Categories
Blog Nutrition

An Effective Diet Plan From a Reader

Nick, a long-time reader of the blog, recently communicated to me about looking at his diet plan. He had seen at a few diet plans of mine in other articles and needed a little advice about if he was on the right track or not.

At the risk of sounding overly simplistic I wrote back that I thought he was definitely on the right track. After ruminating on his plan I started to think about the why. Why his plan wasn’t in need of an overhaul.

Here is what he sent me:

Hey Brad,

Was wondering if you can take a look at my diet and let me know if I’m in the right track. Now, I’m 40yrs old, married, two kids and two jobs some of the items are out of convenience, but mostly I’m able to stay CONSISTENT with this approach.  I’ve tried eating 5-6 cooked meals per day but it’s just not practical given my lifestyle and I’m not a professional bodybuilder and my wife hates it….

Here it is,


1) 3/4 cup oats, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup egg whites, banana 

2) protein bar or 2oz of turkey jerkey,  1 oz almonds, apple


3) 2 whole wheat bread, 5 oz lunch meat, 1 slice lowfat cheese, banana 


4) 2 whole wheat bread,  2 tbsp PB , 1 scoop protein, apple


5) 5 oz chicken,  1 cup rice, 1 cup veggies 


6) 1 cup yogurt,  1/2cup granola, 1 tbsp PB, 1/2 scoop protein 

It’s based off of the diets I’ve seen you post in other articles.  Ive been told my lunch and snacks are not high quality but again it’s not practical for me to eat fish, chicken and beef 5 times per day … Although this works I just wanted your opinion on it. Should I be using chicken breasts on my sandwiches or is the lunch meat ok?

Thanks Brad. Still doing the 3 day split but saw the new push/pull/legs program you just posted. Definitely have to try that sometime. 🙂

Nick

***

Obviously, he read a few of my earlier diet plans and catered them to his own lifestyle. I couldn’t find much in his plan to adjust only the issue of the quality of lunch meat. I found a few commonalities and patterns that made this a good plan.

  1. It’s practical. He’s like me and probably you too: family, kids, job, and other obligations that can sometimes limit extensive cooking and prepping. He’s taken a real-world approach to his diet plan.
  2. It’s balanced. Sure, he’s not eating some sort of wild tuber from Central America that claims medicinal value, but he does include lean proteins, complex carbs, healthy fats, and some good sources of fruits and vegetables.
  3. It’s simple. He includes easy to prepare foods, meals that are easy to transport, and enough meals throughout the day to stave off hunger. It isn’t some sort of extreme diet that promises miracles. In other words, a layman can see the value in it.
  4. Supplements are used sparingly. He distributes his supplements carefully to accommodate his workday and training. Supplements are just that: things that support an already solid diet. His diet focuses on real food first.
  5. It works for him. This is probably the most important point. Aside form a few adjustments over time (which is natural) he finds this fits his lifestyle and can easily adjust anything, if necessary, from there. And most-importantly he states he’s been consistent.

I just wanted to highlight Nick’s message and diet and drive home the point that you can have an effective diet plan that supports your training efforts and still be practical and realistic.

***

Get the latest updates and subscribe.

Categories
Blog Nutrition

My Current Diet (Full Eating Plan)

I’m never one to give anyone a completely overhauled diet plan, especially when I barely know their habits, likes, or dislikes. Lifestyle can dictate a ton when it comes to fitness, health, building muscle, losing fat, and any other life-improving action.

I like to instead look at what someone is doing and give suggestions. Here, I’m going to layout my current eating habits. This is just a current snapshot of what I’m currently doing to build muscle at 45 and slightly lose some body fat and stay healthy.

It’s not perfect and may evolve over time, but it’s a good look at how I’ve tried to remain practical and realistic. No pounds and pounds of beef here or perfectly curated photos of my meals for social media, just real-world eating for us regular folk.

Amounts are approximate and I’ve also included some notes at the end to explain myself.

Meal 1 (breakfast)

1/2 cup of organic oatmeal (quick oats) mixed with 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter and cinnamon

1 serving of low sugar Greek yogurt

Coffee with sugar-free creamer

Meal 2 (lunch)

Turkey sandwich with low fat cheese slices

Piece of fruit or bowl of strawberries

or

2 whole eggs and two additional egg whites with low fat cheese

2 whole wheat slices of bread with low sugar or sugar free jelly

Meal 3 (post workout)

Protein shake: 1 serving of veggie protein with greens in water

1 piece of fruit

Meal 4 (dinner)

A variety of meals. Usually fish, chicken, or lean beef with a veggie such as sweet potato, zucchini, mixed salad, and a starch such as rice or pasta.

Notes:

  • Breakfast is by far my favorite meal. I wake up hungry and go straight into making it. I also get up early on purpose so I don’t have to run out the door and do the grab n’ go. I like to make my breakfast, sit and enjoy it.
  • Midmorning (between meals 1 and 2) I may have a serving of mixed nuts to stave off hunger. This is important since I could easily cram my gullet with junk.
  • Lunch is another predictable meal like breakfast. I just choose from two options and I like it that way. Less thinking involved.
  • Post workout is about the only time I take sports supplements. Currently, I’m trying out veggie protein with greens and superfoods. I don’t get a ton of veggies in my diet yet so it’s a sneaky way of doing that.
  • Dinner has the most variety. We cook for the family, but ensure that we are getting in lean meats, low fat, and healthy carb sources. In the past I would have another predictable meal, but as a man with a family it’s nice to change this meal up. Plus, it’s a good time to bond.
  • If I’m still hungry at night (like after a hard lower body training day) I’ll snack on a bowl of low sugar cereal with skim milk), but not often.

Other things to keep in mind:

  • I drink a lot of water throughout the day.
  • I take vitamin C and vitamin D3 in the morning and a multivitamin at night just for insurance.
  • Lately, I’ve curtailed junk foods and cheat meals. Having a sweet tooth get’s me into too much trouble. Plus, my training will start to suffer for it.
  • For the most part I don’t think of food as pleasure, aside from the occasional weekend meal (take out usually).

***

Subscribe for updates:

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.
Categories
Blog Motivation Nutrition

How People Really Lose Weight: My Observations

I won’t even begin to mention the never-ending wormhole that is the subject of which diet is best and worst. Everyone has their own opinion about the countless plans, programs, and protocols so I’m not touching that gorilla. So if you’re dug in to your tribal diet corner refusing to budge even an inch then stop reading. If you’re open-minded the by all means read on.

I like to look at things from a practical standpoint with a keen eye on what works and what doesn’t in the real world. I like to communicate with others about how they did it – how they achieved their ultimate successes. I avoid the slick marketing, pyramid schemes, and “miracle diets.” I like to read and hear about actual testimonials instead of loosely strung theories and fabricated doctrines.

Here I want to distill down a few things I see as common threads among those who are successful. Here are a few of my observations.

Categories
Blog Nutrition

Nutrition Ideas For Stressful Times

During any stressful time it seems that nutrition goes out the window. Our minds get preoccupied in survival mode and we seek comfort, normalcy, and a fix to our current dilemma. That’s okay. Our lives will ebb and flow and it’s up to us how we react.

When my family’s house flooded in 2016 and we found ourselves stranded in our car in a supermarket parking lot for a night my six pack was the last thing on my mind. My brain was in survival mode. I was in overdrive trying to figure out where to go, how we were getting there, and if we had enough food.

Over time my mind settled. I ended up doing what everyone else was doing: eating snack/junk food at length. It was easy, available, and convenient. I got to a point where I knew I needed to get into a new routine. I thrive on routine so it was imperative to start soon. Below are a few pointers on what I implemented during that period and how you can too.

Categories
Blog Motivation Nutrition Training

The Perfect Fitness Formula for a Lifetime

No, that title isn’t meant to be click bait. It’s stone cold truth. Even though the perfect fitness formula for a lifetime sounds catchy once you figure it out it’ll make complete sense. Insert sarcasm.

So many fitness businesses, bloggers, and “influencers” are trying hard to sell you the latest and greatest “system” promising unbelievable results. They’re selling formulas. In other words they are broadcasting acute, short-term so-called fixes.

Formulas are great as long as they’re a part of a bigger mindset. A bigger lifelong lifestyle. We need to instead focus most of our attention to fundamentals.

Categories
Blog Nutrition

How to Design a Simple, Effective Diet Plan

Most will admit that in order to design a simple diet plan the words lost, confused, and don’t know where to start come to mind. Many will claim they haven’t a clue and either initiate a long and tired search for the “secret” or they leave it to a hired professional, which can still be a gamble at times.

I truly believe we have the knowledge already. It’s 2019, not 1919. We have all the answers in that little computer in your pocket. I think the confusion and frustration set in when we try to make sense of it all. There’s a lot of information out there – too much. We just need a small dose of organization and a heavy load of common sense.

What I have here isn’t some brand new way of thinking (although it may seem new in the current sea of “gurus” touting too-good-to-be-true diets) it’s a simple reminder of how you can implement healthy eating habits in your daily life.

Categories
Blog Nutrition Training Workouts

4 Things to Consider for Better Workout Results

Struggling to get a better workout and ultimately physique progress? You may have your priorities backwards. I see so many gym-goers start with the very few things that need to be at the end of their lists.

One day I overheard a guy at the gym who was telling his buddy his grand plan for an ultimate transformation. He started by saying he had just ordered around $300 worth of supplements and was excited for the shipment to finally get in. Once he had all of his “potions and powders” he would then be ready to finally get started.

Now, I must also mention he wasn’t eating all that great, didn’t make sleep a priority, and wasn’t even training in the very gym he was standing in. I knew this from past conversations.

It’s no surprise that he never made the progress he’d wished while spending all that money.

Categories
Blog Nutrition

Are Trendy Extreme Diets Worth It?

Every few months or so it seems there are brand new trendy diets circulating the atmosphere. They also all include an essential marketing component: extreme ideology. That is they contain some form of singular-minded solution to all your fat-loss dieting needs. Whether that’s eliminating a laundry list of foods or focusing on just one food category these “diets” are chock-full of nutritional flaws. I like to refer to them as elimination diets – their selling point is based on extreme subtraction.

Categories
Blog Motivation Nutrition

How You Should Feel While Dieting

How do you know if a fat loss diet is working? How do you know if you’re just spinning your wheels? Should you stick to your plan or shift gears? Oh the dieting woes. Hard to handle and unpredictable. When I was dieting for bodybuilding contests (sometimes I feel like I was on a diet for 10 years!) I became incredibly in-tune with my body. I knew the difference between needing actual nutrition and just wanting something to eat just to eat. So with many years of getting my body fat in the single digits I’ve come up with a few tactics to be aware of regarding how you should feel while dieting.

Categories
Blog Motivation Nutrition Training

3 Things to Lockdown Before Buying More Supplements

The following is a guest post from Michael Gregory. More about Michael below.

Supplements reign supreme in our current age of quick fixes and “overnight successes.” I’m going to tell you 3 very obvious things when it comes to your journey to a better body before buying more supplements. I’m betting that you’ll shake your head yes the entire time you’re reading. At the end of the article you may still mold whatever I say to fit your current internal dialogue, but I implore you instead to use it as an opportunity to take inventory of where you may be deficient.

I doubly implore you to implement a positive relationship between these statements and your supplement budget. Buying more supplements is rarely the answer. Meaning the more adherent you are to these principles, the more you may (or may not) spend on supplements. Otherwise you could be spending your time and hard-earned money on the wrong things.