“What do you eat?”
Those are the 4 words that make up the question that I get asked most frequently. I gathered up some of my favorite fitness friends that all have amazing physiques and asked them that very question: What do you eat? The answers below are awesome because they vary so wildly, which further concretes the statement that: Every BODY is different! Intermittent fasting, carb backloading, or mini meals… gluten, no gluten… dairy, no dairy… meat eater or vegetarian, you’ll find it all below! There are numerous different approaches to take and these friends have found what is right for them and have made it their lifestyle. One common theme amongst these smokin’ hot bodies is the prevalence of whole, unprocessed foods in their diet and the freedom to let loose and enjoy a bit!
I usually eat 5-6 times a day, each meal spaced about 3 hours apart. I try to stay away from snack foods and eat “mini meals” instead, most of which consist of 20-30 grams of protein, a healthy carb source, and fats. While I’m not on a low carb diet, I do watch my carbs and take them out of my last 2-3 meals of the day and keep carbs lower on rest days. On training days, I consume most of my carbs earlier in the day around the time that I train. I don’t currently weigh/measure my food or count calories, and I am somewhat mindful of my macros but don’t track them unless I’m wanting to lean out some. I try to eat mostly natural, non-processed foods, but I’m not obsessive about it. My diet consists mostly of whey protein, almond milk, eggs, Ezekiel bread, lean beef, lean turkey, chicken breast, tuna, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, oats, quinoa, apples, almond and peanut butter, salsa, rice cakes, romaine lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower. My goal is to build more muscle, so I usually have 2-3 protein shakes a day for the extra calories and convenience. I allow myself small treats throughout the week if I want them, but I look forward to my one planned “cheat/treat” meal per week where I eat anything my heart desires!
**Jen’s note: Lindsay’s blog is really fun to read because she is trying to gain weight and often includes scripture and gorgeous pics from her day!
James Comas (my brother!)
I eat small portions usually every 2 hours throughout the day, all the way up until bedtime.
I try and focus on eating a protein with every meal, and usually a very small carb source either fruit, sweet potato, oats or quinoa. The staple that holds my diet together is my protein shakes. I drink one every morning for breakfast and whenever I’m in a hurry (whey, 1/2 cup oats, half banana, cinnamon, natural peanut butter, ice and water.). I don’t EVER eat fast food, fried food, or bread and I eat very little dairy. I try and avoid stuff with sugar, and try to eat all natural – fruit, veggies, nuts, berries, and meat.
**Jen’s note: James is an incredible athlete – a competitive downhill mountain bike racer, motorcross rider, and all around dare devil.
After years of struggling to find an “off switch” for my eating, I have found the perfect system that works for me! Intermittent Fasting has allowed me to keep my total calories under control, without making feeling controlled or restricted. I now have the flexibility in my diet to let me continue to eat the things I love by simply limiting the eating window to 4-8 hours per day. From around lunch time (2-3pm), I graze on some of my favourite things; like eggs, ham, rice cakes, coconut oil and nut butter, then come evening time ( about 8pm) I feast on a large protein-based meal with some root veggies and greens. After this, I often allow myself a glass of red wine and some chocolate. I no longer care about pre/post workout feeding, because I get my replenishment (in all essential macros and nutrients) at some point in any given 24 hours.
In terms of my training performance, leanness and happiness, this syst
em ticks all the boxes for me!
I eat 3 solid meals per day, first meal is anywhere between 5:30 and 6 am and my last being around 7 or 8pm depending what time I’m done at the studio. My meals are always a good blend of protein, carbs and fats, and I usually log most of my meals on My Fitness pal, so I can see what I’m actually putting in my body! I generally get around 50% Carbs 30% Protein and 20% Fats, although I do increase my carbs the days before I do long runs! For the most part I eat the same thing everyday, consisting of chicken breast, turkey burgers, a lot of veggies and yogurt, and I do add in Couscous, and whole wheat or Multi-grain breads, but cut them out in the evening! I do over indulge in peanut butter and avocados for most of my fats, but I DON’T add in any Protein powder supplements in my diet , which means most of my protein comes from what I eat and yogurts! I give in to Sushi on Saturdays, it’s really my way to sane!
**Jen’s note: Palani is an incredible trainer in the San Diego area if you are looking for one!
After years of strict “on” and “off” dieting for competitions, over the last 3 years I have found a more balanced approach, where nothing is off-limits but I am still fairly disciplined. I eat 4 times a day between the hours of 10am and 7pm. I have a bigger appetite so I enjoy larger meals. To satiate, I maintain a higher fat diet from healthy sources like avocado, nuts, coconut & egg yolks and lower in carbs. In fact, I do about 50g of starchy carbs per day, and a single balls-out cheat every Sunday night–Reeses Pieces
I use “preemptive cheats” throughout the week to stay on track so I never feel overly deprived–things that satisfy like breakfast meats, sugar-free frozen yogurt, a sprinkle of cheese & 85% dark chocolate. I eat the same way year-round and maintain the same leanness (around 16%), in maintenance mode.
JillFit.com@JillFit **Jen’s note: Jill is one of my favorite people to follow on Twitter. She consistently puts out high quality and informative Tweets on nutrition & fitness!
Im pretty structured with my eating patterns. I rarely change times of eating or types of foods. Instead of eating a certain number of meals, i prefer just eating every 2 hours. This helps keep my size and lower body fat percentages. Staple foods of my diet are cottage cheese, raw almonds, avocado, egg whites, and of course chicken breast. I will usually throw in about 2 protein shakes a day pre and post workouts. Im a big stickler about the 1.5 grams of protein per lb of lean body mass concept. You will always find a gallon of water with me every where i go. I refrain from all white flour and processed sugar products as well as gluten. My carbohydrate sources are either 100% whole grains or fruits and vegetables.Nate’s Twitter: @NateTeamShredJen’s note: Nate is a very talented photographer in the L.A. area!
Over the years I have found what works for me when it comes to nutrition. It may be unconventional, but, for me, it’s super flexible, simple, and stress free and allows me to accomplish my goals. I like intermittent fasting and typically fast about 18 hours each day. This is easy for me because I don’t get hungry until the afternoon, and I don’t like training with any food in my stomach. I usually train around 12:30 and eat my first meal about 2pm; that meal is packed with protein. Then I consume my main meal (which is quite large) around 6-7pm. That meals consists primarily of protein and veggies, and I usually eat some fruit and maybe nut butter after. About twice per week I’ll also enjoy 90% chocolate or other dessert. Other than that, I focus on eating high quality, natural foods.
Kyla Faye Dickerson
I eat 5 small meals a day usually. I always fit protein in every meal. Most of my carbohydrates are consumed in the morning and right after a hard lift and/or cardio exercise. So usually protein pancakes or Ezekiel bread. I avoid sugar completely except for my one cheat day a week:) Then I go for the dark chocolate! I stay away from flour at all costs, especially white flour products. I try to pack my meals with lots of veggies and proteins mostly…carbs are yams and brown rice or quinoa. I do love my occasional Think Thin protein bar though, and organic crunchy, unsalted peanut butter is my favorite thing ever!
**Jen’s note: On top of being gorgeous, Kyla has ran in the Boston marathon a couple of times!
I eat about 4-5 meals a day with protein at every meal, carbs earlier in the day around my workouts, and lots of healthy fats later in the day. I eat more carbs on days I work out and less on days I don’t. The biggest thing for me is just basing my diet around healthy foods that I enjoy so I don’t feel deprived and it’s not that hard to follow.
** Jen’s note: Ben is also single handedly responsible for Chipotle staying in business.
My eating is always changing, so I just go with the flow. Here is what it looks like now:
I wake up around 5:30 AM to begin working and am usually ravenous by 7 AM. I make a green smoothie
, and enjoy that with a cup off coffee (full fat cream). I then have 3 whole eggs scrambled in 1 tsp organic grass-fed butter, with sauteed veggies and hot sauce. That holds me over until 2 PM when I have a small meal– normally 3 oz. meat, poulty, or fish with a piece of fruit or veggies with a fat like almond butter or avocado. I eat again around 6 PM, and that consists of 4-5 oz. of beef, bison, goat, poultry, or fish, 1 cup fresh veggies or salad, and sometimes a starch or fat like avocado. A couple times a week I enjoy a glass of wine, a small sweet, or something delicious. If I get hungry during the day I will have a tbsp of nut butter to hold me over.
I follow a daily Intermittent Fasting protocol that alternates fasting and feeding windows, with the average fasting period lasting 20 hours. I typically break my fast between 4-7 pm and eat a large meal, sometimes two, consisting of primarily meat, veggies and avocados. I don’t consume any grains (except on the rare occasion that some extraordinarily delicious, fresh baked bread has enticed me) and I eat cheese from grass fed cows and organic greek yogurt in very limited quantities. My favorite “cheats” are Steve’s Original paleo krunch bars, Lara bars, red wine and dark chocolate covered pretzels. These are things that don’t directly support my physique goals, but are not detrimental enough to undermine them either. Oh yeah, and I eat a lot of bacon.
Most days I am up at 4:30am so I love me an energizing green smoothie to start the day. This is a shake that always has coconut oil, almond milk, spinach and Vega vegetarian protein powder, I love it because its gluten and dairy free. Each meal there after consists of a protein and a variety of vegetables cooked in a healthy fat. Making sure I consume darker meat, salmon or eggs in my last meal ensures I’ll be satiated. Post workout is when I consume carbohydrates and lately this means sweet potato, pumpkin or a fruit. I have found my body and mind to operate best with minimal carbohydrates. I drink a ton of water and LOVE my coffeeJ Sunday’s are the day I am guaranteed to get my yoga in so I typically fast until the afternoon. I feel rejuvenated when I give my digestive system its weekly break. I definitely have a sweet tooth…when I indulge its always a WHEAT FREE CHEAT, anything with dark chocolate and almond butter makes me happiest!
I start my day with coffee and heavy cream (training day) or coffee and coconut oil (non-training day). Lunch follows around 11:30ish and typically consists of protein, fat and veggies. My favorites are grass fed burger patties w/ toppings and a romaine bun, big salad with chicken, veggies and avocado for fat, or eggs scrambled with cheese, tomatoes, onions and a side of bacon – of course!! I have steered clear of carbs during the day as I feel less fatigued and less bloated without them (and it hasn’t affected my training one bit). My carbohydrates all get pushed back to the evening which sets me up for prime training sessions the next day AND allows me to enjoy “normal” dinners, desserts and functions with my family. My main carb sources are sweet potatoes, rice, and more sweet potatoes!
And ice cream of course. I don’t count macros, except I do try to keep protein and fat almost equal throughout the day.
Being a vegetarian for about a year now, I have never felt better with the changes in my diet. This was due to guidance from my urologist regarding the recurrence of kidney stones. This was actually an easy transition as I phased out red meat before this recommendation. I have been using myself as an experiment as I am doing my first bikini competition in August. I have also increased the amount of soy in my diet due to amenorrhea and not a single doctor being able to figure out why, except the amount of exercise. Needless to say, the increased consumption of soy has worked!
Staples in my diet are currently: Soy Flour, Flaxseeds, Chia Seeds, Ultimate Nutrition Protein Isolate, Greek Yogurt (Fage), Kroger CarbMaster Yogurt, Eggs (Whole/Whites), Variety of Vegetables, Soy Nuts, Unsalted Peanut Butter, Variety of Ingredients to Flavor Meals: Salt-Free Seasonings, Organic Cocoa, Flavored Extracts, Olive Oil Mayonnaise, Stevia, Cinnamon, Etc. I am a rare creature that can eat the same thing day in and day out. I plan what I am eating the entire day as it takes the guess work out of the diet. I eat about 5-6 small meals per day. I also manage the macronutrients (carbs, fats and proteins) and am able to tweak them when needed. I use My Fitness Pal every single day! Currently I am aiming for 30% carbs, 30% fats and 40% protein. I allow myself one cheat meal on Saturday evenings and then get right back on my clean eating Sunday morning. What I eat day in and day out feels like “cheating” to me. I have found what works FOR ME, as every body’s body is different.
I have tried every nutrition program under the sun from low-fat to low-carb to 6 meals a day to an intermittent fasting Modified Warrior nutrition protocol, and I have had good results with all of them for at least some period of time. That’s the thing…almost any nutrition protocol where you are reducing calories and/or a major macronutrient group will work for at least some period of time. Currently I am trying to lean out a bit and I am fasting for about 12 hours each day, and over the next 12 hours I am consuming 3-4 meals. 6 1/2 days a week I am eating extremely low carb (less than 30 grams a day) and I am eating lots of meats, veggies, and fats. On the 7th day I have an 8-hour re-carb, where I consume several hundred grams of carbohydrates (and protein as well). These carbs range from fruit and sweet potatoes to candy and ice cream depending on my mood. If I were looking to maintain instead of lean out, I would probably eat low-carb all of the time except post workout, where I would consume 100-200 carbs.
I avoid gluten 100% of the time no matter what because I have autoimmune disease, and their is a strong gluten/autoimmune connection. Most of the dairy I eat is raw and local (unless it’s Haagen Dazs of course). I do about 80% of my grocery shopping from my local Good Foods Co-op, which sources as much food as possible from surrounding farms. I like supporting local farmers and the food tastes amazing!
Jen’s note: Molly and her partners have an e-book coming out soon on the Modified Warrior Diet protocol!
I have followed a Nutrition Prescription from Carter Schoffer (Body Transformation
/ Precision Nutrition) since April 2010. Over time, we have experimented with slight tweaks in approach, but the general theme remains the same: Typically, 3-4 meals per day (sometimes more, sometimes less). My meals consist of a lean protein source, a substantial amount of vegetables (both green and colored with each meal) and either a serving of healthy fat, fruit or starch. If I have a scheduled training day (strength training), my meals include fruit and starch. Usually, starch in my post-strength training meal. If I do not strength train on a given day, I generally do not have fruit or starch in my meals for the day. (so just fat, veg and lean protein). I typically fast upon rising for 4-6 hours and then begin my meals for the day. I also fast for 8 hours on Sunday, then begin my meals for the day. I do not count calories or macros. I work with food groups, serving sizes / food weight. If I’m taking a more flex approach with my meal plan, I operate with a 10% cheat rule. If I’m working towards a photo shoot or a serious physique goal, I operate with 100% compliance. Maybe a re-feed day every 10-14 days (which ups my intake but stays within the food groups of quality healthy fat, fruit, veg, starch and lean protein — just no limit to servings). My treats of choice… red wine and baked goods!
Michael Keck – my husband
In 2009 I came across the Warrior Diet by Ori Hofmekler. The late Wesley Silveira, a very well respected trainer and nutritionist, was experimenting with some modifications to the Warrior Diet to make it more friendly to the physique and strength athlete and I jumped in with the experimentation. I’ve been hooked ever since. The approach consists of eating two or three very small meals during the day of protein, healthy fats and low glycemic carbs, often times never exceeding 300 calories per meal and then “feasting” at night or post workout. The feast is where you take in the majority of the days calories. Food selection is typically whole unprocessed foods like free range eggs, grass fed beef, bison, apples, oranges, berries, coconut and olive oil, nut butters, chicken, salmon and the occasional treat to satisfy my sweet tooth. This style of eating has been extremely effective in terms of body composition AND excellent gym performance, not to mention it’s easy to implement into everyday life. This approach to nutrition is definitely long term for me! I’m currently weighing around 215lbs. A typical day for me looks like this. Wake at 6 am- throw down a cup of coffee and head out for a walk around 7 am. 10 am- Consume the first of two small meals, typically a 25g protein shake with 1tbsp peanut butter or olive oil. 1 pm- repeat the meal at 10 a.m. During training, around 5:30pm, I’ll consume another 25g of protein. Post training is time to eat! 7:30- pm till 10pm: 16oz lean meat, various veggies, 1 piece fruit, 6oz sweet potato, 2tbsp peanut butter, 1tbsp olive oil, 1tbsp coconut oil, 75-100g protein shake.
On non weight training days I’ll reduce the carb intake and everything else stays the same.
Jen Comas Keck (Hey, that’s me!)
At first I wasn’t sure if I should include myself or not, but decided to just because so many people ask what I eat.
Like Alli above, I’ve been under the nutrition guidance of Carter Schoffer of Body Transformation since September 2011. I have two weeks off from the gym right now so my nutrition looks a little different than usual.
I’m currently eating about 2-3 times per day, with my first meal around 11:30am or noon, and my last meal being around 7:30pm. I don’t track calories or macros, but instead I eat by serving sizes. My meals always have a source of protein along with either a fat or a carb/fruit depending on my training schedule, although I feel better on fewer carbs so I’m quite low carb overall. I eat a wide variety of foods and a ton of veggies with every single meal to ensure I’m getting as many nutrients as possible – favorites are kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, zucchini, colored peppers, tomatoes and carrots. Staples in my diet for protein are grass-fed beef, bison, free-range chicken and eggs, and wild caught salmon. My carbs of choice are butternut squash, beans, sweet potato, berries, or an occasional apple. My fats come from avocado, nut butters, olive oil and coconut oil. My vice is Kind bars (Carter knows this all too well) and depending on how lax I’m being I might have one or two (or 4! Eek!) per week, along with some 85% dark chocolate and/or an Off-Plan meal of my choice on the weekends. I’m quite gluten sensitive and don’t eat gluten – no exceptions- not even in Off-Plan meals.
I typically fast all day on Sundays and don’t consume any food at all until around 4pm. I rarely eat grains – maybe some rice once in a blue moon, but mostly because I’m not a huge fan of carbs. My only dairy comes in the form of my beloved chocolate, the occasional bit of greek yogurt if I’m feeling crazy, or frozen yogurt, which I LOVE! 😉
A lot of variation, isn’t there? I got such a huge kick out of learning what everybody does and how they all differ.
Did anybody stand out to you?
Do you really relate with one person’s approach?
How does your approach differ?
Lets chat! Drop me a line below!
If you liked this post, you’ll love Tick, Tock: The Fat Loss Clock and I’m Not Doing My Best.