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The Ideal Diet

The Ideal Diet

A healthy mind is a healthy body” this phrase or a variation on this is ubiquitous in popular culture and this statement isn’t devoid of the truth but let's are real, eating healthy costs a lot and if you’re in college it could drill massive holes in your pockets. Here are some budget-friendly ways to eat healthily.

The ideal diet will vary from person to person but here is a diet plan you could follow for your goals.


Bulking is referred to the period where one is in a calorie surplus so as to gain muscle mass and also amass some fat in the process. The way to a calorie surplus is to eat above your maintenance calories.

Bulk Diet -

Breakfast or Meal 1:

Half cup Oats with milk (150 calories, 5g protein, 27g carbs, 2g fat, and 4g fiber) can be replaced with Upma

8-10 Almonds or other nuts (each almond has 3.5g fiber, 6 g protein, 14g fat

1 tsp flax seeds (each tsp is roughly 7gms which has 37 calories 1.3g protein, 2g carbs, 1.9g fiber, 3g fat, 1,597mg Omega 3)

1 fruit (preferably banana)

2 whole eggs or 4 egg whites (150 calories 10g fat, 12g protein)

Pre Lunch or Meal 2:

Banana shake (9.3g fat, 49g carbs, 1.9g fiber, 36g sugar)

Peanut butter sandwich or nuts or grams

A big bowl of salad

Lunch or Meal 3:

Some form of carbs in the form of roti or whole wheat pasta (3.7g fat, 18g carb, 3.1g protein)

Curd (10g fat, 5.3g carb, 25g protein)

One source of protein: Lentils, pulses, baked beans or meat.

Supper or Meal 4:

Peanut butter sandwich with some fruit (preferably a banana)

2 Egg whites

Dinner or Meal 5:

Some form of Carbs (Roti)

Some form of protein (cottage cheese or meat)


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Cutting is the opposite of bulking where one reduces their overall body weight with the goal of losing the least amount of muscle.

To cut one needs to up their protein intake while reducing their carb intake. A lot of regimens will tell you to cut carbs out of your diet altogether however it’s not advisable to do that. Also, note that you’ll feel a little more lethargic in your cutting phase because of the lack of carbs in the body.

Breakfast or Meal 1:

4 egg whites prepared as you liked (each egg white has 0.1g fat, 0.2g carbs, 3.6 protein)


Pre Lunch or Meal 2:

Sprouts with cottage cheese (per 100g 6g carbs, 3g protein) (cottage cheese 10g fat, 8g carbs, 25g protein)

Lunch or Meal 3:

Whole wheat pasta in white sauce with broccoli and chicken or Salad (1 cup penne 1.7g fat, 29g carbs, 5.8g protein) (140g chicken 5g fat, 43g protein)

Supper or Meal 4:

Boiled chicken breast (can be replaced with fish) with cashews and spinach (140g chicken 5g fat, 43g protein) (spinach 2.9g protein, 3.6g carbs, 2.2g fiber)


A bowl of curd (10g fat, 8g carbs, 25g protein)

Boiled vegetables. (Carrots, beans, broccoli)

Cautious foods -

  • Sugar: Avoid all high fructose sugars such as corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), agave, or sodas as much as possible. Non-caloric sweeteners (aspartame, Splenda, etc.) are not entirely safe and appear to lead to weight gain.
  • Ready to eat grains: All quick-cooking grains such as instant rice and wheat cereals, rice cakes, and ready-to-eat breakfast cereals are actually as processed as potato chips!
  • Soy: Soy food should be brewed, such as tempeh, miso, and tamari. Limit tempeh to one serving per week. Brewed tofu is not usually available commercially, but would be comparable to tempeh.
  • Alcohol: Excess alcohol leads to weight gain, as well as problems with the liver and immune systems.
  • Vegetable oils and modified oils: (canola, corn, soy, and cottonseed). Artificial trans fats and margarine are obvious problems. Interesting surveillance is that the single food group where the rise in consumption is parallel to the rise in obesity, diabetes and heart disease is this very food group, vegetable oils.
  • Eating out: Restaurant dining can present a particular challenge, it may be hard to ask, “Do you fry in vegetable oil or who grows your meat?” But these are questions certainly worth asking in restaurants you visit frequently.
  • Processed food: The more food is processed, the less easily it is recognized by our bodies as familiar food, if it's unpronounceable, it's probably inedible.
  • Non-fat dairy products: Products processed with non - fat dry milk solids, and imbalanced in their carbohydrate, protein and fat proportions should be avoided.
  • Caffeine. Should be avoided if you have a tendency to urinate frequently or have insomnia or diabetes.

Make sure you’re hydrated and drinking a lot of water. Water is known to expel excess waste from our body and helps to keep us healthy with a protein-rich diet.

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