Hey guys, I've been hearing lots of differing opinions on the matter so I thought I'd ask some people that actually have experience.
Age : 26 Weight : 176 Height : 5'5
For the last couple weeks I've been implementing a low-carb diet filled mostly with fruits, vegetables, meats, and eggs at low portions spread throughout the day (normally a small meal every 3 hours) I haven't done an entire calorie or macro breakdown because I'm not really able to count everything accurately. I just want to lose some weight before I try and bulk again.
My workout routine consists of Monday-Friday 30 min. of strength circuit training followed by 20-30 min of cardio (switching between treadmill, elliptical, and bike).
Generally, I'll eat breakfast at 5:30 a.m. every morning - Eggs, Oatmeal, Sausage/Bacon and head off to the gym shortly afterwards. I begin my workout at 6:30 a.m. and go until about 7:20 (as I have to leave for class right after). I've been taking 1-scoop MuscleMilk at around 7:50-8:00 as kind of a post-workout small meal (~150 cal, 16g protein, 6g carb) that I think can help with recovery. I've had different people tell me I shouldn't take it for various unverified reasons, but I believe it has benefits.
At around 10:15-10:30 I'll usually eat a pre-portioned standard ziploc bag of Baby Carrots, Cherry Tomatoes, and Celery that I prepare weekly in advance. Approx. 1/2 cup of each.
Around 12:30-1:00 I'll eat lunch, which I've been eating ~2oz. low-sodium oven roasted turkey breast in a low-carb whole wheat tortilla (13g - 10g Fiber = 3g net carbs) w/ half a slice of cheese.
Mid-afternoon snack (~3:00) is either a FiberPlus bar (120 cal, 15g carb, 9g fiber 2.5g sat fat.) or a piece of fruit, whichever is readily available.
Dinner, at 5:30, is the one meal I'm not able to fully control, as my living situation dictates otherwise (long story), but there is generally a meat (chicken, pork, beef) and vegetables (unfortunately processed out of a can) that I eat. I turn down all rice, potatoes, gravy, etc. This meal is what makes counting calories such a difficult thing for me, but I generally try to eat what I consider to be a small portion (I'm hoping is less than ~500 cal).
I generally don't eat anything for the rest of the night past dinner, as my choices are very limited and usually not healthy. Throughout the day I drink nothing but water, aside from the occasional 8oz. glass of 2% milk at dinner.
Supplements : 1x daily multivitamin/ 1x 1200mg Fish Oil w/ D3 2000IU
I'm curious as to what you guys might think. My goals are to get down to around 150 before I try to start bulking again. I'd love to be able to buy better foods, however, I'm currently in a program and I don't have the resources available to do that. One question in particular I'm wondering about is whether I should remove the protein shake from my diet altogether, as I've heard differing opinions from people. Any other feedback would be greatly appreciated!