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A Traders Diet (What do you eat?)
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A Traders Diet (What do you eat?)

  #1 (permalink)
Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
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A Traders Diet (What do you eat?)

A recent post about diets shows me that we've got some smart people here on the forum when it comes to their diet.

I need to lose some weight (hence "Big" in "Big Mike").

Like trading, I think a diet is all about accountability and responsibility. I wanted to ask you guys for some ideas though, on what you are doing to maintain a good diet as a trader.

I usually find myself in my office 8-12 hours a day. I don't eat in my office. I rarely even drink (ie: water) in my office. When I am in here, I am working. Emails, forum, trading, etc. So I don't have a problem of snacking while working.

What gets me is when I leave the office. I generally end up eating overly large meals since I am quite hungry after not eating for so long. I also have a bad habit/routine of eating these meals while watching TV, it's my "quiet time" or perhaps more accurate -- my time to relax and not think about work: emails, forum, trading. I usually watch one or two episodes of a favorite show (no commercials) during this period, so about 1h 30m. Then back to the office.

I've thought about making my own shakes and trying to use that say twice a day in my office so that when I leave to go relax I am not so starving and eat such a huge unhealthy meal.

What is interesting is back when I worked in the corporate world, I would often times stop for breakfast on the way in to work, then go out and eat lunch, and then nights when I was too tired (most days) I would stop and get something on the way home, too. Eating out three times a day! It's no wonder I gained weight.

Now though, for years I've been self employed. I have complete control over everything in my life that would influence any diet decisions. Yet I haven't lost weight. I have replaced fast food with simply eating more food. So I don't go out often, but the meals I eat at home are big and unhealthy. I also have added a new really bad habit, the midnight snack of some sweets like cookies or something similar, almost every night, before bed.

Anyway, just looking for a discussion on the diet part of diet & exercise from you guys as fellow traders


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  #2 (permalink)
Posts: 1,081 since May 2010

You need a wife.

Just kidding.

I would start the day with a heavy healthy breakfast, fruits etc. You will see that you will eat less in your other meals.

Try to eat fruit during the day. Again, you will be less hungry at the end of your day.

Cut the midnight snacks. The cookies are a lot of extra calories that are not being worked off anymore and just stored as fat. Research has also shown that bad dreams come from eating just before going to sleep, so normally you should sleep better without food in your stomach. Freud was one of the first to show that people with heavy nightmares eat frequently heavy before going to sleep.

I don't eat junk food, I just eat a lot. I go on very good restaurants dining with friends too much during the week and weekends. But it's a cultural thing, in my country we go on a top Michelin restaurant from 7pm until 12pm, sometimes having 8 to 12 course meals, drinking 5 to 7 different wines, several glasses per sort of wine, you get the idea.

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  #3 (permalink)
Austin, TX
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I like to have a bowl of natural cereal before I leave the house in the morning. While in the office, my job is stationary, so I'm mostly sitting down all day until I get home, which is about 7:30pm. Lunch is late, about 2pm or so, and dinner is ready between 8 and 11pm, depending on what it is, if my wife has started cooking by the time I get home, or if I have to cook.

Also, one thing I do is exercise. Couldn't so much as last week due to the weather but this week is looking much more promising.

One thing you could do, Mike, is exercise. Take a walk around a park. Go for a run, even if it is just 100 yards. Catch your breath and run 100 yards again. Repeat. You could also do a bit of this after work to relieve some stress:

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  #4 (permalink)
Daytona Beach
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Paleo... no grains. It works for me. My whole life I've always weighed more than I wanted (even when very active) mostly around the waist, not obese. My body fat was always between 20-25%. After just over a year eating this way, I'm 58 years old 6' tall and weigh 160 lbs and my body fat is 12%. I've got more energy than when I was 40.

Mark's Daily Apple

edit: Just wanted to add... I used to eat cereal for breakfast and was starving 2 hours later. Now I eat breakfast and could go until dinner at 7 pm and never notice any hunger.

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  #5 (permalink)
Calgary, Canada
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Deucalion's Avatar
Posts: 430 since Aug 2009

This is what worked (is working) for me..... after my cousin had a heart attack (at 44!) that put an almighty fear into me....so...last year I slowly (key is slowly!) changed my patterns....
  • Eat a lot more often, and smaller portions.
  • Eat when I am NOT hungry (body never gets to that craving level)
  • Stopped buying processed foods (this is a big one)
  • Stopped cooking foods (as raw as possible).
  • Consume more antioxidants, pro-biotics and omegas (for energy, immunity and natural fats)
  • Started consuming small amounts of butter (yes, that is correct...raw natural low sodium butter)
  • Aggressively reduce sodium from diet (this happens the moment we stop buying processed foods)
  • Eat more fruits.
  • More regular lean protein (either boiled and salted or grilled, or dry roasted)
  • Started exercising slowly and increased repetition and intensity over time (currently manage 1hr every alternate day)
  • Sleep a lot (over 9hrs day / at least 12hrs whenever I can manage...nowadays I can manage to squeeze in 12hrs sleep days at least twice a week). The theraputic value of sleep is underrated (people are always looking to cram more into their day or their life by doing more, not sure if that is a healthy way of living...what ever happened to minimalism and balance?)
  • Change attitude in life, become more detached. Less toys, less social involvement...generally less everything. This helps with mental focus and I am sure it helps in trading too.
  • Generally attempt to follow a reduced calorie diet
  • A substantial, healthy, breakfast is crucial (with full natural fat in it)
  • Stay away from hollow foods (no reduced calorie or skimmed stuff). I want the real deal (only in small portions).

The result...I used to be 200lbs last year, now I am about 28 - 32lbs lighter. As I increase the adherence to his lifestyle and refine both activities and diet I aim to lose another 15lbs to be slighty underweight.
My blood pressure has gone down, so has my resting pulse rate and cholesterol (not that any were a problem before but now they are ideal). BP is lower than normal (which is nice).

A lot of this is a little bit extreme and doesn't agree with everyone, but take your pick and run with it. Whatever floats your boat. I found what works for me (obvious trading analogy )

Nothing extreme, but a consistent approach, balanced approach with regular application. Just like my trading )

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  #6 (permalink)
the coin hunter
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looks like you are a perfect candidate to try out Jenny Craig meal plan.

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  #7 (permalink)
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"Physiology and Psychology

I ensure that I do a walking exercise every morning hours of Saturday and whenever I attain my Daily Net Profit within one or two trades on week-days.

Iíll continue eating lots and lots of fruits and drink my daily water requirement. No alcohol (stopped alcohol six years ago); no smoking.

On Fridays, Iíll carry out a review of my current week trading activities and do some SIM-trading.

On Sundays, Iíll decree and command a spiritual touch with The Almighty, in his Sanctuary.

The above is an extract from post #1 of my Trading Dairy thread.

I suspect that Mike knows my DOB, 'cos I always receive futures.io (formerly BMT) birthday greetings; so I suppose that he knows my age; but here where I live, I'm embarrassingly taken as about eighteen years younger. I played lots of soccer at high school, so I'm athletic.

My advices are;

1. Consistently and continuously exercise your body.

2. Eat lots of good fruits; avoid cholesterol and sugar. Eat only when you're hungry.

3. Say Noooooooooooo to alcohol and smoking.

4. Stay healthy spiritually by moving very close to the ALMIGHTY, the Provider (of good health and healing, prosperity, etc) the Protector, the Alpha & the Omega, the I am that I am.

And it must be WELL with you.


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  #8 (permalink)
Rochester Hills, Michigan
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Hey Mike I say get rid of the temptations,cookies and stuff you don't really wan't and Put like a fruit bowl in you office. I understand not wanting to eat a meal in there but a simple apple or banana will help keep your metabolism going and then make a point for you to get up from your desk and move about the house to throw away the peel or core. Last year I was doing similar things when I would take my kids to school in the a.m. On the way home I would stop at Mc D's and get the 1:00 soda, no food but that big drink was not good. It was an everyday thing until I started to realize after a doctors appointment the extra few pounds I had put on. I have changed some things in the last year eating wise, just like previous posts and it makes me have more energy and feel better. Good luck!

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  #9 (permalink)
Springfield,Missouri, USA
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I adhere religiously to a strict diet of Pop Tarts, Slim Jims and Coca-Cola.

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  #10 (permalink)
Market Wizard
OC, California, USA
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One of my long-time clients is Lindora. While they preach a low-carb, ketogenic diet, they also deal a lot with the psychological reasons we over-eat or eat poor food choices. Much like trading, there are many psychological stimuli in play that can imperil our waste line and threaten our health. Much like blowing out a trading account and "risk of ruin", they have metrics that determine "risk of death" based on age, BMI, diet, lifestyle and psychological responses to stress.

One thing that helps is to eat smaller meals but more often. This helps keep your metabolism up and is easier on the digestive system, keeping it busy digesting small meals instead of trying to digest a couple of whopping-huge meals all at once: it's a shock to the system. Nuts are a good snack because they are good at satiating hunger and making you feel full sooner. Also vegetables with low-cal cheese (laughing cow) are also good snacks. Drinking lots of water helps. Of course exercise is key too.

Keep a journal of what you eat (trade), why (entry) and how it made you feel (result) and you will start to notice patterns in your psychological motivations for poor eating choices (bad trades).

Eat better.
Move more.
Stress less.

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