Last week I talked about the first tier of the Striving for Freedom health insurance policy. Today I’d like to expand on that a bit and talk about the second tier: your diet. In order to not confuse anyone, this diet is a life long commitment to health. This isn’t some bullshit that you do for a couple months to “lose weight” then go back to eating shitty once you’re at your desired weight.
I come to this topic from the perspective of a naturally skinny guy. Based on my conversations with fat people, I’ve determined that they use this as an excuse to justify why they are out of shape. I’ve heard stuff like, “Tate, you have it easy, you eat this cheeseburger and don’t gain anything. I eat it and I blow up.” While this advice I give can and should be slightly modified according to where you stand body type wise, the basic message stays the same.
The whole diet that I follow can be summed up by two words:
What does this mean exactly? Well it means you prepare as much food for yourself as possible. Not only will this save you a bunch of money, but it will also be much healthier for you.
Food that you prepare yourself is often times much more nutrient dense and not filled with bullshit chemicals to preserve the food.
If you current diet consists of a majority of microwave dinners, hoagies from Wawa, Pizza, or shitty Chinese food, you’re fucking up. All these items need to be preserved in order to not go bad. Using chemicals to preserve food instead of having fresh food is more cost effective, but it will kill your health.
I know that preparing all your own meals means that you will have to spend time doing it which is boring, but it doesn’t have to be. When I was figuring all this out, I made a meal plan that has the most calories, takes the least time to make, is cheap, and still healthy.
A typical meal that I would make for myself was a chicken breast and stir fry a bag of vegetables. This was the base meal that took like 5 minutes to make, filled me up, cost nothing, and was healthy.
Here’s some food items to use for your meal plan:
- Flank Steak
- Ground Beef
- Frozen Vegetables
- Chicken Breast
- Tuna fish
Whenever I’m in maintenance mode of trying to stay at a certain weight, I’ll eat the same thing every day with little changes.
Breakfast: 3 eggs and couple strips of bacon. Glass of Carrot/Apple/Beet/Ginger/Daikon/Tomato Juice. Steak and eggs works great as well if you can swing it!
Lunch: Bag of stir fried frozen vegetables and a chicken breast.
Dinner: Bag of stir fried frozen vegetables and a chicken breast.
See how easy that was? I don’t have to go around thinking to myself what specific micro nutrients I’m getting in or how long I’m fasting. Tired of the same thing? Switch it up and make some chili or a tunafish sandwich. I even used to eat salmon in a can for a meal. Make burgers for dinner or a combination of different stuff.
Don’t be afraid of eggs, bacon, and fat in general. Fat is a necessary ingredient in your diet. Testosterone is created from cholesterol. You need this in order to be a man. A lot of vitamins are fat soluble. You won’t be able to absorb them without some fat in your diet.
If you are in a rush and need to pick up a quick meal at the store, here’s a tip: Go to the salad bar and load up on spinach. Then throw a bunch of eggs in there and spread it out. On top of that throw some tuna salad on and you have a great meal for not that much money. Those salad bars are usually a set cost/lb, so eggs work great on a pillow of spinach.
Notice I don’t have desert on there. Fuck desert. That stuff is too sweet and will make you fat and unhealthy. Cut it from your diet. If you need sweets, eat fruit or better yet, juice. If you absolutely need to have sweets, the perfect time to eat them would be after your workout to mitigate the harm it does. But why do it? I’d rather just eat more clean food.
Like I said earlier, I’m a skinny guy, so a lot of the time I’m in the mode to be putting on weight. I achieve this by taking my base meals above, and just adding meals. So instead of 3 meals a day, I’ll shoot for 5 meals at the least. However, it’s still important to keep your meals clean.
Some meals that I like to throw in are:
- Apples with peanut butter
- Celery with peanut butter
- Rice cakes with peanut butter
- Protein shakes
Last year when I was bulking before my softball season, I would eat my base meals, a bowl of yogurt with peanut butter, and a protein shake with rice cakes and peanut butter. I didn’t get fat really at all, I just got bigger. The reason for this was that I was lifting heavy in the gym all week.
Another thing to do is eat more of your base meals. For instance you could up your egg count in the morning, have more than one chicken breast for your meals, etc.
I’m currently in a bulking phase again to prepare for the new softball season and this is what I’m looking like. I eat around 6 full meals a day and lift heavy. Looking to gain around 10-15 lbs by the end of May.
On the other end of the spectrum you may be someone who is overweight and looking to lose that weight and look good. The answer is surprisingly simple. Take the base meals from above, and eat less of them while at the same time lifting heavy like a savage in the gym.
Don’t make it into a big complicated system. Just follow what I just said: Eat less of your base meals, and lift heavy weights. Eventually your stomach will get used to your new caloric intake and you won’t be hungry all the time. Lifting heavy will force your body to transform whatever calories you consume and the fat on your body into muscles.
Another activity to do would be sprinting. Sprinting is a really great exercise that will shed pounds of fat from your body. I recently played organized touch football in a Philly league this Fall and the sprinting was killing me. It really shows how out of shape you are when you start sprinting back and forth over and over to the line of scrimmage.
When I say sprinting, I don’t mean going hard on an elliptical machine or a treadmill, I mean actually getting on a track or field and sprinting. Start off slow with 40 meters, and jog back to where you started. Then go again.
Don’t do long distance running. I did that for years and all it did was make me look emaciated. It’s not healthy, and is completely unnecessary. Stick to sprinting.
Diet is really important and unfortunately is often overlooked because of how complicated people make it out to be. Start off simple. Once you get close to your desired goal and are hitting plateaus, then worry about the intricate details of how many micronutrients you’re getting and what intervals you have them.
Always remember tier 1 of the plan – Lifting Heavy
Then focus on refining tier 2 of the plan – Eating Clean.
Think about getting a crock pot. It allows you to make a huge pot full of awesome food at the beginning of the day, and hours later it’s ready. Takes a lot of the work out of making food.
Also consider getting a juicer. It allows you to get a lot of nutrients into your diet by turning a crap load of fruits and vegetables into an easy to consume drink.
Eat clean food, exercise correctly, and adjust the amount you eat depending on what you are trying to do.
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