When I wake up I am rarely ever hungry and I hate forcing myself to eat any type of meal. I try to stick to something light to get some nutrition in my body since I do my workouts in the morning. Working out on an empty stomach is no bueno for me, I get light headed and feel nauseous when I do so. I usually opt for a protein shake, something I REALLY had to adjust to. I used to be very sensitive to the taste of the protein powder and despised it but now I can't even taste it.
If you feel the same way about protein, I suggest gradually adding protein powder to your shakes. For example, when I first started out I started with only half a scoop. I continued this for about two weeks and then moved on to 3/4 of a scoop and so on and so forth. Also, bananas are your best friends. They cover up the protein taste and thicken up the shake. For my shakes I add a mix of almond milk and water, a heaping scoop of mint chocolate protein powder, half of a very ripe frozen banana, ground flax seed, wheat germ, psyllium husk, and a little pro-biotic powder. Flax seed and wheat germ should be easy to find at health stores or places like Vitamin Shoppe or GNC if you want convenience but if you want more bang for your buck suggest looking for a bulk retailer online. Psyllium husk can be found anywhere, I get mine at Walmart for cheap. It looks like THIS.
As for actual food, to be honest I rarely eat in the mornings. Like I said, my body is still processing being up so the last thing I want to do is to eat. If I am up for a while and don't have places to be, I will eat steel cut oatmeal that has been soaked in almond milk overnight. I'll add honey, cinnamon, and some walnuts to make it tasty. This is the only way I will eat oatmeal! I hated oatmeal before I did this combination. There is also my favorite snack of greek yogurt with fruit, honey, and some kind of granola.
Lunch is when I first start feeling hungry. I bulk up on vegetables, incorporate a lean meat or seafood to feel fully satisfied, and I always like to finish off with some kind of fruit. Any salad with chicken is a common choice with me. Lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and feta with balsamic is my go to and fail safe choice. Sometimes I'll switch it up and bulk up on vegetables a different way, such as shrimp ceviche. Soups I'll do now and again, pictured here is Ina Garten's roasted tomato basil which I highly recommend trying out. I'll also meet up with friends for lunch and do pho. Sandwiches I'll do on occasion depending on my mood and how quick I want to throw something together. Pictured is a turkey bacon BLT I made up (wheat bread, red onion, tomato, turkey bacon, avocado to replace mayo) which I extremely enjoy. I thought I was going to hate turkey bacon but it has the same flavor as bacon! It does not have the satisfying crumbly fat texture though.
Dinner I stick to the same philosophy of bulking up on vegetables and having some kind of lean meat. I am also a firm advocate of carbs as I feel like they give me energy and keep me full longer. My favorites are sweet potato, quinoa, and brown rice. I tried out THIS recipe for a creamy avocado spaghetti squash dish which is pictured in the middle and I would not recommend it. It just made me want to eat guacamole and I don't think it complimented the squash well. I won't strictly stick to healthy choices, if I crave pasta I'll whip up the classic one pot pasta or if I feel like white rice I'll make it and eat it with a stir fry or boiled meat and vegetable dish.
My body is to the point where if I go overboard with anything unhealthy I feel sick which is surprising to me since I never thought I would get on that level. Even so, weekends I tend to indulge and not hold back on anything within reason. I drink beer, I try out restaurants in my area, etc.
This is about a 4.5 month time gap. I started out the first two months doing 1 hour gym sessions but I found that was too hard on my body and I was constantly sore/in pain so the last two months I switched to 30-45 minute workouts. I run and do weights about 4-5 times a week. My current workout starts off with a 15 minute run which usually ends up being 1.5-2 miles depending on my mood. After that warm up I do weights, I switch off between arms and legs every other day. I just use the weight machines provided at my gym.
I'm not a health expert and everyone is different but this is what has been working for me. I do have a pretty decent metabolism, which I am very thankful for, so keep that in mind. I think what helped me most was jump-starting my physical activity as I was never, EVER, EVER physically active before. Getting my ass up and around was a tremendous lifestyle change. Diet of course is a big factor but I don't like focusing on it and I don't like depriving myself since food brings me great joy. I still eat chips, pizza, burgers, pork belly etc just not as often as I used to. I would say I also eat less than I did before which was very hard for me in the beginning but my body adjusted with time. Had a few hangry moments in the beginning!
I also think shakes or some kind of supplement is a defining factor in my change as I don't believe the food we have access to has the proper and full nutritional value our bodies need. I don't see the protein shakes as meal replacements, I see them as a boost in covering all the nutrient holes I have in my diet.
If you have any questions about anything, feel free to ask. I'm pretty open about everything so don't be shy!