90% of the battle when dieting is making sure your kitchen is correctly stocked. Here’s our guide for the macro-conscious to automate your diet while minimising time, cost and mental RAM.

Dilemma…
 

I need dem macros, but I’m not a foodie. I don’t get any kind of perverted enjoyment from cooking and preparing meals.

I’m usually too busy studying and Propaning to be faffing about cooking complex meals. If you are a foodie, stop reading now, you’ll likely find this article horrifying.

Perhaps you’re like me. You need a hassle-free way to hit your macros. Laziness or business is no excuse to defer all dietary decisions to our friends Ben, Jerry and Captain Birds Eye.

The Captain is not your friend
The Captain is not your friend

The common bodybuilding doofus approach is to boil 40 chicken breasts and broccoli in one go, fill your fridge with tupperware, and eat exactly the same thing every day – with the added bonus of clogging the fridge and annoying your cohabitants.

 

While batching in this way is great for efficiency & consistency, it's BORING as hell and makes adherence unnecessarily dificult
While batching in this way is great for efficiency & consistency, it’s BORING as hell and makes adherence unnecessarily dificult

 

My approach has eliminated hassle and allowed me to cheaply automate my food intake while still enjoying variety.

The parameters for stocking your kitchen are:

– Budget
– Time
– Food preferences
– Desire for variety
 

Steps

1) Classify your food intake into perishable and non-perishable foods, then by macronutrient, plus vegetables and high volume satiating foods to match your dietary goal.

2) Bulk-buy non-perishables. Buy the perishables at shorter intervals, depending on your fridge space.

3) Order online and save your ‘basket’ for next time. Each subsequent grocery/supplement shop is 1 click away. This way you’re less susceptible than getting caught up by impulse buys on the aisles.

4) To make it fully idiot-proof: calculate a day’s worth of food for your macro targets, multiply it by the number of days in your interval. Rotate between 2 or 3 meal plans for more variety.

I don’t go as far as option 4 myself, but it’s the laziest, most efficient option if you’re willing to do the preparation.

Perishables: Order every 10 days.

Fresh chopped vegetables
Meat
Bread, pastries,
Milk, cheese, yoghurt.
Fruit
Ready-meals

 

Non perishables: Order every 3-4 months.

Rice: 5-20kg bags, great quality available MUCH cheaper from your local Asian foods store. Supermarkets overcharge.

Protein Powder: Myprotein offer bulk discounts for larger orders. We’re a big fan of TheProteinWorks for flavour variety too.

Musclefood meals: These last for months without refrigeration, fantastic macros and cheap in bulk.

Zero calorie foods
Top 6 'zero-calorie' foods Image.3

Frozen berries/veg/meat: Butcher/supermarket/Asian food store.
Cheapest options: Diced frozen chicken breast and minced beef.

BiltongThis stuff is beautiful, and keeps for months in the freezer. Use discount code PROPANEF10 for 10% off.

Cereals: Hunt for the bulk discounts, and strike like a cobra with a box of Crunchy Nut:

Hunt for discounts like a cobra with a box of crunchy nut
Crunchy nut: The snake’s natural prey

.

Noodles: Wholesale discounts here. I buy 100 packs for £25 every 3-4 months.

Naughty nonperishables: Kids and grownups love it so. Haribo, jaffa cakes, crisps, freezables, quest bars, whatever your achilles heel is. 

2392-1

Miscellaneous: Spices, sauces, seasoning, stock cubes, sachet foods. 
 
My own diet is carb/protein dominant, without many direct fat sources. As you can see, we don’t care for the concept of clean/dirty food, and simply prioritise hitting the macros and micronutrients as per Propane Protocol. List your preferences as you see fit.

Budget

I’m fortunate enough (read: boring enough) not to have any expensive hobbies or major outgoings aside from food & rent, so I can allocate slightly more of my budget to food. I tend not to get takeaways or eat out, and pack my own lunch.

[Side note: I believe buying lunch while you’re at work to be one of the worst financial decisions you can make. At an average cost of £6 to buy lunch and/or coffee, 5 days per week, this amounts to £1560/year vs packing your own at a cost of £1.50/day or £390/yearThe saving (£1170/year) could easily cover your phone contract, internet and maybe electricity. Putting your lunch money into an equity fund at 13% average return could compound to £37,752 over 10 years. Include a morning Starbucks and biscotti and I’ll see you driving your Ferrari in 2025…]
 
To cut costs further, I’d highly recommend trying the Downshift challenge – switching to unbranded products in supermarkets. Often you won’t notice a difference in taste.

Timesaving:

– Invest in a rice cooker. Consistently makes fluffy, plump rice, and you can use the slow-cook function for low calorie, low-effort stews and soups

– Harness the power of the microwave 

– Get an online delivery pass or choose off peak slots, often £1. Another option is combining ‘local collect’ with a morning fasted walk.

 

Conclusion

If you’d rather hitting your macros became a no-brainer, start automating your diet, and free up some RAM for the things that matter in life.

 

The Next Step

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8 responses to “Automate your diet, eat for £6/day

  1. I’ve been doing this for a few years now. During the week I have the same breakfast/snack every day, rotate 2 lunches and just change veggies for a bit of variety. I have 3-4 dinners that rotate too. At the weekend I switch things up a bit as I have more time. I do all my prep for lunch the night before so in the morning I can just go.
    Everything is planned on MFP at the weekend to make sure I hot my macros.

  2. Every morning I walk to my town to buy my food for the night. I like fresh vegetables and rice most of the time. I prefer a lean meal as it helps me sleep at night.The rice cook like you said works like a charm.

    When I first started walking to town it would take me 20 minutes, now it takes me 14 minutes and it is so easy. I lost 12kg of weight in the last 5 months doing this everyday.

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