Nov 11, 2013

Carb Cycling: What I'm eating

I got a lot of questions after last Friday’s carb cycling post about what I’m eating.

I’d like to preface this by saying that everyone is different, and I’m fully aware that not everyone is as boring as I am when it comes to food, nor is it their cup of tea to try and eat that way.  It’s just the way I roll people, I like simple, I like easy, and I actually prefer to pretty much eat the same thing on weekdays during the day and just change it up for dinner.  There are plenty of other options out there for carb cycling options, this is just what I'm eating because I find it works well for me and is easy enough to plan for.

So, that being said, this is what I eat, Monday through Friday.

Meal 1 (6am):
Plain Non-fat Greek Yogurt, sweetened with Stevia drops
½ cup of Kashi Go lean (all mixed in)
(I don’t have a serving a veggies with this meal, even though I’m supposed to!)

Meal 2 (9am):
Shakeology (I almost always use the vanilla latte recipe: 1 cup cold coffee, ½ cup almond milk, ice, and blend)
I leave for work at about 8:15, so I mix this in my blender and put it in a thermal cup and drink around 9 when it’s time, it keeps well
On low carb days, a 100 calorie pack of almonds
On high carb days, a banana

Meal 3 (12pm):
3 ounces of Chicken breast (I bake a whole package on Sunday nights and portion it out, just seasoned with a Mrs. Dash’s seasoning mix)
2 cups of green beans (this is basically a whole can of green beans, use low sodium to make sure you’re not getting too much salt)
On low carb days, string cheese
On high carb days, 1 cup of brown rice


Meal 4 (3pm):
Quest Bar (cookie dough is my favorite)
On low carb days, celery with 1 tablespoon of Peanut Butter, or Carrots with Laughing Cow cheese
On high carb days, an apple

Meal 5 (6pm):
This is where it typically varies for me
Some sort of lean meat (3-5 ounces)
Veggies (usually broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, or a mixture of all 3)
On low carb days, I will either add a little fat to my cooking method (like Olive oil, or a butter based sauce), or add a little cheese on top of the meat
On high carb days, I omit the fat and stick to baking or broiling the meat, and add a carb like brown rice, quinoa, mashed potatoes, etc.

And that’s it.  It’s not exciting, I know, but like I said, I keep things simple and I prefer it that way.
Throughout the day, I drink a gallon of water, and I have 1 to 2 cups of black coffee in the morning.
At home after dinner, I’ll have seltzer or if I’m really feeling a bad craving I’ll have some peppermint tea (black).

This is breaking down to about 1200 calories on low carb days, and about 1500 calories on high carb days, and believe it or not, I’m not hungry.  I was when I first started, but I’m finding if I hit the 2 cups of veggies at every meal like I’m supposed to, I feel very satisfied until the next time I’m supposed to eat.  I think the biggest thing for me has been closing the kitchen after my 5th meal, that after dinner snacking was my biggest downfall.

If you follow the Turbo Cycle for carb cycling, Sunday is a totally guilt free day where you can indulge in whatever you want, and try to hit about 1,000 calories more than normal (2500 calories).  I did well on my first reward day yesterday, and was proud to say that when I put all my indulgences into MFP for the day, I hit the 2500 calorie mark pretty dead on, and didn’t feel like I over-did it.  I had made a no treats promise to myself until Thanksgiving (chocolate, cookies, cake, ice cream, etc), so my rewards yesterday were pretty much based around pairing carbs with fat, which you’re not allowed to do during the week; I had homefries and toast at breakfast with my egg white omelet, I had popcorn and beer at the hockey game I went to, and I had a delicious burger with French fries for dinner, and after each meal, I felt satisfied but not guilty. 

The scale is up a bit this morning, but I know I ate a lot of salt yesterday and didn’t drink nearly enough water, so I’m pretty confident that number will drop again tomorrow.

So there you have it.  And yes, before you ask, I do change it up occasionally.  I have social events and activites, dinners out, lunches out, etc and I just try to hit the guidelines as best I can with the options I have available.  I ate out at Panera Bread a few times this past week, and they have a great low carb hidden menu with a few different salad options that make it pretty easy to stay on plan.  I'm also aware that next month, I might be sick of one (or all of the things) on my daily menu, so I'll probably rotate in a few new protein options, like turkey muffins for lunch, egg muffins for breakfast, or turkey meat/cheese roll-ups for snacks. 
Feel free to comment below if you have any questions!

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