This is an excerpt from The Fighter’s Diet

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They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but for me I suppose that’s my Pre-Breakfast. So let’s just call this what it is—another critical meal in The MMA Diet, because they are all, in fact, critical.

Before I go over what my breakfast typically consists of, I want to apprise you of two crucial nutritional concepts that come to mind when thinking about my preparation for this particular meal.

And those are…

Timing and Planning

Many of you including me don’t just sit around at home all day or have the freedom to do whatever you want, you have schedules and places you have to be at certain times.

The problem with that is it’s going to put a serious damper on The MMA Diet.

Why?

Because if you have a schedule—you can’t just pick up and leave to go get a meal in.

You see, you can’t say ”oh I’ll just wait til later to eat”. Let me repeat, you CANNOT say ”oh I’ll just wait til later to eat”.

We’ve gone to a lot of trouble to get our metabolism ramped up with our Pre-Breakfast so why would we let it slow back down?

Here’s the timing part:

Over the course of the day, depending on how long you sleep, we’re going to be getting in about 6 or 7 evenly spaced meals.

It’s paramount that you consume a a balanced meal or snack every three hours. We’re doing this to keep our blood sugar levels even, keep our muscles fed and ready to perform, and to give our body something to chew on because the digestive process itself burns calories. That’s why it’s better to eat 6 small to medium sized meals than 2 or 3 big one’s.

Now I know you’re saying it’s impossible to pull off that kind of timing, I got shit to do.

Yea I know, so do I, and so does everybody else. But if you want a lean muscular physique and if you want to make your weight class easily and with more gas left in the tank than the other guy, then this is what you HAVE to do.

You really got to want it at first. Because at first, even I said to myself I’m not willing to go the extra mile. But trust me once you get used to planning ahead it becomes habitual and you won’t even think about it.

This isn’t really a ”diet” per say, it’s more of a lifestyle change.

I’m kind of rambling here, but everything I’m telling you is in the attempt to convince you that the timing is so important that you’ll be willing to plan ahead for it.

What do I mean by planning?

If you have a schedule like most of us then you’ll have to bring meals with you. I know this is a pain in the ass, but it’s not so bad.

You’ll see these things throughout the pictures in this series, but you’re going to have to invest in items like:

  • Tupperware
  • Plastic utensils(I have a spork!)
  • A Protein Shaker Cup
  • Pill box
  • Protein bars
  • On the go meals
  • Water bottle
  • A backpack (to carry all this shit in)

There might be some other things I’m forgetting, but you get the idea. Whatever it takes to get the job done.

You might have to pre-prepare meals. Either the night before, or maybe you need to grill all your chicken for the week on a Sunday afternoon.

WHATEVER it takes.

If you have a flexible schedule where you can come and go as you please…then congratulations this will be way easier.

But for those of you who don’t have that…suck it up. Go ahead and look like an idiot to your co-workers because you carry around a lunch box, who cares?

Timing and planning guys. Timing and planning.

Ok. On to breakfast.

Breakfast of Champions

In this particular case, that saying might be true. Except I’d change it to Diet of Champions, but that doesn’t really have the same ring to it. If you want to be an elite athlete and have an elite physique, you have to have an elite diet. It takes discipline…more on that concept in another post.

Ok, so about an hour and half after I take care of Pre-Breakfast I’m already ready to consume my second meal of the day.

Confused?

Earlier I mentioned we should consume meals every three hours, why is this different?

Here’s a corollary to that theory (I feel like this follows the i before e thing except after c, but maybe that’s just me), you should always consume a meal every three hours EXCEPT after Pre-Breakfast and following a work out.

The reason why you do that is because we’re drinking protein and simple carbs at a time where those nutrients are going to be absorbed the quickest.

Whether your body’s in a catabolic state after a night of fasting or it’s broken down and in need of serious repair post workout, it’s going to mow through nutrients faster than Edwin Valero did his first 20 opponents (there’s an obscure boxing reference for you).

Especially if you’re feeding it what I’m telling you to feed it.

Any other time you’d wait to eat, but in those two scenerios you don’t. It’s not an exact science on the timing either. I’ve eaten anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours after my shake depending upon how I feel. The longer you do this diet the more sensitive you’ll get to your body telling you it needs something.

So an hour and half after my Pre-Breakfast I’ll typically eat 4 eggs with hot sauce, two pieces of whole grain toast with smart balance butter, and a couple servings of fruit. Water to drink.

Depending on the day I might have to take it with me in some tupperware. Whatever it takes right?

I use the eggs for my protein, and the toast and fruit for my fibrous and complex carbs…that’s your energy right there.

I should eat just the egg whites to lower the cholesterol (so should you), but I don’t. You can buy egg whites in the carton or you can just separate the yoke from the white part before cooking them. I find the first option too expensive and the second too psycho. But I’ll probably change my tune.

Breakfast is usually pretty tasty, so the hot sauce is used just because I like it. For other meals though, it’s a savior. Like on my no-carb dinners. There are plenty of sauces and seasonings that don’t really affect the nutritional value of a meal and yet make the meal ten times better. So invest in some of those. Be careful though, read the label! The texas pete has a little too much sodium, but I’m ok with that just as long as its not close to fight time. Sodium will cause you to hold excess water.

Going off on a tangent #2...you see that I’m eating whole grain bread as one of my breakfast sides. Typically if you’re trying to cut down on bodyfat and/or weight you want to stay away from or severely limit your sugar (ill go over that later), bread, pasta, and dairy consumption. But if you’re going to consume them you should make sure they are in small portions, they are whole grain or at least whole wheat, and you consume them earlier in the day. As a general rule you should stay away from anything white. White rice, white bread, etc. If you eat them you might as well be eating a bowl of sugar. Because they digest too quickly and anything that isn’t immediately used by the body is stored as fat. Bad, bad, idea. The whole grain allows for a much steadier digestion. Pasta would be characterized as TOO slow of a digestion. Complex carbs are ok, but not the ones that take a century to digest.

If you’re going to use butter, use the brand Smart Balance. It’s the healthiest label I’ve seen on a butter. You should probably still go easy on it though.

The servings of fruit are important for several reasons. Fiber, vitamins, etc. Once again don’t go crazy on fruit either because it does contain sugar. The good thing is it’s fructose, not glucose (simple carb/sugar), so it at least has to pass through the liver before digesting. Think of fruit as a slightly slower digesting sugar with nutrient rich benefits.

There are other breakfast options, that’s just what I eat usually. You could go with oatmeal with berries and scoop of whey mixed in.

Kashi has some good cereals with a little protein in them.

Most of the breakfast meats aren’t that great for you (ham, bacon, sausage), but maybe there are some healthy substitutes for them out there. I’m not well read on turkey bacon, but I have heard of it. That may be an option for you to look into?

Since we’re covering options I should probably go over what kind of balance I’m trying to achieve for every meal so you can mix and match to your heart’s desire.

I’d imagine not everybody is going to have the same tastes as I do. But remember we’re not exactly eating for taste here…we’re eating for performance. We’re eating for a result.

I’ll cover that next. Holler at me in th comments if you have any questions.