T Nation

Crappy Food Better Than No Food?


So,my question is pretty simple. If there's only garbage food around and you're hungry. What's better,to eat,or not to eat?


What? lol.

Eating "garbage" foods is better for you than starving to death.


You're not going to get big and strong eating nothing but poptarts and potato chips.


plan ahead and have higher quality foods available to you. Cook in bulk.

An organized shopping list is a must.


op how old are you

and if you want people to take the time to reply you should put more effort into your posts.

what do you consider 'garbage' food? How long will it be until you have access to 'non-garbage'? When was the last time you ate before having to make this decision? How often does this situation arise?


Theres no reason to make sarcastic remarks in the beginners forum. Especially from someone sporting the progress you are. Yes I know your pictures are old, so what.


Let's say you had breakfast at 7AM. Some snack at 10AM. At 12PM you have nothing around you but garbage(McD's,Burger King,KFC,etc.). Next time you'll eat is around 5-6PM.
This situation arises 3-5 times/week.

I'm 21.


Bring your own lunch with you.

This isnt an issue for a 21 year old. A kid, maybe, but not an adult with the ability to cook for himself.

Although I dont consider those choices 'garbage', it certainly isnt a good idea to eat fast food every day.

Or you can look into intermittent fasting.


Is intermittent fasting a good idea if you're trying to gain weight?


Man, I ask myself this question every time I visit my family over the holiday. In my mother's fridge you find shit, shit, and more shit.


I've been having this problem working night shift as of late. I read through the fast food discussion forums and got a pretty good idea what works for other people when faced with this decision, and what might work for my needs. There's no real definite answer, no matter what you're gonna eat crap, I just learned as much as I could because I refuse not to eat.

I can't skip a meal, so I'm speaking from the it's better to eat side of this discussion. I plan out what I need before I get to the window. If I'm looking for protein, a couple triple stackers (with or without cheese depending on my day/week, piled into one bun if any). Protein and calories, a couple quater pounders with cheese. I had been eating good all week and needed calories one particular day, and killed a XXL stufft burrito from Taco Bell (an 1,800 calorie burrito or something... I might have had 2). A couple grilled chicken clubs without the bun is a great in-between meal from McDonalds.

All of the websites for these places have the nutritional info right online for reference as well. Figure out what your body needs (or doesn't) for that particular time of day and meet those needs the best you can.


Lol there's no reason for you to have a stick up your butt, but you still do it. In this case though, the "problem" you created doesn't exist. I gave him an honest answer to a vague question. Eating junk is better than not eating, but it's not going to make you big and strong. Sorry you don't like me! (not really!)


They do own a toilet right?



Do this twice a week (once at the beginning and once in the middle) The amounts needed will depend on your caloric intake goal. It'll be a good idea to estimate how much you want for one meal and multiply that by how many meals you'll need until you have to cook again.

a) boil some eggs
b) cook chicken/beef/fish (anything that had a face really) (like mine grilled)
c) dice up your favorite veggies (tomatoes, peppers, onions, mushrooms, olives, broc, calli, string beans, etc)
d) prep some salad fixin's. (lettuce/cabbage)
e) baggie up some peanuts/trail mix (for best results mix your own, i hate the prebagged stuff)
f) divide it up into 3-4 days worth of meals
You now have 3-4 meals worth of boiled eggs, meat, a decent salad, and a solid snack.
g) rest easy knowing you lunch/midday snack is prepped and ready for consumption.

Really, you'd only be losing an hour to an hour and a half two nights a week doing this (and that's if you magically become mentally handicapped the moment you walk in a kitchen). It's surprisingly easy.


Also, quality tuperware helps a lot here.


(quality tuperware is a must! My poor bag has had one to many incidents haha)

But boiling eggs and having protein powder in a shaker has saved me plenty of times! I'm still slacking on the shopping list, but my mom! Yes my mom :slightly_smiling: Is teaching me the coupon ways since I have a family of 8.

Not saying you have this problem, but one can easily make and bring food for 2-3 days for one meal on the cost of an average fast food meal.


Agreed. I'm busy as shit but I have a cooler that I take everywhere with me with 4 or 5 meals in it, depending on long I'll be gone. If you want to be serious, be serious. If don't, then eat mcdonalds.

Honestly, cooking for yourself and taking food is cheaper anyway, not to mention providing you with drastically more control over your meal timing and macronutrient content.


Tdave--i don't see that working nights is necasarily a big problem, i work nights nearly all the time. It just takes organisation to cook, prepare and carry in the right foods. Not being able to access a fridge might be a problem but carrying a cooler in the car isn't so much of a problem.

Some good foods don't even neen a cooler--think fruit and nuts for example.

1arts--decent food is available usually 24 hrs a day (supermarkets) it just takes some work to buy and prepare--unless your idea of food is driving up to a drive-thru !!


I agree with you 100% packing a lunch is the way to go. That is the best recommendation. The thread has gone in a great direction as far as better alternatives to fast food, I was just trying to add some input with the initial question at hand, which is something I just dealt with. All the other fast food threads really just dealt with "rawr, triple bacon cheeseburger!!!"

This is by no means a reflection of my regular diet at all... and I guess working at night really doesn't have much to do with it (I mentioned working at night because at midnight, if I don't have anything with me it's McDonalds, TB, BK and 7-11 as my only choices to find some grub within a reasonable distance). That's the only time I hit a drive thru up, because I hate going hungry, which was what the original OP was asking about.


Thanks for all the answers and suggestions,I'll definitely try and start cooking food in bulk.
Keep the ideas coming. I think it can be very useful for a lot of people.


I think that it is a lot about habit and organisation. For young guys just going shopping for real food (that you have to cook) will be a revalatory experience, and as for organising it at home, cooking it as well and getting it to work....

Here is my routine for 'away' food :
I work usually a 3 or 4 night shift pattern and they are 12 hours, so after getting up,eating,walking to the gym and getting at least some exercise and then starting my shift there is very little time to think about much else !!.
What i do is carry in to work on the first shift :
Tubs of cottage cheese
Packs of blueberries, rasberries and strawberries.
Stick of bananas.
Packs of walnuts
Tub of creme fraiche
Jar of honey.

A pack of cooked chicken drumsticks.

These all live in the fridge at work and mean that i can always eat something decent.

On a nightly basis we usually make up sandwiches/rolls (although i am currently trying lo-carb) so instead make up a tub of tuna chunks with some mayo and spring onions--that in itself can go a couple of nights.
In my rucksack i normally carry an apple or 2 and a tub of mixed nuts--pretty well anywhere i go .

During the non summer months i batch cook, mainly things like chillies/tom.bolognaise sauces and other warmers...i can microwave one of those for a meal at work too.

Just wanted to add that just over 2 years ago i was seriously overweight and a lot of that was due to a high stress night based job and constant grazing on high carb snacks especially. during a time when i was not only doing my shift but would usually be there for another hour or so beforehand working on team problems.
It didn't help that the only other food on offer on-site is vending machine snacks and in the morning the bakery loaded with cakes and pastries--unfortunately i just love that stuff, at one point i think i was living on stress coffee and cookies !!.