Nutrition & Dieting/Meal Plan

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Question
Hi

My name is Jenna. I'm 20, 5'4 and 115-117 pounds.
I used to be around 142 but through eating right and cardio lost te weight.
I'm at a point where i'm happy with my weight and am going to start strength training to tighten up.

I really watch what I eat and usually stick to a similar type thing most days. i was just wondering what you thinkif my current meal plan and if you think there is any change I should make to it.
(on a typical day)

Breakfast - Bowl of special K cereal with soymilk and strawberries

Lunch - nonfat greek honey yogurt with half a banana mixed in & one piece of whole wheat toast with strawberry jelly and lowfat cream cheese

Snack - a handful of mixed nuts and raisins and 1/2 a banana

Dinner - Some form of chicken usually grilled or baked and either a salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, etc or a large portion of vegetables

It varies but these are the most typical meals.

Thanks so much.

Jenna

Answer
I cannot critically evaluate your meal plan as typically my clients provide me with a week's worth of food with full details. Also, I am typically able to correlate it with assessments related to the individual. I can give you some generalizations, though.

It does not seem to be a large amount of food. In fact, I would be concerned about low calories especially with weight training.

When you are trying to maintain weight, you must eat a number of calories equal to or close to expenditure. When you are weight training, you are increasing lean muscle mass. Increases in lean muscle increase metabolic rate. This means that you will have to eat slightly more as time goes on to support the training to maintain body weight. If you are weight training, with or without cardio, and not eating enough calories, your body will likely break down protein (i.e. muscle) to support the glucose needed during such an anaerobic type workout. I hear the question all the time when people strength train and do cardio but don't gain muscle. The reason is that they are competing against their own metabolic needs.

One way to recognize if you are not eating enough is to continually monitor your hunger. For example, are you hungry when you first wake up? Are you often hungry between meals? These are signs that you might not be eating enough for your training. You could begin slowly adding more calories until your body seems satisfied. Again, increased lean muscle will increase metabolic rate and eventually you will feel that hunger again and have to move up to another calorie base.

I hope this helps. Please take a moment to rate this answer.

Laura

Nutrition & Dieting

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Laura Ray, BS Nutrition, Certified Wellness Coach

Expertise

Please only individuals over the age of 18 years. I have no expertise in adolescent nutrition. Also, this is not a forum in which I am able to create an individual or general diet plan. I will answer general questions. I can answer directly to questions regarding the use of nutrition and exercise to weight loss in women particularly as it relates to the following: yo-yo dieting, lifestyle change, hormonal changes, menopause, perimenopause, metabolic disorders, age related fat accumulation, HCG dieting, Dr. Simeon, nutritional changes geared toward health, coaching as it relates to weight loss, finding affordable nutrition plans, why diets do not work, and complete wellness programs.

Experience

I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition, am certified in Wellness Coaching by Wellcoaches, and live what I teach.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Science Nutrition, Certified in Wellness Coaching

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