Why do you eat what you do?
Taste? Pleasure? Health? Survival? For a sustainable lifestyle and a maintainable diet, it has to be because of all four. It’s got to taste nice enough for you to eat it every day, it has to give you the pleasure and satisfaction after the majority of your meals, it has to keep you fit and healthy, and, ultimately, it must be the right amount of help you survive. That, after all, is the main reason we actually eat at all.
A diet doesn’t mean a diet
Everyone has a diet. It’ doesn’t mean they’re on a restrictive diet. No diet is perfect, either, but we should all strive to make it work for us. I’ve found that, for the majority of the time, IIFYM works for me. Intuitive eating also works for me. Eating fruit and vegetables works for me, especially because I suffer from acne and need plenty of the good stuff in my diet.
I also know what doesn’t work for me. Eating ‘treats’ every day doesn’t interest me. Sugar doesn’t interest me, nor work for me. Alcohol every week certainly isn’t something I choose to partake in anymore. But, all of this in moderation does. Sometimes, I’ll pop some chocolate into a meal, or have some cake at work when it’s someone’s birthday. A sustainable diet is one that is rich in balance, and it’s what a lot of people, including myself, thrive on.
So, what does my ‘what I eat in a day’ look like?
Meal 1: Porridge
When I’m on a bulk this is a pre-breakfast snack, but at the moment where I’m just coming out of a cut, this means breakfast. It’s usually 70-80g of porridge oats, mixed with water and sweetener and cooked on the hob (you can microwave it, but you cannot tell me it tastes as good). I take it to work in a food flask (because I love porridge and needed a way to eat it on the go) and it’s the perfect, high-carb, filling start to the day.
Meal 2: Scrambled eggs
I’ve got into a routine over the past 6 months or so, and now my second meal is usually eaten between 10.30-11.30. I’ve loved having scrambled eggs for a while now, sometimes with ham if I need more protein. Fats and protein fill you up and keepings you going, it’s pretty simple and very effective.
Meal 3: Lunch
Eaten any time after 1pm, and it usually consists of a protein source and carbs, sometimes with a little bit of fat if I fancy it. Because I meal prep all my lunches, it’s usually something simple, but tasty. Chicken, sausages, turkey, mince, and a carb source with veggies. Recently, I’ve been loving pesto pasta with feta cheese on top. I eat it all cold because that’s how I roll.
Meal 4: Snack/pre-workout
On training days, this is my pre-gym snack, and that means it’s usually a high-carb one. I love having a cinnamon and raisin bagel, with some kind of nut butter on it. I’ll eat this around 3pm, to keep me going until the end of my working day (which is either at 4pm or 5pm, depending on what hours I decide to work).
Meal 5: Dinner/post-workout
Protein and carbs, with a little bit of veggies. Anything simple and easy to eat, from chicken wraps, to sausages and pasta, and even tuna and rice (apologies to anyone who gets to same bus home as me). Yes, I eat it on the bus – I’m usually super hungry once I finish the gym, and it takes me an hour to get home (the bus I get takes forever).
Meal 6: Final meal
This always consists of oats, and can make a great macro capper if needed. I usually have oats, greek yoghurt, fruit, peanut butter and a bit of cinnamon. If I have macros left, I can cap them with things like granola as a topping, more oats, or a little bit of dark chocolate. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I love getting into bed after a long day and tucking into a big bowl of food whilst watching a film or catching up on soaps.
The best thing about creating a sustainable diet for yourself is that you can make it as tasty and enjoyable as you like, whilst also keeping it simple and healthy. Add in things like chocolate, have oats twice per day, eat all the nut butter… and still reach your goals.
Keep it tasty, ensure it gives you pleasure, make it beneficial for your health, and you’ll easily survive.