Stronger U Diet Update + Food Diary
I am currently on week 15 of Stronger U. In short: I am obsessed. It’s exactly what I needed in my life. Now look, I know I wasn’t fat. But I definitely had some pounds creep on over the years that I wanted to get off, and mostly, as I have gotten older I have no idea how much I should be eating. I needed someone to hold me accountable and help me understand (with my age and activity level) what my calorie intake should look like. Stronger U has been the perfect solution. I have officially lost 10 POUNDS, which is totally crazy. I didn’t even know I had 10 pounds to lose, but I am SO happy with how I look and feel.
I went to Hawaii a few weeks back and it fell exactly on my 12th (last) week of doing Stronger U (Stronger U is sold in 12 week increments). I knew I was going to do another 12 weeks, so I discussed it with my coach and we decided that I would take the week in Hawaii completely off. I ate. I drank. I didn’t measure. And it was awesome. But the best part? My weight was only up about a half a pound when I got back and by the end of my first full week back on the diet, I was down 2 pounds! Y’all. I LOVE to travel and enjoy myself, so I cannot tell you how happy this made me. I’ve had people say to me, ‘Stronger U just doesn’t seem maintainable, I can’t weigh and measure everything for the rest of my life.’ But that’s the beauty of this program: YOU DON’T. What you do is build habits. I wasn’t paying attention to what I ate in Hawaii, but Stronger U has conditioned me to make better decisions and eat less whether I am measuring and tracking or not.
The reality is I have definitely made some sacrifices over the last 14 weeks. I am drinking less, eating out less, and I’m working out more. But it hasn’t been that bad. Have I been perfect? Nope. Have I gone out and had cheese and wine and pasta? Yep. Have I missed days of working out? Yep. But the thing is, I know how to prepare for a night out eating pasta and cheese, and I get right back to the diet the next day. Other times I have gone out and been ‘that’ girl ordering a salad and water…and I’m OK with that!
Let me tell you some other things I have learned in 14 weeks.
I’m can eat more than I thought and still lose weight.
When I first started Stronger U, I was eating way more than I would have on a daily basis (when I would try to ‘diet’ and eat healthy), but I was still losing weight. The key is that I’m not binging on the weekend on Mexican food, tons of drinks, etc. To keep your metabolism working, you want to eat as much as possible for as long as possible and lose the weight slowly (around a pound a week) so that your metabolism doesn’t slow down too much. Sure, I treat myself on the weekend sometimes. Saturday night we made burgers and fries at home, and I intentionally went a little over on my macros so I could have some Halo Top later. But I didn’t gain any weight!
The ‘little things’ add up quick.
Stronger U is all about enjoying the foods you like in moderation (AKA portion control). I would say portions are what I struggle with the most. I LOVE food (my friends know I can eat an entire queso, it’s kind of embarrassing). When you have to log everything, you realize that using 14 carbs to have a Kombucha probably isn’t worth it!
I have barely been drinking…and I don’t really miss it.
Stronger U does something really interesting with alcohol. Obviously we all know there isn’t any fat in wine (or if you didn’t know that, now you know). But Stronger U makes you log fat AND carbs when you drink. Alcohol slows down your metabolism, so this is how they account for that (and I also think to discourage you from drinking). It makes it really hard to drink when you have to give up food to do it. Sure, I have had some drinks. But the last time I had two glasses of red wine it was 360 calories, which is a meal for me! I would much rather have food if given the choice. The other thing I realize: I feel SO much better not drinking. Having a couple glasses of wine here and there doesn’t bother me, but if I go over that, I feel awful. It’s also eye-opening how much of our social lives revolve around drinking and eating. I’ve gotten really comfortable going places and not drinking. When I’ve gone to the lake for the day, I pack a cooler of La Croix. If I go out, I’ll order a club soda with lime. At night at home, I’ll drink iced Tazo Passion tea in a wine glass. It’s so funny how as a society we equate enjoying an experience with having alcohol. But I have found I can enjoy the same experiences just as much without the alcohol! I feel like such a nerd saying that, but it’s true.
Here is my actual food diary for the week of June 11-17:
As you can see, I love my snacks! Here’s how I do things: I try to get protein at every meal. I eat as many vegetables as possible for lunch and dinner, and then I treat myself with a few snacks. I love chips, crackers, cheese, and Halo Top, so I don’t deny myself any of it, I just enjoy it in moderation. On Saturday when I drank, I went over on my macros a bit, but every other day I was right on point.
When I got back from Hawaii, my coach wanted me to start maintenance. I literally sent him a picture where I circled my fat parts haha. He said I was absurd, but he’s letting me cut until July 4th. I’m going to be a little lax the week of July 4th and then reassess after that. I’ll either do a few more weeks of a cut (if Derek lets me) or he may force me into maintenance. Maintenance isn’t a bad thing, and it’s actually one of my favorite parts of Stronger U: they give you a plan for AFTER the diet. With maintenance, you up your calories every week to see how much more you can eat while still maintaining your weight loss. How fun does that sound?! And if you want to lose a few more pounds, you can always go back into a cut (it’s a great way to stoke your metabolism).
I want to say: these posts about Stronger U are IN NO WAY sponsored. It’s just what I’m doing, and I love it, so I want to share the journey with you! If you want more info or want to sign up, HERE is their website. If you have any questions for me, feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you do sign up, I would love if you would list me (Megan Orrell) as your referral. Stay tuned for a post of my recent eats. Thanks for reading!