An example of how I make nutrition progress as a 9-5 worker
Part two of the “What I’m doing now that I’m an office worker series”. Initially, I only intended to have one article highlighting what I was doing now that I work a 9-5. However, the article ended up being a lot longer than I expected and so I decided to break it up into two parts; part 1 was all about how I set up my training program and what I do with resistance training and cardio. Today, I want to touch upon what I do to ensure my nutrition doesn’t deviate during the week.
The first thing on this list is also the most important and the factor that will determine whether you succeed in your health and fitness journey, and that is preparation. One of my all-time favourite quotes is “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.
So, what I make sure I have on Sunday (you can choose a day or days that work for you) is to have everything I am going to eat at work-ready. Cooking my protein source (90% lean beef) and cooking my vegetables (frozen green beans and assorted vegetables) are a priority that has to be done to eat healthy at work successfully. So that meal is lunch.
I fast between 12 to 16 hours a day, only for convenience, so my first meal is typically around 10:30-11:00. Lately, this meal has consisted of high protein yogurt and a berry variation, either strawberries or blueberries.
Lunch is around 12:30ish and consists of a protein source or sources, sometimes I have eggs and vegetables.
My third meal, around 3:30-4 pm, is usually nuts and a small Kit Kat chocolate bar. I found having chocolate during the week helps me not binge during the weekend. For a while, I was avoiding chocolate, unless it was 80%+ dark chocolate, until the weekend. Waiting till the weekend, however, led me to binge and I ate more than I should during the weekend. For fun, I tried having chocolate like Kit Kat and Tim Tams, in moderation of course, during the week and that curb my need to binge a lot during the weekend. Remember, the more restrictive the nutrition plan is, the higher the likely chance of binging. So, know yourself!
Dinner is whatever my family is having.
Have a plan and know yourself
As I alluded to earlier, I found that if I had chocolate during the week, I was able to stop myself from binging too much during the weekend. For me, it was most likely a mindset thing. The mindset is “The weekend is the only time I can eat as much as I can. I’m going to eat as much as I can”. Going from that mindset onto an “I’ll have one small bar every day” has helped me stop myself from overeating during the weekends. It’s early days, but I feel like this is going to help me moving forward!
I don’t track how much water I drink, but it’s at least 2.5 to 3L daily. The first thing I do upon waking is drink around 500ml of water. Sleeping dries, you out and you need to replenish the lost water, so it’s a good idea to do so upon waking. Drinking water first thing in the morning is also a good strategy for someone who struggles drinking water throughout the day. My recommendation is at least 2 to 2.5L per day, more if you are physically active or if it’s a hot day.
Be kind to yourself
The final thing we are going to be talking about here is more of a mindset shift. Coaching plenty of people over the years, I have noticed a familiar response people have when they go off track with their nutrition plan. This response goes something like this “I broke my diet, might as well start fresh next week on Monday!”. That’s an okay mentality to have if it’s a Saturday or Sunday, but if it was Tuesday, then you are just fucking up even more.
My wish for people is to get to a point where when they overeat or get off their diet, have the mental power to go back to their regular eating routine afterwards. Don’t continue binging or restrict. Binging and restricting further are the two most common responses, and they are on either end of the spectrum. If you have this problem, the best place to be is in the middle. Accept that you fucked up and move on. Go back to your plan and don’t continue binging or being overly restrictive with your diet.
Side note: Another typical response is for people to double the amount of exercise they are performing. Increasing the amount of exercise isn’t a good long-term strategy too. So, no matter how you look at it, you need to control your eating to make long-lasting changes!
I lied earlier; this is the final sub-heading and point I’ll touch on today. Transforming your body is a long and hard, and most times, a slow process. No matter which stage of the process you are at, you need to remember to be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day. It took you years to get to the point you are right now. It’s not going to go away in a few weeks. Think six months to a year!
There’s no going around that. Be kind to yourself and be patient. Keep training hard; peace!