A lot of people have been asking about my diet. I won’t cover everything in detail today, but here’s a quick overview of changes I’ve been making and a few of my thoughts on fat loss diets in general.
First up, I want to say that I’m not a fan of very strict, or very restrictive diets. In in my opinion these tend to lead to people getting into horrible binge/ starve cycles that are terrible for fat loss as well as health.
Another thing that worries me about weight loss diets nowadays is that people can get so overwhelmed by the colossal number of different programmes and theories around that they forget the basics of healthy eating. It doesn’t help that there’s so much disagreement among fitness professionals on this issue. (All the in-fighting we have in fitness industry really gets me down, but that’s something for another post!)
Here’s my take: Low carbohydrate diets will help you lose weight. Low fat diets will help you lose weight. Even a starvation diet, like that ridiculous cabbage soup plan, will help you lose weight. They all “work”, at least in the short term.
But the way of eating that I have found to be optimum for me, for maintaining a healthy, lean, active body in the long term, is a good old healthy balanced diet with lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, moderate lean protein and limited (but still some) fats, although mainly from vegetable sources.
Sorry, I know some people would have been hoping for a magical eating formula based on some revolutionary “science” there, but that’s it. It’s nothing new or revolutionary I’m afraid.
That said, I’ve been speaking to a lot of people who are looking to lose weight lately and the vast majority are on some plan or other. When I ask if they’ve thought about just cutting out the “crap” and eating more fruits and veggies, I’m amazed to hear that they often don’t believe that will help them to lose weight. I guess it just sounds too simple to be true compared to what they’ve read in the diet books.
But, anyway, I could ramble on about this for hours and I don’t want to get into a huge discussion about the diet industry here, so I’ll just stick to telling you a bit about what I’m doing…
I’m not calorie counting fastidiously, but I’m keeping my daily intake in the margins of around 1,600-1,900kcal. I know that’s a lot higher than many dieters go, but I am exercising quite hard most days and, frankly, I’ve got a big appetite! Anything less than that leaves me hungry, light-headed, and feeling rough.
Cut out junk foods like chips, chocolate, cake, cookies, etc. (I would also put things like white bread and white pasta, if not quite in with that group, pretty close) and you get to eat a lot!
I’ve cut my meal sizes down a bit though – the Desperate Dan sized portions I’d somehow worked up to were getting a bit ridiculous! And I’m now having three average sized meals and three or four snacks every day too.
Now, I’ll also tell you that I’m a vegetarian; technically a lacto-ovo vegetarian – I eat eggs and dairy products, but no meat (including fish). This is a choice I made 15 years ago for ethical reasons and not because I believe it is unhealthy to eat meat. I don’t evangelise about it or tell anyone else they should go veggie. I’m only pointing it out here to get it out of the way really. I’ll expect I’ll be talking about what I eat sometimes in upcoming posts and you may notice that no meat appears in any of my meals, so this is why.
Fitnesss for the Real World
One of the things I’m always eager to shout about is how “normal” people with “normal” lives can get a lean, strong, fit body. So I’m going to be honest and say I don’t always eat only healthy meals all the time. But I’m not stressed about that, I’m getting better, and, in my experience, “mostly healthy, most of the time” works pretty well anyway.
For me, diet is the hardest part of weight loss, but I know that this is just because I’ve got into bad habits over the last year or so, and once I replace those with better habits, it’ll get easy.
One thing that’s really helping me is that, just over the last couple of days, I’ve started to feel so much better. I would say it’s due to a combination of eating better and starting my new exercise programme. It’s kind of hard to describe, but I’ve got more energy, I’m thinking clearer, I’m sleeping better, and I’m just generally happier. Which is nice.
Step One Done
A lot of people have got in touch saying that they’d also love to lose fat and get fitter. If that’s how you feel I want to urge you to get started now. I so wish I hadn’t put this off so long – it’s seems crazy now I’m feeling so great for it!
I know we all have own barriers to break through, whether practical or psychological, especially at the start of a new programme of exercise and/or diet, but getting started really is the most important step. If you’re having trouble taking that step, leave me a comment and we’ll work through it together.
Tomorrow is weigh day. I don’t think there will be a dramatic loss because I don’t have a huge amount to lose and also because I feel like I have gained some muscle whilst losing fat, which is brilliant. I’ll take measurements too, which will be interesting. If there’s anything worth reporting I’ll share it on here.
Get my News & Tips by Email
I’ll also be sending out my first weight loss and fitness news and tips email tomorrow, so please pop your email address onto the form on the right if you’d like to receive that. As I’ve been talking about diet today, I think I’ll start with a few tips on eating for fat loss.
As always, if you’d care to leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you, or if you’d like to share this blog via the social networking buttons I’d really appreciate you helping me to reach a few more people.