Diet Advice for a Busy Professional

Nowadays, in order to get ahead you are practically required to work 60 hours a week. Working 40 hours a week and complaining about money is simply not acceptable. While you should always work smart, the best way to get ahead is to pay your dues early… in your 20’s.

With that said here is how you should look at an efficient diet that will allow you to have a cheat day on a bi-weekly basis, allow you to lift and at the same time avoid breaking your budget.

Breakfast:

Everyone tries to eat cereal or oatmeal for breakfast…. Since everyone else does this you know it is the wrong move. What is the right move? High protein and fruit or nuts. This is significantly better than a carb overload which will cause you eat more throughout the day.

Breakfast #1: Buy a pound of frozen berries and thaw it out with a scoop of protein mixer. In addition grab a banana on your way to work.

Breakfast #2: 2-3 brown eggs with chopped tomatoes and spinach, no bread. In addition a side of mixed fruit. For mixed fruit you can buy pre-made mixes, frozen mixes or stick with something simple such as grapes.

Last Second Breakfast #3: If you have literally no time, only 2 minutes. Grab a protein shaker and throw two scoops in and have 2 bananas on your way out the door (or grab a bag of mixed nuts). If you have an extra 30 seconds you can throw a green mix into your protein shake.

Lunch:

More likely than not, if you’re cranking long hours you’ll be forced to eat out for lunch. If your morning is light you can pack a lunch but you’ll usually end up spending at least ~$10 a day on a meal if you’re unable to take lunch breaks (you won’t get one if you work on Wall Street). Usually lunch time is a better time to take in carbohydrates so you can increase the intake here.

Lunch #1: Brown rice with chicken and vegetables. If you’re hungrier than usual you can add a lentil or vegetable soup.

Lunch #2: Salmon, vegetables and a side pasta salad. If you take fishoil supplements, you won’t need the capsules if you’re eating ~6oz of salmon in a day.

Heavy Lunch #3: Spaghetti with meatballs and a side salad. This meal is high calorie so a heavy workout session (legs) will usually follow.

Dinner:

~$20-25 on the Company’s dime! Back in the day meal expenses were much higher, but if you’re traveling you can spend even more! Long story short, most people end up buying unhealthy food… Needless to say, everyone else is doing it so do the reverse. Your dinner expense should be spent on getting the highest quality food possible.

Dinner #1: The best bang for your buck is going to be at a whole foods, if there is one near by, you can expense a healthy green juice, vegetables, chicken/beef/fish and be well on your way to a high quality meal.

Dinner #2: Assuming someone in your firm ruined the Company’s dinner policy by forcing you to go to qualified restaurants, you can shoot for healthier dinner options such as Sushi with brown rice, miso soup and a seaweed side salad.

Dinner #3: Another decent last second meal will be heavier, going with a half baked chicken, vegetables and sticking to a regular baked potato (usually the other options are packed with unhealthy fats you want no part of).

Supplements:

Another question we continue to get is what exactly are you taking for supplements and what exactly are you juicing. The answer is relatively simple, if you’re juicing 4-5 days a week you can avoid the vast majority of supplements.

The two supplements we recommend are fish oil and vitamin D. Fish oil is used on a semi regular basis 4 capsules per day 3-4 days a week (none if fish is consumed) and Vitamin D is a great one to take daily since you’re likely missing a lot of normal sunlight.

From a juicing perspective, we recommend ~20oz a day 4-5 days a week. Of course you can drink more but here are some good items to throw into a Juice: Kale, Carrots, Cucumbers, Celery, Pears, Apples, Lemons and Limes. As a rule of thumb simply toss in as many vegetables as possible and only use the fruit to make sure it does not taste like AIDS.

Snacks:

This deserves its own section as many people will have “good diets” but they are unable to lose or gain weight as they would like. If you are on the thinner side here are great items to keep at your desk: Mixed Nuts, Raisins, dried fruit and bananas. If you are on the heavier side you should keep the following: protein mix (increase protein intake to satiate your hunger), mixed berries frozen or raw and vegetable mixes such as celery and carrots without using ranch dip, replace ranch with low fat dressing.

Keeping these items at your desk will force you to eat healthier throughout the day. If you end up eating candy bars as filler foods, you simply wasted your entire day.

Diet over Weights:

One last piece of commentary that we would add is that your diet will impact your physique much more than lifting weights. If you’re constantly eating processed food and hit the gym you’ll notice minimal gains, lower abdominal belly fat and brain fog when doing work. If you take your diet seriously your body will respond positively.

The Bottom Line:

Ideally you have read all the highlights here and are now thinking “These people are health freaks”, this is simply false. Health freaks generally stress about what they eat on a daily basis and are constantly counting calories, both counting calories and stressing are a waste of time.

We simply provided a few meal outlines but the best way to think about it is in the five bullets listed here: 1) Protein in the morning; 2) Carbohydrates in the afternoon, 3) 20 oz of juice when possible; 4) vitamin D and fishoil, 5) nearby snacks that fit your body type.

That is the TL;DR version and we hope it helped.

Comments

  1. Jason Statham says

    Great article. Regarding the juicing, collard greens can be a good replacement for kale. 1000 ANDI score and they yield more juice per piece than kale.

    Do any of the authors use intermittent fasting? This works well for me and also means fewer meals you have to worry about.

  2. krautz says

    If your having a hard time losing weight / losing fat, strictly counting calories for a month is really the final nearly guaranteed solution to losing it.

    In the end it’s a time saver if you’ve been struggling with the results of trying to just eat healthy as you suggest above. I had to do it for my last cycle of weight loss for a month and it got me great results. I just have to do it one more time before I have abs or at least a completely flat stomach.

    • krautz says

      If you have no time to count calories, then your probably making a half decent wage and can eat out at places like chipolte or subway for all your meals for a month. That will give you calorie counts for everything you eat. Its also easy to calorie count simple one ingredient foods, like eggs or protein scoops.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      We can agree to disagree here. If you’re trying to lose weight go ahead and try to overeat on carrots and celery. Good luck over consuming on fruits, veggies and protein shakes

      • krautz says

        I mean as a final solution, when the other things don’t work. If you lose weight by just cutting out crap and otherwise don’t need to think about it, that’s great! Same thing with your diet plan. But for the people that doesn’t work for, calorie counting as labor intensive as it is, will work. It’s what I had to do in the end.

        Sometimes, you just have to feel a little bit hungry to lose weight.

  3. Sean says

    Cereal and Oatmeal are garbage.

    Cereal is basically candy in a box or carbohydrate overloads and Oatmeal is the same. Not to mention most people get their oatmeal at Starbucks, dump the entire packet of brown sugar in there and wonder why they feel terrible the whole day.

  4. Pete says

    Just wanted to add my thoughts about my own dieting/training regime (Mod note [link removed – unverified site]) and was wondering if anyone else was on something like this.

    – Black coffee in the morning, skip breakfast
    – Eating 2 large meals plus a late snack within an 8 hour window
    – Daily target of calories/macros at a calculated 20% deficit (like a slow cut). I’m 200 pounds so I eat 2200 calories a day at a ratio of 40% protein/30% carbs/30% fats. It’s more important to hit daily macro targets rather than count calories.
    – Lifting heavy 3 times a week with bodyweight exercises/light cardio of non-lifting days.

    Wall St, if you’re spending 5-7 hours a week in the gym, why wouldn’t you be spending a few hours a week calculating dietary needs rather than just eating clean and hoping it’s enough?

    Big fan of the blog, keep it up.

    • X says

      Coffee isn’t exactly good for you and you can build up a tolerance, plus it’s a diuretic and it can dehydrate you, but if you like it then why not.

      Meal timing and frequency is unimportant in regards to body composition, unless you train multiple times a day in which case you should probably eat a few hours before each workout to ensure you have enough glycogen in your muscles to perform effectively.

      Drug-free lifters shouldn’t ideally go past a 20% surplus or deficit, so I wouldn’t call that slow, just steady. Keeping track of macros in terms of percentages is retarded, just stick to what you actually need. Generally 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight will suffice. No less than 0.4g of fat per lb of bodyweight; this is very important for your overall health and hormonal function.

      Your actual training will be determined by your goals. Weightlifting will always beat bodyweight exercises in terms of progressive overload and hypertrophy, but then again some guys are doing some crazy bodyweight workouts. Basically you would need to be creative if you wanted to keep making progress, but each to his own.

      Cardio is good to increase calorie expenditure, but it won’t burn fat directly (you burn fat due to a caloric deficit), but you probably already know this.

      Spending 5-7 hours a week is enough to stay fit and healthy. Your last statement about time management is illogical, it’s about being as efficient as you can with your time. Counting calories isn’t completely necessary. It might be beneficial for a beginner, but eventually you come to know how much you are eating and what you need to eat in order to reach your goals.

      Since you should stay in the 10-20% surplus/deficit range, counting calories isn’t completely necessary because you have some leeway, though your diet would have to be consistent of course. Any wild fluctuations in weight are likely to be water weight (often caused by changing carb intake, water intake, sodium intake, training volume, etc.)

  5. monster221 says

    1 cup coffee, 2 eggs, 1 big ass sausage, no bread, vegetable juice, multivitamin for breakfast. 3 tuna sandwiches with mayo (egg fat, no fake shit) for lunch and also with a juice. bug ass steak/burger/fish/chop/deer meat for dinner with some fresh mixed vegetables, one pint guinness. some potatoes from time to time.

    no snacks. no soda. no grains. no vegetable fats except for the rare mustard oil, olive oil or coconut oil. i render my own cooking oil from beef patties (NOT premade) while i cook them.

    7 days a week.

    as you can see i get most of my vegetable intake from juices. i just dont have the time to mess with the variety all the time. now i will occaisionally, like thanksgiving, neices birthday occaisionally, eat something like cake or brownies or stuffing or pie, and i enjoy it when i do. but i would not enjoy it if i did it all the time because my quality of life would suffer.

    i noticed though, when i used to lift but eat shit, if i quit lifting for some time my gains were gone. when i started eating like this (yeah its boring its identical almost every day except dinner but eat to live dont live to eat) i quit lifting for a little while and lost almost no muscle and gained almost no extra fat. its also hard as hell to hit plateaus when you are building a body out of the finest materials.

    at the end of the day my basic model is very low carb high protein with all fats coming from animals. vegetables to give me my other important nutrients. drugs when useful.

    if you have any recommendations WSB i would appreciate it as well.

  6. The professor says

    Replaced my fish oil caps with cod liver oil caps. They might appear like the same thing on the outside, but the latter is loaded with vit A and D in addition to the traditional omega-3s. Capsule form beats oil form for taste.

  7. Jon A. says

    Great post guys, the protein shake out the door with fruit is a great idea i’m going to add it to the list. Everyone should own a protein shaker.

  8. Saeba says

    Impressive post, you managed to summarize very advanced nutrition concepts in an easy to “digest” selection of menus for the busy professional.

    For anyone reading this, if you are a busy professional (and even if you are not), follow the above advice and with time and consistency you will be way ahead of 95% of people both in terms of body composition and energy levels. It may look simple but it is a condensed summary of many advanced nutrition concepts that do work, which would otherwise take you a lot of time to figure out by yourself. I can tell that the WSP member who wrote this is a top performer as he/she clearly spent a lot of time researching and testing different approaches and concepts, yet was able to deliver the gist of it in an easy to understand and apply “executive summary” for the layman.

    Regarding intermittent fasting, calorie counting and the like which are mentioned in the comments, those are advanced concepts that are neither convenient nor desirable for the busy professional (too much time and mental energy wasted counting calories, brain fog due to intermittent fasting unacceptable if you want to be a high performer, just to mention a few). With proper training and being consistent with the simple menus above, with time you can already achieve a muscular and lean body which most people would kill for. Once you get there and want to get really shredded or in bodybuilding territory then you can start exploring more advanced concepts, but in the meanwhile it would be a waste of time and energy, which the busy professional can’t afford.

    Again great post, keep up the good work.

  9. TeamKeen says

    Hey WS Playboy,

    I want a little advice on some supplements/pills…
    My buddy hooked me up with some adderall when I had a busy project to turn in. It definitely worked but I wasn`t a big fan of the side effects.
    I`ve read up on Modafinil… any suggestions on focusing drugs to keep you pushing through spreadsheets and such?

    Thanks mate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.