Lets set one thing straight:
You cannot out-train a bad diet.
Too much sugar, bad fats, junk, processed foods and alcohol cannot be overcome by exercising. Cruel I know, but results will come to those who change the way they think about what they are consuming on a daily basis. Here are some of my basic tips for improving your nutrition. These are the first and vital steps you must take to get results. I will expand the list in future blogs, but get these things under control first.
1. Cut down on breads, pastas, pastries, cakes, biscuits, wraps, rice, cereals, museli or breakfast/health bars, etc. This includes multi grain and wholemeal varieties. These foods are processed!!! Since when did a loaf of bread grow on a tree? Try to limit these foods to one serve of wholemeal or multigrain per day. Once serve is a slice of bread or 1 cup of cooked pasta. Remember Grains are not my friends.
2. Eat protein everytime that you eat. This will help to stabilise the blood sugar/insulin response and also supply quality nutrients that you body needs for complete health. Protein is found in meats, fish, eggs, whey powder and also greek or natural yoghurt in smaller quantities. Nuts and seeds also contain small amounts of protein. Limit yoghurt to 1 serve a day of full cream (do not choose diet or low fat), because to much dairy is not good either. Try to choose ‘real food’ protein sources as often as you can and keep protein powders and supplements to once per day maximum.
3. Eat fruits and/or vegetables at every meal or snack. Most of every meal and snack should be made up of fruits and vegetables. There is no limit to the amount of fibrous vegetables that you should eat. I’d recommend a maximum of 2 serves of fruit per day though if you’re looking for fat loss. Remember rule 2 and always combine with protein.
4. Drink only water or tea or coffee. This includes cutting down or completely cutting out alcohol. There are a million reasons to stop drinking alcohol regularly. Even one drink begins a cascade of bad reactions in your body. Many of which also slow or reverse your fat loss efforts as well as effecting your health and ageing you. Limit yourself to 1 or 2 days per week where you consume alcohol. By the way, cut out soft drinks, cordials and fruit juices as well. And skip those lattes and flat whites from the cafe. They are both almost all milk-refer no. 5
5. Cut out most dairy including milk and if you can cheese too. Limit milk to a tiny amount in coffee or tea. It is for baby cows, not humans. We are the only animal that drinks milk beyond infancy (and another species milk at that)and look at our state of health compared to other species. Those other mammals may be onto something.
6. Eat more often if cravings are a problem for you. While recent studies show that the overall amount and quality of food you consume over a day is more important than the number of meals you eat, I still know that eating more often works for most people trying to retrain themselves to a healthier diet and lose body fat.
7. Include small serves of nuts and seeds in your diet every day. Also supplement with fish oils daily.
8. Stop having take away or eating out so much. Cooking a meal from scratch or packing your own food really doesn’t take long.
9. If it came in a packet, or has a list of ingredients, stop eating it!!
10. Once per week, eat something you love and disregard all the rules. The only caveat here, is limit the portion to something reasonable. Don’t eat the entire block of chocolate and ruin the whole week. Total calories over a week still counts.
11. Exercise every day or at least 4-5 times per week. Even if its just for 15-20 minutes, get up a sweat and start puffing!!
Sticking to these rules will get you well on the way to a healthy and lean body. Every rule is important and although sticking to one or two of them will help, you will never reach your full potential without improving your entire diet and lifestyle.
Until you follow these rules every day, you do not need to worry about serving sizes or quantities of carbs or protein etc. Once you’re making good food choices on a daily basis, then you can worry about how much to eat. I can help you with this if you’re stuck.
Stick to eating real, non-processed foods and it will make a huge difference. Stop worrying about calories and carbs and get healthy food into you.
Don’t worry about the latest supplement of weight loss pill or drink. The basic rules above will increase your fat loss much more than any of these ever will despite the advertising promises. Basically they just don’t work without everything else being in place first. If you read the fine print, they all say they work combined with the proper diet and exercise routine–dah!! What is really working??