You’ve asked, and I’ve answered! A lot of people seem to be curious about my diet, so here are the answers to what seem to be your most frequently asked questions. I just want to make it very clear that any info provided in this post is NOT a recommendation, or a suggestion. I am not a dietitian or a nutritionist, so I do not give nutrition advice, I will not tell you what to eat or how much to eat, and I will never tell you what is best for your body. These are simply answers to the questions that I get asked frequently. This is strictly information about MY diet and MY lifestyle, and not something that I am suggesting anyone emulate, as everyone’s body is different. What works for me, might not work for you, so keep in mind that it is always best to: A) Experiment in order to find out what works best for YOUR body + YOUR goals. B) Consult a certified trainer, nutritionist, or coach if there are things that you are uncertain about.
QUESTION: Are you on a diet?
No, I am not on a diet. I do not follow Atkins, Weight Watchers, Whole30, South Beach, or any specific diet.
QUESTION: Do you have any dietary restrictions?
I am a Vegetarian, so I do not eat any meat or fish. I also do not eat eggs. These dietary restrictions are unrelated to weight loss, and are simply personal choices. There are no other foods that I “restrict.”
Question: Do you eat in a calorie deficit?
As my goal is no longer weight loss, I do not eat in a calorie deficit. At the very beginning of my weight loss journey, I did eat in a deficit, as I had over 60 pounds to lose, however I never drastically cut calories.
Question: Do you count calories? How many do you eat in a day?
No. I do not count calories or macronutrients. Because I do not track calories, I don’t know exactly how many I eat in a day, but based upon the foods that I typically eat, I would estimate that I eat between 1800 and 2000 calories a day.
Question: Do you eat carbs? If so, how many?
Yes. My “diet” is High Carb Moderate Fat. This simply means that the majority of my daily calories come from Carbohydrates, and the remaining calories come from Fat and Protein. Again, because I do not count macronutrients, I don’t know how many carbs I consume a day. But based upon the foods that I eat, I imagine typically eat around 200 grams of carbs a day, but some days (depending on my training) I eat closer to 250 – 300 grams.
Question: Do you eat fat in your diet?
Yes. Because I do not eat meat, eggs, or most dairy products, my diet is naturally lower in fat (not low fat, but moderate fat.) However, I do eat fats in the form of nuts, meat-free alternatives, and dairy.
Question: Do you follow a meal plan?
No. While I do have a tendency to eat the same foods a lot of the time, I do not follow a meal plan.
Question: Do you meal prep?
No. While I can absolutely appreciate the convenience of having daily/weekly meals prepped and ready to go, I would rather die than eat broccoli and chicken out of a Tupperware container every single day.
Question: What kind of foods do you eat?
Fruit, vegetables, Greek yogurt, meat-free alternatives (I mention specific products two questions below this one), protein and/or granola bars, brown rice, almond/cashew milk, veggie burgers, smoothies, cold-pressed juices. There are of course MANY other things that I eat, but these are things that I eat regularly.
Question: Do you have “cheat” meals?
Yes, absolutely. While I try not to look at any food choices as “cheating”, I do have treats or as some would refer to as “cheat meals.” I typically have a cheat day weekly or bi-weekly, and allow myself treats during the week in moderation.
Question: Are there “bad” foods that you avoid at all costs?
I do not label foods as “good” or “bad.” I look at foods as “foods that I have all of the time”, and “foods that I have in moderation.” There are no foods that I avoid at all costs. I still eat pizza, chocolate, candy, chips, and all of the foods that you would be prone to label as “bad.” Do I have them everyday? No, I eat them in moderation. Personally, if I am overly restrictive with my diet, I am more likely to “fall off the wagon”, so I prefer to have balance.
Question: Do you drink alcohol?
I very rarely drink alcohol. I do have the occasional glass of wine with dinner, and I do go out to bars maybe a handful of times a year. My decision to limit my alcohol intake is not related to weight loss. As someone with Depression, alcohol negatively affects my depression (alcohol is classified as a depressant), and I feel much better when I avoid it.
Question: If you don’t eat meat, where does your protein come from?
It is surprisingly easy to still eat a lot of protein as a Vegetarian, as there are so many Meat-Free options nowadays. Veggie Burgers, Veggie “Chicken” Nuggets and “Veggie Beef” (“Yves” and “Gardein” are my favourite brands for meat alternatives – not sponsored by them – just products that I love and eat daily) are high-protein foods that I eat in place of real meat. Greek yogurt, protein shakes + protein bars are also high-protein staples in my diet.
Question: You’ve said before that you follow “Intuitive Eating.” What does that mean?
Simply put, Intuitive Eating is eating when you are hungry and eating until you are full. It does not involve calorie counting or macro tracking. It’s focus is on learning to recognize physical signs of hunger and satiety, and to dissolve the emotional response that we may have to food. You can read more about this at intuitiveeating.org
Question: Do you use protein powders?
Yes. I use both Whey and Plant-Based protein powders. What’s the difference? Whey protein is made with dairy, plant-based protein is derived from peas, hemp seeds, and other plants. (Tip: If you struggle with bloating or digestive upset when consuming whey powder, try a plant-based powder, it has a general tendency to be easier on the digestive system.)
Question: Do you use any fat burners or supplements?
No. I do not, nor have I ever used any fat burners, weight loss pills, products, or supplements. The only “supplement” that I use is protein powder.
Question: Do you train fasted or do you eat before you workout?
I rarely ever train fasted, but a couple times a month I will do fasted cardio. I never lift weights fasted, I always eat 1 to 1.5 hours before my workout. Some people prefer to train fasted, I do not.
Question: Do you take a pre-workout?
No, I do not use pre-workout, I have a coffee before my workout.
And there ya have it folks. There are the answers to the questions you seem to ask the most often. Just remember that I’m human, I have days where my diet is nutrient rich, and I have days where I eat pizza and Tootsie Rolls. Some weeks and months are better than others, and some are an absolute disaster. I call it reality.