Ah, nutrition. If only three hours of lifting weights would be enough to keep us sexy and fit.
First off, (and I learned this the hard way and thus can’t stress it enough): if you want to do those hard workouts, you need to eat for it. If you’re a diet adept and used to living on 1200kcal, you have some changes to make. It took a while, but I managed to get my metabolism up and can now eat a nice 2000kcal at maintenance. Right now i’ m eating for weightloss, though, so about 1600kcal on normal days, and 1800 on workout days.
I’ve tried a few high maintenance ways of eating (carb cycling, for example), but now I’ve relaxed a bit and try to just stick to a few base rules. They’ll be very familiar to you, I’m sure:
- Get about 1gram of protein per pound of bodyweight
- Get your 20grams of fiber (25 if you’re a guy)
- Don’t fear the (healthy) fats
- Eat clean, unprocessed foods.
- Avoid most grains, some starches (white potatos), sugar and sugar-substitutes
- Limit (but don’t avoid) fruits, and wholegrain products (whole wheat spaghetti, brown rice, etc.)
- Load up on vedgetables
- Count calories (once again, Fitday is your friend)
That’ll leave you with a diet that’s a bit higher in fat and protein and a bit lower in carbs (they work out to about 150-200 grams per day). Very workable, easy to keep up. There’s no need for refeeds or cheat meals, and if a piece of chocolate occasionally comes upon your path, it’s no disaster.
When I feel like having a not-so clean food (a steaming plate of risotto comes to mind), I make sure to have it after one of my after-work workouts, so i know the carbs go to the right place.
I really like to cook though, and will try out a new recipe for dinner two or three times a week. There’s no reason you can’t eat healthy*and* tasty food!
I’m also a big fan of Intermittent Fasting, in the leangains way, 16 hours of fasting, and an 8 hour eating window.