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So cliché it hurts.

A funny thing has been happening to me for the past year and a half: I’ve been putting on weight little by little, despite super clean eating habits and daily exercise. For months and months I have attributed this slow creep to my injuries — sure, I’ve been working out a lot, but no running or high impact workouts means a little weight gain is inevitable, right?

Now that the 2016 racing season is over, my hip is more or less healed and I am easing back into running, and a crazy month of travel is over, I finally felt ready to dive a little deeper into my nutrition to shine a light on what might need some tweaking. So, I re-downloaded MyFitnessPal onto my phone and tracked a normal day of eating for a baseline measurement, then used a macro calculator to help compare it to what I should be eating.

TriathLauren IIFYM Macros

My mindset before Day 1 tracking macros:

  • I eat lots of vegetables and a bit of fruit
  • I can’t remember the last time I ate something that would count as a processed food
  • My alcohol intake averages out to about 1 serving per week
  • With all of the chicken, eggs, and seafood I eat, I definitely get enough protein
  • Maybe I don’t eat enough fat?
  • My serving sizes might be way off – am I underestimating the calories I’m consuming?

TriathLauren Lunch My Fitness Pal

My thought process after Day 1 of tracking macros:

  • It’s 5pm and I’ve only consumed 800 calories..this is not good
  • But I don’t feel hungry and this is about what I always eat…not good at all
  • Maybe this is why I’m hungriest at 9:30pm – because I haven’t eaten enough earlier in the day
  • Yup, definitely not getting enough fat in my diet
  • Hmm, I’m also teetering on the edge of not enough protein
  • “Having” to drink a protein smoothie – with peanut butter – before bed? Maybe this isn’t all bad

So, yes — I am that cliché woman who gains weight by consuming too few calories. My healthy diet backfired! Luckily, since I already eat well, hitting my macro goals isn’t going to take a major overhaul.

TriathLauren Smoothie

It seems to be something that’s easily fixable with just a few tweaks:

  • More calories in the AM! I’d gotten out of the habit of consuming a snack immediately after working out, so I am back on that train which will help ensure that I don’t consume a majority of my calories in the evening hours.
  • Increasing my fat intake: adding some nuts and seeds to my morning meal.
  • Ditching my veggie/fruit-only snacks. It’s so easy to grab an apple or sliced cucumber as a snack, but that’s just not going to cut it. Bring on the protein and fat!

Springtime Cobb Salad - TriathLauren

It is kind of hilarious, kind of embarrassing to me that my issues were so glaring that it only took one day for me to figure them out — but hey, you live and you learn, and I definitely don’t have it all figured out just yet. I am planning to continue to track my macros for a bit to establish a better routine, then will probably stop tracking so closely once I have a handle on things.

Onwards and downwards (on the scale)!

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