Go Ahead and Be a Boring Eater

Long time ago I knew this competitive bodybuilder who also helped coach other bodybuilders with nutrition. One day I asked him “What’s your secret eating strategy?”.

With all my past reading of muscle magazines and other nutritional books, I figured some great complex answer that involved %s, macronutrient timing and various types of protein for slow to fast digestion depending on time of day.

Here was his answer:

“Chicken and broccoli…..chicken and rice”

Wait…that’s all?? This couldn’t be right, I mean it’s too simple!

When he wanted to cut, he ate chicken and broccoli…when it was time to refill muscle glycogen it was a day or two of chicken and (brown) rice.

Well funny enough, that was about all he and his clients would eat (minus protein shakes and multivitamins too). There was room to alternate in fish or steak with broccoli if getting bored, but the premise was still that simple.

Maybe that was the brilliance of it all, so simple that anyone can stick with it (well assuming they like chicken all the time that is).

It hit me many years later after trying more extreme complex quick diet plans for bulking/cutting that this was not the answer. The people that are really getting results and keeping them are doing it with slow and steady eating plan. A simple way that kept it all sustainable.

Marketing sells quick changes and much variety, but those success stories are few and far between…especially if you try and find those people years later to see if they kept their results.

So that’s my greatest insight when it comes to eating with any plan (especially the 2 Meal one), is to start off with a consistent or what I call “boring” food plan.

I tend to try and eat the same foods almost every day. Sometimes I change it up, but usually it is something boring and quick.

This can also help to fine tune in results.

If you are eating too complex, improvising every day and not keeping any kind of consistency…it can easily lead to excess calories and not even realizing it happens.

When you eat the same meals day in and out, you have an idea of what your intake is. Then if things aren’t progressing you can troubleshoot much easier.

So if you cut down on the number of variables you have to deal with, you give yourself a greater chance to be able to dial it in.

Too much improvising or complexity can lead to more confusion and lack of real understanding of what can work for you.

So my advice is not to be afraid to eat a somewhat consistent meal plan day in and out. Of course I would say make it full of real foods and nutrients, but a steady base first off  is a good idea.

If you ever get off track for a day or so too, it’s easier to get right back into it as you know what works.

Examples could be simple eating plans such as:

Make them easy to buy (like frozen veggies) and cook (stir-fry in a cast iron pan is how I get it done).  Use different spices for flavor too.

I do “5 minute shopping” now. Probably could compete if it becomes an Olympic event.

I go to the same store (Trader Joe’s), grab the basket, and in less than 5 minutes grab what I need and am out of there.

No wandering around to see what’s new in the frozen section. No distractions.

I get my eggs, salmon, grass fed beef, frozen veggies/fruit, and whatever else I am eating that week. I’ll save my improvisation for eating out.

Speaking of eating out, if you are a person who does that more often (like for work/travel), then also keep your options on the road consistent. Find the same “go to” meals you can get over and over. It could be bringing food with you or eating the same meal from some other place.

Then it becomes a self monitoring process of being aware of your energy levels, sleeping patterns, and weight gain/loss.

So to sum up:

When things aren’t working, you switch up something (more carbs, less carbs, more protein, different meal choice) and then start over and see what happens once again.

Rotate in a new meal every few weeks or so to if you want more variety (or learn new “go to” meals).

The goal is to dial in what is working and know how to keep total control for a lifetime. No more buying into the latest diet fads, as you don’t need them. That is all some “expert” would do anyways, is just use “trial and error” to find what does work for you.

Take a night off here and there to go out and eat other things, but you know how to come back to what is working. Trying to “wing it” all the time (especially with 2 Meals) will only lead to more confusion when results are not going in the right direction.

So go ahead, eat boring…I do.

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