After talking with the LDNM team, we thought it would be a great idea to give you lovely lot an example of how one of Team LDNM with a full time job manages his food intake. Of course, we all have different types of days we have to manage throughout the week and also have different targets in regards to training, lifestyle etc, so THIS IS JUST AN INSIGHT into how I am currently managing my food intake around my gym time and work. I figure I’d detail how a standard week is structured for me, and, as you may know if you follow me on Twitter/Instagram or MyFitnessPal, that I like a blend of foods I enjoy, that are easy/convenient and fit within my target macro split and weekly calorie target.
So, let’s take an example of a typical week and include in this three days in the office (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday), one working from home (Wednesday) and the other a day travelling to see a client (Friday). This of course can differ but will give you a reasonable idea of how I would try to organise myself to manage my eating habits around my working week.
Office days (3 Days):
Usually, in the morning (around 5:30am) I hit a CGV3 workout in the gym for between 60 – 75 minutes and aim to get to work for 8/8:30am;
10:30-11:30am: 125g chicken with 125g of microwave rice (seasoned to my specification), 2 caramel rice cakes & one protein bar (currently MyProtein High Pro).
3-4pm: repeat of above, replacing the protein bar with an Oats and Whey bar (currently My Protein Oats & Whey, double choc (AMAZING).
7:30pm: Ham & cheese omelette with 3 slices of toast & low fat cream cheese.
9-10pm: Fage 0% Total greek yoghurt, whey, Nairns dark chocolate oat cakes, dark chocolate & Walden’s farm sauce.
*Please note for any MyProtein products use code ‘LDNM’ for 12% off your order*
I find the above very easy to manage, I enjoy it (to all you that call me out on bro food, the protein is interchangable, but I usually need a lean source as typically, my fat intake is betrween 60 & 80g daily and I ENJOY IT). I prep the 10:30am&3pm meals usually on a Sunday night to last me the week, I cook my evening meal once I get in from work & prep the greek yoghurt mix for around 3-4 days at a time in bulk. I find this (right now) suits me well & gives me added flexibilty around meetings & calls as the bars are a great convenence tool and superb for when people bring doughnuts, cakes & chocolate to the office (which, is pretty much every day!) as they can help with cravings as and when. Saying this though, we’re all human, so should I really want to indulge, I will – I’ll just have a reasonable guess on the macros and subtract from one of the above mentioned meals if required and pick the treats that I know I’ll love…
What if I don’t prepare meals for an office day?
Well, there are some great options out there these days so people can still hit their macros and enjoy their food. The places I usually like around me (St. Pauls Cathedral, London) are:
- Pod: you can really get some superb lunch options here if you’d rather not go overboard with the “junk”, my personal favorites are the Protein Box, Peri Peri Chicken (large, of course J)
http://www.podfood.co.uk/menu.php the great thing here, is the online menu states all the nutritional stats, so if you are counting, it can all be added up to your daily total on MFP.
- M&S and Waitrose: Great selection of lean proteins (chicken, turkey, pork, beef etc) hot and cold and carb sources…from microwave rice, bread, salads & potatoes.
- Subway: A favourite that fits my macros is the footlong Ham & Turkey sub, with cheese!
- Holland and Barrett’s: These guys, although a little pricey are really starting to cater for the gym goer. The Canary Wharf and Cheapside branches stock Whey Hey Protein Ice Cream, a huge selection of protein bars, well balanced, high protein microwave meals and shakes should you hit the gym and forget your core150 shaker, that you can buy from the bottle or actually mix there…
- Nandos: The go to Bro Food, right? ;o) I’m sure I don’t need to help you out with your selections here. But for me, butterfly chicken breast, chicken breast in pitta with rice or the sweet ptoato mash is enough to make me feel like I’m having a reward meal!
- Other honourable mentions go to Pilpel (again all countable on MFP http://www.pilpel.co.uk/Nutrition/Default.asp?rndstr=25327.1744976044 ), Sainsburys & Tesco, where you can easily pick up some well balanced foods…meats, nuts, rice, bars etc.
Home office (1 day):
Typically on my home office days, I still hit the gym in the early hours, so I can start work for 8am. But, I utilise this time for longer sessions as I have no commute to add to my day. I also have 2-3 main meals with some snacking inbetween calls. It’s a great opportunity for me to cook fresh and have three hot meals a day…a rarity for most folks! But, I make sure these meals take no longer than 15-20 minutes to prep or cooking can take over your working day if you’re not careful!
Travelling (1 day):
I usually handle this in two ways. Prep any food I want the night before or buy the night before and make sure what I select can be taken on a plane (if going abroad) as carry on (so, basically no liquid meals or food stuffs that contain any more than 100ml of liquid within).
Again, I use convenience foods with these if I am being very strict, but, if I know that the meetings are lunch meeting or a working lunch, I’ll be honest, I typically go with the flow – make sure I have a good breakfast, bring a couple of bars with me, but use the day as a “reward day”. Let’s face it, unless you’re competing you can’t and don’t always have to structure your day perfectly, we have a life to lead as well, right? Sometimes you can’t pick your reward or relaxed days, in the real world, they can often choose you. You just have to have the awareness not to go over the top and choose things on menus you can enjoy, without making you look like it controls your life. Unfortunately, the working world is still not quite there with understanding the semi serious gym goer (well, in my sector anyway!!) hunting those ever important gains!!
In summary I do take my diet seriously, as I have a passion for my health and natural bodybuilding. However, being realistic and practicing balance within my lifestyle allows me to function properly and make gains alongside a demanding city career that often creates a lot of obstacles that can’t be accounted for. Food prep, a good supply of high quality protein treats for when caught short, a list of shops or healthier fast food joints to fall back on, and a good idea of the macros you need/when you need to hit them are all key to keeping your diet and progress on point in the city!