T Nation

"Best" Junk Food

yes, i’m aware that i might have made a boo-boo… how can there be ‘best’ among that which is already labeled as ‘junk’?

let me assure you, i don’t mean Mds big mac, or Burger king’s double (or, gasp, triple!) burger, or any other of the fast food franchises that are as abundant as mushrooms after a monsoon storm…

by junk, i mean those situations one faces or those options which are limited to NOT having access to those foods that you want in your diet…

to clarify, you’re just hanging out with the friends after a game of basketball… you’re supposed to have taken your protein shake 30 mins ago, however, the boys are heading for the hotdog stand around the corner… in those situations, its hard not to offend the others by not joining them, at the same time, it looks weird if you don’t…

another scenario; business meeting, lunch, at a restaurant where the calories (and prices) are too high… what do you do then? it’d be rude to not partake in the food with the others, yes? specially if one is looking for a promotion, and the boss is at the table…

in these cases, what’re the best options, or what do you guys do to offset the negatives, and with what positive(s)?

Basically, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business what I eat or don’t eat. While some people could consider it strange e.g. when I don’t eat cake at a birthday party, trying to impose one’s will on another person when it comes to eating is what I’d call rude. Simply explain it and most people will understand or at least accept it, all the more if you actually look like you lift and you are serious about your lifestyle.

On the other hand, there is no need to live off chicken breast and broccoli every meal. At many lunch occasions, there is some sort of meat dish which you can consume (if necessary, order it without the sauce) with a salad or vegetables, at coffee breaks at work, I simply drink a cup of black coffee and let the others gorge on confection of pastry and related stuff, at the hotdog stand, I buy something to drink and leave it at that.

Long story short, to me, food is fuel, of course with the added benefit of pleasure in many cases.

If others choose to view it as some kind of social ritual, that’s fine with me and I definitely won’t try to impose my views on eating on them or try to spoil their fun. At the same time, I expect the same “open-mindedness” from others if I am to spend more time than absolutely necessary with them.

What the hell, man?

Alright, look here. You have to have these things called priorities.

You pick whatever is more important to you. I go out to lunch with my colleagues once a week (and I’m starting a diet this week). I’ll still go out to lunch with them, and I still won’t worry what I eat: It’s one meal of MANY that I’ll be eating that week. No biggie.

If your schedule is such that it’s continually hindering your goal of becoming leaner, then prioritize. Change your goal, your routine, your job. Whatever you deem least important.

From what I’ve seen on this site, most people need to be getting BIGGER if they ever want to have an appreciable amount of mass. In this case, eat with your buddies or your business partners - it doesn’t matter. Your post-workout protein can be replaced by real food every once in a while - it might not be OPTIMAL, but it won’t HURT you and it’s better than nothing at all.

Ya see?

[quote]Mister T. wrote:
What the hell, man?

Alright, look here. You have to have these things called priorities.

You pick whatever is more important to you. I go out to lunch with my colleagues once a week (and I’m starting a diet this week). I’ll still go out to lunch with them, and I still won’t worry what I eat: It’s one meal of MANY that I’ll be eating that week. No biggie.

If your schedule is such that it’s continually hindering your goal of becoming leaner, then prioritize. Change your goal, your routine, your job. Whatever you deem least important.

From what I’ve seen on this site, most people need to be getting BIGGER if they ever want to have an appreciable amount of mass. In this case, eat with your buddies or your business partners - it doesn’t matter. Your post-workout protein can be replaced by real food every once in a while - it might not be OPTIMAL, but it won’t HURT you and it’s better than nothing at all.

Ya see?[/quote]

Well said. This extreme approach to “eating clean” is truly only justified if you are making the progress to warrant it. What confuses me are people who don’t look much different than the sedentary people they laugh at yet cry over whether there were 50 extra grams of carbs in their lunch.

I doubt a hot dog every now and then is going to hurt.
I am trying to bulk up right now, and I eat shit food every now and then. While I admit that I am not losing much fat, I don’t think I am gaining it either. Hell, there are a lot of people that eat a lot of hot dogs and aren’t fat, why would you get fat if you eat some hot dogs plus workout?
I guess everybody’s body is different though.

I like Berardi’s approach. He preaches the 90% rule to nutrition where if you are eating about 40 meals a week then budget yourself 4 meals not on the “plan”. Don’t binge when you cheat but don’t sweat the meal too much.

I’d agree also, if your eating a bunch of clean meals and stuff, a hotdog here, or lunch with your boss and such won’t harm you. You might actually feel better for doing it also.

I am not sure whether there is truly a JUNK food around (with the exception of trans fats), but I personally make sure I get enough protein per meal, limit the total calorie limit to abt 400 calories per meal and avoid white bread products. If its a particularly heavy meal or has a lot of sugar but low amount of protein, I limit the amount, add a protein shake and take a few fiber tablets in addition. This way I get a lot of flexibility without sacrificing my results too much.Ultimately its all about adequate calories and protein, avoiding white bread/rice and refined sugar to the extent possible and slowing digestion of said meal.
That said, when I go out I choose subway subs (wheat bread or wrap/salad if carbing down) and even the qdoba burrito (no tortilla/rice, add guacamole an dgrilled vegetables and you’ll be surprised how well the macros line up for a cutting diet)

[quote]burning ice wrote:
yes, i’m aware that i might have made a boo-boo… how can there be ‘best’ among that which is already labeled as ‘junk’?

let me assure you, i don’t mean Mds big mac, or Burger king’s double (or, gasp, triple!) burger, or any other of the fast food franchises that are as abundant as mushrooms after a monsoon storm…

by junk, i mean those situations one faces or those options which are limited to NOT having access to those foods that you want in your diet…

to clarify, you’re just hanging out with the friends after a game of basketball… you’re supposed to have taken your protein shake 30 mins ago, however, the boys are heading for the hotdog stand around the corner… in those situations, its hard not to offend the others by not joining them, at the same time, it looks weird if you don’t…

another scenario; business meeting, lunch, at a restaurant where the calories (and prices) are too high… what do you do then? it’d be rude to not partake in the food with the others, yes? specially if one is looking for a promotion, and the boss is at the table…

in these cases, what’re the best options, or what do you guys do to offset the negatives, and with what positive(s)?[/quote]

let me assure you, i don’t mean Mds big mac, or Burger king’s double (or, gasp, triple!)

You forgot about the BK quad stacker my man. I foolishly had one of those about a year ago, and I don’t think I’ve recovered yet.


At least most of these examples have protein in them, now if you were forced to choose between real junk food, such as baked alaska or maple bars, that’s a different kettle of fish…

When in doubt, eat meat.

People always look at me weird when I order a burger and eat it without the bun. I just tell them I want to be able to touch my toes when I’m 50. Or that I like seeing my penis when it’s erect.

I wouldn’t mind one of those high sugar protein bars that happen to taste like cookies. Most of the Met-Rx bars that you can find at convenience stores are pretty high in sugar and carbs, as well as protein…but they taste like and pretty much are “junk food.”

I agree with Michael25…

What you eat or don’t eat is your business.

However, in the situations:

  1. Ask for the nutrition info.
  2. Eat the most natural food

I like Arby’s and Subway Turkey subs.
Turkey has high protein. The bread at Arby’s might be a problem. (Subway to a lesser extent)
Skip the mayo
Skip the combo

At a restaurant

  1. Salad
  2. Skip the soup, it only tastes good because of the sodium (in the American diet, if it doesn’t smell like a can, the public will generally shun eating it).
  3. Eat the most natural food

A perfect diet is only good for competitors.
Plan your outings to coincide with your cheting on the diet.
Make your friends at the Gym so you can enjoy more outings.

Just my thoughts, but what do I know, I’m just a married to an alcoholic, 39 year old, 4 kid, overworked, under trained, depressed Paxil taking, ED suffering (from the Paxil)(so now I take Levitra), lonely, boring old guy!

I agree with Michael25…

What you eat or don’t eat is your business.

However, in the situations:

  1. Ask for the nutrition info.
  2. Eat the most natural food

I like Arby’s and Subway Turkey subs.
Turkey has high protein. The bread at Arby’s might be a problem. (Subway to a lesser extent)
Skip the mayo
Skip the combo

At a restaurant

  1. Salad
  2. Skip the soup, it only tastes good because of the sodium (in the American diet, if it doesn’t smell like a can, the public will generally shun eating it).
  3. Eat the most natural food

A perfect diet is only good for competitors.
Plan your outings to coincide with your cheting on the diet.
Make your friends at the Gym so you can enjoy more outings.

Just my thoughts, but what do I know, I’m just a married to an alcoholic, 39 year old, 4 kid, overworked, under trained, depressed Paxil taking, ED suffering (from the Paxil)(so now I take Levitra), lonely, boring old guy!

In my book, the “best” junk food is good beer. Though it’s been months since I’ve had any.

thanks for all the input guys; no, I’m not a competitor or anything, but I’m one of those guys who can just look at a piece of gain calories… don’t ask me how that happens, all i know is i’ve been ‘bulking’ for a while now, and that I’m starting Berardi’s PN diet soon, because I want to lose the spare…

on the flip side, is it normal to want/need to eat more if you’re lifting hard (and heavy) 3 times a week? I’ve recently had this ‘hunger pang’ thing going recently, barely 30 mins after a meal…

Example, 1 veggie omelet with a scoop of hash browns for breakfast used to be a filling breakfast for me, but since the last few weeks, I’ve noticed that I have to opt for an egg and cheese wheat bagel on the side with the regular breakfast, otherwise, I’m hungry within a few mins!..

mind, I’m trying to ‘lean’ out. should i simply ignore the hunger, or actually eat the dang bagel and shut up?

[quote]burning ice wrote:
mind, I’m trying to ‘lean’ out. should i simply ignore the hunger, or actually eat the dang bagel and shut up?[/quote]

Eat the fucking bagel… a wheat bagel would really be best. Actually the egg on whole wheat toast would probably be a much better option. Though I doubt school cafeterias have actualy whole wheat grains and such. It’s breakfast, you need some calories, you could probably sub the hash browns for something else, especially if they’re fried. I ate a pretty big breakfast when I was dieting down, I think most would agree that it really should be your biggest meal of the day.
Just to be clear; though I think you’ve got a fairly good grasp of what you should and shouldn’t eat, it doesn’t mean that you can eat cookies and lucky charms with chocolate milk, and maybe some Crisco and whipped cream thrown in the mix. You know, just to give the good ol’ heart a little kick in the mornin’ :slight_smile:

hot pockets are real good for you and also vienna sausages and spam a lot of protein! yummm

[quote]RMA wrote:
in these cases, what’re the best options, or what do you guys do to offset the negatives, and with what positive(s)?

hot pockets are real good for you and also vienna sausages and spam a lot of protein! yummm
[/quote]

will get em the next grocery session, thanks man!