T Nation

Eating Is a Challenge

Quick backdrop, I am 34, 5’11" 225, 12-15% body fat. I’ve trained for years, competed MMA at 185, 170 and finished out at 155 (which was scary low for me as I was at less than 2% bf and basically starving myself) So I have bulked up, trained in the gym for 5 years and I’ve decided to jump into the Gear finally after 2 years of research.
Here’s my issue… I struggle with my eating habits, I work between 90-100 hours a week and my food intake can vary greatly. Sometimes I have to resort to eating fast food because I can’t really meal prep in my line of work. What effects will not eating enough have on my cycle? What options do I have to ensure a steady flow of protein and other nutrients. My overall goal is better health at the end of my cycle and hopefully 10-15 lbs of muscle after PCT.

This is my first post, so if I did anything wrong feel free to let me know. Thanks.

If you can’t eat enough calories I would recommend using liquid calories to fill the gap. The constant flow of protein is overstated as long as you have protein spread out and not all at one meal. As for the gear I can’t help you.

Change jobs.

Well, I can’t change jobs. I’m a career Firefighter and a part time Electrician. I wish I didn’t need two jobs, but that’s life.

Thanks. I know caloric intake makes a huge difference in the effectiveness of any diet but especially a cycle. I’ll try to figure ways to spread out the protein intake.

When I was firefighter all of the guys that had two jobs, had to have two jobs because they kept buying shit or because they kept having kids.

If you can’t get meals in as a firefighter, there is no hope for you. I now have a job where I am literally on the road and busy as hell from start to finish of my shift… and I still get all of my meals in. Pyrex and a large cooler.


The gym I train at is owned by a full time firefighter. He runs it with his wife and he has a great physique. I get that you’re busy AF, but meal prep can take as little as 30 minute out of your day. I’m a shift worker too, and I find a slow cooker and Tupperware answer all my meal prep needs.

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My eating situation is fine at the station, the days working construction suck. I guess I need to get a little more proactive on the meal prep. Thanks man

Thanks man I’ll try that.

Easiest ones I can think of:

  • skinless/boneless chicken thighs with onion, tomatoes, capsicum, chuck in some chillies and apple cider vinegar and whatever other spices you like. Leave it on overnight. The only work is cutting the vegetables.

  • pork leg (trim the skin and fat off in a single piece), rub with BBQ sauce, mustard or even ketchup then rub with salt and spice, cover with the skin (all up that’s maybe 20 minutes of work if you have a sharp knife), surround with eggplant, onion and carrot. Leave on overnight.

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The meal prep thing drives me crazy, to be honest. When I stopped the whole eating out/fast food thing for almost every meal, I realized how much of a pain in the ass it is-- but it does make a difference. Plus you save a LOT of money.

For example, I go through 4-5 chicken breast and a pound of grain every single day. I feel like I live in my kitchen putting things into containers and then cleaning the containers-- but, its that or eating out.


Mate I totally agree. Every day fucking tupperware. Breakfast out of tupperware. Lunch out of tupperware. Every night wash tupperware, cook food to put into tupperware. Tupperware tupperware tupperware tupper iowari ioaoi fasifn a;woeifjawoie;mca;odk mo aaaaaahhhhhh fucking jesus I hate tupperware!


Sounds great! I’ll be trying these. I get tired of eating cold sandwiches.

I better stock up on Tupperware. Lol

I just eat out 90% of the time. No Tupperware, meal prep or dishes.

Less than 2% body fat? :joy:

Whole pre cooked chickens, raw salad veg, bread, olive oil, whole milk, avacadoes, mangos. No cooking or prep required other than I quick chop.


Yes 2% at the time… and never again. Aside from feeling completely depleted, my endurance significantly dropped and I ended up injuring myself. I feel best at about 10%

When I’m on shift, whole rotisserie chicken and broccoli is my go to.

That’s what I end up doing when I’m working construction, but I’m trying to kill that bad habit.

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I’ve known plenty of Firemen in my many years and I am under the impression that preparing a meal prior to going to work and then consuming it at work is pretty easily done. Granted I don’t know your particular job circumstances but, not unlike Police Officers a Firefighter’s work is either very boring or tremendously dangerous. During most of the time it is boring and I don’t understand what prevents you from bringing all the food that you need for that shift with you.

What am I missing?

As I said before, eating at the station isn’t an issue. Packing around an extra days worth of meals, possibly heating up the meals may be an issue.
As far as Firefighter work being boring… you must not know of anyone in a busy department. If we aren’t running calls, we are training. We aren’t a couch company here.