It’s a question I’ve been getting a lot recently.
“What is your diet like?”
So, here we go…
Now, what I eat really depends on the goals I have at the time.
Right now, being productive and maintaining my current body fat level are my goals.
Given that I’m currently NOT looking to lose any more fat and I’m not really too bothered about putting on lean muscle
^^^ That’s right, just MAINTAINING what you’ve already achieved is OK.
And – technically – this is still progress given that 1/3 of us put on more weight than we lose in the first place. Plus, having a maintenance phase allows us to find the ‘minimum effective dose’ to keep our results so it doesn’t feel ‘hard’
So… I’m currently being more lenient with my portion sizes.
I essentially have a calorie target of approx. 2600 (sometimes up to 3000…sometimes more…) per day and a protein target of between 150 – 180 g per day
And the rest is made up of foods that give me carbs and fats
So if I feel like eating a ton of cheese
^^^ as I did yesterday after walking past the market in Marlborough…I can go for more of a higher fat day!
Whereas if I’m craving my beloved popcorn
^^^ I made peanut butter popcorn on Friday (recipe to come soon)…I can go for more of a higher carb day!
And one way I track this is by using My Fitness Pal.
Now, it’s not perfect.
And I’m not really a fan of the ‘targets’ it tells you to eat.
if you just use it as a food diary’
You can start to gauge how different types and amounts of foods make you feel
I now know the types and amounts of food that I need to eat to:
* Lose body fat at a nice, sustainable rate that keeps stress low and still allows me to sleep well
* Put on lean muscle without getting fat
Now, this has taken some time to figure out.
But once you get it, it’s pretty liberating.
I no longer need to track.
I mean, if I’m really off track and notice I’m putting on a bit of timber…
Then yes, I’ll track just to see where I’m at.
But I’m pretty much there or thereabouts most of the time
I have a few social events, I’m having some alcohol or I’m going on holiday.
And in this case, I may compensate.
What I’ll do is perhaps undershoot on my food intake prior to the social event or holiday…
I might eat higher protein foods, like meats and whey, with a ton of fibre from veggies to keep me full…
This way, I have more to ‘play with’ when I eat out or go on holiday.
I can enjoy my cheese, wine, creamy coffees, and Man vs. Food Seafood Challenges (as I recently did in Cornwall) WITHOUT coming back 10 lbs heavier (a bit like Paul did when he came back 1/2 kg lighter)
And that’s the beauty of having a flexible nutrition strategy:
You can enjoy whichever foods you fancy when eating out with friends and family and STILL lose weight!
Now, what does my typical day look like?
As usual, this depends.
You see, I’m looking to be as productive as possible with my days right now.
Bulk cooking and eating on-the-go is handy.
So, I’ve recently been cooking up something like a roast chicken or some salmon fillets on the weekend and storing this in the fridge so I have the ‘basis’ of my meals done for the week.
I’ll then add in extras (potatoes, veggies, rice, salad, marinades etc) as and when depending on the dish.
Plus, I’ll have tinned fish, eggs, whey protein, nuts, olives, dark chocolate, and homemade pancakes at hand
Or if I’m really stuck…these ‘Carb Zero’ bars are filling, will definitely help you poop and are full of protein!
And whether I eat two meals a day or 5 meals a day…
I’ll hit a similar intake across the day
^^^ which is the most important thing!
I’ll probably mix my morning coffee with a bit of cookie and cream whey protein powder and perhaps have some fruit with it for my carbs
^^^ It’s easy on the gut and gives me the energy to exercise so I can provide a stimulus on my body that will make it change!
Not training early?
Well, I’ll probably just get up and get on with my day (after I write my email and have a coffee, of course)
And I might not have my ‘breakfast’ until say, 11am (depending on how busy and hungry / ‘h-angry’ I am).
After all, ‘breakfast’ just means ‘breaking the fast’ so does it really matter if you have it your egg and soldiers (or bowl of dried flakes) at 7am or 11am?
Don’t stress it…as long as it doesn’t impact your intake across the day
Which is one of the reasons I do have a ‘late’ breakfast (or skip it)
^^^ I’ve just ordered my ‘I skipped breakfast and survived’ T Shirt…
Because I’m often not really hungry in the morning, particularly after having a coffee (I really need to stop talking about coffee)
So rather than force myself to eat…
I’ll just save it for when I tend to sit down, relax and have the time to really enjoy my food…
Which for me (and for many members of my Body Transformation Programme) is in the evening.
After all, this is probably the time of day where you catch up with your loved ones, right?
And have some ‘me’ time.
This also gives me the flexibility to eat whatever is ‘on the menu’ without ‘feeling guilty’ or falling off of the diet bandwagon
^^^ Yep, I used to be the guy who would say: “I can’t eat carbs after 6pm”…
The wife would surprise me with a curry (from our old local when we were studying at Loughborough University) and I’d be half-grateful…
And it just shows how ‘dieting’ can so easily take over our lives and actually be a detriment to it.
Luckily, I’ve now learnt how to incorporate my favourite foods into my nutritional strategy so it doesn’t feel like I’m ever on a diet…
^^^ So I’m now mega grateful when the Mrs surprises me with the curry (as long as it’s from The Palm, obviously).
My food intake is now about pleasure and enjoyment.
Being flexible and not being run by cravings and guilt.
Which is exactly what I teach you in my Body Transformation Programme.
And as for supplements:
I use this whey protein for convenience from time to time (maybe 2-3 times per week) when I’m on-the-go or experimenting with new recipes (as you’ll be finding out soon).
I have a vitamin D3 supplement that I keep handy (which I explained more about here)
And – as I said – I’ll sometimes have these carb zero bars (if I’m really struggling for time…).
I’ve used these probiotics in the past to help with IBS and bloating, too!
And that’s pretty much me.
What are you doing right now?
Let me know.
PS. My recipe book is nearly ready…
PPS. I might even give you a sample to ‘whet the appetite’…
It’s a question I’ve been getting a lot recently.