I’m going to start this with saying that I do not believe in diets. I believe in eating food that fuels your body and makes you feel good. For me, this means a “diet” that is high in protein, moderate in good carbs and fats, and low in processed crap, sugar, fats, and dairy.
When I first started my fitness journey, I was super strict about what I ate, but over time I got sick of just eating chicken and veggies all the time. Also, my fitness level could not sustain itself on low to no carbs, which led to a lot of injuries and not making much progress in terms of muscle development. I’m not going to lie, I was SUPER lean, but I was also not what I consider healthy. Mentally it took a huge toll on me to feel so restricted. It got to the point where I couldn’t really eat out and was missing a lot of time with friends and family as a result of being obsessed with what I ate. Everything had to be “90% clean,” and cheats were for special occasions only.
Nowadays, I’d say I eat about 75-80% “clean” (although, I hate to even use that term) and do not count calories, macros, or even keep track of what I eat really. Intuitively, I gravitate towards healthier food because I prefer the taste (really do though), and because I know it’s what I need to beast through my workouts. Because of my extensive research and knowledge about food and macros, I have a general idea of what my daily caloric intake and macros are, but it’s only after months of trial & error. I had to experiment to figure out what I needed to eat to be physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy. Just to throw out figures, I’d say I eat between 2000-2200 calories per day and my macro split changes every couple of weeks to prevent bodily adaptation but rough figures are 110-120g of protein, 150-200g of carbs, and 50-75g of fats per day spaced out in 5-6 meals. I do not plan my “cheat meals” or even really consider them “cheats.” I honestly eat whatever I want.
However, I make sure I eat healthy most of the time by not buying any temptations (or at least, healthier versions of my weaknesses; read: SWEETS!) so I don’t have them easily available to me. Whenever I crave a cookie, ice cream, creme brûlée, cheesecake, pizza, etc. I will eat it when I go out so I can control how much and how often I eat of it. At home, I stock myself with tons of protein (egg whites, chicken, tuna, salmon, mahi mahi, cod, halibut, ground turkey breast, turkey bacon, etc.), carbs (simple & complex; read: fruits, veggies, whole, unprocessed grains), and fats (peanut butter, avocado, fish, coconut oil, olive oil, etc.). I also drink a TON of water (3-5 liters) aside from all the tea I drink. I LOVE LOVE LOVE tea whether it be green tea, black tea, or white tea. I am definitely a tea addict!
I tweak my carbs and fats the most, as my protein intake stays constant. The carb manipulation is also known as carb cycling/carb cutting. I don’t do a 5 or 7 day a week plan. Instead, I just carb load (aka eat a sh*t ton of carbs) when I plan on going heavy with my lifts at the gym, which for me usually coincides with leg day. On days where I increase my carbs, I decrease my fats accordingly. I also tend to save most of my carbs for right before and right after working out as that’s when I need them the most for muscle development and recovery.
Aside from just food, I also use supplements and vitamins, but this is purely a personal choice. I find a lot of “fitness gurus” claim that you absolutely need to use a “stack” (supplement combos) to see results, which is usually because they’re sponsored. I can honestly tell you I’ve used some of the “sponsored” products, and they’re shit (read: Cellucor protein is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever tasted, and the amount of artificial sweeteners and other crap CANNOT be good for you). I mix and match brands to find supplements that work for me. I am obviously not sponsored by any of them, and just want to share my personal opinion. I buy all of my supplements from allstarhealth.com as they have the cheapest prices and SUPER FAST shipping.
Best protein powder: Syntrax Matrix (HANDS DOWN: THE BEST TASTING PROTEIN POWDER EVER! The macros on this are unreal, combines whey, casein, and egg albumen, and doesn’t have any aspartame either. My favorite flavor is the Peanut Butter Cookie, but I’ve tried all of them except orange cream, and they all taste phenom!)
Best Protein Bar: QUEST BARS! I am beyond obsessed. Hands down, the best tasting and macro friendly protein bars. Chocolate chip cookie dough is my favorite flavor.
Best BCAA: BSN Amino X. Truth be told, this is the first BCAA I ever tried, but in the 3 months I’ve been using it, I’ve noticed such a difference in my energy level during workouts and muscle recovery after. I drink one scoop in a 20 oz shaker bottle during all my workouts. Fruit Punch and Watermelon are the only two I’ve tried, and both taste really yummy!
Vitamins: Nature Made multi for Women (1 per day), Optimum Nutrition 1200g fish oil with enteric coating (2 per day), Nature’s Bounty Magnesium pill (1 per day).
I do not use any fat burners, creatine, steroids, or anything else that’s unnatural and would highly recommend anyone that intends to use them to do research on them first. For example, creatine has been known to cause liver damage, and fat burners at best are a scam, and at worst, can cause you to bloat up like a whale once you stop using them due to bodily dependency.
I’ll probably do a fitness/workout post within the week, but hope this helps!