I’ve spent a lot of time over the years writing stuff designed to help you put together the diet and workout that is going to work best for you and your goals.
However, one question that keeps coming up over and over again regardless of the topic I’m writing about is… “okay, but what do YOU do?”
As in, what does my own diet look like? How do I put everything together? What do I eat? What don’t I eat? How much do I eat? When, why and how do I eat it? And on and on and on.
Today I’m going to answer all of those questions and more by giving you a full breakdown of every single relevant aspect of my diet that I can think of.
Let’s begin at the beginning.
My Calorie And Macronutrient Intake
Hmmm, let’s see, how shall I put this? Okay… I got it:
Above all else, I eat the right total amount of calories, protein, fat and carbs each day for my body and my goals, and every other thing you see in this article is either a minor detail in comparison or an important detail that has been adjusted specifically towards best allowing me to meet these daily calorie and macronutrient needs.
Take a second and read that sentence again before going any further.
Do it? Cool. Because that one-sentence description of my diet should be the one-sentence description of your diet, too.
Now let’s get slightly more specific. How many calories do I eat?
Shorter answer: a lot. Like, a scary amount. Seriously. My calorie needs have always been way above-average regardless of how skinny, fat, lean or muscular I’ve been over the last 15 years, and I’ve never met a maintenance calculator that has ever been accurate for me. I’ve also never met a friend/family member/girl/waiter/waitress/random-person-I-happen-to-be-eating-with who hasn’t looked at me in disbelief upon observing the amount of food I easily eat in a single meal and/or over the course of a day. It’s… just… not… normal. I blame NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis).
Longer answer: it depends. Just like you and every other human, my daily calorie intake depends on a bunch of factors specific to me (age, height, weight, activity level, NEAT, genetics, current goals, the use or non-use of a calorie cycling approach, etc.). And while most of these factors remain fairly consistent, others (like my goals… fat loss, muscle growth or maintenance) change and thus my calorie intake changes with it.
So, rather than just pick one random amount of calories I might eat on some random day at some random point in my life (it could be 2000… it could be 4000), I think it’s easier to just tell you that:
- If my goal is maintenance, I eat at maintenance. Didn’t see that coming, did ya?
- If my goal is fat loss (without losing muscle), I create a small to moderate deficit, typically somewhere between 10-25% below maintenance depending on how lean/fat I am at the time, how lean I want to get, and how aggressive I want to be in getting there. I get much more specific about this in Superior Fat Loss.
- If my goal is muscle growth (without gaining excess body fat), I create a small surplus in line with the “Group D” surplus recommendations I lay out in Superior Muscle Growth.
- Protein typically in the 0.8-1.3g per pound range.
- Fat typically averaging 20-30% of my total daily calorie intake.
- Carbs filling in the rest (with fat and carbs being cycled using the “Deficit + Surplus” approach from Superior Muscle Growth, or using the 3 day calorie cycling approach from Superior Fat Loss).
Chances are you’re not surprised by any of this. But that’s probably a good thing.
My Calorie/Nutrient Cycling
Another thing you probably won’t be surprised by (even if you ignore the fact that I just kinda mentioned it) is that I use a calorie and nutrient cycling approach within my diet… which of course involves eating more calories and certain macronutrients on certain days (training days), and less calories and certain macronutrients on others (rest days). This is something I’ve consistently mentioned being a big fan of over the years.
Why is this? Among a handful of reasons, primarily for the small yet meaningful positive effect I’ve seen it have on calorie partitioning (more muscle, less fat) and thus body composition as well.
So… how do I do it exactly?
- When I’m in a surplus for the purpose of building muscle while remaining as lean as realistically possible, I use the “Deficit + Surplus” approach explained in Superior Muscle Growth (page 176 for the SMG readers playing along at home).
- When I’m in a deficit for the purpose of losing fat while maintaining as much muscle and strength as realistically possible, I use the 3 day calorie cycling approach explained in Superior Fat Loss (starting on page 219).
My Meal Frequency
Ah yes, meal frequency. As I’ve lovingly alluded to before, I’ve spent some time experimenting with eating as few as 2 meals per day to as many as 8 meals per day. And literally everything in between.
And the conclusion that I (and every other unbiased, evidence based person… as well as science itself) has come to is that, with all else being equal, it makes virtually no difference whatsoever how many meals you eat per day in terms of the direct effect it has on fat loss, fat gain, muscle loss, muscle gain, or anything similar. Additional details here.
Which means, a person’s meal frequency should be dictated entirely by what’s most preferable, enjoyable, convenient and sustainable for them (which, by the way, are four words that I just now discovered become the acronym PECS).
So… what is most PECS for me specifically? (I sooo want this to catch on… #PECS)
I would say I typically eat between 3-5 meals per day depending on the day and other outside factors (weekend? weekday? training day? rest day? holiday or special occasion? home all day? out all day? alone? with someone? extra busy? etc.).
Narrowing that down a bit, my typical training days usually involve eating 5 meals per day (one of which is a post-workout shake). This is partially because I have an above-average calorie intake as it is, and partially because that aforementioned calorie cycling approach I use entails putting more calories on my training days than my rest days. For both of these reasons, I find that trying to get all of my calories in with anything less than 5 meals is pretty damn hard/uncomfortable/just plain ugh. So, 5 meals just ends up being most PECS for me on these days.
On my typical rest days, I will usually end up eating 3 meals. This is again partially due to the fact that the calorie cycling approach I’m using has me eating fewer calories on my rest days than my training days, so it’s easier for me to meet my daily calorie needs in fewer meals on those days. And it’s also partially because it’s just more PECS for me (getting tired of it yet?) to spend less time eating more meals, and more time doing whatever the hell else I’d like to be doing on those days.
Technically, I feel this way on my training days as well, however those days require me to eat more meals to avoid… you know… exploding due to trying to cram scary amounts of calories into just 3 meals.
Which of course is all why I adjust my meal frequency on a day-to-day basis depending on what’s most PECS for me on a given day due to any number of possible circumstances that may or may not arise within it. PECS, PECS, PECS. 😉
My Meal Timing/Scheduling
Like meal frequency, I have experimented with eating earlier, later, spread out evenly over the course of the day, breakfast, no breakfast, and on and on and on only to discover what every other unbiased, evidence based person has also discovered… which is that with all else being equal, it makes virtually no difference whatsoever when you eat or don’t eat in terms of fat loss, fat gain, muscle loss, muscle gain, or anything similar.
The only (borderline) exceptions to that statement would be the pre and post workout meals, and even then we’re not talking about any kind of ultra significant, make-or-break difference. More just a minor beneficial difference worth adjusting for once you’ve already gotten the major stuff right.
So… what is most PECS for me when it comes to the timing and scheduling of my meals each day?
Well, similar to meal frequency, it varies a bit based on what day it is and what the circumstances of that day are.
But on my most typical training days, I will eat my first meal of the day (which is also my pre-workout meal) between 8:30-9:00am and then leave for the gym 60-90 minutes later. This would of course be “Protocol #1” from SMG (page 207), which is then followed by my own 2-part version of The Post Workout Protocol (page 214).
On my most typical rest days, I’ll usually eat my first meal of the day around 12:00-1:00pm. No, this isn’t me intentionally doing any form on intermittent fasting. That’s purely coincidental. This is just me doing what’s most PECS for me on these days… which revolves entirely around the fact that A) I’m most productive during this earlier part of the day, B) this is when I actually want to get the most stuff done, and C) this is when I’m best at actually getting it done.
So, that’s what I do.
And the next thing I know, hours have passed and I’m getting hungry… and so that’s when I eat. And that just happens to happen sometime around 12:00-1:00pm. There’s absolutely nothing magical about this from a body composition standpoint… it’s simply what suits me best on those days.
The timing of my last meal of the day (aka dinner) varies a bit depending on whether it’s a training day or a rest day (plus other factors specific to my needs/preferences on each individual day itself). So, this could really be anywhere between 7pm-10:00pm.
(Side note: Yeah, that’s right. I sometimes eat dinner as late as 10pm. I’ve done this for years and years. And it’s always a meal that contains a nice amount of carbs, thus meaning I eat a bunch of carbs between 7pm-10pm on a daily basis. Now, if you’re still living in a world where eating anything – especially carbs – at night like this is some scary thing that is guaranteed to instantly cause your muscles to fall off and be replaced with body fat, please allow me to bring you into the reality of this world and tell you that’s all horseshit. The one and only thing I’ve experienced as a result of eating carbs at night is an improvement in sleep quality. Well, that and more enjoyable dinners.)
Beyond that, all of the meals in between my first meal and my last meal are basically just spaced out in whatever the hell way is most PECS for me on that day. Simple as that. #PECS
My Food Choices
Alright, so now you have some idea of how much I eat, how often I eat, and when I eat. Now let me give you an idea of what I eat.
I guess the first thing you should know is that I am the world’s most basic and boring eater. I’m also the world’s pickiest eater. There are also a few very common/popular foods that I avoid strictly due to having digestive issues with them. Quite the combination there, huh?
So um, if you’re expecting me to dazzle you with “delicious recipes,” or “new and interesting foods,” or “fun meal ideas,” or maybe just make you jealous of the awe-inspiring amount of variety in my diet… you’re probably going to want to step out of the room for a minute.
Or, just stay right here and prepare to be extremely disappointed.
Basically, there is a handful of very basic foods that I like (and I almost always prefer them in their most basic, non-fancy form), and I just eat them over and over. And over. Every day. Often repeating certain foods multiple times over the course of the day. In similar combinations. As part of similar meals. Consistently. Forever. And I legitimately like it that way.
Getting a little more specific, here’s what I eat categorized by macronutrient:
My most common protein sources are chicken, turkey, eggs and whey protein powder. Fish and beef from time to time, but less so.
My most common fat sources are nuts (especially almonds) and olive oil, with fish oil providing my omega-3’s.
My most common carb sources are white rice (here’s why I prefer white rice over brown rice) and white potatoes, as well as fruits and vegetables.
No, these are not the ONLY foods I EVER eat. They are however the foods I eat most often (by far) on a day-to-day basis (e.g. eggs are a part of my breakfast every day without fail, I eat chicken/white rice/broccoli most days, shitloads of white potatoes on most training days, etc.). Why? Because these are the foods that A) I like best, B) I have no issues digesting, C) provide what I need, and D) are most PECS for me.
And guess what else? Your food choices should be based on the exact same criteria. You know, in place of the more typical criteria of “some idiot used a combination of pseudoscience and their own personal biases to create a list of foods (or a list of “superfoods”) everyone supposedly either MUST eat or MUST avoid… and I’ve somehow decided to blindly go along with this despite that fact that I don’t really love it and/or am not entirely convinced it’s truly necessary to do so.”
My Avoided Foods/Food Groups
No breakdown of a person’s diet would be complete without a list of foods and food groups they avoid. And my diet is no different, as there are actually not one but TWO entire food groups that I avoid!
Although, they’re probably ever-so-slightly different from the usual “food groups” you might be expecting to see:
- Group 1: Foods I don’t like.
I hate cheese (I don’t even want it on the same table as the food I’m eating). I also hate milk (I was the kid who ate his Lucky Charms and Fruity Pebbles in a bowl with no milk, or just bypassed the stupid bowl altogether and took handfuls right out of the box). Sweet potatoes are a lovely food, but I think they taste like white potatoes that have something very wrong with them. Oatmeal is a fine carb source, but I don’t enjoy eating a food that looks and feels like it has already been eaten. For similar reasons, I like every fruit except bananas (basically, if you can describe a food by using the word “mushy,” keep that shit away from me). So despite the fact that every food I just mentioned can potentially be a “high quality” part of a person’s diet, I don’t ever eat a single one of them due to the fact that I just don’t want to. Simple as that.
- Group 2: Foods I don’t digest well.
Not only do I hate cheese and milk, but I also don’t digest them (or dairy in general) well. So, even if I did like them, I’d still avoid them for this reason alone. Same with oats. Wheat products and brown rice are somewhere in the middle for me, as I don’t purposely go out of my way to avoid them entirely like I do with dairy and oats, but I definitely do go out of my way to significantly limit them/avoid them the vast majority of the time. I find I physically feel better when I do. So, I do. Simple… as… that.
Guess what else? Your diet should also be designed around avoiding both of these “food groups.” Just, you know, fill in each “group” with whatever foods meet that criteria for you and you alone.
My Dietary Variety
So, I kinda covered this already, but I want to address it directly because people specifically asked me to.
I guess I’ll just state what should be pretty damn obvious at this point, which is that my diet has very little variety in it.
It’s largely the same handful of foods that I like the most and digest the best (at rest, or with zest, and then brush my teeth with Crest) eaten over and over and over again. I often eat the same breakfast and lunch every single day, with dinner being the most likely meal of mine to change from one day to the next.
Really, the primary form of “variety” in my diet comes via the quantities being eaten. As in… more of this, less of that, bigger servings here, smaller servings there. Why? Because I eat more on training days and less on rest days. I also eat more when I’m in a surplus for the purpose of building muscle than I do when I’m in a deficit for the purpose of losing fat.
So, while the foods that comprise my diet don’t really change much at all, the amounts of those foods being eaten will vary depending on my goals and my approach to reaching them.
Is there anything “bad” about eating like this? Is my lack of dietary variety physically (or perhaps mentally) unhealthy in some way? Um… no. At least, not for me. For me… it’s totally PECS.
For you? That could be a very different story.
See, this lack of variety in my diet suits me. It’s easy and simple and convenient (which is nice), and it’s also just what naturally happens as a result of my (happily preferred) basic and boring style of eating. So for me, it’s awesome.
And if you’re like me, it will probably be just as awesome for you, too.
However, if you’re NOT like me… if you’re someone who loves/craves variety within your diet… who’d want to shoot themselves in the face if they ate the same handful of foods over and over again like I do… repeating the same meals over and over again like I do… day after day after day like I do… then it would be the complete opposite of awesome AND the complete opposite of what you should be doing.
Which is all to say that dietary variety is dependent on the person. Want it? Have it. Don’t want it? Don’t have it. Simple… as… that. (#SAT)
My “Bad Foods”
Please note the quotes around the term “bad foods.” I have included them to imply sarcasm.
So what do I mean by “bad foods,” you ask? Cheat foods. Treat foods. Junk foods. Processed foods. Low quality foods. Dirty foods. Unhealthy foods. Call it whatever you want. I think if we’re going to place a label on this category of foods, my preference would be to use “bad foods” with sarcastic quotes around it. But that’s just me.
And what is basically being referred to here are the typical foods that most of us already know shouldn’t comprise a significant portion of our diets. Think candy, cookies, chips and the wide variety of other foods that taste yummy but provide little to no nutritional value.
I guess the question is… do I ever eat these types of foods?
And the answer is: fuck yes.
I say that with such profane emphasis because I didn’t always. See, back in the day, when I first started paying attention to my diet, I was someone who was under the impression that these types of foods were bad. Not sarcastically “bad.” Legitimately bad. As in, if I ever ate these types of foods – even infrequently and/or in small amounts – it would have some meaningful negative impact on my ability to build muscle, lose fat and be healthy.
So for a bunch of years early on, I avoided this category of foods entirely, often while feeling as though doing so somehow made me better than those who didn’t (a lovely thought I mock in my Clean Eating vs IIFYM comparison).
And then, at some point years later, I came to the realization that none of this was actually true. To quote myself from that article:
What I mean is, the main reason a person chooses to use this stricter “clean” style of eating is because they think that, with all else being equal, there is something superior about it in terms of its effects on body composition (fat loss, muscle growth, preventing fat gain, preventing muscle loss, etc.).
With all else being equal (which for this article will mean the same total calorie, macronutrient and micronutrient intake and the same consistency with which it is consumed), none of this is true.
In fact, it’s flat out false, and there’s more than enough science and real world experience out there to prove it. The Truth About Fat Loss is a good place to start. How To Choose The Best Foods For Your Diet and When And How Often Should You Eat are others.
But the truth is, in terms of your diet, changes in body composition happen as a result of your total calorie, protein, carb and fat intake. They don’t happen as a result of the specific food sources that provide those calories and macronutrients, nor do they happen as a result of the specific manner they are consumed in.
Again, see my Clean Eating vs IIFYM comparison for proper context and additional details.
So getting back to my profane answer… fuck yes I sometimes eat “bad foods.” As someone who spent years never doing so, and followed it with years of (intelligently) doing so, I can conclusively state that I much prefer doing so vs not doing so. And there has been no negative effect whatsoever on my results (not even a little) or my health (other than an improvement in my happiness and overall dietary sanity).
So which “bad foods” do I eat? I like most of the usual stuff (huge fan of cereal, chocolate and chewy/fruity type candy), but above all else I’m a cookie guy. Cookies are by far my primary “bad food” of choice.
Cookies. Cookies. Cookies.
Good lord… cookies.
Wait… where was I? Oh right, in the middle of an article.
Now, do I eat significant amounts of these kinds of foods all the time? Nope. Not at all.
When I do eat them, do I eat them in a manner that puts me over my intended daily/weekly calorie or macronutrient intake? Nope again.
Do I ever let it comprise a significant portion of my overall diet? No I don’t.
Do I simply keep these “bad foods” to a sane yet still enjoyable and sustainable minimum? Bingo.
To quote myself from Superior Fat Loss:
The majority of your calorie and macronutrient intake should always come from higher quality, minimally processed, nutrient-dense foods you enjoy, while the typical junkier foods should be kept to a sane yet still enjoyable and sustainable minimum. A ratio like 90/10 tends to be an ideal balance for most people in terms of both overall health and… you know… life not sucking. But if you happen to prefer 100/0 for whatever reason (and that reason isn’t some kind of baseless disordered obsession with food that is likely to only be detrimental to your heath and sanity), then hey… that’s fine too. Whatever is most ideal for you.
For a while I thought 100/0 was ideal for me. Years of 90/10 has very clearly proven otherwise. So, that’s what I do. Simple as that.
Are any supplements required? No. Are most just useless garbage? Yes. Are there any that are both safe and beneficial in some way? Yup. For me, these are those supplements:
- Whey Protein Powder (Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Whey): I like all of the flavors I’ve tried, but I’m one of approximately two people in the world that actually really likes the Tropical Punch flavor.
- Fish Oil (Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega): I take 4 of these a day for a combined total of 2.2g of EPA/DHA. My mom takes 3. My dad takes 2. True story.
- Creatine (Optimum Nutrition Creatine): I take 3-5g per day. Full details are sarcastically explained here.
- Vitamin D (NOW Foods Vitamin D3): I take a total of 2000 IU of vitamin D each day combined between this supplement and other supplements I take which happen to also contain vitamin D (i.e. calcium supplements and multivitamins often contain some meaningful amount of vitamin D).
- Calcium: The complete lack of dairy in my diet warrants calcium supplementation. I’ve actually been doing this since I was just a weird kid who hated cheese and milk, and still continue doing it as a weird adult who hates cheese and milk.
- Multivitamin: I will gladly admit that this is largely unnecessary considering the overall quality of my diet, but I take it anyway just for micronutrient peace of mind.
My Calorie/Macronutrient Compensation
Here’s one I probably wouldn’t have thought to include if it wasn’t for the handful of people who made sure to ask me to include it.
And that is basically the question of, what do I personally do if I unintentionally go some degree over or under my intended calorie (and/or macronutrient) intake for the day? Do I make up for it by eating more or less the next day(s) to compensate?
That’s a good question that requires a warning before answering.
See, the “I ate way too much today, so I better eat way less tomorrow to compensate” thought is lovely on paper. I mean, it’s just math. If you went over on Saturday, you can just go equally under on Sunday to make up for it and end up exactly where you were supposed to be at the end of the week. And for many of us (myself included), this is perfectly fine and doable.
For others, however, it’s how eating disorders start. Or relapse. And in those cases, this “compensation mindset” is too close to the “binge and restrict” mindset, and that can be dangerous for certain people for obvious reasons.
Just wanted to put that out there before going any further.
Now let me tell you what I personally do in this type of scenario.
If it’s just a small or even medium amount over or under, I honestly won’t even give the slightest of craps. Back in the day I definitely I did, and I’d do the math and figure out the exact difference and eat that exact amount more or less the next day to make up for it. I did this for a while and it worked out just fine.
But a few years ago I came to the conclusion that, for me at least, it’s simply not worth the effort or attention because there isn’t enough of a difference being made in the short or long term for it to even be a blip on the radar in most cases.
Rather, I found that just ignoring it completely and getting back to normal the next day has worked perfectly for me without a single meaningful negative effect of any kind in terms of body composition. It’s mostly just had positive effects in terms of eliminating dietary stress and worry.
But again, that’s just me. And I spend an entire chapter in Superior Fat Loss explaining why I think this approach is ideal for damn near everyone else, too.
What if I go WAAAY over or under? Then I’d probably try to compensate the next day(s) in some way. Although, the key word there is “probably,” because my calorie intake is so naturally high as it is that it’s damn near impossible for me to ever unintentionally go “WAAAY over” and I can’t remember the last time I ever went “WAAAY under.” So, there.
My Micronutrient Intake
Wanna hear a secret? Beyond the few things that I know my diet lacks (e.g. calcium), I don’t track my micronutrient intake. At all.
So if you asked me how much of whatever vitamin or whatever mineral I ate today, or yesterday, or any day for that matter, I honestly couldn’t tell you.
It’s not that I don’t care about micronutrients. I certainly do. And it’s not that micronutrient intake isn’t important for overall health and function. It certainly is.
It’s just that, one of the wonderful side effects of eating a high quality diet on a daily basis comprised of a good balance of protein, fat and carbs that come primarily via higher quality nutrient-dense foods is that micronutrient intake is all-but-guaranteed to take care of itself.
How do I know this? A few ways.
For starters, I’ve tracked the crap out of my diet at various points and saw everything added up pretty well from a micronutrient standpoint. And the fact that my diet is boringly consistent in terms of food choices means those numbers are likely consistently being hit on a daily basis just the same.
Plus, I feel pretty good overall. And, as a bonus, blood tests have confirmed that everything is exactly where it should be.
Fun extra proof: my daily bathroom habits confirm that my fiber intake is exactly where it needs to be. (Sorry, was that TMI? So I probably shouldn’t also mention that it’s a lovely shade of brown and comfortably banana shaped? Okay, I won’t. 😉 )
And the few micronutrients I know I’m lacking (namely calcium, vitamin D, EPH/DHA) are taken care of through supplementation. And as a just-in-case backup plan, I throw in a multivitamin as well, thus adding to my peace of mind that all of my micronutrient bases are covered.
My Alcohol And Coffee Consumption
Alright boys and girls, please remain calm. You’re going to want to sit down for this next one.
Hmmm, how shall I begin. Oh, I know. First let me tell you that I’m putting alcohol and coffee in the same section for two reasons. One is that these are two particular… let’s call them… categories of drinks… that people asked me about. No one asked about my water intake. No one asked about my soda intake. No one asked about my [sports drink, tea, seltzer, or whatever the hell else] intake. Alcohol and coffee were the only two mentioned by name.
And the second reason is, I just so happen to consume the exact same amount of both.
I don’t drink either of them.
[pause for people to yell at me through their screens]
Finished yet? No? Okay… I’ll wait.
[additional pause for what I can only assume is a lot of cursing in disbelief]
With me now? Cool.
So yeah… that was not a typo.
I don’t drink coffee at all. Ever. I just don’t like it (same reason why I don’t eat sweet potatoes, basically). And I don’t drink alcohol at all, either.
Now for the first question you might be asking…
WHY?!?!?! DEAR GOD WHY?!?!?!
There’s no super special reason, really. Certainly nothing health or body composition related. Neither of them are “bad” in the right context. In fact, there are a variety of positive physical and mental benefits to intelligent caffeine consumption, and sane amounts of alcohol in moderation can be just fine as long as it fits in with your total calorie intake.
I just don’t really like either of them. It’s a boring answer, I know. But it’s true.
With coffee specifically, I can honestly tell you that I’ve never had a full cup of coffee in my life. Not one. I’ve tasted it before, a bunch of times actually. But… I… just… don’t… like… it. Weird, I know.
With alcohol, I’ve done the usual amount of drinking you do as a teen, and I’m not against an occasional drink to celebrate something. But for all intents and purposes, I don’t drink. I don’t really like it, and I’ve just never felt comfortable with the idea of being anything less than 100% aware and present and fully me at all times. Again, weird… I know.
And yes, every single friend and family member I have drinks both. Yet, by some miracle, we still somehow manage to coexist.
And yes, my aversion to coffee and alcohol makes setting up first dates with me just as entertainingly awkward as you can probably imagine…
Me: “So, you wanna hang out some time?”
Girl: “I would love to! I know this great little bar… would you like to meet me there for a drink tonight?”
Me: “Definitely, although I should probably mention that I’m not really much of a drinker.”
Girl: “Oh, that’s cool, no problem! Let’s go out for coffee instead!”
Me: “Yeah… uh… I don’t really drink that either.”
Girl: “WTF bro?!?”
Me: “I know, I’m kinda not normal.”
Girl: “Um, okay. So what’s left? Milk?”
Me: “Well it’s pretty funny you bring that up… I’m actually lactose intolerant and try to avoid dairy.”
Girl: “Please delete my number immediately.”
Me: “Wait! Come back! We can split a protein shake! 2 straws! I have a few different flavors of whey that I digest well! Pick any one you want! It’s a convenient way to help meet your daily protein requirements, which of course is the most crucial macronutrient in terms of overall health and function as well as for building muscle and preserving lean mass in a deficit! Come back! I have numerous studies I can show you that support this statement!”
Girl: [runs even faster]
My Diet Cult
I purposely saved this one for last so the answer would be obvious without me having to say a word.
Of course… I’m going to go ahead and say a word anyway.
Do I follow the paleo diet? Am I a vegetarian? Or vegan? Or an intermittent faster? Is my diet gluten-free? Or low carb? Or low fat? Or low gylcemic? Or clean? Or raw? Or anti sugar? Or anti grain? Or anti wheat? Or whatever the hell else?
My diet is nothing, and there isn’t an official universal term that describes it… other than maybe… I dunno… sane.
Another slightly less condescending choice might be “ideal for me.”
There are no silly extremes. No unproven nonsense. No pseudoscientific bullshit. No unneeded restrictions. No forced biases. No pointless methods. No unnecessary aspects. No blind acceptance. No laughable belief systems.
There is no anything other than the things that truly need to be there… put there in whatever way best suits my personal needs and goals… and is most preferable, enjoyable, convenient and sustainable (PECS!) for me as possible.
Or, to put that another way, my diet revolves strictly around doing A) what actually needs to be done, and B) what I actually want to be doing to meet those needs. Nothing more, nothing less.
If your diet doesn’t, you’re doing it wrong.