What’s in the basket?
This week I thought it would be cool to share with you what i’m throwing into my shopping basket! It’s not as strict as you may think and I still include a bunch of treats.
Often when people hear the word ‘DIET’ they associate the word with: restriction, bland foods, and misery! Who the heck wants this in their life? Not me!
I’ve tried pretty much every diet out there over the past ten years but have realised THE BEST DIET IS THE ONE YOU CAN SUSTAIN.
Sure you can live like a caveman, living off meat, fish and rabbit food aka salad (boringel!) but you can also include some tasty treats. Goodies which are still conducive towards your goals whether that be fat loss, muscle building or sports performance.
In this post I’ll be sharing what’s in my weekly shopping basket + a bunch of free tips and insights which I believe will help many of you who are looking to lead a healthier, happier lifestyle and most importantly…A LIFESTYLE YOU CAN MAINTAIN!
Nicks Weekly Shopping Basket…
- 6 x cartons of Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 8 x cans of Pepsi Max
- 1 x pack of Wheetos cereal
- 2 x Bananas
- 1 x Broccoli
- 1 x pack of Green Peas
- 1 x 1kg tub of Peanut Butter
- 1 x pack of Carmel Rice Cakes
- 3 x packs of Chicken
- 1 x pack of Bacon
- 1 x pack of Meatballs
- 1 x Gammon Steak
- 4 x cans of Tuna
- 6 x large Eggs
- 3 x Uncle Bens microwave rice
- 3 x packs of Chicken Seasoning (I like the Colemans range)
Peanut Butter, Pepsi, Wheetos Cereal…WTF?
Typically these are foods not associated with dieting right? But I like to incorporate these foods into my weekly food plan because they taste good and satisfy my food urges.
Whenever I’ve done strict dieting in the past, I seem to be able to manage a couple of weeks but then go on an epic binge (eating everything in sight!).
By including these foods in small doses throughout the week I keep those pangs at bay. I also incorporate these foods at times when my body is more likely to utilise the energy instead of store it as fat (I’ll talk about this more shortly).
I’m a BIG fan of diet drinks, especially Diet Coke and Pespi Max, as each can only contains 1 calorie (compared to the normal versions of Coke which contain 139 calories per can!). Fizzy diet drinks are a great way to curb a sweet tooth and mitigate cravings without adding calories into the body.
Banning Hedonic Foods…
There are 5 foods I don’t include in my diet at the moment: chocolate, crips, bread, pizza, and sweets. The reason i’ve banned these foods is because I over eat them.
I’m not one of those people who has one piece of chocolate and then puts it down, I eat whatever is in the house, if that’s one bar, or a box of Celebrations it doesn’t matter – they will be gone before you can say “Bobs your Uncle!”. Likewise with the other foods I mentioned, I simply don’t include them either for the same reasons.
I typically don’t like to ban foods from peoples diets but if they lack control it’s the best way, certainly for at least a period of time, whilst healthier habits are instilled and better relationships are developed with food.
IIFYM stands for If It Fits Your Marcros – Now i’m not going to go into this too much because I wrote a full post on this earlier on in the year, but it’s basically sticking to a calorie goal each day. For example on ‘training days’ I will typically consume 3,000-4,500 calories and on ‘rest days’ my calories will be much lower, typically between 2,000-3,000 calories. I’ll split my calories up into protein, carbohydrates and fats and allow myself 10% of my calories per day to be from foods of my choice i.e. peanut butter, Wheetos, etc
I always go into the supermarket on a full stomach (this prevents the likelihood of picking up treats which will happen if you’re hungry!). I go into the supermarket with a list and know exactly what i’m going to buy – again to prevent putting too many naughties into the basket!
With fruit and veg i’ll pick these up every 2 days (otherwise they go off!). I’m also a fan of frozen veg (peas, broccoli, and carrots) for convenience if I can’t make it to the shops.
Convenience & Sustainability…
I mentioned the frozen veg above, but i also like to buy pre done rice (Uncle Bens) because nutritionally (calorie wise) it’s pretty much exactly the same as normal rice and only takes 2 minutes in the microwave! Much better than spending 15 minutes over the hob!
Whilst being healthy is imperative to my life and my personal training career i’m not willing or prepared to spend hrs and hrs in the kitchen. Healthy versions of convenience foods work really well and fit into my balanced lifestyle approach.
High Carb & Low Carb Days…
When I train and lift weights (4-5x per week) I will eat high carb and high protein foods. Carbohydrates are essential for energy and increase the pump you get when lifting weights. They drive nutrients into cells and help improve muscle stimulation, and aid muscle recovery.
On my rest days I will eat low carb, to build up insulin sensitivity (the bodies ability to utilise carbs) and therefore I eat foods high in protein and fat – which keep you fuller for longer.
Post Workout Treats…
With my treat foods: peanut butter, Wheetos, etc I will also typically have these straight after a workout. After a weights session your muscles are hungry and in need of replenishment. When you include treat foods into your post workout meal (providing you don’t eat too much of them!) they won’t be stored as fat and will be used for anabolism – muscle growth and repair.
Every 4-6 weeks I like to rotate my foods and make slight tweaks by switching:
- chicken to turkey
- meat balls to steak
- tuna to cod
- Wheetos to Rice Crispies
- caramel rice cakes to plain rice cakes
- banana’s to strawberries
Again i’m sticking to similar food groups but rotating my foods to keep variety and make things more interesting, and also to shovel different nutrients into my body.
Times When My Food Plan Changes…
There will be times in the year when i’m very relaxed with eating e.g. over Christmas and when on Holiday. There will also be times of the year when I’m more disciplined i.e. when I want to lose body fat.
Throughout most of the year though, I will eat like i’ve presented in this post, because it’s enjoyable, conducive towards my goals and makes me happy. If you are miserable following a diet ask yourself this…
IS IT WORTH IT?
Now if you are a professional bodybuilder or an athlete then sometimes you just have to suck it up and accept that a strict lifestyle comes with the territory. After all every advantage you can get could mean the difference between winning and losing.
That said this doesn’t apply for most of us! We just want a lifestyle that works for us, leads us towards our goals and is something which we can sustain.
Custom Meal Plan…
Thanks so much for reading and if you have any questions relating to your own nutrition please leave your comments below and I will try to help.
If you’d like me to design you a custom meal plan – click here. I’ll design it based on the foods you like and we will discuss and formulate a plan of action that helps you reach your goals and works for you and your lifestyle (not against it!)