A good rule of thumb, that we follow, is to calculate 15x(your goal weight) to see how many calories you need. My goal weight is 130 lbs, which equates to 1950 calories per day. That's a lot of food! And I had to get used to eating so much when I first started following this nutritional plan. Before now, I was following the eat less (about 1200 calories/day) exercise more, plan, to no avail. I honestly felt like I was force-feeding myself the first few weeks, and had to ease into eating so many calories, by adding 200 calories per day, each week, until I felt more comfortable with the portions.
CaveBoy wants to gain weight, so even though he weighs about 180 lbs (equating to about 2700 calories per day) that's not sufficient for the amount of work he does at the gym - and out in the world as a police officer. So, he has to eat much more.
Our daily break-out looks something like this:
CaveBoy: 3000-3500 calories, 50% fat, 20% carb, 30% protein
CaveGirl: ~1800 calories, 50% fat, 10% carb, 40% protein
I cook and portion all of our food for the work-week into grab-and-go containers; this sometimes requires mental gymnastics. I try to prepare foods that we both like, can both eat for five meals, and that fit our needs. CaveBoy requires bigger portions, and more carbohydrates, which translates into more meals and more sweet potatoes, every day.
For example, this past week looked like this:
|A week of portioned breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. Dinner was still on the stove. |
I do big work on Sundays.
I use fitday.com to calculate calories/fat/carb/protein and plan ahead for each week. For example, this past week we ate spaghetti squash with meat sauce for dinner each night, so I calculated how much ground beef, ground turkey, and spaghetti squash I would need to purchase to meet our nutritional goals. After a few weeks of using FitDay, it was easy to see that for a week of portion-controlled meals, I would need 5-6 lbs of meat for lunch and for dinner. That translates into about a pound of meat per day, per person. That's a lot of meat!
I get strange looks a Whole Foods with a cart full of grassfed and free range meat, eggs, vegetables, and little else. But, I don't care. The results speak for themselves. My weekly kombucha keeps up my cred with the raw-food/vegan crowd, and besides, I don't see them throwing heavy iron over their heads every day at the CrossFit box. So, they can judge me later.