Here's an example of my day of eating. I've tried many diets, meal plans and ways of eating and it was when I ditched all of the diet culture bullshit, I actually made more progress. So, I thought it might help you too.
First Thing when you get up have a minimum of 250ml of water - make it warm if you like, add lemon if you like (to protect your teeth, use a straw).
Meal 1 Some people don’t like to eat first thing when they wake up, others love a big breaky. My recommendation is to do some experimentation if you're unsure. The other thing to remember is that just because you didn’t like having oats 3 years ago, doesn’t mean they can't work now. Try some experiments and see what works and what you enjoy. I highly recommend a breakfast with fat, carbs and protein but some people don’t like fat in the morning, and some don't like carbs. I do not recommend leaving out the protein though, it'll fuel your muscles and keep you satiated til morning snack or lunch. I always try to get some fibre as well, to help keep my guts moving (if you know what I mean).
1-2 eggs or egg whites with a piece of wholegrain or gluten-free toast
Proats (protein oats) - oats, water, ground flaxseed/linseed or chia seeds, egg whites, spices and fruit or syrup for sweetness.
Overnight oats - oats and chia seeds mixed with greek yoghurt and a little milk and whatever flavouring you like.
Protein pancakes – pancake mix with ground flaxseed/linseed and protein powder added, or make your own (here's my recipe). Watch your toppings though as that can add a lot of calories without realising it; Australia, I'm looking at you with your whipped cream and ice cream.
Peanut butter on toast with banana
Protein shake/smoothie bowl
Cereal with a dollop of yoghurt and fruit on top
Snacks Everyone is different but I have found that I like something sweet in the morning, and crunchy and savoury in the afternoon. It might be because I work out in the morning and sit at a desk all day. The main goal is to get some protein at your snack times to keep you satiated.
Ideas: • boiled eggs • celery/carrot/apple/banana with peanut butter • any dipping veg with hummus, or a greek yoghurt-based savoury dip • chia pudding • cheese, yoghurt (any dairy product) • nuts (especially walnuts and almonds) • unprocessed meat (feel free to put this on crackers or a small wrap) • homemade muffins etc; the possibilities are endless – google “healthy snacks” for more ideas.
Lunch and Dinner This depends on when you work out and what your goals are but essentially, try to follow the “healthy plate” shown below. I work out in the morning so I usually have carbs at lunch and not at dinner. But if you workout after work, it's good to have some carbs to refuel your body at dinner. Apart from that, aim to get some healthy fats as well i.e. avocado, nuts/seeds, olive oil, fish. These ideas seem super simplified but it leave room for creativity with spices, protein and vegetables. There's endless combinations. Just pick what you like and work from there.
Ideas: • Stirfry – just watch you don’t drown it with sauce • Salad with a protein and add sweet potato, beans or rice, if you like • Steamed/roasted veggies with protein and a starch – Think Sunday Roast ;) • An healthified burger with side salad • Homemade soup or stew • Spaghetti with extra veggies added into the sauce, swap pasta for zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash if you like.
2-3 L of water/day depending on heat and activity.
1 treat meal/week - i.e. pick a restaurant on Thursday for your Saturday night meal and get really excited about it... then hope that it lives up to your expectations.Don’t starve yourself, you need fuel. Try to eat every 3 hours so that your metabolism stays on track.
Try to limit alcohol, soft drink, sugary crap and white flour consumption to your treat period.
Before a workout – eat something small with a little sugar/carb and protein – nuts with fruit, a nut bar, banana and peanut butter, yoghurt with fruit, protein shake/bar.
After a workout – within an hour, get a healthy dose of carbs, and protein again (works best if it's a main meal) – ham sandwich, protein bar, protein shake with fruit added, rice/meat/veg, sushi, eggs and toast etc.
Also, when someone says they eat 100g of chicken breast, that doesn't equal 100g of protein. It honestly is between 20-30g depending on the quality, and the cooking method.
Remember that there are still carbs in fruit and vegetables, but that doesn't mean you should avoid them as they have loads of macronutrients which you need. Just be aware that when people say they're on "no carbs", that's literally impossible. Here's a good resource for more info.
Last one, when it comes to condiments and sauces, you don't have to give them up. Try looking for lower calorie alternatives when you go shopping. Otherwise, try using more herbs and spices to amp up the flavour. I promise that eventually your taste buds will change and it won't taste bland anymore.
Ladies, this is very general and I am not a dietician. I have experimented and been following healthy eating principles since 2013 consistently and proven to myself that I can lose weight without sacrificing flavour or fun. If you have allergies, sensitivities or intolerances, please follow the advice your doctor or specialist has given you.
Comment Below if you would like some recipes, more specific information on any type of food or you'd like to see more nutrition posts. And follow me on Instagram because I post lots of food-related content on there as well.
I'm currently creating an e-book for Christmas so let me know what your favourite treat is. It can be sweet or savoury!