How to Eat Right: Learn From Your Personal Trainer

December 6, 2015

It’s not every day I get asked what I eat and how I schedule my meals and snacks. Really, I don’t get asked every day. However, when I do get asked about what I eat and when, the conversation is usually very in depth. This is a learning conversation for the person I am speaking with. So, being able to tell you exactly how I eat is what this blog post is all about. First, I want to get rid of some house cleaning items.

  1. Snack 6 Times Per Day - You Will Lose Weight

This happens for some individuals, not all. I know individuals who do this concept and lose weight. This is because the work is done in and out of the gym. The training that has been taken place is superb. Then the nutrition the individual strives to perfect is is mostly on point. The snacking doesn’t consist of a small granola bar and light sweet tea from the vending machine. The snacking 6 times per day with success is brought on by preparation of small well rounded nutritional snacks. Well-rounded nutritional snacks consist of one ingredient foods: almonds, cashews, hard-boiled eggs, celery, peanuts, apples, and bananas. One ingredient foods are types of foods that do not have any additive calories.

  1. Your Biggest Meal Should Be Breakfast

Why is this such a norm for everyone? Your biggest meal should be breakfast only if you partake in vigorous training sessions before or after breakfast. Typically within 1-2 hours before or after that meal takes place. If you are someone who works a high demanding labor job, your biggest meal should be at the middle of your workday.

If you are exercising in the evening, your biggest meal should be before or after your training. That meal that you consume at breakfast will no longer be in your system when your evening training comes about in your day. If your last meal is consumed around 6 PM or even 8 PM on some days for some people, you don’t need to wake up and eat a meal at 8 AM. Your body is not breaking down muscle when you are sleeping, trust me. The only reason you need to eat breakfast is if you are someone who participates in training programs that is equivalent to a college football player or someone who exercises very early in the morning. Breakfast still isn’t even required for some people who train in the morning. Look at it this way- do you get tired after a big meal? If you answered yes, your biggest meal should not be before you take on the day.

  1. Sugars Are Bad- I need to stay away from fruit

ARGH! NO. Fruit will not make you fat or out of shape. Seriously. Have you ever seen one person gain weight from consuming fruit? You’re more likely to become sick before you gain weight from over consumption of fruit. Instead of eating an apple, there are many people who tend to eat something along the lines of a Cliff Bar, over the piece of fruit. Look at this comparison of a Clif Bar versus an apple.

 

Clif Bar nutritional facts

 

 

Apple nutritional facts

 

 

When you are looking at the back of a nutrition label, your first area of interest should not necessarily be the Calories. Instead, look at what ingredients make up that item of consumption. With the Clif Bar, I am not sure what half of the ingredients are on that ingredient list. If chocolate chips are one of the top ingredients, the item probably needs to be eliminated as a daily snack. With the apple, there is no protein in this piece of food, however; with this food, you can have a 60 calorie apple and increase your energy levels much quicker and with less calories than the Clif Bar. I am not saying that Clif Bar's are bad; just not an ideal snack if you are trying to lose body fat on a daily basis. 

Enough of my high horse. Let’s take a look at my daily nutritional lifestyle.

-

Here I am going to give my daily nutritional meal timings and then I will explain why. This is exactly what I do, day in, day out.

Example Weekday 1 - Morning Training Based

4:30 - 6:00 AM - pre workout / training / shower / prepare for work

 

  • MusclePharm Assault - 1 scoop for pre workout.

6:00 - 6:30 AM - post workout shake drive to work.

 

  • 20 oz. water

  • 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon of pure himalayan salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon

  • 750 mg creatine hcl

  • MusclePharm Amino1 (half scoop)

  • Calories: ~ 10-20 calories

10:30 between Noon - depends how I am feeling and if I think I need food

 

  • 1 Apple

  • 1 to 2 Quest Bar

  • 1 Cup of mixed nuts

  • MusclePharm Combat Powder protein (one scoop)

  • Vitamins

  • Calories: ~ 700 to 900 calories

2:00 to 3:00 PM - this varies greatly

 

  • Monster Energy Drink (zero calories)

  • 1 or 2 Quest Bars

  • Calories ~ 200 to 500

6:00 to 8:00 PM - Dinner: whenever I get home

 

  • One of the following: chicken breasts, turkey burger, hamburger 90/10, pork chops

  • I will usually have 4-6 servings of whatever meat I consume. Not a joke.

  • Vegetables: This will range from broccoli, asparagus, green peppers, yellow peppers, red peppers, green beans, green onions, black beans, pinto beans, carrots, onions, spinach, and lettuce. There is no kale.

  • This is not what I eat every night. Typically my household will have 2 to 3 of those vegetables.

  • Fats: coconut oil or olive oil: the oil choice depends what meat we cook for the night.

  • This is about 150 calories

 

Total Calories: ?? I don’t keep track here. If you eat straight meat and vegetables, it is extremely hard to gain unwanted weight. Try to gain unwanted weight eating lean meats and vegetables. You will more than likely become more muscular.

9:00 to 10:00 PM - Snack: again, the time depends on when I eat dinner.

 

  • Greek Yogurt of some sort: plain with no fat content. However, lately I have been getting Carbmasters yogurt from Kroger and I will continue to do so.

  • I will sometimes add protein, cashews, or a banana to this. This mainly is decided if I know I will workout the next morning.

  • Total Calories: 100 to 400 (closer to 400 calories; if I add protein or nuts)

 

 

Total Calories: example weekday 1

 

  • 1,000 to 1,500 (not counting dinner)

  • Total calories: 1000 to 1,500 PLUS another 1,500 on average for dinner.

  • So my day typically will be 2,500 to 3,000 calories on average

 

Is your mind blown yet? Where is breakfast!? I don’t eat breakfast. I follow the guidelines of intermittent fasting. You see, I only consume 2,650 to 3,160 calories each day. That is no matter when I tend to workout. That is below my daily average for recommended calorie intake. So to answer the question on how I am able to maintain my strength and/or muscle size; that comes from cheat meals that happen on either Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Cheat meals will happen anywhere from 1 to 3 times over each week. If you are able to put in the efforts in the gym and kitchen during the week, you can afford to cheat over the weekend.

Let’s take a quick break from how my meals are planned out. I want to show you how you can grocery shop FAST.

Grocery shopping should not have to be stressful for you or your family. I say should, but sometimes it is just plain stressful. Here is the how-to guide to help create a non-stressful grocery shopping trip. 

  • go by yourself / one person of the family does the shopping - grocery shopping can be stressful for 2 or more people. If one person goes with a list, it shouldn’t be an issue.

  • have a list - if you have a list of what you need, you won’t waste time looking at the labels and pack of Oreos at the end of the aisle.

  • Go along the outside of the aisles first, this will fill your cart up first - when you see you have a full cart, that budget will come into play, “shoot, how much am I going to be spending on this?” This will prevent you from picking up the ice cream on your way out.

    • Shopping on the outside: this contains the fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, dairy, and other ‘healthy’ whole foods.

  • Set a time limit or budget for the trip - if you have a budget, you won’t buy food that you will waste. Then if you have a time restriction, you will buy only the foods that are at the top of the list and considered needs.

 

How does Patrick grocery shop? - Check this out

 

  1. Walk in and have the list ready to roll

  2. If possible, grab a BASKET! (unless you are shopping for 3+ people)

  3. Start on the outside walls then hit the aisles

  4. Check-out

  5. Walk to the car with 7 bags hanging off the arms (farmer carries)

 

 

Get home, take a sick photo and write a blog post.

 

 

What is in the photos above? Check it out: here is your next shopping checklist below

 

  • Apples

  • Bananas

  • 2- 2lb containers of turkey burger [(97% lean / 3% fat) - don’t quote me on that breakdown]

  • 2- 2-3ish pounds of chicken breasts- cut into smaller pieces. * side note: while at Kroger, you can purchase one of the following: see below *

  • 1/2 gallon of skim milk

  • 1/2 gallon of vitamin D whole milk

  • cage free eggs (1 dozen)

  • Carbmasters yogurt (this was 10 for $4 - I bought 20 for $8)

Total: all of this was under $45 and will last over one week.

* Chicken breast shopping

  1. 5-6lb of chicken breast for ~ $10

OR

  1. 2- 2-3lb of chicken breast for $12 to $13

What is the difference? Spend an extra $2-3. You can save calories and time with your cooking on option b. This option will have less fat content than that of the larger bag.

 

Back to my second example of my meal timing

Example Weekday 2 - Evening Training Based

6:00 - 6:30 AM - shower / prepare for work / morning drink

 

  • 20 oz. water

  • 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon of pure Himalayan salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon

  • 325 mg creatine hcl

  • MusclePharm Amino1 (1/4 to 1/2 scoop)

  • Calories ~ 10 to 20 calories

10:30 between Noon - this depends how I am feeling

 

  • 1 Apple

  • 1-2 Quest Bar

  • 1 Cup of mixed nuts

  • MusclePharm Combat Powder protein (one scoop)

  • Monster Energy Drink (zero calories low carbonation)

  • Vitamins

  • Calories: ~ 700 to 900 calories

2:00 to 3:00 PM - this varies greatly

 

  • Monster Energy Drink (zero calories low carbonation)

  • 1 or 2 Quest Bars

  • Maybe some almonds

  • Calories ~ 200 to 500

6:00 to 8:00 PM - training times vary day to day

 

  • 1 to 2 scoop of MusclePharm Assault

8:00 to 9:00 PM - Dinner: whenever I get done with training

 

  • One of the following: chicken breasts, turkey burger, hamburger 90/10, pork chops

  • I will usually have 4-6 servings of whatever meat I consume. Not a joke.

  • Vegetables: This will range from broccoli, asparagus, green peppers, yellow peppers, red peppers, green beans, green onions, black beans, pinto beans, carrots, onions, spinach, and lettuce. There is no kale.

  • This is not what I eat every night. Typically my household will have 2 to 3 of those vegetables.

  • Fats: One of the following - coconut oil, olive oil, or grass fed butter. This depends what meat we cook for the night.

  • This is about 150 calories

Total Calories: ?? I don’t keep track here. If you eat straight meat and vegetables, it is extremely hard to gain unwanted weight. Try to gain unwanted weight eating lean meats and vegetables. You will more than likely become more muscular.

9:00 to 10:00 PM - Snack: again, the time ranges 

 

  • Greek Yogurt of some sort: plain with no fat content. However, lately I have been getting Carbmasters yogurt from Kroger and I will continue to do so.

  • I will sometimes add protein, cashews, or a banana to this. How much depends if I workout the next morning.

  • Total Calories: 100 to 400 (more if I add protein or nuts)

 

Total Calories: for example weekday 2

 

  • 1,000 to 1,500 (not counting dinner)

  • Total calories: 1000 to 1,500 PLUS another 1,500 on average for dinner.

  • So my day typically will be 2,500 to 3,000 calories on average

So now that you have seen my two typical nutritional lifestyle days, what was the difference? The only difference is that I ate less in the morning and pushed my dinner up to a later time in the evening. That is something that I have been used to doing for three to four years now. When I was in college, I would work from 7 AM to 5 PM and then I would exercise til about 8 PM. I am not unaccustomed to eating dinner at 9 or 10 PM. My point of this example is for you not to be afraid of eating dinner late in the evening. If you are active late in your day, you should be refueling your body properly.

 

Patrick, do you ever have cheat meals?

 

Of course I do. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but when I have a cheat meal, I am somewhat known as a living legend. I typically will have one very large meal during the week. Likewise, I may have a dirty cheat meal such as pizza or Chinese during the week. My cheat meals depend on what I have going on for events and such. Sometimes, my cheat days will primarily be the consumption of Budweiser and Goose Island 312. When that happens, I try to make sure I am eating a ton of vegetables and meat. Sometimes my cheat days will consume of Tequila’s Mexican Food and a large bowl of yogurt when I get home. I don’t go to fast food joints and waste my money on unworthy cheat meals. Taco Bell, McDonalds, Burger King, Culvers, Hardee's, etc. are complete garbage fast food joints. If you have a cheat meal, go somewhere that is better for you and your wallet. By that, I mean that the food will actually fill you up for an extended period of time. For example, if I go to Buffalo Wild Wings, a tall glass of 312 and a basket of wings will do me over for a whole week's worth cheat meal.

 

I want to be clear that I can tone down a weekend whenever I need to. If you have discipline during the weeks and sometimes weekends; having some type of legendary cheat meals are affordable; while maintaining and improving your health and fitness goals. It is possible.

 

With all of this being said, I challenge you to make one small goal each day. No matter how small or large that goal may be, the daily achievements will keep that motivation going strong. Here are some great goals that can apply to many individuals.

  • Skip the soda for the day

  • Skip the vending machine at work

  • Don’t add any sugar or creamer to your coffee

  • Use a smaller bowl or plate at dinner

  • Drink half of your body weight in ounces for daily water intake

  • Perform 10 minutes of activity each day. You have time.

Continue to put in the work and the vision you have will happen. Just be patient and continue to be awesome. 
PT

 

 

 

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