As some of you already know I’m in growth season. My diet during my growth phase is a little different than when I’m dieting for a competition. I’m eating a lot more calories, around 2,200, so I have a lot of macronutrients toplay around with. During this phaseof my fitness journey I’m more relaxed when it comes to counting my food. I don’t have to worry about being as exact with my macronutrientsas I would if I was trying to lose weight for a show. Since my calories are high I don’t focus on as many high volume foods so that I’m not left feeling overly full. Right now I can enjoy eating out and being able to enjoy treats hereand there sinceI’m more lenient with my nutrition.
My Nutrition Approach
For my nutrition I do a flexible dieting approach, meaning I eat a variety of food instead of forcing myself to stick to a strict meal plan. I have a certain number of carbs, fat, and protein I try to aim for everyday. Since I am not prepping for a competition anytime soon I don’t stress about hitting my macros to the “T.”
On days I don’t track my food intake I try to estimate my meals and reach for ranges in calories. I don’t want to get burned out from counting my food all the time so that’s why Itrack my macronutrients every other day. I feel that for some people, tracking food everyday can get a little obsessive and create an unhealthy relationship with food. That’s why in the growth season I focus on fueling my body but am not overly concerned with being right on the mark with everything I eat. I give my body what it needs in order to grow muscle and preform.
My Typical Food Choices
Roughly 90% of my calories come from whole, nutrient dense foods while the other 10% comes from “fun” foods. I stick to the basics because I know what my body can digest well, but when I see something in the grocery store that looks delicious I’m not afraid to grab it. I love all types of foods and like to have a variety in my diet. When I go to the grocery store I always end up picking up something that I have never tried before. My whole foods mostly come from veggies, rice, oats, quinoa, potatoes, pasta, eggs, lean chicken, seafood,turkey, and red meats.
Thegreat thing about flexible dieting is that you can add the foods you love into your diet! Just because I compete and train in the gym five times a week doesn’t mean I eat “bro foods” 24/7. Heck no! I love chocolate, cookies, ice cream, and cereal. It’s all about balance and eating foods in moderation.
I allow these foods into my diet because whenever they are consistently around me I never have the temptation to binge on them. If you take something out of your diet you will always think about that one “bad food” and when it’sfinally around you cant stop eating it. So allow yourself to have foods you love in your house because if it’s consumed in moderation it won’t hurt you; it will actually benefit you and your adherence with your overall goals.
My Big Picture
Even though I’m in amuscle-building phase- I’m not trying to gain unnecessary fat. I’m trying to stay as lean as I possibly can, so when I diet for a show again I won’t have to loseunnecessary amounts of body fat. I am really enjoying this part of my prep. Growth season is not only the time to build muscle but it’s the time to grow in other aspects of your life. Right now I’m focusing on family, friends, work, school, and much more!