A few weeks ago, my roommate walked in on me eating a stack of pancakes, McDonald’s burgers or something equally dense in calories.
He asked “How do you get away with eating like this and is it what you’d recommend to your clients?”
And it made me really think about it for a second. So here is my response, in article form.
Lately, with work, school, playing web designer, fitness consulting and my own personal tri-weekly training, I am finding it rather difficult to get the kcals I need on a daily basis. Before the end of the year, I was eating just about everything I could get my hands on to get my squat, bench and row numbers to go up.
Nowadays, I am lucky to just get enough food to hit my maintenance requirements. And the funny thing is, most food just doesn’t seem appetizing anymore.
Okay, so it’s not like eating is hard. It’s really not, at all. But for me, when I get real busy and stress levels soar, unlike many who resort to eating, I just don’t. Then, the extra busyness cuts into my regular meal times and I forget to eat altogether.
So, when I think to myself “oh, I haven’t eaten anything in the last 14 hours,” I’m grabbing something quick and easy so I don’t have to cook. I know this may sound awful and like I suck at planning. But I have my priorities – and cooking a meal that a chef would be proud of every night is just not one of them.
Now enters my infatuation with fast food.
So, in my world we have two forms of the stuff.
Those are it’s really easy to insert into my pie-hole food choices and the typical fast food burger joints.
So, to give you an idea of how I’ve been doing it lately, let me give you an example of my typical meals on a training day and an off day.
- half pot of coffee upon waking
- work for 2-3 hours
- 3 bananas + peanut butter + 50-75g protein shake
- train like it’s the Armageddon
- another 50g protein shake + bowl of cereal + bowl of oats or whatever
- back to work for 2-3 hours
- play time
- a large piece of animal (1-2lbs of deer, chicken, fatty beef) + starch (potatoes, rice, gingerbread men) + green veggies of some sort + more fruit + fish oil and vitamins and other good stuff.
- Sometimes I have alcohol (beer or whiskey) after this last meal
- half pot of coffee upon waking
- 3 bananas + peanut butter + 100g protein shake
- leave for class at 10 a.m.
- eat nothing until I return at 8:30 p.m.
- Either a large meal like the last one above or I will hit the dollar menu at McDonald’s and get about 1200 kcals worth of burgers to choke down and then fill in the rest with some lean protein from cottage cheese or some more animal
Don’t Judge Me
Okay, so I have a confession. I love the McDonald’s dollar menu. Lots of people poke fun, but I don’t care too much. To me, it’s only $3.29 for a solid 1200 kcals. It fills me up, helps me replenish the energy I expended when walking around on campus and allows me to reminisce on my Happy Meal days.
Do I do this every day? Absolutely not. For one, it would mean I’d have to get into the car and drive to McDonald’s on a daily basis. I don’t wish to do such a thing. Plus, I’ve a feeling that it would be detrimental to my long-term health.
Have you seen those month old pictures of the burgers from McDonald’s? They look the same as day one!
However, I’d say I do this on average about 3-4 times per month depending on when I get out of class, how tired I am, what I’m in the mood to eat, etc.
Sometimes, I’ll go an entire month without any McDonald’s at all.
Am I at risk from all the trans-fat? Hardly.
As you know, I am not partial to clean eating. Frankly, from a body compositional standpoint, it’s not going to make much of a difference – if any at all.
Am I advocating you go eat a bunch of Mickey D’s? Nope.
But here is what I’m really saying.
When you need the extra calories and fast food is your only option – go take care of business. If you don’t have access to some fresh fruit or lean protein in the form of animal, stop by the drive-thru and do your thing.
Moderation is key here and it is okay to have that greasy burger if you really want it.
The only problem I see is if you become lazy and rely on these meals daily. This is how America got fat – lots of laziness + a ton of food = grandiose adiposity.
As far as recommending it to clients – I hardly do such a thing. Why? Mainly because most of them are looking to lose body fat. However, I do encourage clients to include food into their diet that they enjoy. If you can manage to fit a greasy burger into the macros I’ve laid out for you – by all means.
Adversely, if you’re one of the many who gets hungry on a diet – this probably isn’t the best strategy. But no one ever said you can’t have a free meal once in a while. I know I couldn’t live without a greasy burger and a few beers now and again. How do you think I maintain my sanity?