I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions about today’s post, any past post or questions, in general, please feel free in reaching out. You can ALWAYS find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can also ALWAYS find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section. If you or someone you may know is looking for one on one coaching or just looking for advice on how to jump-start a healthy lifestyle or how to stay on track during the holidays you can find all of my links which are ALWAYS provided in the “Thank You” section and in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.
I was scrolling through Instagram stories I came across someone posting an image of their lunch. It was a pretty basic plate of rice, vegetables, and protein. But above it, the Instagram user wrote “my bro diet plate” in bright colorful letters. I sat there frozen, my finger pressed to the screen, wondering what a “bro diet” was and how I had never heard of it before. I mean, I am a health, wellness, fitness, and nutrition blogger for crying out loud.
I went on google to do a little research. To my amazement, the “bro diet” is a well-known dieting practice, one that is talked about across the Internet. It’s a restrictive, macro-based diet that usually involves an absurd amount of chicken and rice.
The Logistics Of The Bro Diet
Here’s the thing about this particular
“diet”—there’s no set way to go about it. Most people that claim to be eating the bro diet do most of the research themselves and figure out some type of “plan” based on their macro count (which is typically determined using online macro calculators). Bro diet fans usually choose clean, whole foods to fulfill those macros, and tend to not worry about how bland it is. Some typical foods prepped for a bro diet includes lean protein sources (chicken, fish, lean ground turkey, eggs, sometimes steak) and healthy carbs or whole grains (brown rice, sweet potato, whole-wheat pasta, oats). Broccoli is the most commonly used vegetable, but green beans and asparagus are common choices as well.
The Term “bro diet” Comes From?
While the origin of this diet’s name is unknown, it’s pretty obvious to an outside observer like myself that this
“diet” originated from “bro culture.” USA Today defines bro culture as a subculture that is known for escalating masculinity. It is a term usually associated with startup culture, workplace environments, fraternities, gyms, even the tech industry. And, apparently, in the kitchen as well.
People call it the “bro diet” because it’s very basic. It’s probably the easiest thing to do for meal prepping. While my research can’t confirm if that’s the true reason behind the name.
While the “bro diet” may seem “very basic” for the typical bro, it’s not just those stereotyped in bro culture who consistently eat a “bro diet”. In fact, it’s something that even females will contribute to as well. When I started to learn the specifics on foods allowed in a bro diet, I was actually shocked by how similar it sounded to my own diet a VERY LONG TIME AGO! I ate the same kinds of foods for my lunches, prepped enough portions to get me through my week.
The Bro Diet Is Pretty Restrictive
Similar to the If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) diet, the bro diet focuses on fulfilling your macro count to achieve your goals. But unlike the IIFYM diet, which encourages all sorts of food as long as “it fits your macros,” the “bro diet” is pretty restrictive. You focus on clean eating, single-source macronutrient foods that fit your goals.
What this teaches us is if you can create a meal plan that’s very basic and stick to it every day, by removing a bunch of options and a bunch of choices—because too much choice can be overwhelming—then you can get into good habits and good routines.
Meal Prep IS Essential
I’ve always been a huge advocate for meal prepping for those who need to a little help sticking to their nutrition goals. It makes cooking and eating healthier during the week that much easier. But for those on the “bro diet”, they take meal prep to the absolute extreme.
A big thing with the “bro diet” is measuring, consistently measuring how much rice, how much chicken, because you’re just trying to get your macro goals.
If you don’t like meal prepping or cooking, there’s Eat Clean Bro. While this meal box company that does not claim to be a “bro diet” company, their meals certainly work for someone following the diet. It’s a great alternative to someone looking to eat healthier.
The “Bro Diet” Is A Staple For Fitness Gurus And Millenials
While the “bro diet” is closely associated with macro goals and bodybuilding, what’s particularly interesting is how this
“diet” has created a culture of food and cooking.
Plus, having a culture of men (and women) learning how to cook and prep clean foods is completely opposite. Because of these habits you can lose, gain or maintain a healthy weight.
Now I’m NOT saying that the “bro diet” is the best
“diet” out there because I’m personally a fan of flexible dieting and intuitive eating. However, for someone who wants to avoid extra weight gain (maybe during the holiday season), following this kind of model can be helpful for someone who’s trying to develop healthy habits toward their health and nutrition.
To put it plainly: “Following something this simple and “clean” will immediately force people to shut out other non-nutritive dense foods. Some people can thrive on a very black and white meal plan such as the “bro diet”, but others will have a hard time eliminating those other “non-healthful” foods like pizza or cake (like myself).
That in itself should raise immediate flags for people when an approach demonizes other foods or food groups. This overly simplistic approach lacks a variety of micronutrients and essential amino acids that can be beneficial to body fat loss and muscle synthesis, not to mention will result in burnout very quickly.
While the “bro diet” is a well known cultural phenomenon, with many YouTube and fitness “experts” that back up this style of eating, it, unfortunately, does not make them an expert in it. The “bro diet” is a “fine place to start” I would never recommend a single source macronutrient diet, ever. I would not consider this diet nutritionally sound, and would rather recommend for someone to get outside assistance and training if you want to hit specific goals.
“The bro diet” is just another attempt to “hack” or create an overly simplistic solution to a complex topic and subset of issues. There is no silver bullet or fast-track to success. Everyone’s got to put in the work to unpack what the root cause of their issues are and fix broken systems that got them there in the first place.
Flexibility May Be The Key To Bro Diet Success
While “the bro diet” may help with consistency in a diet, meal planning, and even saving money, flexibility seems to be the key to success. For someone who strictly eats the same thing seven days a week, things can get boring. It’s for that reason that you should your weekends open, or you should have designated “cheat” days to eat other foods you love. The bro diet is simply a way to stay on track for their lifting and weight goals, while also being a steady way to consistently cook for themselves and save some money.
Given some flexibility, people tend to be more consistent. What happens when you’re on the same seven or eight foods, once you’re off the
“diet”, people tend to feel like they need to go way off the “diet” because they have to start back up tomorrow. So, (flexible dieting) is different in that instead of just being exclusive, meaning that you only get these seven or eight foods, a (flexible diet) is inclusive of basically anything that you can fit into your daily goals.
Because “the bro diet” isn’t an established dieting model, factoring in flexibility. I mean, after all, there really isn’t a structure to this dieting model. Maybe it’s not “very basic” after all.