A couple of my fitness friends have recently noticed that I continue to eat clean, almost as if I was in prep for a contest. One of those friends IS in prep, so I guess she expected a stark contrast between what she has been consuming and what I eat on a regular basis. Basically, I continue to eat seven meals each day, and my protein intake these days is around 150-170 grams per day. I don’t pig out on forbidden foods, but I am not fanatical about eliminating all fat and carbs. On low carb days, I allow myself a bit of healthy fat, usually in the form of avocado, olive oil, or nuts. I have two high carb days, and I make sure that my weekly cheat meal falls on one of those days. Every once in a while (perhaps every three weeks) I may indulge in something like a nonfat mocha from Starbucks, a slice of gluten free zucchini bread, or a bowl of chicken pho.
Out of the 49 meals I eat each week, only ONE meal is a dirty cheat meal. Because I follow clean eating the majority of the time, I have been able to maintain a reasonable off-season weight. I compete at 117-119 pounds, and my weight has hovered between 119 and 122 pounds for quite a while now without even trying. I know I could always pack on more muscle, and my body fat is up a bit (around 15-16% right now), but I am happy with where I am at. My abs come out to play every now and then too, which is something I always welcome. They aren’t super chiseled and ripped, but I don’t need to walk around like that.