Last week I opened the pages of my training diary. This week it’s the turn of the Super Fit diet & nutrition to get the once over.
As with the workouts, there is an acknowledged lack of specificity. It’s more a set of broad guiding principles that can be applied as a base layer irrespective of what my current goals might be.
Consider it a diet form of GPP (General Physical Preparedness). With exercise I want to be able to always be able to achieve a number of things at any given time with no specific training. These might include:
deadlifting double my bodyweight;
running a half marathon sub 1:30 with no specific training;
reaching level 13 on the beep test on sand;
walking lunging 400m in 12 minutes;
playing sport to a ‘decent’ level (a level that I’m satisfied with);
being able to wrestle a bunch of kids at a birthday party
With nutrition those principals currently include:
getting to & maintaining body fat at 10-12%;
having uninterrupted sleep;
having unlimited energy for play with #superfitkid
only drinking alcohol 3 days per week (a function of #2);
maintaining focus in meetings and at work;
adding 2-3kg of lean muscle;
recovering well from workouts;
So to that end I’ve stacked my diet in a way that gives me enough of what I need to achieve those goals whilst at the same time being as easy to implement as possible.
Could there be more variation? God, yes.
Is it boring to eat this way? Or a chore. Not really. Not for me, anyway.
Can you eat this way with a 3 year old by your side? Yes, absolutely. That’s what I’ve been doing with this exact plan.
[He eats a variation of this or has something completely different yet equally easy to prepare. Whilst I’m cooking the chicken, he’s chowing down on a punnet of tomatoes and some peeled Lebanese cucumbers (at $4.99 a pop. Each! WTF? The little brother might as well be eating edible gold or saffron). Then he gets his chicken, rice and ancillary veggies.]
If losing weight rapidly is your current goal you may also be interested in this post that looks at the best ways to lose 5kg quickly.
The Super Fit Diet
1. Pre-Breakfast – Protein Shake w Milk
- Protein 34g
- Carbs 17g
- Fat 10g
I’m not a huge supplements fan and especially not of supplements full of all kinds of chemicals that you can’t pronounce.
However, I’m a single Dad in a hurry and I need fuel after workouts and to kick-start the day. Sleep is catabolic which means it depletes your muscles. That’s not good, especially if you’re on the lean side to begin with (what’s known in the trade as a ‘hard-gainer’).
I read years ago that a good guiding principle is to start the day with 30g of protein if you’re serious about building muscle.
When I think back to my previous breakfasts of coffee and toast with vegemite and butter, we’re talking a serious dearth of protein until at least mid-morning.
Depending on your goals, that’s all well and good, but I’m trying to bulk up a little and training early-doors so I need all the help I can get.
A brown-rice based, all-natural protein is probably a little less effective than some of the other stuff but it helps get me to my macros and I feel somewhat better about it, especially as I’m going to be drinking three of these a day.
2. Breakfast – 3 Egg Omelette With Cheese
- Protein 21g
- Carbs 1g
- Fat 18g
In the past I’ve cooked more elaborate ‘one-pan keto-feasts’ but they take a little longer. The omelette is super-speedy.
Variations on this theme could be to include a bowl of porridge and stirring through some protein powder to make ‘chocolate protein oats’. The only ingredients for this are milk, water, oats and your protein.
3. Snack – Protein Shake
- Protein 34g
- Carbs 17g
- Fat 10g
4. Lunch – Tuna, Brown Rice & Beans + 2 Glasses Milk
- Protein 43g
- Carbs 74g
- Fat 26g
In terms of bang-for-your-buck and downright convenience, you can’t go past this combination. It’s the Holy Trinity of luncheon goodness.
I can only tolerate Sirena tuna, whose label reassures me that it’s line caught and sustainable etc. I find this is less like cat food than some of the other, cheaper brands. Basil oil flavour is my go-to. I use Edgells 4 Bean Mix mini tins and 90 Second microwave brown rice from whatever supermarket I’ve been to.
I grate cheese over the top of this for more fat, and because cheese makes everything taste better.
Total cost per meal $5.35.
5. Snack – Protein Shake
- Protein 34g
- Carbs 17g
- Fat 10g
6. Dinner – Chicken / Pork, Broccoli, Zucchini, Sweet Potato, Apple
- Protein 66g
- Carbs 54g
- Fat 16g
In the past I’ve tended to roast / bake a tray of vegetables and chuck some chicken breast in the other side of the tray (covered in a little foil tent for half the cooking time (usually 30-35 mins) to stop it drying out.
The beauty of this is that once you’ve bunged it in the oven, you can go and workout for a bit or play with junior or – if you’re unencumbered by children – give the missus a little back-rub – whatever blows your hair back.
Then I got hold of a little microwave steamer (pictured below) and my whole world changed.
You chop up your veg and layer it in the steamer according to how long it takes to cook. Then you steam it for about 4 minutes. [Note: sweet potato can handle around 3 mins on it’s own before you add the greens for the remaining 4 mins. This depends on the power of your microwave so play around with it].
This could be the end of the story. You serve up your greens with your meat (which you’ve pan-fried and rested under foil and out of the pan for 5 minutes – this is crucial). You’ll probably want some seasoning with this though.
You drain the veggies, blanche under cold water to stop the cooking process, throw a decent knob of butter into the meat pan and then mix the greens through the butter.
In a restaurant this would be called something like ‘twice-cooked greens, keto-style,’ or something equally grand, and, as with a lot of the cooking here, it depends on your approach to fats and what your nutritional objectives are.
But, if you still want flavour and satiety but without the empty carbs, then it’s worth trying because it makes them taste, and excuse my French here, but, “f*cking delicious.”
Total – Protein – 214g ; Carbohydrate – 180g ; Fat – 90g
This plan works for me for a few key reasons:
It isn’t especially expensive
It’s pretty healthy
It’s easy to stick to and can be done alongside kids food
It tastes good
It enables me to hit my objective-related macros
It eradicates most unhealthy carbs from my diet
Is it perfect? Nope.
Could it be made healthier? Yep, pretty easily. Sub in celery sticks dipped in almond butter for one of the snacks.
I found this article on the Anabolic Diet which takes things in an even more extreme ketogenic direction but is actually quite accessible because it brings carbs back in on “refeed” days at the weekend.
As always, I love hearing where I’m going wrong and what I could be doing better. Or if you found this useful. Let me know in the comments or at firstname.lastname@example.org.