Do you have a difficult time balancing a social life with your desire to get lean? Do you struggle with making healthy decisions when out with friends or family? Do you sometimes find yourself avoiding restaurants and bars, afraid of the temptation to eat and drink indulgent food? If you answered yes to any or all of these, I feel ya bruh.
Like many of us, I grew up programmed to believe that eating out too often is expensive and unhealthy. My passion is to make the general population happier, more productive, and less stressed by teaching people how to get lean without ditching restaurants, bars, and an active social life. Basically, to help you have your cake and eat it too.
The Diet Dilemma
However, when it comes to fat loss nutrition, most people seem to experience the opposite feelings: stress and unhappiness. When people decide it’s time to get lean, they defeat themselves before the boredom of traditional dieting even begins because of reading countless blogs entitled “10 Diet Rules You Must Follow To Get Ripped.” Have you heard or can you relate to any of the following statements?:
“Sorry co-workers, my trainer tell me I will get fat and die if I eat out at restaurants.”
“I mean, at least the diet is simple. I only have to eat chicken and broccoli for every meal, and I get jacked… it’s only eight weeks right?!”
“Honey, I can’t eat chocolate on Wednesday movie night anymore. Will you still love me if we can only snack on uncooked green beans?”
“Sorry college friends at Vegas bachelor party, I can’t drink alcohol for the next year because I want to look like DJ Pauly D.”
“I know it’s rude to bring my tupperware food at Thanksgiving Mom, but it’s the only way I can get fit!”
“Ladies, of course, I totes wanna brunch on Sunday but… I have to meal prep for 5 hours to get ready for next week.”
Slight exaggeration on a few? Maybe. Point being: Most people envision eating to get lean as a complicated process of rules that must all be followed perfectly to achieve success. Some of those rules you may have heard of include:
● No more eating out
● Give up alcohol
● Eat chicken and broccoli with no spices or seasonings
● Cut out sugar
● Hibernate in your apartment to avoid social temptation
● Spend all weekend prepping food for the week
The Boring Meal Rule
I hate following traditional rules. Especially rules that make life less awesome. So I decided to create a new one to help people enjoy fat loss nutrition and their social life: The Boring Meal Rule. The annoying meal rule isn’t so much a rule as it is a mindset.
A “boring meal” doesn’t refer to the taste of the food, it relates to the environment in which the meal is eaten. Boring meal situation examples include:
● 20-minute breakfast by yourself before work
● A quick office lunch at your desk
● Tuesday night dinner at home alone while your significant other is traveling
● Post workout snack on the drive home
● Early dinner before catching a flight to a conference
What do all these meals have in common? You are by yourself and are only eating to fuel your body so you can continue with your day. They are boring. Mindless. So why eat unhealthy food? It just makes eating healthy in social settings even harder.
How to Make It Easier
Most people eat a majority of their meals alone. This creates a tremendous opportunity to make sure you are eating properly when you are alone (during a “boring meal”) so you can ease up a bit when you are eating with people you love, home for the holidays, or celebrating important events.
I am super strict with my boring meals meaning I eat only lean meat, fish, oils, and veggies. I eat very little sugar and zero refined carbs (or processed food for that matter).
Approaching fat loss nutrition this way not only helps you get lean by eating nutrient-dense food most of the time, but it also helps you maintain your sanity and can be easily implemented into your existing lifestyle with a little extra awareness.
Like intermittent fasting, you are not cutting anything out or massively restricting calories. You are just changing when you choose to eat certain foods.
What are the Benefits?
Improved cognitive function: Ever heard the story about the sales executive who ate a whole pizza at lunch and then came back to the office ready to crush the phones and make tons of money for his company?
Yeah, I haven’t either. Eating processed, carb-rich food causes 2 pm desk naps and hour long bouts of zero productivity and motivation.
Eating foods high in protein and healthy fats (fish, oils, nuts) provides the brain with alertness, the energy needed to solve complex problems, and doesn’t cause the post-lunch crash. Eat healthy at work. Get shit was done. Make more money. Go home early. Booyah.
Less time thinking about food: Thinking about food is annoying. Wouldn’t you rather be focused on getting a promotion rather than Yelping the nearest hot dog stand?
The amount of time spent thinking about, ordering, grabbing, and eating food each day can be a huge waste of precious productivity.
By making a quick, nutrient-rich lunch in the morning, you spend less time thinking about food and more time staying focused.
A typical lunch for me is spinach, grilled salmon (usually from the night before), walnuts, apple slices, goat cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. Healthy fats. Protein. Deliciousness. Winning!
Enjoy eating with friends – First of all, the temptation to eat unhealthy food increases when you are out in public or at a party with others who are eating unhealthy food. Why fight it?
Control what you can control by eating strictly when alone (boring meals) and not stressing out if you indulge at a BBQ. Dude… it’s a BBQ. Do you want to live in a world where you can’t eat baby back ribs? I Don’t.
Enjoy eating at restaurants – Trying to eat healthy at restaurants is like fighting an uphill battle. You are already at a restaurant so it won’t be as healthy/predictable as cooking your food. Even the healthiest restaurant dishes are filled with butter, oil, and a list of other ingredients you are not aware of, making counting calories and macronutrients tough.
Again, control what you can control so you can eat food you like at a restaurant. Trying to eat “healthy” at restaurants is 1) impossible and 2) torture. God did not create 5-star steakhouses so people would buy house salads.
Fool your friends – By using the boring meal rule all of my friends are baffled that I am so lean because when I am around them, I eat burgers, wings, and other “indulgent” food. What they don’t see is the other 70% of the time when I am eating whole, unprocessed foods to fuel my body for optimal health, fat burning, and cognitive function.
Time with friends and family is meant to be enjoyed, not spent dissecting the cheese off your pizza during a Super Bowl party.
Get lean – Why were doing all of this again? Oh yeah, that’s right…to get lean and be happy 🙂 Although eating this way makes life much easier and enjoyable, it also works!
Having a six pack is much easier than most people think but it involves more awareness than you world normally give your eating habits. Staying lean happens because of awareness and efficiency not cutting out foods and exercising for 3 hours per day.
The Lean Version
Most meals are eaten alone or simply as quick fuel to continue with your day. These are boring meals because they don’t involve much fun or sharing the experience with friends/family.
Therefore, be strict with yourself during these meals so you can have a good time and not stress out the rest of the time. Additionally, eating this way will help you be more productive and energized so you can kick ass at your career and life in general.