The No Fad Fitness Basic Nutritional guide.
When you are aiming to lose weight in a safe and sustainable way the MINIMUM guideline daily calorie intake for a woman is around 1,200 kcals and for a man around 1,800 kcals. (Approximate)
If you have ever attempted to calculate exactly how many calories are in every meal you eat you will know that in involves a lot of very tedious work in measuring and weighing every ingredient, then researching it’s calorie content and doing a lot of maths and writing everything down in a food diary. All of which can be very stressful and guess what, when you’re under stress your body starts to store more food as fat!
Let’s be realistic here, very few of us are ever going to keep up that kind of regimen for so much as a single day!
However, if you are to succeed in your goal to lose weight you MUST restrict your calorie intake.
To achieve this I am going to give you some very simple eating guidelines which I want you to stick to for JUST SIX WEEKS, I will also be including links to sites which give some more specific advice and some great meal ideas to help you.
Doesn’t sound so bad now does it?
I’m sure you have all heard of portion control right? This just means don’t put more on your plate than your body needs. There are many tips given to help with this, one of the simplest is to use a side plate for you main meals instead of a dinner plate (and no seconds). Or with a standard plate leave a 7cm (length of your thumb) no go zone around the rim of the plate to stop you overfilling it.
Of course this is over simplistic. If you fill your allotted space with a stack of streaky bacon and maple syrup the above tips aren’t going to help a whole lot! So to help you make the right choices have a look at the chart I’ve included below.
Sweets and Cakes.
If you have a sweet tooth you’ll have noticed by now that I have not included any cakes or sweets, I have not done it to torture you, there is a very good reason for this.
Sweets and cakes are very high in calories, taken gram for gram. You could substitute these calories against calories from other foods in order to keep your daily intake below the target amount, but as these calories come in the form of highly refined grains and sugars they are used up very quickly and leave you craving for more (feeling hungry) which is going to make it difficult for you to stick to a reduced calorie program.
Another very good reason is that as you will be taking in a slightly reduced amount of food it is very important that the food you eat has maximum value to your body in terms of nutrition. If your body is deprived of any vital vitamins, minerals of other nutrients, this will again lead to food cravings making you uncomfortable and possibly sabotaging your efforts.
Another good strategy to employ to help you keep on track, lose weight and generally eat healthily is to EAT CLEAN. This would be a topic for a book or two on its own so I’ll just simplify. Clean eating is avoiding processed foods and foods that contain additives.
This isn’t to say that all additives are bad, some are very useful in preserving not just the appearance of food but also its nutrient value.
As for processing, well most food is processed in some way or another but what we are talking about here is excessive interference such as water blasting meat from a carcass adding a load of salt and binding agents before pressing it into one big lump and selling it as ham or chicken nuggets. Read those food labels carefully and just by being more aware of what is in your food and the extent to which it has been processed and you will start to make better choices.
One other way to help you is for you to take an interest in try new food ideas, healthy ones obviously. Here are a few links to some good food ideas;
There are some great, easy to cook and prepare, tasty looking recipes on the links above, BUT don’t forget to;
- substitute white rice with brown,
- use wholemeal pasta and breads,
these will keep you fuelled for longer as the whole grains deliver the energy you need steadily over a longer period of time.
Now here’s the good bit,
SNACKS- You’re going to need them!
It is inevitable that there will be times during the day when the munchies become unbearable. The key is to be prepared, failure to prepare may leave you at the mercy of a passing doughnut or getting mugged by the chocolate bar vending machine.
- Your first defence is to always carry water with you.
Studies have proven that when we feel hungry it is often the case that we are becoming dehydrated, this makes sense as we typically get a large proportion of our daily water intake from the food we eat, when you get the hunger pangs drink some water and wait 15 minutes, the craving for snacks may diminish enough for you to wait until your next scheduled meal.
- The next tactic is to ensure that you have access to healthy snacks, this is not something you can afford to leave to chance. Some good snack choices are;
- Celery sticks,
- raw carrot,
- unsalted nuts, raisins,
- fruit, seeds (pumpkin, sunflower etc.)
- or make some of my very low calorie and very filling flapjacks/cereal bars http://nofadfitness.co.uk/sugar-free-mango-and-pineapple-cereal-bars/
This one is difficult for some people but if you possibly can, avoid all alcohol during the six weeks.
Alcohol contains a LOT of extra calories, not only in itself with drinks like wine, beer and cider but also in the mixers we add to it. As if that weren’t bad enough it also diminishes responsibility and weakens resolve.
We’ve all been there, we promise ourselves we are just going to have one or two and four hours later we are staggering home (possibly with a detour to the kebab shop). One night in the pub can mean you doubling your daily calorie target, so please be responsible.
If you can’t avoid it completely or have social commitments put strategies in place before you go out to ensure you don’t go overboard.
- Designate yourself as driver,
- tell people in advance that you are only having one or two then switching to water and
- tell them WHY, – if they are your friends they will help you.
The last tip I’m going to give you is timing of meals. Without going into it too much we know that a 12 hour fasting period daily helps to reduce fat levels. So try to eat your evening meal before 7pm and don’t snack or consume any more food or calories until breakfast. If you feel hungry drink water and do some activity to take your mind off it.
Try to always eat 1 hour before class, not later after class.
Good Luck, Stay Strong In Your Resolve and Remember The End is not Far Away!