You can post pictures in your comments below! Please feel free to share your P3 living stuff you're doing to help other P3toLifers visualize and get ideas for how to do this!
IF still hungry – EAT so you are not hungry, regardless of the meal plan
Some of you may be able to eat only the food listed in the meal plan recipes and that will be enough for you and you won't be hungry. If that's the case, by all means, just stick with that. The calories gradually increase week FOR you. But I want you to be aware that you MAY need to eat a little more and I'm going to tell you why and how to do it.
We are not all the same.
Some of us are 5'8 or 5'10 and some of use are 5' or 5'1 like me. Some of us weigh 185 lbs and some of use weight 140 lbs. Some of us are 30 years old and some of us are 65. Some of us have a fairly active lifestyle of walking dogs and gardening and a few side cleaning jobs, and some of us sit at a desk working only our finger muscle 40-50 hours a week. Some of us are active or getting active as far as working out and some of us have limited mobility perhaps due to past surgeries or injuries or chronic illness.
The state of our various hormone levels will not only vary from person to person but will vary in the SAME person from life period to life period, based in part on the factors I just mentioned. And even aside from ALL this, there is the fact that from day to day your caloric needs will fluctuate. If you walk 4 miles with your dog one day and lay in bed the entire next day, obviously how many calories you need those two days will be different.
This can sound concerning or overwhelming on the outside like you have to figure out all the exact numbers. But you don't have to do this.
Let hunger be your guide.
ALL of these things will play a role in just how much we can eat and maintain our weight.
As a result, there is no way to create 1 plan that will fit EVERY person's needs 100% perfectly. However, being that 1 on 1 nutrition consulting is out of reach monetarily for many of us, I've created a baseline framework for you to WORK from as a base that you can tweak to suit your needs.
The best way for me to make this framework was to design the baseline calories on the lower end, where it WILL be the right AMOUNT and the RIGHT INCREASE each week for some of you, and for the rest of you, I have a list of simple ways to increase the calories of your day on an as needed basis.
One thing I can tell you is if you decide to workout in phase 3, you will most certainly need to add calories on top of the base meal plan. I definitely recommend adding a protein shake or adding protein powder to your phase 3 dessert smoothie and a little extra liquid. You want to give your body what it needs or it will reduce it's function to match the little that you are giving it.
The main point here is not to stick to this meal plan and be hungry- please do eat more if you are hungry. The whole point is to RAISE and REJUVENATE our metabolism and if you're body is telling you it can handle more by giving you physical hunger signals, by all means, follow those signals. I ONLY eat less if I am purposefully trying to lean out and I do this strategically and not on a daily basis, otherwise, your body is adaptive and it will DOWN regulate your metabolism in response to whatever you give it on a daily basis.
If you have a habit of eating the full amount that your body can handle so that you're not hungry, when you DO have a day say that you intermittent fasting and create a larger caloric deficit, your body will respond more readily to one time things like this because your body hasn't had time to down regulate to match that new lower level yet.
Because wouldn't you agree that psychologically, it's fairly comfortable to stick to a prescribed plan, and it's easy to ADD to the plan when it means you get to add food, but to TAKE AWAY food is a negative association. That makes you feel like you get less than. Which isn't fun.
HOW TO INCREASE CALORIES
- If you're physically hungry, eat more to satisfy that hunger as needed.
- IF you're not physically hungry but emotionally REALLY wanting to eat something (I have a whole discussion on this called how to emotionally eat and still maintain your weight) choose something that will give you volume and satisfaction with fewer calories and that won't cause you further cravings as a result of eating it- this minimizes or eliminates damage from over consuming.
IF you already know you're going to need more calories in the meals themselves in advance, the easiest way to add more calories (and more taste too!) is to simply increase the fat sources- so an extra tsp or tbsp of butter or coconut oil or some extra avocado or coconut milk etc. - no extra cooking or added ingredients to think about, but you've raised the calories and the fat is super calorie dense so you only need a little.
But in many cases you don't KNOW in advance if you'll still be hungry after you eat these meals the way they are designed. So you'll eat the meals and then you might be like, you know what? I' hungry still. In this case, the following list will give you simple ideas on how to tailor this program to your needs:
Also we have a lot of creative, ingenious people in this community so please if you come up with a simple low carb snack you are just loving, please write it in the comments for others to benefit from. That would be great. Hundreds of brains is so much better than just 1 brain.
One last thing that you won't find me recommending although it would be a way to add calories is to eat pre-made protein bars or handfuls of nuts. My personal experience with this is that it's just too easy to over-consume these types of foods.
No-cook/already pre-made stuff:
- Olives- 15 olives - 75 calories
- Seeds - toasted/salted sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds also referred to as Pepita's
- Sugar free lunch meat roll ups.
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup Fresh or frozen berry snack - strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries (these are all low carb fruits
- Sugar free salsa on lunch meat or other precooked meat or veggies.
- Handful of nuts or seeds (be careful here- it's so easy to overdo it)
- Chia puddings (if you made extra)
- I will say I don't tend to get an actual satiated/full feeling from fruit but I DO get this feeling from the mug muffins with flaxseed meal or chia seeds- so it really is true if you get some fiber and fat in your snack or adds on, you will get that feeling of satiety that will help you not just keep stuffing your face- you guys know the feeling.
- Roasted Seaweed
- Toasted Coconut chips - 1 oz - 95 calories
- A few more carbs but still ain't shabby!
1 pint package of raspberries - 84 cals - 10 g fiber- 10 net carbs
- Greek yogurt with flavored stevia drops
- Cheese and Nuts of course are an easy way to add calories, but keep in mind many of us will be avoiding these two food groups in general the first couple weeks of phase 3.
Very quick prep ideas (in the 3-5 min to being ready to eat time frame)
- The phase 3 smoothies! They all take me about 3-5 minutes to make. ANY of these can have protein powder and a little additional liquid to them to add protein or to make them more substantial
- Mug muffins if you made them in bulk before and froze or refrigerated them- frozen usually only takes 2 minutes in the microwave to reheat.
- Half or whole avocado with lemon and salt - 120 calories
- When you are making meals in the meal plan- it's really easy to make extra vegetable rice
- So cauli rice or broccoli rice- if you keep extra around, it literally take like 2-3 minutes to Saute that in a pan with a little oil or butter and salt and it has the comfort food aspect to it and you can't really go wrong with it- I mean cmon, it's cauliflower or broccoli.
- Protein Smoothie - typically about 120-150 calories w/ 1 scoop protein powder and some almond or coconut milk for liquid.
Fairly quick ideas (in the 3-5 min prep, 10-15 min cook time frame)
- Hard boiled egg - 72 calories
- Steam a head of cauliflower or broccoli and add butter and salt.
- 1 small can of salmon or chicken with a tsp of mustard and mayo - about 125 cals
- Thinly sliced chicken breast simmered in water (only takes about 5 minutes) and salt and lemon to taste OR topped with sugar free salsa (add 2 tbs. sour cream if doing dairy).
- Also please check out my Ack I Forgot to Defrost My Meat video in the cooking section because that has some quick tips to help you with that.
- Sauteed mushrooms in butter + miracle noodle
I can’t be without my mini George Foreman Grill. For the chicken idea, putting that in the grill with or without a spritz of spray Olive or Coconut oil cooks the chicken beautifully within a couple of minutes, and it gives them a nice grilled look as well!
Thank you for sharing that, sounds like a great thing to utilize!
What protein bars would you recommend?
Great suggestions! Thanks!