T Nation

Bad food or no food?

Okay, lets say you’re out and about (for Canadians: oot and aboot) and you’re doin’ whatever it is you’re doing and you realize “holy shit, I gotta get a meal in.” So basically, you can’t find a good P+C or P+F meal for the life of you. Right about now, you’d probably have better luck having casual sex with the Queen of England in a gay bar than getting a good meal in.

So thats the situation, heres my question. You have the option of eating some shitty food (not shitty tasting, but shitty for you) something like Subway or a restaurant or something like that, or you have the option of eating no food at all. What do you do?

Because I know that if you eat bad food, you’d probably end up with fat and carbs in the same meal and end up with a “ballistic” (I couldn’t find any other word suited for it) insulin response. Also, I know that by not eating, your body is in a state of catabolism.

So what is worse, a crazy insulin response from eating fat and carbs together or catabolism?

I have to vote for the bad food. In fact I ran into this problem yesterday. I usually just consider that my cheat meal, and eliminate the scheduled cheat meal later in the week. The insulin response can be useful as a resting mechanism, and actually aid in fat burning if done in one specific occassion (I’m not talking about eating crap for 3 days…just 1 meal). Catabolism is not good period!

You could eat a decent C+P meal at a restaurant or subway. At a restaurant you could eat grilled fish or chicken and a potatoe with no butter. At subway you could eat a chicken on wheat or turkey on wheat. It might not be the best choices but it is better than not eating.

Definitely eat something. Besides, it’s still possible to get a halfway decent p+f meal, even from a place as inconvenient as a convenience store or ball game.

I agree with Kelly, eat SOMETHING. You can always get beef jerky and peanuts, something, some fast food places have grilled chicken, something. Do the best you can and get back on track with your next meal.

Better yet, plan ahead and don’t go out unprepared!

MC…After your colorful allusion to what you and the Queen would do together, I can’t believe that I–or anyone–is actually responding to this!:wink:

Now, I’m sure you can find something decent at Subway, or anywhere for that matter. Getting a salad with double meat at Subway would be aight. In addition, if you’re only 30 to 60 minutes away from a home-cooked meal, why not just wait it out? I mean, is it going to be that detrimental to wait a whole four hours between meals?

Also, MC, while the wicked insulin response from a crappy carb combined with the insulinogenic nature of fats in the situation is not ideal, this is not necessarily the reason why we avoid fats and carbs in the same reason. If that ballistic insulin response relative to the tandem of fat and carbs was the primary negative result, then it’s likely that we’d actually combine those two at certain times (i.e. post-training)!

Check out Berardi’s article on making reasonable choices when all you have to choose from is fast food outlets. In a pinch you can always make do. I’ve actually found myself in a McDonalds drive through ordering a half dozen plain hamburger patties and a garden salad.

Too funny! I would have loved to see the look on the face of the order taker at McDonalds, hahahahahahaha!

But, hey, we do what we have to do, right?

From a health perspective: no food.


Timbo said:

"If that ballistic insulin response relative to the tandem of fat and carbs was the primary negative result, then it’s likely that we’d actually combine those two at certain times (i.e. post-training)! "<

I thought most people eat/reccommend to eat P+C post workout??? I’m curious as to why you say C+F together? Was this a typo?

I would imagine that almost all of us busy people have made a living off of interesting fast food concoctions, but there are some times when things are really out of your control. Work functions come to mind. They say food is provided, and you’re staring at a table of donuts that’s supposed to sustain you for six hours, or something equally horrible. Personally, if my body’s going to suffer one way or the other, I would definitely go with a moderate portion of the bad food so that at least my stomach will be happy. :slight_smile:

lisa, they manage to squeeze 9 grams of fat into each of those tiny little patties, if you can believe it. It’s really not a healthy alternative, but it’s what has to be done, sometimes. I have an emergency kit in my car, but sometimes it doesn’t get replenished in a timely manner.

" Personally, if my body’s going to suffer one way or the other"

You’re body will not ‘suffer’ from the occasional deprivation of food during a few hours time.



Again, I minced my own words apparently:-) The original poster stated the following:

While we know that fat itself does not incite an insulin response, in the presence of high insulin (i.e. after eating high GI carbs), the fatty acids will actually potentiate the insulin response via gastric inhibitory protein.

However, that ballistic insulin response in and of itself is not the primary reason why fats and carbs should not be combined at the same meal. The reason is primarily because of the control insulin exerts over lipolytic and lipogenic enzymes. That is, insulin turns off hormone sensitive lipase, which is responsible for lipolysis, and turns on lipoprotein lipase, which is responsible for converting plasma fatty acids or excess glucose to triglycerides.

Now, my statement that you deemed a typo was not, in fact, a typo. As a matter of fact, the protein and carbohydrate tandem that we combine after training is used because of the highly insulinogenic environment it creates and thus halts catabolism. I further went on to say that if the ballistic insulin response of the combo of fat and carbs were the only reason that we’d avoid the two, we’d actually use that to our advantage in the post-training period. But since that’s not the reason why we avoid such, we do not combine them because of the detrimental effects on fat storage.

Am I clear as mud now, or what?

I must disagree
I would never let my body go with out food. Eat crappy food, god damn it!
Must be huuuge…

Seriously tho, its not hard to find a reasonable meal on the run, it just ends up being a bit hash on the wallet.
grilled chicken burgers (with or without the bun)/salads are pretty easy to find,
or pop into a cafe and get them to make an omlete. Shit there must be a supermarket every 5km nowadays, just get the friggin food!

Grow Bars or any other good MR bar.I always keep 'em handy.

And to answer the original question, you can always find a half-way decent meal.

Every so often , about once a week I go to Wendy’s and order a classic triple with cheese with no buns. They always go crazy and don’t understand, but in the end it all works out.

You can also order In and Out Burger burgers “protein style” Which means they wrap it in lettuce and no buns. But I also improvised on that and tell them to wrap it in tomato slices (yummy!)

They guy said that has to be the single most crazyiest thing he has ever heard.

If you have to go P+C, just get a grilled chicken booby sandwich with a bun and you should be straight.

“We’re T-men…we improvise.”

Either way is alright unless its going to be like 6-8 hours until your next meal.

There’s really nothing wrong with a 6" Subway turkey on wheat with no mayo, shitloads of veggies, mustard, and perhaps a drizzle of olive oil. Sure, the meat is processed but its protein that your body will use, sure the bread is probably a little carb overload and has sugar in it; so what, do an extra interval at your next cardio session.

If you are suffering, eat, if not, wait.

In addition to my last post…

This will probably draw flamage to no end, but I find that if I have to “cheat” on a meal (something other than salmon with flax, flounder with brown rice, chicken with… you get the picture) I find that the excessive guilt of that “cheat” makes me go absolutely apeshit. I have been known to suck down a gelpak to cause motivation for the gym on days I wasn’t feeling like it. “Oh shit, now I HAVE to go.” Then the guilt takes over and I probably burn 1/3 more cals than I normally would.