In my post about metabolism, I said I’d write another post about what I generally eat on an average day to give more of an insight into what my diet looks like.
Depending on what I’m doing, my meals will vary. I don’t really do ‘low carb’ days, as on rest days I am generally at work anyway, and due to my job being basically running around like an idiot(!) I need carbs to fuel what is essentially a cardio session…
Do I count calories or macros?
No. I don’t count either. I have always eaten intuitively, gradually upping my calories every month and listening to what my body needs. Interestingly, I recently calculated my macros, and the macro content of what I typically eat in a day, and found that I was almost hitting everything bang on – and even coming up short on carbs (winner). I just goes to show that if you understand nutrition and listen to your body, you can actually have a pretty good idea of what you should be eating – meaning you don’t have to weigh everything you eat, bonus!
So, what do I eat?
I prefer to eat ‘clean’ meals because they help me reach my goals and helps me to feel healthy and energetic. It’s as simple as that really: I could well eat a bar of chocolate a day, but it wouldn’t make me feel like I’m in my best form.
But that’s what works for me, and everyone is different. I do, however, have one/two ‘cheats’ a week – whether that be a shit ton (actual measurement) of chocolate, a meal out, or a day drinking at the football. I don’t deprive myself of things because that’s when you can a) fall into disordered eating and b) just end up binging on crap because your body craves it the more you deny it what you want.
My typical day
On an average day, I will eat five to six meals a day (I include ‘snacks’ as a meal) and also drink four litres of water throughout the day to keep my body hydrated/toxin free(ish).
I’ll start the day with cinnamon porridge and a cup of coffee with a dash of almond milk. I used to get through 3-4 cups of the stuff daily but now I’ve cut down because I’m eating better and using both my food and a good nights sleep to get all the energy I need.
Post-gym I’ll always have a protein shake because I like to get an instant protein source straight away. I have also started taking BCAAs since the start of the year, and I am currently taking these around half an hour after my work out. If I’m feeling hungry or I know it’s going to be an hour or two until I can have a proper meal, I’ll also have a protein bar such as a Quest Bar or Battle Oats, or protein cookies that I’ve made myself.
On a normal day my post work out meal will also be lunch. I generally try to go for a protein source such as chicken or tuna, with a carb source like brown rice/pasta or sweet potato, and I’ll also load up on veggies to get them micronutrients in. I’m not a complete clean eating freak so if I want some ketchup or BBQ sauce (none of this calorie free rubbish) I’ll pop a (large) dollop of that on the side too. I’ll also season my chicken with fajita spices or BBQ seasoning to make it a bit tastier.
Whether I’m at work or at home I tend to go for the same afternoon snack of four rice cakes topped with peanut butter and a banana. It’s more filling than it sounds and keeps me going until dinner. If I am at home, I’ll have a green tea too.
My dinner can be absolutely anything, from chilli, to curry, to fajitas, to salmon and roasted veg. I’ll always meal plan though, so I know what I have to cook that evening and so that we always have the food in the house that I need.
My last meal of the day is always the same and always my favourite – even tough as my sister will always point out to me, it looks like shit. I’ll fill a bowl with fruit (typically apple, grapes and frozen berries), add some oats and greek yoghurt and mix it all together. Then I’ll top it with some ground flaxseed, or sometimes some seeds or some dried fruit and then add a generous helping of peanut butter (my ultimate favourite food ever).
So that’s my general day of food. It’s far from interesting, so sorry if you got bored reading that – my bad. On the plus side, it shows that to build muscle and lose fat you don’t actually have to completely cut the carbs. I have a carb source with every meal and ensure my body is filled with protein, essential fats (mainly from peanut butter..) and kept hydrated with water. It’s simple when you think about it!