How To Fix Your Diet
There doesn’t seem to be any way around it – if you want to make big changes to your body, you need to eat the right way.
Whenever I talk to people they usually say “oh, yeah, I eat pretty well” and yet their performance or physique clearly reflect differently.
For the most part people do actually kind of know what foods are healthy, they just have no idea how to combine stuff into a balanced meal or how much to eat during the day – and on to the main point – THEY DON’T PLAN ANYTHING.
The biggest trap you can fall into is the “I’m hungry, but I haven’t got anything decent ready so I’m gonna buy a sandwich and a coke”. This is what we call a “fail” in tech-speak.
So, how do you construct a good meal that will help your physique and fuel your workouts?
What on Earth is a macro?
Macronutrients are Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats. These provide building blocks for body tissue and energy. I also add an additional category for foods that are high in vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) but not necessarily macronutrients.
When I’m planning a meal, I’m looking to pick from 4 different elements.
Lean Protein foods, Healthy Starchy/High Carbohydrate foods, Healthy Fats and Low Calorie High Nutrient Fruit/Veg.
Here’s food list that works well.
|Lean Protein||Healthy Carbs||Healthy Fats||Low Cal Fruit and Veg|
|Fish||Potato||Extra Virgin Olive Oil||Any green leafy veg|
|Seafood||Sweet Potato||Coconut Oil||Broccoli|
|Chicken Breast||Rice||Macadamia Oil||Cucumber|
|Turkey Breast||Oatmeal||Avocado Oil||Tomato|
|Beef (less than 10% fat)||Wholemeal bread (if tolerated)||Grass Fed Butter||Peppers|
|Any meat (less than 10% fat)||Quinoa||Nut Butters||Asparagus|
|Egg whites + liquid egg whites||Any Fruit||Celery
|Good quality protein powder||Green Beans|
Cool, that’s what I can eat – now what?
Now you need to work out how much to eat and when.
Here are some good starting points:
Firstly, whoever you are you’ll eat AT LEAST 3 meals per day PLUS a post-workout meal on training days.
For most general fitness folk that looks like a mind-blowingly complicated Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner type arrangement with a post workout shake.
So, how much of each element per meal?
Protein – a palm sized portion of meat/fish or 4-6 egg whites or 200-300g liquid egg whites depending on body size or a serving of protein powder (read the label).
Carbs – whatever gets you 30-50g of carbs of your chosen carb source depending on body size (hint – they give you this info on food labels and you can use scales to get things right).
Fats – 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of oil, 1 to 2 tablespoons of nut butter again depending on body size.
Low Calories, high nutrient – about a cup’s worth of any combo from the list.
Post workout shake: The only recovery shake I like now is Genetic Supplements Recovery 2.0 and depending on workout intensity and body size anywhere from 1-3 scoops.
Putting it into practice:
Here is a sample day for a female who weighs 10.5 stone and is looking to lose fat whilst getting stronger. This is the starting point. Give it 2 weeks then assess progress and adjust meal sizes accordingly.
- Pick an item from each column
- Look at quantity required of each
- Mix and match.
Protein – Powder – 25g Chocolate Pea/Rice Protein
Carbs – Oatmeal – 0.5 cup, made with water
Fats – 1 TBS Almond Butter
Nutrients – 1 cup mixed berries
Make the oatmeal then mix everything else in.
Turkey Breast sandwich:
Protein – Turkey breast – palm sized approx. 100g
Carbs – 2 slice wholegrain bread
Fats – butter the bread approx 1TBS
Nutrients – veggies of choice in sandwich
Afternoon Workout: Post Workout Shake:
2 scoop Genetic Recovery 2.0
Protein – Salmon 1 fillet
Carbs – Quinoa or Rice – Enough for 50g carbs (more carbs as first meal after workout shake)
Fats – Olive Oil – 1TBS make dressing with 1TBS Cider Vinegar and salt/pepper
Veggies – Salad of your choice or roasted veg.
Cook salmon and serve with your carb choice and veggie in the oil dressing
This all gives us around 1652 calories and close to a split of 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fats. A solid starting point to make adjustments from.
Obviously your numbers would vary from the above example but you get the idea.
Bearing in mind a weight-loss goal, if after 2 weeks bodyweight was dropping too fast we’d add in more carbs to the meals or if we were cautious with the fats, add in a little bit more of those. Protein will stay fairly constant in the early stages. We could also add in a snack meal choosing small portions of each element from the above lists.
If weight-gain was the issue and we’re sure it isn’t muscle weight, then we would initially decrease carbs a bit in the meals furthest away from the workouts and go from there.
Great that’s 1 day – what about every other day?
I’d recommend you plan 3 days worth of meals doing exactly the process I did above and the write out a shopping list, buy the items, cook what you can in advance and have what you can ready in the fridge. There are loads of little shortcuts we’ll discuss in the future, but mainly PLAN AHEAD!!
This all still seems really complicated – can you help me in person?
YES! Initially it will all seem horribly complex, but we can guide you through the process and help it make sense. We’ll happily do nutritional consulting at the gym and we can set up your initial plan for you and make the adjustments you need as you go along. Just ask Chris or Josh for more information on pricing and how to get started.