Grub For Grafters
There’s no denying that most jobs have become less active, which has definitely had a knock-on effect to the average body fat levels of people in the UK.
However low activity levels alone are not the problem and it is of course possible to be very active and still overweight.
Setting up your diet should be done using your body weight and your energy utilisation if it is to be effective rather than using a arbitrary calorie intake number.
When dieting, your progress on the scales and how you look can be a motivator however feelings of low mood, low energy and hunger are the most likely culprits to ruin a diet.
In setting up your diet we want to show measurable progress whilst preventing all the things that may throw you off course.
The key to any diet is creating a gap between the amount of calories you take in and the amount you burn off but the point at which this deficit occurs is just higher in grafters and active people.
Know your energy requirements
The first place to start is to establish your calorie goal and this HAS to account for your increased energy demands from work.
Rather than reiterate a topic which has been done before here’s a link explaining the process of calculating your energy requirements. It includes the various different equations and the calculators for them.
You may have read my recent posts about meal frequency or breakfast skipping and think why not head straight out to work fasted or on a cup of coffee. My experience has shown that grafters tend to struggle to find good quality food (lean protein sources and veggies particularly) when on site or between jobs.
Getting good food in at home can be easier.
Opt for something that will keep you full up, that means including some protein and if possible a little fibre. You can also slow gastric emptying by adding some fats which can also help to reduce hunger.
Here’s a few good options:
- 2 scoops vanilla whey with semi skimmed milk, a small handful of berries and a teaspoon of ground flax seed.
- Red pepper omelette with 2-3 eggs.
- Greek yogurt, 1 scoop chocolate whey, 3-4 tbsp sugar free muesli (Stir it all up and you just made your first Spencer Davey Whey Protein crunch…I invent things).
“Lunchover” food or create one handed food
More often than not, coaching people in the UK, eating a good evening meal tends to be the easiest to get right.
Make things easy on yourself and make a double portion each evening so you can “lunchover” the rest.
There will be those days where you have no chance of getting to sit down for lunch and things need to be eaten one handed. It’s not ideal but it does happen.
Prep a wrap. Chopping up a piece of deli meat and some salad veggies takes seconds… really.
If you had no time to prep anything you just need to do the best with what is available. Instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater, could you choose the best possible sandwich? Could you have some nuts or a piece of fruit instead of the bag of crisps and that brownie?
Stop drinking sugar
This might be stereotyping here, using the expression “builders tea” but a few sugars in your teas and coffees add up.
Lets say you have 3 sugars in teas and coffees and you have 5 cups per day you are adding close to 300 cals for no real pay off. Do yourself a favour and slowly reduce this to none, you can eat more food that will fuel you much better.
People who work manually for a living need to be fit and well fuelled, their body is their most important tool and one they need to maintain in good order. They should have a similar (although completely different attitude to their body as athletes).
How many grafters do you know who see their body and health as a valuable asset?
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