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.
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.
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.
~$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).
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.
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.