So, a few months ago I started a two part column on my diet, then went ADD spaz and digressed to do a column on some other rant about who-knows-what, and left y’all hanging on the promised more specific discussion on what, and how, I eat.
You have all been waiting with bated breath, I know, on the edge of your seats, wanting to know what a midget powerhouse like me consumes for every meal (and NO, it’s not poop).
Anyhoo, this month I am going to get a little more specific and break down my diet, what it consists of today, and how I got here over time, because ALL good “diets” should be LIFESTYLE changes, patterns of eating that are sustainable over time.
So, without further adieu, I bring you……
So, What is Your Diet Part Duex (wow I thought that would come across more exciting)
First, let’s talk about the word “diet”, which for many immediately brings to mind a decrease in calories, or a cut back in food volume.
A diet, actually, is just what you eat at any given time.
It can be a bulk, a cut, or a maintenance…..it does not always mean an active attempt to lose weight.
However, I would advocate that a GOOD diet involve basically the same foods/types of foods, and that the fluctuation be in volume (caloric intake) of those foods. So basically, I am always generally eating the same basic foods, but when I bulk I eat more of them, and when I cut, I eat less.
This statement leads me to a second point, as far as eating “more” or “less”.
The body/metabolism does not tend to respond well to drastic changes. Weight loss (or gain) can, and SHOULD, take time.
You cannot go from 5000 calories one day to 2000 a day the next, and expect GOOD and LASTING results.
Also, if you want to gain weight, and just dump in calories willy-nilly, you may gain, but it will not be quality mass, it will likely be fat.
The body is only able to work so fast in EITHER direction, so you need to work at its pace.
I tend to make small changes every few weeks…..therefore when I am trying to cut I might cut 100-150 calories a day for a few weeks, reevaluate where I am, then cut 100-150 more for a few weeks.
If I am gaining, I do the same.
Now remember, this is MY GUIDELINE for me, and I am an avid weightlifter looking to gain, and keep, muscle mass.
And, also remember, I am writing from the standpoint of making VIABLE AND LASTING changes to a LIFESTYLE.
If you are severely over, or under, weight……I am always going to tell you to see a doctor, or consult with a dietician. (NOTE: TPS offers excellent Nutrition services)
Let’s move on.
So, What is Your Diet Part Duex
Right now my carbs are mostly what I call “complex” carbs….which basically just means…..DON’T POUR SUGAR AND JUNK CARBS DOWN YOUR GULLET.
I eat sweet potatoes, rice (usually brown rice or wild rice), rice noodles or whole grain noodles, quinoa, couscous, oatmeal, Ezekiel bread (or any higher protein whole grain bread), flax and oat bran pitas, and occasional fruits.
What is more helpful is what I am NOT eating:
- white breads, including sandwiches with buns
- ice cream
- fried foods like French fries or onion rings, etc.
You know what not to eat guys, it is not too hard to figure out.
My fats are mostly from meats, and I ALWAYS eat lower fat or lean cuts of meat…..96/4 or better ground beef, or turkey, lots of chicken breast……fish, if it is wild caught or low fat. I also eat almonds or peanut butter, sometimes walnuts, and avocado. I also have occasional egg yolks, but rarely. If I add oils, it is olive or coconut oil.
The fats I am NOT eating?
- Nothing fried, no fats from sweets or desserts.
- I do not eat dairy, so no milk or cheese fats.
My proteins are egg whites, the lean meats I mentioned above (96/4 or better ground beef or turkey, lean fish like wild caught salmon or tuna steaks, chicken breast), as well as lean cuts of steak (not eaten often).
I also count protein from nuts or peanut butter, but to me those are primarily a fat, not a protein source.
Can you ONLY eat what I listed and be healthy/lean?
No, clearly, you can work other foods into your diet……basically, though, you are avoiding foods that are high (unhealthy) fat, empty carbs, or fatty proteins.
Use some common sense, a lot of people SAY they have no idea what to eat in order to eat healthy, but what they REALLY mean is that they DO NOT WANT to eat what they need to in order to eat healthy.
Some of you may be thinking…..I cannot eat like that….never have a cookie?
And let me tell you…..I cheat. I can be HORRIBLE.
But, the key is: if your diet is generally good, and you have rare cheats, you are much less likely to gain weight.
Think of it this way: if you have a car and occasionally squeal those high-performance tires, it will likely be fine, and without lasting damage……squeal them every damn day, and the wheels are gonna fall the fuck off, and quick.
So how do you cut, slowly, or gain slowly?
I just made small changes over time.
First, I slowly eliminated the “bad” foods listed above…..first sweets, fried foods, sugary drinks, etc. Then, once I was eating largely “clean” foods, I started addressing portions.
Like I mentioned last column, a dinner of chicken breasts with mashed potatoes, noodles and a side of bread first lost the bread, then the noodles, and added vegetables.
A sandwich and fries at lunch became tuna on Ezekiel bread, with a side of vegetables.
Again, all this is done slowly, over months, and even years. I am still refining my diet as I go based on my needs…..it is a constant process.
The key is patience, and consistency.
It is MUCH easier to be consistent when making small sustainable changes as opposed to drastically changing volume intake AND what types of foods you are eating at the same time.
Things that WILL NOT WORK:
- losing 20 lbs in 3 weeks “to look good in a swimsuit for vacation”
- Gaining 10lbs muscle mass in 2 months by eating absolute junk
- Losing weight (and keeping it off) on ANY fad diet
- Drastically reducing or increasing calories suddenly and
- Expecting lasting results, or retention/addition of quality muscle mass
(You may think this whole column is common sense, silly, and not even worth a write-up. I would agree, if 80% OF THE PEOPLE THAT ASK ME FOR HELP ARE NOT ASKING THIS VERY STUFF, these exact questions, over and over, into infinity. Do I mind being asked? Not at all. But often these same people seem upset and frustrated with my answers. You want to know what the “magic pill” is for a lean, healthy body? A CLEAN DIET AND EXERCISE. That’s it. That’s the magic pill. Some say that takes “too long”, but really……many of you are already cycling ridiculous diets, losing, then gaining back unhealthy weight, finding another diet, and doing it all over again…..I would call THAT the real time waster.)
By: Stephanie Tomlinson
©totalperformancesports.com December 2017