Integrating marriage and family life with fitness goals
I don't know how many of you guys are married and how you manage to integrate marriage with your fitness goal. I am specifically talking about diet, counting macros, calories, eating clean, weighing food and all other weird stuff we do. From the training perspective, I find it very easy to integrate two to three full.body workouts per week and I am happy with that. However, when it comes to nutrition, I find it to be quite a challenge. My wife is Turkish and she is a great cook. Stuff she makes is mostly healthy, so lots of olive oil, veggies, lean meat, but high calories stuff are also not seldom in our home. Now, I am very grateful for the efforts and love she puts into it, but every time we eat a family meal I wonder “how many calories was this...how many grams.of protein could this be...?“. A couple of times I asked her what she used while cooking the meal and how much and I get little understanding why I want to count my food. I even proposed a couple of times for us to prepare our meals separately, but regreted it afterwards. Furthermore, we have quite a rich social life and meet with friends or family every weekend, and food abundance is a must. There is no way I can count these meals, even if I eat in true moderation always and never pig out.
I don't find this behavior and attitude to.be conducive to a healthy marriage relationship in long term, and there is no question for me.that family and marriage is my priority number one.
However, I find that I need to have some kind of control, especially in the long term, as not having any control over calories is not ideal for getting or staying lean, particularly as I have a history of obesity. Also, I am the kind of personality who needs precision, I simply feel its a complete failure in terms of my fitness goals when I don't know how much exactly I ate, how many grams protein I ate etc.
I would be very graitful if any of you could share your experiences how you integrate a happy marriage with fitness goals, especially when your partner is not into fitness, working out etc.
You dont. Pick your priority.
About your nutrition: intermittent fasting. Just stop eating during the morning and early afternoon so you don't have to worry about calories or going out. You can also use PSMF protocols to make sure you get enough protein but stay relatively low on calories. IMO it's absolutely manageable.
In terms of training: try to apply the 20-80 rule by training a minimum volume to reach a maximum result. I'd say your 2-3x full body a week is excellent. Go heavy and push yourself. Minimum time, decent results. Good trade-off.
Also, I am the kind of personality who needs precision, I simply feel its a complete failure in terms of my fitness goals when I don't know how much exactly I ate, how many grams protein I ate etc.
I think here is an opportunity for you. The above is one way to success and the most comfortable way for you, but by far from the only way. There is no way it is a complete failure of all your goals just because you have a little uncertainty on your macros.
There are probably opportunities for incremental improvement and compromise in this area anyway. For example maybe with a carefully words and timed discussion your wife could become comfortable with maybe a joint effort to weigh the components of the family favorite meals so you know the macros of the 20% of the meals that make 80% of your food intake. And maybe you can develop a habit of say a midafternoon "snack" of 8 oz of lean turkey and a salad with only cider vinegar for dressing.
help your wife with the cooking so you can see what she puts into it. Maybe cook with her whenever you can, or at least talk to her and give her attention while she cooks
then when you take your portions take a fraction
for example. Take 1/4 of a pie, or tell your wife you want 1/4 of the pie. or take half and put some in your lunch box for tomorrow, whatever
If she makes salad all you need to know is how much oil and how much cheese and tomatoes and olive etc went into it, the salad leaves and cucumber don't matter. then you eat 1/3 or 1/4 of the salad
Maybe be honest with her and let her know if she can tell you how much oil/butter/cheese/nuts/ rice/ potatoes whatever went into a meal, it would be great. Make a good easy to use set of scales handy. Don't expect her to be an expert overnight it might take a year for her to get used to it
if she wants to know why you want to count, maybe explain that you have a tendency to overeat and her cooking so so good you don't want to end up obese like you used to be because you want to look good for her and the kids. Just keep asking her whats in the food. Don't get angry, don't refuse to eat it, don't ask her to use less oil, just keep asking and then she will probably get sick of you asking and just measure it and tell you. Maybe she will get angry at first from you asking all the time. But in the end its easy to weigh stuff once your used to it and it might not bother her at all after a while
and i totally disagree with determinism. Leaving all your food until night means leaving all your food until you cant count it properly and have less control over macro breakdown which is probably the worst thing you could do considering your circumstance. If you eat smaller portions at night there will be less error with your macros. So just eat a normal size dinner, estimate the best you can, and don't go back for seconds and thirds. Women and children don't even eat much, you could eat the same amount of them without looking weird and then just eat more stuff you can measure for supper, like a protein shake and some fruit.
also you will need to get good and FAST with my fitness pal so you can make recipes and log them without cutting into family time. if your not using MFP it will change your life. you can count anything on that
and you will need to liberally use protein powder because there's no way your going to get 200g of protein per day from turkish food.
I've been dealing with a similar situation for some time now. I think hectic pointed out some good things.
I wanted to add some things that helped me with my wife and son.
- I ask my wife to make a weekly list of meals she would like to make. I then get the recipies from her ahead of time and program the meal into the calorie counter.
- I'll set aside some ingredients that i Pre weigh out, stuff like chicken, potatoes, etc and ask very nicely for her to use those ingredients for the meal.
This next part is the hardest but it adds a measure of precision if I can pull it off
- when the meal is done I then slip in real quick to weigh the whole thing in the pan. This usually means I'll have to have the weight of the pan, bowl or whatever is holding the finished product so I can subtract it. You then are left with the total weight of just the meal. Then you calculate the fraction of the meal that you take I.e. 1/2 if your a big IFer like me, then you take that preprogrammed meal and enter the fraction that you had into your cal counter and walla you have a relatively precise cal/macro count and then fit other foods around it to hit you macros.
It's a lot to do but if you keep at it you will start getting repeat recipies that you already have calculated; you will learn the wieghts of poplular cooking or serving dishes; and will get quick enough and efficient enough that your wife won't feel like she is encumbered too much by your level of precision
My wife really just cares that she has some freedom to choose stuff she wants to make and will follow the recipie for me instead of doing "a little bit of this a little bit of that as she makes it"
She just wants that freedom and for me to participate and enjoy a meal she prepared with love. It takes out the fun and thought for her when I start protesting ingredients. I simply tell her that I'm mostly concerned with measurement and following the recipie as it is written, and if she changes anything tonmeasure and let me know so I can edit the recipie in the cal counter.
Anyways it's totally doable. You will be seen as a little wierd but sounds like she understands that this is important and a lifestyle for you.
Also I know this sounds crazy but when I go to a restaurant I take a small food scale and keep it in my wife's purse.. my friends and family usually admire my commitment and know that this is what it takes to keep a chiseled physique.
Also one thing that people understand is if you are participating in a physique competition. People will tolerate anything when you tell them that.. they will watch all your "silliness/obsessive" behavior in awe like they are watching some reality tv show about bodybuilders prep for contest, most people are pretty interested not annoyed.
I have a spouse that isn't very supportive of real dieting (IOW tracking and using a food scale).
I'm aware of the recipe builder, but, wow, it is a real PITA.
Dieting makes me really want to avoid mixed ingredient type recipes with few exceptions.
No idea if it would be helpful with Turkish food but what works best for me are meals made up of components that I can measure out and/or change up.
So tacos work better than enchiladas. I can use a measured portion of meat and make it a salad with lettuce and salsa while everyone else can use taco shells, cheese, sour cream, etc.
Maybe shish kebab would be a fair example? I think shish tawook is Lebanese...kind of close?
Pretty easy to have a measured portion of grilled chicken, rice and salad.
The social eating at other peoples' homes and at restaurants is just plain difficult. Believe I am fairly good at estimating meat portions so start with that and fill in as best I can.
Only other strategy I know has been mentioned...namely don't eat much the rest of the day.
ETA: On the training side I think having a set pattern helps. My family knows I'm going to spin class Saturday morning, taking walks at regular times, etc.
I think its really easy and believe we should stress less about it [it will help the results alot in the long term]. For me I calculated portions at the start and then after getting a good idea about portions my wife cooks i started to exclusively eye ball/estimate my intake in mass gaining or fat loss or w/e iam on.
I just told her for the benefit of both of us and our family [consciousness about intake and health] to stick to the same portions of oils/sauces she uses in most dishes so that uncertainty and variability doesnt become huge.
To give you an idea, this is how it goes in my 3 meals [all recorded on myfitnesspal]
1. calculate the amount protein based on knowledge or past weighing [Ex. Chicken breast = 27g of protein, 1 egg = 6grams p/5g fat, 2 lean meat kebabs "175g avrg weigh after cooking" = 45g protein]
2. Stick to the same portion control tool for the carbs [Tbsp of oats/rice/grains and Calculate based on knowledge-Apps for tubers and fruits]
3. ulimited greens and uncalculated small portions of beans-starchy veggies
Then keep a daily weight log [@Myfitnesspal] and based on my goal/progress i'd adjust the portions/macros weekly. [Ex add potato daily instead of some protein or deduct a portion of carbs daily or w/e]
On days when she cooks something new or when we eat something from outside [gifts from her or my relatives for ex] i just try to go low on the intake, so ill focus on the protein/veggies part of the meal or make up for the extra intake by going low on carbs/fats another meal in the day or just eat a small portion and accept a lower intake for the day [I just Chew well and eat slowly, to not quit while she's eating and ruin our tranquility for the day ;-)]
I've never had a problem dieting to low %bf or keeping a low %bf or gaining "lean" mass in the past 3 years of marriage
I do not know if this will be practical for you, but i hope some of it helps.
Good luck and may you have a blessed life
I think they call it, erm, divorce.
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