Written by Brandon Lilly
I get questions all the time about how a person can eat the way that I do, and ingest so much of it. I haven’t always eaten for performance, but once I made my mind up to be the best I could be, nutrition took a huge strep forward on my my list of “Ways to become a Champion”. Eating 4000-6000 calories a day isn’t that much of a challenge if you do so on fast food, and junk. But eating that many calories of clean, or relatively clean food can be a huge undertaking, and when you do it day in, and day out, for weeks on end, into months, and years you begin to look for any way possible to make the food more edible. Here are some fail proof tips I have believed in for a long time.
1. Prep Your Meals Ahead of Time
I take two days per week (Sunday, and Wednesday) to prepare 3 whole food meals, and two shakes per day, as I enjoy making my breakfast fresh each morning. This leaves me no excuse to cheat, and it also allows me to build my nutrition into my routine. I never have to go far for a meal. I don’t have to fight traffic, and I don’t end up wasting money on junk food, or fast food. It takes me 1.5 hours to cook for 4 days, its become such habit that I don’t even think about it.
2. Get a Rice Cooker
This may sound stupid, it may sound like the greatest idea you’ve ever heard but I can put 4 cups of dry rice in the cooker, with 8 cups of water, and in 20 minutes it’s done. It yields 8 cups of cooked rice, and it works with white rice, brown rice, or my personal favorite Thai Jasmine rice. Another trick you can do is add vegetables such as spinach, kale, or squash even, on top of the rice when its done cooking, and the residual steam will also steam your vegetables. Thoughtless, mindless cooking is best. It’s not like it’s going to burn, or scorch, so a rice cooker is a very versatile clean eating tool.
3. Help Your Stomach Digest Food
We all know that regardless of how much food we put into our stomachs, the only food that counts is what we can digest. I eat every 2.5 hours so if I have food lingering in my stomach I don’t want to eat my next meal. How can I speed this process up? I love steak, theres not much better tasting than a grilled steak, but it takes a long time to break down. I prefer to use ground sirloin, or ground bison. I will cook it, and just keep chopping it, and mashing it down until it becomes completely granulated. This is much easier to chew, and easier to get down. I also fork smash my sweet potatoes, and in the rice cooker I allow the rice to cook a few minutes extra, and it becomes like sticky rice. I then take the spatula and mash the rice down until it becomes almost like a paste. I stir in the beef/bison, rice, and I use Ortega Mild Taco Sauce (1 carb per serving), and you talk about a very tasty meal. It also goes down like baby food. Since I’ve started this process of mashing my foods to help me digest them better, my stomach issues have all but disappeared.
4. Get Easy Calories
I posted this earlier to Instagram, and got all kinds of ridiculous comments, but I’ll share it again. Why? Because it’s what I do. And. Most importantly, I know it works. I make all my shakes ahead of time so any air that develops in a shaker cup has time to dissipate, and that is much easier on my gut as well. The next “trick” I use, is I make a 150 gram protein shake, with 20-30 grams of fat from Natty Peanut Butter each night before bed. I set it on the dresser beside me, and when I get up to go to the restroom I drink half of it. So, while the rest of the lifters in the world are sleeping, and getting no nutrients, I get 800 calories from a shake. Now, the reaction I got on Instagram was “thats so much protein powder, it’s too expensive, it will hurt my stomach.” Well I told you how to help your stomach by letting the air settle. It is a fair amount of protein powder, but I’m also 315 lbs. If you’re 150 lbs. 75 grams will suffice, 200 lbs. then 100 grams. Being successful in this sport, or any strength sport is expensive. I am fortunate enough to be sponsored by a supplement company, and I am thankful for that, but guess what I was doing before I was sponsored… I was making a 150 gram protein shake that I sat by my bed, and drinking it just as I do now. No excuses, if you want to be the best you’ll find a way.
5. Shut Your Mouth… Then Open it to Eat
So many guys talk about how bad they want to get to the next level, and how they will do what it takes. Then eat. Eat some more, and then have dessert. You can make all the excuses: He takes drugs, he takes this supplement, he has these genetics, he’s got a better gym… Or you can realize if it was any one of those things you could correct it and get better. But it’s not one of those things, it’s food that supplies the engine. I’ve been in gyms with the best equipment, guys with great genetics, and access to any supplement they want and they don’t succeed. Why? Ever try to run a drag car without any fuel? It doesn’t matter what the engine is if you cant get it started. Same for the body. You can put all the pieces in place, but without proper fuel you are gonna get no where. If you really wanna be the best, you’ll dedicate to the one piece of metal that outworks the iron… The fork.