T Nation

Cutting Diet at Work, Tips?


#1

Hey all - been frequenting the website for a few months now and finally signed up for the forums so this is my first post.

I've got a unique situation. A few years back I stopped being able to drink just about any protein shakes. Using the recommended serving size left me feeling overly full, spending the next hour or so trying to stop hiccuping and feeling liked I needed to burp or vomit. Paired with some recently developed digestive issues with a high dairy diet, I'm beginning to think I've become intolerant of whey and milk products. To top this all off, I already avoid high sodium foods for the sake of my blood pressure, so I avoid jerky and dried meats.

With this in mind, I'm trying to find a way to maintain a healthy diet (aiming to lose weight with minimal muscle loss, but not necessarily trying to build muscle at the moment). I do not have a mini fridge in my office, and I don't want to open cans of tuna in my office for the sake of my colleagues. There is a fridge downstairs from my office, and while I don't mind walking down to it, it's kept fully stocked with my colleagues' food preferences and frequently surrounded with candy and junk food left out for an afternoon pick-me-up by those same colleagues (I try to avoid that area to limit the opportunities for moments of weakness).

I've started bringing some fruits (apples, bosc pears, bananas) to work, as well as some "organic energy bars" from Costco (they're basically just granola bars), but in order to feel full I end up eating a lot of carbs when I'm trying to get away from them.

I'd be interested in hearing some other ways to incorporate higher protein, lower carb snacks while at work without resorting to dairy, protein powders, or beef jerky. I'd also welcome any tips to increasing my vegetable intake while at work, because I've always been bad about eating green. Foods that don't need to be refrigerated would be great suggestions, but I may need to break down and get a mini-fridge, so don't be afraid to suggest perishables as well.

I look forward to hearing your feedback!


#2

Almonds, cashews, brazil nuts etc would be a good choice. Find a grocery store that sells unsalted ones, one near me sells black pepper cashews for like 6.50 a pound and I go through about that much a week. You could buy large cuts of beef and slow cook it and divide that up in 6-7 oz segements with some veggies and have that maybe twice a day. Lots of good options with your criteria


#3

Many people face similar restrictions. You can consider rice protein powder, pea protein, and or hemp protein. These are great choices but also work as their whole food equivalent - hemp seeds, rice and beans, split peas, etc. The whole foods don’t have nearly as much leucine, but usually the overall amino profile of most powdered (non-dairy) proteins is quite good. As a side note, with less leucine, mTor won’t spike as much, but this may prove beneficial in terms of long term health.


#4

I don’t really see the issue, to be honest.

Can you not just cook up a load of meat and vegetables and take it to work with you? Cooked meat’ll survive just fine over the course of the day without being refrigerated.


#5

[quote]Last_Aboard wrote:
To top this all off, I already avoid high sodium foods for the sake of my blood pressure, so I avoid jerky and dried meats.
[/quote]

For one, the sodium-blood pressure concern is probably somewhat overblown.

For two, epic bars (link not allowed, google them) are basically jerky and dried fruit formed into a bar, and they’re not especially high in salt. One bar has 9 percent of the RDA of sodium. So if you have three of them a day, unless you’re going bonkers with the salt shaker at other meals, I can’t see that sodium being a problem.


#6

Ordinarily I limit bringing in specifically Biotest supplements on the Supplements and Nutrition forum because we already have a Biotest Supplement Advice forum and I assume if people were looking for that answer, they’d go there, so my posts on Biotest supplements are almost all there, and here almost always they’re just generally on supplements or nutrition.

However for your specific situation, especially as it’s including cutting with minimal muscle loss, MAG-10 would be an excellent solution. While your problems with proteins from milk might raise a question for casein hydrolysate, and might apply to higher molecular weight hydrolysates, I think it’s unlikely to apply to the di and tri peptide casein hydroysate used in MAG-10. Many people who have problems with milk proteins have no problem with MAG-10; I don’t know of where a problem has been found that way.

If MAG-10 doesn’t fit the budget or personal preference, then as mentioned self-prepared dishes with meats could be brought and last all day even if not kept in the fridge. If the meat were tuna, what would be the problem eating it down in the refrigerator area? (I can see the point of not opening a can at the desk.)

Agreed on the granola bars etc.

I’d avoid having overly much fruit, more than 200 calories worth or so.


#7

Intermittent fasting or the warrior diet. Really convenient.


#8

Are incorporating meal system bags out of the question as well? Like the Isobag or Six Pack Bags? I have a Six Pack Bag and meal prep is a breeze on a cut. Its probably overboard for most people, but I have a hectic schedule; Full time work, Full time School, Full time Training…I have two meals and 1 snack at work, so it comes in pretty handy.

I work at a school and the teacher’s/staff lounge with the refrigerator is on the other side of the building; also with the way my Med kids, grade levels and the students lunch schedules are set up they overlap, so I could never make it there and back in time, if I had to warm up food. I meal prep the night before and warm up meat/veggie dishes in the morning before putting it in the bag. I’m sure you could achieve the same thing with a regular cooler or lunch bag I just use the Six Pack Bag because its great for when I travel too. Anyways, I find it useful.


#9

I don’t drink any regular protein shakes anymore because they starting making me feel kind of gross. Having said that, I drink a descent amount of MAG-10 now. I don’t know if it’s because I am older now and stuff just doesn’t digest the same, but MAG-10 has really made a huge difference. Sometimes on the weekends I’ll just have some in the morning and then a couple hours later have some more. From a digestive standpoint, I have never felt better.

Regular whey was nice because it was cheaper, but I will never go back.
If you prefer solid foods, I am a big fan of eggs with meat and cheese. I will occasionally brown up a ton of ground meat with onions and mushrooms. Mix in some eggs and feta cheese and throw it in Tupperware and have it as a snack. I would adjust for fat needs by the type of meat of how much cheese (if any) was added.

Good luck


#10

a little baked (or microwaved) sweet potato, sliced chicken breast, a splash of terriaki or soy sauce and a few handfuls of spinach leaves … filling, delicious and packed with protein and some carbs.


#11

Canned meat, such as tuna, sardines etc…