“Good food is very often, even most often, simple food.” ~A.Bourdain
Once you condition your body and mind to crave simple and nutrient dense wholefoods, you will always feel satiated, without the urge to overeat. And once you learn how to prep your meals in a way that moves you in the direction of your fitness goals, life really does become simpler.
If your meals get too complicated, or if they’re too easy in the form of pre-packaged processed foods — in either case they become hard to sustain and will generally won’t support your goals.
When getting down to prepping your meals, just focus on these bear necessities:
1. Quality protein:
Whether you’re plant- or animal-based, ensure you’re getting at least 0.8g of protein/pound OR 1.76g of protein/kg of body weight. I generally prefer leaner sources for chicken or beef and fatty sources for fish like salmon or tuna. Vegan protein sources are naturally low in fat anyways.
2. Non-starchy carbs:
These should include all the green, leafy, cruciferous veggies you can stomach. These are low-calorie, high-volume, nutrient dense foods. They have a ton of fiber and should be a part of every meal.
3. Healthy fats:
These are essential for your hormonal and nervous systems. But be careful not to have too much as they are low-volume, calorie-dense — easily adding to your calorie count. Broadly, they’re in 2 forms — poly unsaturated like olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocado — and saturated ones like egg yolks, butter, ghee, and coconut oil.
4. Starchy carbs:
These are good for you, but in quantities justified by your activity levels. Sweet potatoes, rice, potatoes, etc. help with hormones, training, recovery, and sleep.
Ideally, have them through the week, but limit their intake and have whole fruits while avoiding juices.