obnoxiously active lifestyle and a fast metabolism, so I was able to continue this lifestyle up until I stopped rowing. Then I had to comes to terms with the fact that you can’t always eat whatever you want, both for weight reasons and health reasons.

This summer, I started getting more interested in nutrition when I started learning about macronutrients: protein, carb, and fat and flexible dieting. Flexible dieting or “If it Fits Your Macros” (IIFYM) is a “diet” that allows you to eat what you want as long as it fits into the number of macros you have for that day. So, instead of counting calories, you count the individual macros from protein, carb, and fat. For example, you could choose to eat a donut, but it is going to take up more carb and fat macros than eating vegetables would so in return you have less macros for the rest of the day. It does make your diet more flexible in comparison to completely cutting out certain types of food. There are not good and bad foods, just foods that may or may not fit into your macros at the time.
There are many calculators out that can help you calculate your macros and therefore help you reach your individual goals of gaining weight, losing weight, or maintaining weight. Try this one from IIFYM.com and this one from Katy Hearn Fitness. I recommend using both calculators and averaging the results out or take the results that you think you can adhere to the best.  Please remember that this is a calculator and you are a human with a lot of variability. In order to get the best set of macros you need to be working with a coach who can attend to the individual differences we all have. The calculator is not a bad place to start though. I recommend sticking to one plan for 2-3 weeks before adjusting your numbers. After a while you will start to learn your body and understand if your body reacts to higher carbs, higher fats, etc.

Alright, so you have your macros how do you track them?! Well,  say hello to the app My Fitness Pal. It has a database of almost everything you would want to eat and it allows you to input the food you are eating. In order to get the most accurate log, you might thinking about buying a food scale and weighing out your food. I promise you this will teach you a lot about portion sizes! For some time I was weighing out everything, the grams of apple I was eating, checking if my cereal was actually 1/2 a cup instead of just pouring into the bowl and it was really eye opening. Before you are able to visual what 4oz of meat really looks like, or 45g of grapes, weighing your food is important if you want to hit your macros most accurately.

I know that sounds like a lot of work but information is power and you don’t have to do it forever. I spent all of winter break trying to adhere to my set of macros and weighing my food. It took time but in return I learned a lot about my body. Now, I don’t weigh my food everyday and instead, I eat “intuitively.”

Intuitively eating is talked about a lot in the fitness community, but basically I listen to my body and eat when I am hungry. Simple enough, huh? Though because I do have the experience of knowing my macros, and knowing what a portion size looks like, I am able to pay attention to these things without calculating or weighing them. For example, I know it is important to eat a high protein diet, especially for muscle growth so I focus on eating eggs, egg whites, lean meats, beans, etc particularly for breakfast and after I workout. I also know that in my day to day life I am not naturally attracted to high fat food (unless its fast food) so I normally don’t have to think about it too much. On the other hand, I do love me some carbs. So I do an unstructured version of carb cycling. I’ll have two days that I’ll eat high carb, then the third I’ll focus on eating more protein than normal and upping my fat a little bit. My body responds well to this and it is obvious in my physique after the third day.

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Intuitive eating is sustainable, though I took a lot of steps (macro counting) to get to this point. Here are my tips for living the intuitive eating lifestyle:

  • Stick to choosing good nutrient dense foods when you are alone, so you can feel good about “splurging” when with friends.
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you think you over did it one day. Drink a lot of water, but don’t limit your access to food, just move on.
  • Eat a high protein breakfast.
  • If you are craving something, eat it in moderation.
  • Eat when you notice real hunger signals (not when you’re bored), stop when you are full.
  • Pay attention to your emotions and the what sources encourage you to eat/over eat. Learn to attend to those emotions differently.
  • Focus on health and bettering your body

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Finding a Workout Split That Matches Your Goals

Okay, so now we get to the fun part: the gym! There is no one way to do fitness, I hope through all this you remember that. What one person does in the gym, or what one person eats doesn’t mean it will work for you, even if you think you have a similar body type. Finding a workout split that fits your lifestyle should also fit the goals you decided on in the last post. Can you commit to going to the gym everyday, three times a week, do you have gym access, do you work crazy hours and going to the gym seems like the thing that will break the camel’s back? All these things determine what your workout routine could look like.

Here I have written out some different plans that could fit into people with different schedules and different goals. For individual movements that correlate with the body part I suggest using the free resource of bodybuilding.com. If you want me to write a post about my favorite movements, let me know!


Scroll through to find which split best works for you, remember it may not be perfect and you have the freedom to adjust things!


This is the split for you if you have 5 days to commit to the gym, your goal is not to build muscle as fast as possible (muscle still takes a long time to build but this is a slower method).Weekly Workout Split-3

The “bro split” targets 1-2 muscle groups a day so therefore that muscle group is targeted less frequently over the course of the week. This split is not the best if your goal is to gain muscle, as your muscle needs to be targeted more frequently for the most optimized growth. For muscle growth you want volume and time under tension. Your muscle still needs rest in between, but not necessarily this long. Now, if you just want to start being active, you only have 5 days to go the gym, or really want to focus on certain body parts so you can get individual pumps, this may be for you.

This is the split for you if you have 6 days a week to commit to the gym, you want to target specific muscle groups more frequently, and grow muscle/”tone”.

Weekly Workout Split-2

This is the split I do! It allows me to target upper body and lower body parts multiple times throughout the week. This is called a push/pull split because chest and tricep are all pushing motions and those muscle support each other in the related movements. For example, bench pressing mainly targets the chest, though your triceps are also activated and assist in your bench press performance. Same thing for the pull day: Back and Biceps.  In a bent over row which targets your back, your biceps are activated.  My goals are focused on my upper body right now, which is why I have three days that involve my upper body. This can be adjusted for your individual goals, as long as you give your body adequate rest in between.

This is the split for you if you are a beginner, you can only commit 3 days a week to the gym, you are incorporating other athletic goals with this schedule (training for a marathon/5k/etc). 

Weekly Workout Split

This 3-day a week split calls 3-full body workouts a week. The idea for this is that you would do a full body circuit every other day. Now this may fit into your life, schedule wise, but it is important to allow your body adequate rest. Depending on the intensity of your first workout of the week you may not feel rested to train those same muscles again two days later. I suggest focusing movements that target the lower or upper body while incorporating a few movements that target the other. This will allow your body more rest time. In addition, think about incorporating or alternating with bodyweight circuits.

Okay, peeps those are just three examples of workout splits that may fit into your lifestyle. Nothing here is the “right” way to do it. There are ways that may fit your goals better, but that is all. Everything here is a standard suggestion, feel free to move days around, just remember to leave adequate rest in between. For example, I do yoga every Tuesday and Thursday so the day before I train legs in order to make sure my upper body is not sore and tired on the day of yoga. That is an example of adjusting a schedule to fit your lifestyle. So much of fitness is figuring out what works for you, but you have to start somewhere.

I really hope this has been helpful for someone who is just getting in the gym and doesn’t necessarily know how to move past the treadmill. I promise lifting weights will do wonders for your body! If you have questions please feel free to leave them in the comment section below, or contact me HERE.

 

xoxoxoxo (y’all deserve a little extra love today),

‘Lysse

Lysse on Fitness: Matching your Goals to your Method

Hey there, welcome back! If you haven’t already read the intro to this fitness series, check it out here. Yes, we could just jump right into info on workout routines, and nutrition tips, but I think it is important to identify your goals beforehand, because your goals should match the method you take to get there.

If you were prepping for a bodybuilding competition your method would be different than if you were trying to just lose a couple pounds, or if you are trying to increase muscle definition, or if you just wanted to increase over health. Does that make sense?

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Anyone can daydream about reaching their goals, but I have found that without a plan, it is easy to let those goals fall to the wayside. Be realistic with yourself, and embrace whatever limitations you think could provide some set backs. Instead, try to find how it can work to your advantage. Everything is good when life is easy, but how are you going to bounce back when you have a bad day, when you miss the gym for a week, when you regret that extra piece of cake? Thats what matters.

Answer these questions, reflect on them, and get ready for the next post detailing different workout routines to match your schedule and your lifestyle!

xoxo,

‘Lysse

 

 

Intro to Lysse on Fitness

I always want my blog to be a reflection of who I am. I never want it to feel fake, or like I’m trying to be someone I’m not. While thinking about new content, I realized how big fitness (outside of organized sports) has been to my life, specifically over the past year.

After leaving organized sports I was left to face the gym alone, without a direction, and without a goal. After a few months of messing around and trying different workout styles, I found what works for me, and what I can stick to. With that, I thought I would share not only my routine, but also the steps I took to get there in case you may be on this journey as well.

Here are some topics I’ll discuss in the series:

  1. Identifying your goals
  2. How to select workout splits that fit your lifestyle
  3. Nutrition, flexible dieting, and  macros

This fitness series will be focused around health and balance, not weightloss, though I’m sure I will mention it here and there. It is no secret that I go to McDonalds weekly/bi-weekly and in my eyes that is okay, because in between I know i’m eating a lot of lean meats, and veggies. Balance is key. Balance is sustainable.

Let me also preface that I’m talking about things I’ve done and things that have worked for me. Everyone is different. I am not a doctor, a personal trainer, or a nutritionist, so don’t take my words as gold, ya know!

Alright, now that you know the deal, stay tuned for what is next!

xoxo,

‘Lysse

Operation Defluff: An Update

Hey y’all so a few weeks ago I posted about my goal of “defluffing” aka losing a little weight before my trip to visit my boy in South Carolina. Now that that trip is over I thought I would give y’all an update.

Overall the plan is going really well, and all the meal prepping, work out planning has basically become a hobby for me. I started off just wanting to just slim down, but as time went on I have bigger goals…I want to be ripped. Like obvious defined muscles. Soooo instead of simply eating more whole natural foods, I am currently in a caloric deficit. So far I think it is going pretty well and it honestly has given me something to do when I get off work.

In terms of food I’m eating a core group of food:

  • Hella Eggs
  • Oatmeal
  • Chicken Breast
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Kodiak Protein Pancakes (!!!)
  • Apples, Strawberries, Blueberries
  • Double Protein English Muffins
  • Various veggies
  • Turkey Bacon

I am using the app My Fitness Pal to track my food and macros for each day. I used a macro calculator on iifym.com to calculate my personal macros for my intended goals. Then the night before, after I cook all my food, I input all of my meals into the app. Doing it beforehand allows for me to see if I am hitting my macro (protein, carb, fat) goals for the day, if not it allows for me to see where I need to adjust. I typically cook 2-3 days of meals at a time, which make things really simple for eating on the go and sticking to my caloric and macro goals.

Aside from food, I am lifting with a little bit of cardio about 6 days a week. It has been 4 weeks of the original defluffing plan, and 1 week of the more aggressive plan and so far it is all going really well.

While this has definitely been a lifestyle change I still eat a lot of the foods I would have before, I am just fitting it into my macros goals. I have also started learning about products  like Halo Top ice cream (240 calories and 24g of protein per pint!!) and Yasso ice cream bars that have “good macros” and fit well into my plan for the day.

I used to be the girl who cringed at anyone who mentioned the word calorie because I have always loved my body and enjoyed eating everything I could get my hands on. In some ways,  I am still that girl. I just want to aesthetically take my body to the next level, which takes effort and attention to what I am consuming.

P.S I STILL EAT MCDONALDS, just not as often!

xoxo,

‘Lysse

Operation De-Fluff

Well if you know me, or have at least read my blog bio you know how obsessed I am about McDonalds. Despite my love for the double arches, I have always appeared to be pretty in shape and “fit.” A lot of this could be attributed to the fact that I have been playing competitive sports since the age of 7. Besides my casual ice hockey participation,  this year was my first year not playing a sport. My eating habits have stayed the same as they were when I was playing a sport, but now my physical activity is very different…which is the problem.

To be honest, the transition from being a competitive athlete to being a normal gym-goer is tough (maybe I’ll write a separate post about this one day). It is hard to get the same type of workout in the gym that you would get while practicing for your sport. The atmosphere is different, the motivation is different, and sometimes it just feels like it is  not good enough. Personally, my motivation to continue working out was decreasing to the point that after hockey season ended in February, I rarely workout out at all. As expected, I gained weight. A part of me was happy because I was back to the weight I was before I started rowing in college, so my clothes started to fit again. But it didn’t stop there, I kept gaining weight, and here I am now heavier than I have ever been.

Let me back up, I have always been very very satisfied with my body. Like stare at myself in the mirror mouthing “dang girl!” satisfied. Don’t get me wrong, I still feel like that to some degree. Though I think I want to be back to where I was before I started rowing, or maybe when I was rowing. So this is where Operation De-Fluff comes into play.

This summer I am trying to be intentional about my workouts and mindful of my food. I think the most important step for a successful workout is having a plan. Every night I write out in my little pink moleskin the workout I will be doing the next day. How many reps, sets, and the weight I plan to use. I promise this makes executing in the gym so much easier! To get inspired for the various exercises intended for whatever muscle group day it is, I refer to the following  youtube channels: Brittany Lesser, Nikki Blackletter, and my favorite, Heidi Somers.

In addition, I’m being mindful of my meals. Which is actually hard for me to admit because I am so pro do what you want: eat the Chipotle burrito and the McDonalds fry, and the cookies..all at the same time (my friday night meals during rowing season), I cringe at people worrying about calories, and never have I “felt” better when eating healthier. Honestly, a part of this is because it is forcing me to be organized about my meals which I enjoy (Alysse and organized go hand in hand) and it is saving me a lot of money too!

From my last few posts you can see I’ve been doing a lot of shopping at Whole Foods, which has forced me to buy healthier foods and also not waste it because hello $$$. This in itself has helped encouraged me to cook, and as long as I don’t indulge in too much snacking, my meals are generally healthy. This is not some serious diet, the occasional Big Mac will occur, but I am paying a little bit more attention to my food and the portion size. So yay for growth!

Updates to come!

xoxo,

‘Lysse

5 Thoughts During my First Barre Class 

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I have heard a lot about the barre workout classes lately, and my mom used to swear by it, and pilate reformer classes. So, tonight I gave it a go! If you are unfamiliar with barre it is based around ballet, hence the name barre. It works all those small muscles that you didn’t know you had. Here are some of the thoughts I had throughout the class!

  1. Oh, we are starting with planks #causal Yup, we did four sets of 45 second planks with like .3 second break in between. Right then I knew that this wasn’t a joke!
  2. Is it really necessary to pulse so often!? Every cycle of excercises include multiple counts of pulsing that make you feel like you’re about to catch a charley horse. #ow
  3. I’m working my right leg, so why is my left leg shaking! This class really showed me how weak my hips are. When it came down to balancing on one leg in releve (on my tip toes) my hips could not take it very long. I am sure if I keep going they will only get stronger though!
  4. Do I look like a ballerina right now!? There was only one spot by the mirror, so I had no clue if I looked graceful, powerful, and poised, but let’s just say I did 🙂
  5. Okay, I could definetly do this again! It was definitely tough, but I really liked it! I think it will be a good compliment to my typical lifting and yoga regimen.

Have you ever taken a class? What do you think?!