T Nation

Advice for Simple Eating?



It's pretty easy to see that America has a bad relationship with food, and I've developed a bit of one as well. There are diet trends and good/bad lists everywhere and even if I want to avoid them, it seems that its the subject of the age. What would be your advice for eating just for health and "being awesome". I'm not interested in bulking or cutting, just in training and health.

Thank you


This is a good general guideline that I have used in the past:

  • Avoid junk food most of the time. You might say “eat mostly minimally processed, whole food” or “eat single-ingredient foods,” or “eat plants and animals in recognizable forms” but the point is pretty much the same: eat like an adult and avoid obvious garbage.

  • Have 3-5 meals per day, depending on your schedule and preferences.

  • Make those meals mixed/ complete meals containing a full serving of protein, carbs, fats, and vegetables.

  • For guidelines on what a serving is, use your hand as a guide. Protein = 2 palm-sized pieces, carbs = 2 cupped handfuls, fats = 2 thumb-sized portions, and vegetables = 2 fist-sized portions. Remember that these are approximations. Don’t micro-manage.

  • Don’t drink sugar water. Soda, juice, etc.

  • If you want to gain weight or feel hungry and weak, eat more. If you want to lose weight or feel like you’re stuffing your face all the time, eat less.

EDIT: Just saw that the question was addressed directly to Jim. Did not mean to jump in and answer for him.


What I do:

I avoid all junk food, fast food, soda, candy, ice cream, wheat, dairy etc.

I eat anything else I want. I mostly eat beef, chicken, pork, fish, potatoes, rice, fruits and veggies.

Keeps it simple and I eat as much as I want.


Also oats, eggs, hash browns and protein powder are staples for breakfast as well.


Thanks guys I really appreciate it! TrevorLPT I especially like the hand portion sizes.


Take your plate:

Fill half with protein (meat, eggs, beans - throw whatever seasoning you like on it (pre/post cooking)
Fill a quarter with starch/grains/beans
Fill the remaining quarter with vegetables
Throw a nob of butter on the veggies
Throw salsa over that

You should see none of the plate besides a thin border where you hold it.

Do this 4x per day.


One thing that has worked for me, instead of absolutely “avoiding all junk food,” which is somewhat of a relative term, is to ensure that 80-85% of my weekly calories come from whole, minimally processed foods, e.g., all unprocessed meats (I don’t eat sausages or packaged lunch meats), legumes, fruits, vegetables, whole grains or starches of my choosing. Most of my carb sources are rice, potatoes, oats, or whole grain pasta or bread.

The other 15-20% of my calories can come from whatever I want, as long as I remain at or slightly below my targeted caloric intake for the day and, consequently, the entire week. If I want a few slices of pizza, a beer, a few scoops of ice cream or a cookie, a piece of birthday cake, etc., that’s fine, as long as I stay within macro guidelines and limit those calories from highly processed foods to 15-20% or less of total calories for the week.


I agree that completely avoiding all junk food for many may be unrealistic. That being said, im not sure the OP is looking to add the complexity of tracking and measuring macros and calories, which for many isn’t keeping it simple, but to each their own.