What is a good day of meals meant to look like?
Who really knows. It’s all down to personal opinion, so here is mine for your consideration.
In the modern world lots of people are over worked, over stressed and under nourished. Their choice of foods and when they eat them does not always help these common problems, simply because the foods are often highly energy dense and devoid of nutrition, leading to potential lethargy if they don’t have them in constant supply.
A typical persons daily eating regime might look like this:
7.am Breakfast – Cereals, Skimmed Milk and Orange Juice or Skipped
11.am Snack – Some form of Granola or Chocolate bar and a Latte
1.pm Lunch – Sandwiches or Skipped
6.pm Snack – A Post Workout Shake or another Latte
8.pm Dinner – Take Away (only because they got in late from work…)
11:30.pm Snack – Chocolate or a form of sweets
I know this is an extreme example, I am not saying it is true for everyone but I have met and trained plenty of people over the years who’s nutritional habits aren’t too far of this day in day out.
While I have given some general times that I have seen in my experience, you get the idea of what some people eat on a regular basis without too much thought. I’m not going to get massively technical, but I have personally found that most people respond very well by tweaking what they eat and when.
You will notice that the day starts off with highly processed foods and then continues on the same route (for most people this is not a good thing and can lead to obesity), there is very little quality protein, fibre and water in a typical persons day, because of this unknowingly formed habit it’s not uncommon to see improved energy levels, a better mood, more concentration and overall quality of life from a few simple tweaks in what foods they eat and when.
Try the following:
7.am Breakfast: Salmon & Eggs
11.am Snack: Tin of Tuna & Salad
1.pm Lunch: Chicken & Roasted Veg
6.pm Snack: Post Workout Shake – Optional
8.pm Dinner: Steak, Sweet Potatoes & Veg
10.30pm Snack: Frozen Yoghurt or Sorbet
*A glass of Water with each meal.
There might seem like a lot of change, but realistically all a person has done is added in more Protein, more Veg (fibre), drunk more Water and eaten less Processed Foods. I have found that when people start the day off with a breakfast loaded with quality protein and fats they sustain their energy levels throughout the day. Then they add in carbs int he form of fibrous veg throughout the day with meal that also contains a good quality protein.
I have left he post workout shake in because after a workout a meal high in protein and carbs will be beneficial in anecdotally aiding your recovery (if you eat enough real food there is no necessary need for a post workout shake).
As the day wears on the carbs start to become less complex, eventually ending with a does of simple carbs. This will help increase your serotonin levels which in tern will help increase your melatonin levels and hep you have a better nights sleep.
Give this structure a go and see who you look, feel and perform. If they all improve, then eureka!