What I Eat

Because of the weight I’ve lost and then I shared last week in my burnout series that certain foods help or hurt you when it comes to fatigue, I often get questions about what I eat.

A few disclaimers before I share what I eat. One, I am not a certified anything when it comes to nutrition or exercise. I’m simply a guy who lost a bunch of weight, kept it off and strive to continue to live healthy. So my knowledge is simply from what I’ve read or talked with actual experts. Two, whatever diet or eating plan you choose, you need to stick with it and do what they tell you to do. I meet a lot of people who do Paleo, weight watchers, nutrisystem. Whatever you choose, do it, eat it, don’t veer from it. You won’t see the results it promises if you don’t stick to it. Third, not every plan works for every person. I believe there is something to the reality that each of our body’s respond differently to different foods. While most nutritional laws are universal, some might not be. I haven’t read much about “Eating for your blood type” but have friends who swear by it and there could be something to that.

One of the things that guided me when it comes to what I eat is that I want to have an eating plan I can do for the rest of my life. I also like food and want to eat good food. I have a friend who juices his breakfast and lunch and eats a salad for dinner, everyday. If pushed on it, I think I’d rather be 300 pounds again than eat that everyday. I want to grill out with friends, go eat at someone’s house, eat out with Katie or have a meeting with someone. I want to enjoy Starbucks (kind of a vice) and some dessert and not feel bad about it.

Here are the principles I’ve used:

  • Eat a lot of protein, fruits and vegetables. Lots.
  • Drink at least 100 ounces of water a day.
  • No soda.
  • Very little bread, carbs or grains.
  • Dessert once or twice a week. Max.
  • Two cups of coffee a day. That’s it.
  • When eating out, always know what you are going to order before arriving at a restaurant. It saves you faltering when you get there and see the really good 3,000 calorie plates on the menu.
  • No more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day. This is a good rule of them anyway.
  • Eat every 3 hours, snacks count.
  • Make a plan. If you know what you are going to eat each day for the next 7 days, you have a better chance of eating healthy. Last minute meals often are very bad for you.
  • Cheat once a week. Sunday is my cheat day. I don’t worry about what I eat, I eat what I want and I don’t feel guilty about it.
  • If you are counting calories (and I did when I started losing weight), pick your ideal weight and add a zero to that number. Whatever that number is is the number of calories you should eat in a day. If your goal weight is 180, eat 1800 calories.
What I eat:
  • Breakfast is always 4 – 5 eggs. Getting that much protein first thing in the morning is crucial to the rest of the day.
  • Snacks: 3 pieces of string cheese, banana and peanut butter, protein shake (we make these at home), Greek yogurt (Katie makes this and then take it with us), protein bar (I prefer the clif builder bars).
  • Lunch: Salad with spinach leafs, lots of veggies, 6 oz. of chicken and olive oil for dressing. No croutons.
  • Dinner: Meat with lots of veggies. Very little carbs. I read somewhere that you shouldn’t eat carbs for dinner, period. Don’t always stick to that but at least try. We get a lot of our meal ideas at this blog.
What about eating out? Here are a few ideas of some places I frequent and what I get:
  • In n Out: Cheeseburger protein style no sauce, eat half the fries.
  • Chipotle: Chicken burrito bowl, light on the sour cream.
  • Subway: Spinach & Chicken salad.
  • Starbucks: Nonfat Caramel Macchiato.
While not perfect, this is what I do and how I eat to stay in shape, while leading a growing church and a growing family.
What works for you? If you are eating healthy, what are some tips you’d share with the rest of us?

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