Following on from last weeks blog, this week I discuss tips and tricks to help bulletproof your diet. Last week spoke about the reasons people don’t achieve their targets or struggle to get there, this week I will focus on the area I see people struggle in the most, dieting for fat loss.
The problem – eating ‘healthy’ food.
A low fat yoghurt and fruit for breakfast, some salad leaves and chicken for lunch and soup for dinner… followed swiftly by a big binge post dinner due to hunger. By eating tiny portions and very few carbs because you have heard thats how to eat healthy in the day, your body ends up craving the carbs, feeling hungry and then you can’t resist the extra evening biscuits, crisps etc. How to tackle this, eat more throughout the day. Don’t let yourself get too hungry, spread your food more evenly through the day and you should find by the evening you have satisfied your cravings throughout the day. Yes you may eat more calories before 6pm but you will eat far less in the post dinner hunger binge.
The problem – food denial.
If you didn’t log it, it didn’t happen. Its only a spoonful, its only one chocolate, its only one glass of wine. Yes, at that moment, it is only one extra item of food or drink, but add that up over a week if you did the same everyday, and that is a lot of extra calories that aren’t accounted for in your diet. One chocolate digestive, has around 90-100 calories. Over a week, thats an extra 700 calories. Know how much food your body needs to achieve your goal and if you want the extra biscuit, account for that each day. There are no right or wrong foods, but weight is all based around calories in vs calories out so just make sure you are accounting for all the food and not ending up puzzled as to why you may not be achieving your goals.
The problem – lack of honesty.
Be honest with how much you are eating. It is no problem at all to over eat or under eat, but you need to be aware of it. The only person in control of your diet is you and if you are getting help to hit your goals, you have to be honest with both yourself and the person helping you. Whether you overate at the weekend or not, be completely honest, these habits or times can highlight ways that you can easily amend your diet to fit to your lifestyle and give you a much better chance of seeing progress.
The Problem – Unrealistic diets.
Diets have to fit your lifestyle and preferences. If you can eat only 2 meals a day, great. If you prefer 5 smaller meals a day, great. Make it work for you! My clients know that no food is out of bounds, there are no good or bad foods. They also know that I will never, ever, tell them off for how they have eaten over the past week. Life happens. The key is to work out how life can work for you not against you. If you know you have a busy weekend coming up, maybe have slightly lower calories in the week if your aim is maintenance or fat loss. If you know you cant stop for lunch one day, have a larger breakfast and dinner to prevent the hunger during the day. Eat foods you actually like. It makes life so much easier when you enjoy your food and don’t feel like you are missing out.
So, in summary, eat foods you enjoy, be aware of the food you are putting in your body and be honest. If your goal is fat loss, you need to be in a caloric deficit. You will feel hungry at times, but make sure you fuel your body efficiently to counteract this as much as possible, make your food lower calories but higher in volume (Lots of veg). Make your goal a long goal. Don’t give yourself 4 weeks to diet, give yourself 6 months and still be able to enjoy life. Yes it may take you longer, but you will see a sustainable lifestyle change rather than a short term quick fix.
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