The diet is down on paper, there is nothing else to it but to do it. Not quite, because as with everything in life there will be days, maybe weeks or months if you are really unfortunate where your routine will be disrupted. It goes without saying this makes sticking to your diet a right pain in the ass and consequently it is this very hurdle which ultimately becomes the downfall of many wannabe ‘’transformees.’’
There is room for argument here that if you want it bad enough you will do it, but let’s push that preacher crap out the way for a moment and be objective – preparation is key and to be prepared you need options and solutions. Without mentioning any names (I in fact this chap in very high regards) a world renowned fitness model made a video blog of himself buying a ‘’healthy’’ meal off the menu of probably the world’s most famous fast food chain. The outcome was somewhat diluted, he had a ‘’fish fillet’’ burger where he basically then dismantled the arrangement of bread crumbs to separate a few fish flakes and put them into a separate container. Next on his hit list were chicken dippers where he did the same, removing the bread crumbs to be left with a few strands of chicken breast. Sure, the outcome meant that he did indeed have a 30g+ protein meal but that wasn’t really a solution in my eyes, or at least a viable one. Dissecting a range of fast food meals off a menu is not what is going to be on the minds of most of you, fair enough. Instead you need real life options where you can live by those indefinitely and where you don’t feel like some outlawed hill billy clawing your way through chunks of food on a daily basis.
So what solutions are there?
Sport Kitchen Undoubtedly one of my favourite brands and range of products in the fitness industry, period. This company was born as a solution similar to the one we are discussing was required for elite athletes including premiership football and rugby teams. The QSM or ‘Quick Sport Meal’ was born, a nutritious meal with around 30g of protein per serving and the same amount of low GI complex carbs. Added to the mix are digestive enzymes and omega 3s. Before I sound like a desperate sales rep I would just like to point out that my passion for this product stems back to many stories where these little beauties have allowed me to stay on track. All you need is boiling water and a few minutes. There isn’t a food outlet I haven’t walked into at some point to barter for some boiling water so I could eat my QSM. What’s more, they have a 12 month shelf life so there is no issue keeping a few in the car, in your place of work and at your house. Enough of that, you probably now believe I am on commission – I am not, just in case!! Joking aside, this product will literally eliminate any danger of missing meals or being forced to resort to inferior food sources whilst short on choices.
This is something I picked up from Kris Gethin, some of you may have heard of him. It is a very simple way to again ensure when you are about to travel you have meals available. Cook your regular meals, let them cool then freeze them in zip locker bags. Whenever you travel simply throw them in your cool bag and allow them to defrost. Kris likes to keep about 20 of these meals in his freezer at any one time, I don’t think you need that amount but you might not have the appetite of a T-Rex –he does.
To be blunt there are a lot of inferior protein bars on the market, but there are also many great ones which serve a purpose. PhD are my brand of choice when it comes to protein bars, their Diet Whey bars are fantastic whilst on calorie restricted diets as where their Growth Factor 50 bars are equally as impressive when you need higher calories. Needless to say they both taste great and of course the solution is simple – like your QSMs, just keep a few in the car, in the house, in your gym bag and at work. If you have ‘’skills to kills’’ in the kitchen you can also bake your own protein muffins, brownies, cookies and so on. Recipes for all of these are for another article but I often enjoy travelling with home-made protein goodies too!
Shop On Site!
If you are going to a hotel for the weekend and you for whatever reason haven’t been able to follow the above tips (let’s say you either thought they were terrible pieces of advice, or you couldn’t be bothered!!) then this is the easiest solution. Find a local supermarket and buy foods which are already cooked for you. There are many varieties of ready cooked chicken breast (this isn’t something I would always recommend, but for a few days it will suffice). There will also be rice cakes, nuts, prawns and so on. Having said this, I wouldn’t personally let it get to this stage unless you KNOW where you are going has somewhere suitable to shop at. Why? Because if there isn’t you will be down the local fast food chain either cheating or filing down a chicken burger to get your chicken breast, not fun!
There is a glowing misconception that eating out has to be unhealthy or will be unhealthy. In my experience there is almost always something which fits the bill on most menus around the country. Steak is a firm favourite, many places do salmon fillet and chicken breast is also quite readily available. In the event that there isn’t anything, ask for it! On a frequent basis I will ask for a meal off the menu with none of the sauce for example. It boils down to controlling your surroundings.
As a final note, if you want a fridge in your hotel just ask! Ring up ahead of time and say that you would like one, even go as far as saying you are diabetic and need a fridge for your insulin. Where there are health and medical issues hotels are less likely to challenge you, they don’t want to take the responsibility should anything happen!
Are these viable solutions? Well, I know that my clients manage to stay on track by using these rules and I know that I do – does that mean they are the only way? Of course not, but then you did ask me!! Of course there are always MRP powders and they are great but that is the obvious answer, right? With all of these points combined I struggle to see how you would ever miss a meal again or have to resort to cheating.