When starting a journey to lose weight, diet will the factor that makes or breaks your results. Unfortunately, this is the aspect that people struggle with most and that’s the most confusing. Shrouded in an endless battle of opinions, even between scientists.
On the plus side, as long as you follow a few simple basic guidelines you can lose weight quite easily without having to resort to FAD diets. If FAD diets worked, everyone would be lean and I wouldn’t have a job. There is a simple principle that works for weight loss which is:
Calories Out > Calories In
In other words, consume less than your body uses and you will inevitably lose weight. I have a problem with this approach however. It doesn’t apply well to a real world setting. If it were that simple for everyone then people could merely track calories and lose weight, which they can, but the issue arises at the end of transformation. Once you have achieved your desired weight, you assume you can simply stop tracking and continue to eat what made you want to lose weight in the first place.
Technically true, practically false.
What happens is that you regain weight. You can’t expect to follow the diet that made you unhappy and maintain the transformation. This makes no sense…unless you decide to track your calories for your entire life.
My other gripe with this approach at the beginning of someone’s journey is that many people are overfed and undernourished. In other words, they may be deficient or borderline deficient in certain minerals or vitamins, common examples being magnesium and vitamin D.
Deficiency leads to a body that doesn’t function at 100% capacity and makes the other crucial tools in a weight loss journey such as training, quality sleep and stress (linked to energy levels).
How Should You Start To Lose Weight?
Starting out a diet by focusing on your health will yield better results long-term. Why? Because you are actively learning to change some of your underlying destructive habits. In addition, you are properly nourishing your body for it to go be able to perform and recover appropriately.
This results in less energy dips, solid sleep and less stress as you a performing the tasks you need to efficiently rather than on 2 or 3 coffees.
This doesn’t mean that you need to eat perfectly for the rest of your life, this is simply a phase to get you in the right place eating foods that you like, not bland salads.
How To Lay Out Your Meals
When going through this process keep meal layout simple. Initially it won’t be easy as you are essentially learning a new skill. So make this process as easy as possible. To make it simple include some protein and some vegetables. Including a little fat or carbs. Here is an example day:
Breakfast: Greek yoghurt (0% fat), a tablespoon of mixed seeds, a handful of blueberries + a coffee
Lunch: Chicken/turkey, mixed veg, avocado
Dinner: Salmon, baby potatoes and large colourful salad
You can make meals savoury or sweet, ultimately your focus is on health. The next step is where we really get the ball rolling. At this point you’ll be ready for the best transformation of your life.