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.
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 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.
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:
– Food preferences
– Desire for variety
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
Milk, cheese, yoghurt.
Non perishables: Order every 3-4 months.
Rice: 5-20kg bags, great quality available MUCH cheaper from your local Asian foods store. Supermarkets overcharge.
Musclefood meals: These last for months without refrigeration, fantastic macros and cheap in bulk.
Frozen berries/veg/meat: Butcher/supermarket/Asian food store.
Cheapest options: Diced frozen chicken breast and minced beef.
Biltong – This 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:
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.
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.
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/year. The 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.
– 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.
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.