T Nation

Getting Essential Nutrients at Start and End of Day


#1

I'm often looking into ways to search for simple eating templates with a good degree of flexibility for those with busy/changeable schedules. Anyway I was having a ponder on it today and thought of the following for a 90kg male:

Meal 1: 3 scoops protein powder, 25g peanuts, 2 portions of green vegetables.

Meal 2: Almost anything providing I don't hit my carb or calorie limit, theres at least 25g protein and at least 1 portion of fruit or vegetables.

Meal 3: Workout nutrition as required

Meal 4: 3 scoops protein powder, 25g peanuts, 2 portions of green vegetables.

The idea would be that meals 1 and 4 would establish a baseline "minimum" for protein content (falling at the upper end of the 1.2-1.6g/kg), fruit/vegetables and fats. The fruit/veggies are set up so I will at least get the recommended 5 a day and the fats set up as an rough guide from one of Nates articles (http://www.T-Nation.com/diet-fat-loss/2-ways-to-lose-fat-only-1-way-to-get-ripped).

Obviously calorie/protein/carb intake will vary from person and depend also on that persons goals... but as a general structure... how does this look?

Lots of articles seem to be popping up touting that meal frequency doesn't matter a great deal which is another source of inspiration for this idea.


#2

For some reason, I’m finding it difficult to understand your logic and approach. Your “template” can be summarized as “drink 6 scoops of protein powder, eat vegetables, and eat peanuts throughout the day.” I don’t see how this is an effective or realistic general plan of action to recommend to the vast majority of people (including the prototypic 90kg male that you refer to) when you take into account different lifestyles, personal preferences, and individual needs/goals.

Also, I don’t really understand how this plan creates “flexibility” when half of the day is rigidly planned with almost no variety. Adding protein powder (either as a meal option or as a daily habit) might be a strategy that’s useful for some people who are having trouble meeting their protein targets consistently or who can’t always put together a balanced whole foods meal that is compatible with their overall plan; however, creating the universal recommendation to essentially chug most of your protein target within the first half of the day doesn’t seem too wise.


#3

unless your second meal of the day is HUGE then that looks like a nightmare


#4

[quote]Josh Rider wrote:
For some reason, I’m finding it difficult to understand your logic and approach. Your “template” can be summarized as “drink 6 scoops of protein powder, eat vegetables, and eat peanuts throughout the day.” I don’t see how this is an effective or realistic general plan of action to recommend to the vast majority of people (including the prototypic 90kg male that you refer to) when you take into account different lifestyles, personal preferences, and individual needs/goals.

Also, I don’t really understand how this plan creates “flexibility” when half of the day is rigidly planned with almost no variety. Adding protein powder (either as a meal option or as a daily habit) might be a strategy that’s useful for some people who are having trouble meeting their protein targets consistently or who can’t always put together a balanced whole foods meal that is compatible with their overall plan; however, creating the universal recommendation to essentially chug most of your protein target within the first half of the day doesn’t seem too wise. [/quote]

Essentially the idea is to get a relatively baseline level of aminos, EFA and fruit/veg at the start and end of the day. These times for me would usually be considered fixed points; i.e. I will wake up and fall asleep in the same house pretty much every night. Eating during the rest of the day will provide primarily energetic nutrients, enough to fulfil my quota. Extra protein and the such will picked up along the way.

The amount of protein is not fixed - it’s an amount that corresponds to what a handful of studies on the blog I linked have established as a reasonable minimum. This could be replicated in a similar way with 1g/lb or something more conventional. Again the nuts and veg are eaten at the same time as the protein shakes, not throughout the day.

Also one is not limited to just one or two meals between the first and last shake/nuts/veg meals. One can eat as many meals as they want. One can infact can get away with eating virtually anything (within reason) providing it’s more or less within their calorific goals. Then, at the end of the day, that person has still met protein/calorie goals even if the other macros may be a tad off.

By creating fixed points at the start and end of the day it means that the unknown variables in the middle are much less restrictive.

The majority of protein isn’t chugged in the first half of the day but rather split over two large sittings at opposite ends of the day with extra protein grazed on throughout the day. With the above example one would be looking at about 75g of protein in the first and last sittings - not exactly extreme.

It’s entirely possible that I’m missing your viewpoint and if that’s the case then I apologise. In my opinion however… having a protein shake/nuts/veggies when I wake up and before I go to sleep and then eating what I want, when I want during the day is pretty flexible. Less counting calories/macros or planning during the day too!

Finally of course it isn’t meant to be a one size fits all plan - everyone is different after all. I spend a lot of time working in kitchens where I don’t get a great deal of time to plan/prep my breakfast/supper at either end of the day. It means that in the middle of a busy day I could cook myself something or even grab a handful of nuts/fruit and with minimal effort still be nailing my calorie/macro goals.


#5

[quote]Yogi wrote:
unless your second meal of the day is HUGE then that looks like a nightmare[/quote]

I gave the above example for a fairly sedentary individual with some fairly substantial calorie restrictions which I definitely didn’t point out clearly so I apologize!

One could have one, two, three or however many meals they want in the middle to meet their goals.

Hell the first and last meals could be protein shakes, peanut butter sandwiches and whatever if you need more intake. The point is to simply have two fixed points to permit more flexibility in the middle of the day with less counting/planning.


#6

Right, so it’s a diet plan where you start and end your day with a shake and veggies?

Nothing wrong with that. I don’t know if you could really go so far as calling it a plan as such, but yeah, nothing wrong with it.


#7

You could just throw some greens in a blender with your protein powder and make it a little easier to prepare.


#8

[quote]Yogi wrote:
Right, so it’s a diet plan where you start and end your day with a shake and veggies?

Nothing wrong with that. I don’t know if you could really go so far as calling it a plan as such, but yeah, nothing wrong with it.[/quote]

Shake, veggies/fruit, nuts/fish oils and general health supplements at either end of the day, aye. Literally enough to provide a bare minimum for protein/fats/micronutrients so I get to think less during the rest of the day!

Admittedly not much of a “plan”, just a rough structure. Perhaps something that could be built on or combined with something else. With a bit of tweaking it could be used in TC’s version of the 5/2 diet - shake/veggie/fish oil every morning/night, 5 days with other meals in the middle, 2 days without!


#9

[quote]GetitUp wrote:
You could just throw some greens in a blender with your protein powder and make it a little easier to prepare.[/quote]

As in the greens powders? Or actual green veggies?

On a side note I don’t own a blender but a very valid point! Could throw protein powder, nuts/flax seeds and veggies/fruit to see it all off in one go.

It’s a nice thought knowing that I have my protein/fat baseline sorted and that I can wander into a shop thinking “I need something around X calories that is as whole food as possible” and nothing else.


#10

don’t own a blender? you are probably one of like 2 people on this site that don’t own a blender. The other being SonOfWolf because his parents won’t buy him one.


#11

Hahahahhaha