When it comes to fat loss the basic framework of determining starting calories, protein allotment and also carbs/fats are required when designing a program. But, unfortunately, the problem is most diets don’t provide a lot of food variety where you will quickly become bored eating the same things. So unless you’re a disciplined athlete or fitness competitor, that kind of strategy very quickly leads to dietary boredom and failing to adhere to your plan in the long-term.
I’ve been there and I’ve done it. And it sucks because that approach is neither maintainable nor sustainable. Even worse if you have a social life or a family, forget about that strategy altogether. Because I’ll save you the trouble – It’s won’t be for you.
Which is why I often talk (or preach) about UNLIMITED food options and staying within your calorie ranges.
With Food Variety being crucial for long term success, its important not to get so hung up about hitting your macros for fat loss. Because that’s just overthinking at its finest. Instead focus on reaching calories rather than going batty about macronutrient rations. So when subbing your foods, simply match for calories and being pretty close to the assigned macros. It’s more important to have food variety than to be hung up on mathematics when it comes to your nutrition plan.
The easiest way to do this is using my Food Substitution Calculator
(if you’re an active client) or another tool like MyFitnessPal
or Go Figure
which substitutes one food for another while matching the calories. We also suggest creating a Food Substitution cheat sheet for some of your most common meals so you can reference this easy.
For example, if you are originally assigned:
- 100g Chicken Breast
- 100g Brown Rice
- 1 tsp Virgin Olive Oil
- 1-2 cups mixed vegetables
You can substitute the following items for:
- 92g Beef Top Sirloin
- 1 Slice Ezikiel Bread
- 6g Butter
- 1-2 cups of mixed vegetables
- 152g Sea Bass Fish
- 32g Vermicelli Pasta
- 11g Cheddar Cheese
- 1-2 cups of mixed vegetables
With both options you would still remain completely on plan and the options for food variety are endless! Meaning unlimited food options so you wouldn’t be handcuffed to eating the same things over and over again.
And now that you have the a sure fire way to hit your portions, using recipes will help top up the variety quickly making you forget you’re following a strategized nutrition plan.
Check out how I substituted the original meal plan with a delicious Fish Taco CLICK HERE
On Plan Fish Tacos
We also have our ever-growing list of recipes in our own STRONG GIRLS Recipe Guide
with 100s of great meal ideas designed to work with your programming. Of course you can also look to other cookbooks and websites to add even more variety to your food.
Not only do we recommend a Food Substitution Cheat Cheat but I also recommend writing and collecting recipe cards. These recipes can also be enjoyed by your family and friends. And the more portioned recipes you have, the less reliant you’ll be in calculating portion sizes.
SPICES, SAUCES and CHANGES IN COOKING STYLES
You can ask any fitness competitor what their traditional prep meals are and you’ll likely hear plain baked chicken breast and lettuce or tilapia and asparagus. Like I said, I’ve been there and done it. And it’s not for me and I’ve also never looked back because there is one thing I can assure you – if you’re planning to stay on a nutrition plan for long term, you need to enjoy it and that’s not going to happen with flavourless and boring foods.
Leanring more recipes with Chef Romel Griarte
Explore spices because these options are endless. Curry Powders
are my personal favourite and many of my clients have now been using chicken broth with their rice. I’ve been using a lot of Flavour God
spices for my meats and Greek Yogurt.
Cooking your food in different ways can also profoundly change your food with the Slow Cooker
being one of my go-to tools in the kitchen. And when its summer (and sometimes in the winter) I’ll light up the BBQ to change things up all around because the grill is a game changer!
And let’s not forget about International cuisine either because using a wok for an Asian twist or steaming (via Barbacoa) for a Mexican approach are all create ways to prepare your meals. Like I said the options are endless.
SO HERE’S THE DEAL:
If you want to last on your program, you can’t eat the same things over and over again. It doesn’t work and will quite often lead to a binge or eventually quitting before you’ve achieved your goals.
I hope these options help. Because even the smallest changes in your food will make the biggest difference. What you eat on your plan is only limited by your imagination and effort in the kitchen.