I’m trying to figure out how to structure my diet. If I arrive at anything here, with your help, I won’t be able to implement that immediately as I’ve already stocked up on some goods for the coming week. But, I still want to write my thoughts down and hopefully get some guidance.
First, to frame the discussion, let’s mention weight and activity levels:
- Weight: 160 pounds
- Training days: strength-oriented workouts, no real hypertrophy work. Full-body workouts (https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/bulgarian-training-simplified). 5 times a week. Sometimes climb on a workout day as well.
- Off-days: yoga (sometimes) and climbing (sometimes)
- All workweek days: 40 minutes on the bike in the snow, primarily downhill to work/gym, 15 minutes, and 25 minutes to get home as it is uphill.
- Daily walks after lunch.
I’d like to add more activity but right now I’m a bit too beat up to get to the walks. This is because I’ve been bad at upping my calories after my diet as I’m afraid of getting fat by taking on too much of a surplus before my metabolism adapts to the increase in calories. I went deep into a deficit, 1400 calories. Not sure what exactly I’m eating right now as I’ve been clearing the freezer from some homemade baked protein goodies, but around 2400 and my weight remains stable on that.
My normal day looks something like, 2324 calories (226.4p, 183.6c, 75.3f)
Intra-workout (chug half before my warm-up, fill the bottle back up and finish during workout): 264 calories (26.3p, 38.1c, 0.7f)
Post-workout 1: >390 calories (44g protein, 39.8g carbs, 5.3g fat) + whatever a banana is
250g low-fat cottage cheese
50g oat bran cereal
minimal amount of whey for flavour
Post-workout 2: the same as the above sans the banana about 60-90 minutes later
Lunch: ~600 calories, ~60g protein, 57g carbs, 15g fats
80g rice, or the equivalent caloriewise in potatoes or sweet potatoes. I favour rice and potatoes over sweet potatoes because the latter is expensive here.
500-700g frozen vegetables (thawed)
6-8 fish-oil capsules
Mid-afternoon snack: 236 kcal (20.3g protein, 5.6g carbs (3.1g fiber, 2.07g sugars), 14.4g fat)
Homemade protein fudge bar
Pics: Food Porn Thread
Dinner: 436 calories (29.5g protein, 3.4g carbs, 34.3g fat)
15g almonds (I don’t sprout these… yet)
and that’s it. I’m usually starving at the end of the work-day and biking home is tough. If I didn’t have the two post-workout I’d find it hard to get through the morning but ideally, I’d rather eat once instead of two times.
I want to: decrease my protein intake and increase my carb-intake. Why? Carbs are awesome, I hear, and I’m concerned about the environment so I want to decrease my meat/eggs/fish consumption. Apparently, sustainable eating would be,
A person following the planetary health diet would eat less than 50g per day each of eggs, fish, sugar and meat
(fortunately: sugar is not a staple in my diet)
I’ve noticed this week that eating something before leaving for the gym results in a marked improvement in performance, especially as it makes the biking to the gym less exhausting. It’s not ideal that I bike to the gym (previously fasted), and while there is another gym I could frequent I end up late for work if I go there and that is not feasible at the moment.
Currently completely unaccustomed to eating straight out of bed though, so I’ll have to work up a tolerance here. Have had success with eggs and some almonds but I really want to get some low GI carbs in here and am accepting suggestions. Why low GI? So that I can spike insulin post-workout. However, my intra-workout carb source is waxy maize so maybe my body is desensitized after the workout to a rise in blood sugar anyway and this is an unnecessary optimization (?)
Maybe I could run some protein (whey) together with tangerines on waking, but I have to try and stay under 25g fructose a day (right @mertdawg?). According to Poliquin the following fruits can be eaten pre-workout as they will not spike insulin,
- Orange family (tangerine, mandarine)
My intra-workout nutrition is 10g EAA, 20g whey, and 40-50g waxy-maize. John Meadow’s suggested this somewhere, and I reckon it was for guys bigger than me, doing bodybuilding sessions. So, it’s probably ample. I also prefer to get my food in solid form rather than powdered so unless I’m struggling to get food down (I’m not) I’d be unkeen to increase any of these portions but if there is a good argument to do so I’m open to it.
I will have finished my workout at 8AM. That leaves me 3 hours to get in carbs+protein meals (right?). Following the workout, I’m thinking maybe oats with blueberries and pineapple together with low-fat cottage cheese. Again, remaining mindful of fructose.
For lunch, it’s been more than 3 hours since my workout, so I’m guessing I should cut out rice and should opt for beans/lentils/chickpeas/butternut squash (should I treat squash as a vegetable or as a carb?) instead? And maybe the reason lunch hasn’t been sustaining for me is because it is so low in fat.
I’m already fairly happy with the dinner. Sometimes I split it, so I have the nuts later pre-bed together with some kimchi. But, by eating it together my stomach is somewhat empty as I go to bed which makes the melatonin I take work better. I do still however wake up every single night, usually multiple times. Maybe this wouldn’t happen if I had a pre-bed snack, but I used to have those during my diet and still slept like shit but then maybe I slept like shit because I was on a diet.
I realize I sound like a thousand other guys on these forums that have been freaking out about minutia, and while I do appreciate I don’t have to care about nutrient timing etcetera I kind of want to because I want to realize and implement what I’ve learned. It’s not so much about “optimal” as it is about just doing things right and leveraging all that I’ve learned.
Writing all of this out, I realize I should probably, (keeping in mind planetary health somewhat…)
Wake-up, eat something protein+carb:y, favouring a low GI. Maybe: 1 egg, rice boiled with coconut oil with a teaspoon of almond flour that has been refridgerated.
Train with my shake
Eat a mastodon amount of oats (it’s only wheat that causes an insanely long elevated insulin secretion, right @mertdawg?), the same amount of low-fat cottage cheese, and some blueberries/pineapple.
Maybe stop with chicken for lunch, and have a fattier meat source, but less (in grams) than the chicken. Make up for the decrease in protein with beans/lentils. By having a better spread across the macros this meal might be more satiating. I find that I’m experiencing some kind of “toxic hunger” at the moment where I’m never really satiated and maybe that’s because the meals aren’t too balanced?
Dinner: same, but smaller pieces of salmon eventually.
I guess I should make myself a pre-bed snack that is high in protein but I think I’ll already have reached my protein intake for the day at the weight that I am at.
When I get the chance, I’ll write up a new meal plan, but since I won’t be able to run it the upcoming week (already done my grocery shopping) that isn’t at the top of my priority list.
In the mean-time, if anyone wants to chime in in anyway I more than welcome it!