I’ve been a little hesitant to write this post, because gosh darn(I’m a nerd) there are so many opinions and philosophies out there about nutrition. What’s “right” and what’s “wrong.”
So let’s just get this straight before I go any further. I am NOT A NUTRITIONIST. I am not a dietician. I am not an expert in this particular field. I’m a personal trainer, a mom, and a person who enjoys food and learning and reading and diving into new experiences. I am not claiming to be something I’m not. I am not an expert in all the things. So why read this post? Because I have experience and thoughts that I think you might be able to relate to, and I think it’s important to share the nutritional aspect of the 80 Day Obsession program. As I’m walking through this journey, I want you to understand exactly what it is that I’m doing. I’m all about having conversations. So this is a conversation we can have about nutrition and the basics behind this particular plan. I also believe you will find much of it helpful, even if you never use the 80 Day Obsession program perse. Ok. Let’s talk about food.
There is a common misconception that weight loss=starvation. And this is NOT what I’m doing or what this program endorses. I don’t really care if you ever do 80 Day Obsession(even though I am loving it and would love to see it spread, that’s not my goal here). I’m not doing it to sell it. I’m doing it because I was in desperate need of a big change in my health, and I just wasn’t in a place mentally or physically to write my own program. I needed to take the guess-work out. I needed someone else to tell me what to do, and to kick my booty into gear in terms of nutrition and workouts.
I needed something solid, and that’s what this is. However, I think when we mention weight loss or diets or nutrition the mind automatically goes to pre-judgements and assumptions. The assumption that one will go to an “extreme” in order to lose weight, or that changing your diet automatically makes you a weirdo. Weight loss can be a tricky subject, particularly for women. And so can nutrition, because everyone has an opinion, and, there are so many “diets” and programs out there vying for your attention. So, here are the details to THIS particular program(I’m not going to refer to it as a diet, because I see this more as a lifestyle than a short-term fix), then I’ll get to my personal thoughts about it as well as some benefits I am seeing in my own life.
One of the concepts behind the 80DO is timed nutrition. This basically means you eat every 2-3 hours during the day. Simple. This is not as hard as it sounds you guys. I promise!!!!
This was a new concept to me in terms of practice. I was familiar with it from a distance, but had never actually tried it. The meals are built around a 4-5 hour workout block except on the rest day. The workout block consists of a pre-workout meal 60-90 minutes before your workout composed of 1 veggie, 1 carb, 1 protein, 1 tsp oil or nut butter, a pre-workout supplement(optional), workout supplement(optional hydrate supplement from beachbody…I don’t do this), Post-workout supplement+fruit within 30 min of workout(supplement also optional), and finally a post-workout meal 1-2 hours after your workout. After the workout block you have 3 more meal options (plus a pre-bed supplement which I don’t do) where the program will tell you what types of food to eat at each meal. For example, my plan calls for the following:
Meal 1: protein, fruit, and 1 tsp oils or nut butters(I drink my Shakeology during this meal but that is optional). This is usually around 1-2 in the afternoon.
Meal 2: veggie, fruit, healthy fat, usually around 3:30-4:30pm.
Meal 3(dinner): 1 veggie, 1 protein, 1 carb, 1 seeds/dressing, 1 tsp oil or nut butter which usually falls between 5:30-6:30.
That is how my plan works, which is based on my starting weight and caloric needs. Before you begin your program you will determine which meal plan works for you based on your current weight which will then determine your daily calorie intake and whether you intend to lose or maintain your weight. I’ve seen several people start with one plan and switch based on their assessment once they were in the program. Maybe they just felt their body needed more so they bumped up a meal plan, or vice versa. The plan I’m on(plan B) is working perfectly for now, but I know I can switch at any time if needed.
The concept of timed nutrition scared me to death at first. It was intimidating and a bit daunting. I mean, I am the WORST planner. I put everything off until the last-minute and just the thought of having to plan ahead makes me skin crawl. Sad but true. I’m basically 12.
So this plan is not only challenging to me physically, but mentally as well, which has turned out to be a very good thing. Once you get the hang of it, you think less about it. It gets so much easier once you get the hang of it. Now, when I cut a big apple, I eat half at the time I cut it and put the rest in a bag with some pecans for my next snack. I’m tossing veggies in the oven like it’s ma job and making grilled chicken in bulk. Ya’ll, I’m even making my kids pack their lunches the night before and planning my days and weeks in writing on Monday’s. This is huge for me and it goes to show that good nutrition and caring for yourself goes so far behind the scale or your abs. I was in such an unhealthy place that I couldn’t think about anything except what was right in front of me. And now it’s getting easier and easier to think ahead.
This program has brought me so much freedom. I CAN plan ahead. I CAN meal prep. I CAN use my brain and my body to get things done that will benefit not only myself but my family as well. It’s absolutely freeing.
So. I am not hungry. If I was constantly hungry I would have jumped ship already. This brings us to portion control, because I don’t do hungry.
One thing Beachbody is sort of known for is their containers thanks to the wildly popular 21 Day Fix. The concept of portion control is a little annoying at first, at least for me. I’m sorry, but I don’t like to be told what to eat and how much, who does? Maybe that makes me a big brat, but I had to get over the fact that clearly what I was doing(hello Whataburger in my bed at 9:30pm was not doing me any favors) was not working, and that maybe I didn’t NEED as much food as I had convinced my brain and stomach that I needed. Each food group has its own container(FYI. I had to order new ones. There was a problem with my order and I still have not received it. So order ahead. I’m almost finished with week #3 and have seen amazing results with no containers. I’ve done 21 day fix several times so I used my eye to match as closely as possible to my servings) with a coordinating color. This allows you to know exactly HOW MUCH of each food to eat. You may look at it and go, um hell no. That is not enough food. BUT IT IS!!! I promise. I’m always amazed at how full I feel after each meal or snack and how it holds me over until the next one. I mean, 10 pecans and an apple sounds lame, but it’s become one of my favorite snacks and it fills me up.
Healthy weight loss, healthy living, self-care, getting fit. None of these things should include starving yourself or depriving yourself of quality nutrition. Period. This is not a “take all these supplements and pills and skip meals” to lose weight kind of deal. In fact, you can tackle this entire program and maintain your weight, or even gain(if your weight is too low) if that’s where your need is. I eat all day long you guys. I’m just eating the right foods, in the right amounts, at the right times. Boom.
I used to workout and maybe have a bite of something but then go hours without eating. Somehow our brain can convince us this is somehow healthy or that depriving ourselves makes us strong or tough. That’s a lie. Your body NEEDS nutrients. It’s your fuel!! I feel like a different person, and I think it is not only what I’m eating, but WHEN I’m eating it.
The Beachbody supplements are optional. To this point I have only used Shakeology and the post workout Recover and I highly recommend both, but they are not necessary for success.
How do you know what you can eat and what you can’t?
Great question lol. There is a starter guide in the materials(see link at the bottom of this post to the Beachbody 80DO website) that gives you all your lists of foods per corresponding container. This list lays everything out there for you so you don’t have to guess. You do your best while you LIVE YOUR LIFE, because I refuse to live under a rock with my containers haha. Rob and I went to dinner Sunday night. We went to Bonefish and I got grilled fish, veggies and sweet potatoes. I wanted my carb, but their sweet potatoes had sour cream in them. Everything had at least one thing I wasn’t supposed to have. I asked questions, left the butter out of the veggies and I ate the dang potatoes because I wasn’t about to skip my carb or starve ha! I knew I needed to eat, so I lost zero sleep over this and it did not disrupt my progress. At all! You simply do your best.
Bottom line. This is not meant to be a miserable experience. Are there things you have to say no to? Yes. Sugar, processed foods, alcohol, CHOCOLATE, starchy carbs. It may sound like torture, but the feeling of saying no after a long time of saying yes to things that weren’t good for me is so rewarding. It’s not like I was feeling good on all that crappy food. Do I still wake up some days, or go to bed even, wanting only chocolate chip cookies? Why yes. Do I feel guilty about that? NO!! I don’t expect to go through this program and get cured of my chocolate chip cookie or french fry tendencies. Do I feel them becoming less appealing? Yes. And when I do re-introduce myself to those things, I will do them in moderation. I’m feeling the effects of all the good things going in, and I feel better than I ever have.
Here are some quick benefits I’m seeing after 3 weeks of timed nutrition….and notice, NONE of these have anything to do with weight, measurements, or how I look. Although those things are changing, and needed to(I was simply not at a healthy weight for ME and my body), the more important factors are below. These are the things that impact me and my family the most, and the ones that bring on the tears.
- More energy. Ya’ll. I have totally(unless I just decide it sounds good, which has maybe been a couple of times in 3 weeks) dropped my afternoon coffee. I drink one cup in the morning, that’s it!!! I was upwards of 6-8 cups a day. Gasp. This is huge for me. I always had an afternoon cup, or an all day cup I guess. I was always tired and dragging myself through the day. My energy is higher than ever. It doesn’t mean I don’t get tired, I still do if I don’t get enough sleep, but I’m able to stay at a steady state during the day instead of rises and falls in my energy levels or blood sugar.
- More productivity. Since I have more energy, I am getting more accomplished. Simple as that.
- No headaches. You guys, I have chronic headaches. I haven’t had a headache since the first week(the first few days of detoxing my body from all the junk. Hello migraine). This is one of the biggest changes I’ve noticed. It’s crazy!!!! Not one single headache. No magic pills. Just good food and exercise along with the elimination of all the toxic stuff I was putting in on a REGULAR basis.
- less bloat. I’ve lost some pounds but I just feel lighter and springier. A feeling I haven’t had in a long time.
- MY WEDDING RING FITS. So this is slightly humbling, but my wedding ring had gotten too snug, so I had stopped wearing it. I just wore the cool hip rubber ones because “I’m a runner and need a rubber ring.” I do love the rubber during workouts, but the truth was, mine just didn’t fit. I attribute it in part to all the sodium and processed foods I was eating as well as some extra weight. I think my ring fit again by day #5. Crazy. And this one is the one that brought the tears.
These are just a few benefits I’ve noticed in 3 weeks. And the thing is, this isn’t rocket science. In fact, I didn’t go into any scientific evidence behind this. Eating the right foods, at the right times, in the right amounts. I’m not counting my calories(thanks to the containers, I don’t have to) or fretting over a miss here or there. I’m doing my best. I’m giving myself grace. And I’m putting my focus on how this is making me FEEL rather than anything I may or may not see on the scale or on my body. Change is happening, but I feel myself more focussed on the feeling good, rather than the looking good, if that makes sense. The physical changes are icing on the cake, as cliche as that sounds.
This program requires some discipline and stick to it-ness, but YOU CAN DO IT. You just have to start. Decide you can do it, even if it’s hard, and it will be, but that does NOT make it impossible. The hard is what makes it so darn(again, nerd) rewarding.
I hope I covered the important stuff. If I left anything out, and I probably did, or if you have any questions, please ask! I’ll do my best to answer well and get you the best info I can. Happy Wednesday!!
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