Cooking would be the healthiest and most efficient way to build muscles. You can of course eat out or order uberEATs, but they should happen sparsely so you can be consistent with your diet and stay within your budget.
I used to count calories and all the macros (protein, carbs, fat) of my food, I even weigh my food using a kitchen scale for all my meals, and I ate 5 meals per day, but I grew tired of doing that so now I just go with the flow and stick with some general principals.
Carbs should take less of a role in your diet, since they are counterproductive in terms of losing fat, they can be helpful when it comes to building muscles though, and you need it for energy and brain function, so it cannot be eliminated from your diet. Pho should ideally not appear in your diet, but if it does, it should do so very sparingly, since it’s too carb-heavy.
Protein will be a major player in your diet, it can be from eggs, chicken, beef, pork or fish. Here’s a trick for eggs, you don’t have to cook whole eggs since the egg yolks are high in fat and cholesterol and if you consume a lot of eggs, it’d be a good idea to remove the yolks from some of them. E.g. I normally eat 5 eggs with my breakfast, but after I break the eggs in the bowl, I would use a spoon to scoop out 3 egg yolks and throw them away, keeping only two.
Fat is necessary in your diet since it’s needed for your hormone and energy production, but you don’t need much of it.
Zoey’s Meal Plan
Toasts (or slices of bread): 2
Eggs (can be scrambled or hard boiled): 3 (with only 1 or 2 yolks)
2% Fat Milk: 1 glass
* Eggs can be replaced with canned sardine if there’s no enough time to cook in the morning, or they can be precooked the day before and stored in the fridge
* Toasts can be replaced by cereal or oatmeal
* Avocados are a great source of healthy (monounsaturated) fat, but it can be skipped if they exceed your budget
Any dish with some meat, vegetables and a carb source (rice, beans, baked potato, etc.) will do. E.g. diced chicken with green bell peppers. The ideal protein source is chicken breasts, but they don’t usually taste good and can be expensive, I don’t even eat much of them now.
Vegetables are necessary for your general health, it’s not related to bodybuilding.
* Ideally the meal is prepared the day (or several days) before and brought to work, but if you forgot to do that, uberEATs or eating out is okay
* When you are ordering out, pay attention to the level of oil in the dishes, since the cooking oil that most restaurants use is not good, having too much of it is bad for your health and your bodybuilding goals
Try to cook dinner yourself. Baked potatoes are super easy to make – buy big potatoes, wash, poke some holes using a fork, scrub on a layer of cooking oil with your hands, set the oven to 215 C, preheat, throw them in, bake for 60 minutes. Then take them out, cut open vertically, sprinkle ground black pepper and salt, spread some butter on them and eat with a spoon. You can make a batch of them and eat for days. That’s what I do. They taste delicious, I can eat just them for a meal.
Rice would also do. Try to go with brown, black or wild rice, they’re more healthy since they have a lower glycemic index, meaning they stay longer in your digestive tract, sustainably providing you energy, causing much less of a blood sugar spike. But they take longer time and more water to cook.
Main dish-wise, it’s similar to lunch.