This post comes from the heart, and the number of times I have personally come across social media influenced mindsets on how to diet. Not limited to social media "celebrity trainers" brainwashing vulnerable young minds, into thinking that particular supplements are how they achieved their physique.
But uneducated people in this industry that want to sell as many transformation packages as they can to fill their pockets while the people investing in their help are left with nothing but broken promises or in most cases over exercise under feed bodies. The mental battle and struggle this causes on so many people every day, leading to a depressive attitude and very unhealthy relationship with food.
When it comes to starting a new diet, so many of us including myself in the past have decided this is it. We are going to go 100% full steam ahead not stopping us now. All “clean” eating no process foods for us! I'm going to have an educated / experienced guess on how the week looks of someone following a very unnecessarily strict diet. Then show you how to make your weight loss journey a lot easier and enjoyable.
My take on how a "clean" eating dieters week will look?
So its Monday morning and your hugely motivated to lose the unwanted weight. So the first thing that morning you start with a nutritious bowl of porridge oats packed with some fruit and a herbal tea, once you have enjoyed that your off for that early morning gym session putting all your effort into that workout.
Lunchtime comes around, and a chicken salad is on the menu. While you are eating your lunch your scrolling through your Instagram feed with is filled with "celebrity trainers" who although with not a single nutrition qualification to their name just a couple of reality show appearances under their belts. Have all the secrets to weight loss, insisting that the low carb, high fat approach is always the way to go for fast results! Hmm, of course, cutting a complete macronutrient out will give you quick results! It will also make you feel awful and depleted but don't worry by Thursday or Friday you will be feeling this.
So once your back in the evening. Dinner tonight is again some low-calorie low carb meal possibly a chicken stir fry again a great meal to have but also remember low-calorie equals low energy also. Once you have eaten that you go to bed feeling massively proud of your Monday and so you should, you stick to your new regime.
Tuesday morning comes around, and you are still fired up feeling less bloated than you did when you woke up yesterday morning, just as your "celebrity Nutritionist" said you would. Just imagine how good you're going to look by Sunday! Eating stays roughly the same very low carb high vegetable diet, and you are enjoying those meals because of your feeling better already.
Its Wednesday already and the morning is upon you, when you wake up you find it slightly harder to get up and get yourself down the gym. Your starting to feel hungry so decide let's grab the first cereal that comes to hand. Okay it's not as "clean" as porridge oats, but you want something quicker and easier than cooking oats for a few minutes. The cereal that hits the bowl is higher carb higher sugar, which you fill the bowl to the brim with not worrying or thinking about the calories now sitting in that bowl.
You manage to get your second workout in, but your performance wasn't quite what it was, but still, you made it in, so it counts. You manage to get your lower carb meals in for lunch and dinner. Remembering that carbs are the only reason that you haven't hit your goals before and has been hindering your results so thank god you got rid of them! Apart from breakfast of course.
Thursday morning is here the suns up but your not, your exhausted your body aches from your two workouts this week, and that's the reason you are going to stay in bed, keep pressing the snooze alarm because you need that recovery. So you didn't manage to get to the gym this morning because you're going to workout tomorrow.
Knowing you haven't worked out today that means lower calories for your already poverty calorie allowance! So you skip breakfast just a black coffee for the 0 calorie caffeine hit! It's mid-morning, and your stomach is rumbling your counting down the time till its lunch. Your finding it hard to concentrate at work due to your low energy, this has been caused by the enormous calorie deficit you have been sitting in over last four days.
Yes, its lunchtime and you find yourself not tucking into the chicken salad but heading into the shelves of the local supermarket where your lunch becomes three or four times the number of calories that your usual meal would contain. But its okay because remember you skipped breakfast this morning.
Its dinner time and you fancy something that definitely wouldn't be recommended by any trainer or coach your following or taking advice from. So you ignore those cravings and tuck into something you don't enjoy because it's not even close to what you wanted for dinner. So you head off to bed feeling depleted and wondering if it's still even worth it. How long can I keep this up for!
Waking up Friday your tired for the lack of energy you have been giving your body over the week. Not slightly feeling motivated because all week you haven't had any foods you used to love eating regularly, and snacks just aren't included in that low carb diet, so your favourite mid-morning treats was definitely a no-no!
It's a workout day, and your lack of drive means you have no intention of hitting the gym floor. By lunchtime, you have eaten, and you're getting excited again because it's nearly the weekend which means one thing its CHEAT DAY! You have earned it right! Knowing its Friday night dinner and technically that's kind of the weekend its pizza night! Yay!
So your trainer said it's always essential to have a refeed meal those muscles won't repair without it (most “cheat meals” are high in carbs and fat and not in the essential proteins needed to repair those muscles) and of course you need to kickstart that metabolism again! its how you trick the body into losing even more body fat! ( i have seen this quote from a coach oh dear!) Omg, I can eat all these 12 slices of large pizza and still lose bodyfat awesome! You go to bed feeling bloated but great!
Saturday morning you are still full from lasts nights pizza bonanza. So you start the day with coffee and mabey few biscuits just because its the weekend. Heading out on that day you decide to go out for lunch which means the meal you fancied Thursday night is now available to you. So that meal is served up with a starter and a dessert. Because you didn't CHEAT on your diet Monday - Friday and you cant expect to live without your favourite foods! Adding 2 courses expect to add around 700-1000+ calories depending on choices.
Heading home for Saturday night means movie night, watching a movie is only complete with drinks and various snacks such as your favour slab of chocolate, crisps or mabey popcorn but its still cheat day, so it doesn't count. After going into a feeding frenzy eating as much as you could until felt sick and uncomfortable, you go to bed feeling awful, your stomach hurts, and you deep down know that you shouldn't have eaten all that food.
Sunday morning you wake up feeling bloated and depressed about eating so much food from Friday night and Saturday. Its meant to be the morning you weigh yourself in to see those great results your trainer told you about, but the thought of stepping on those scales makes your mood worsen. Mabey I’m just not hardcore enough to keep up with them. That’s why my body doesn’t look like theirs. Trust me it’s not!
Knowing you are not going to lose weight this week, you decide Monday morning is the day to go hard and strict again! You are going to get back on track cut all those “bad” foods out you enjoyed over the last 36 hours and get that bodyfat gone! That motivation is back from putting a plan together (you get the same hormone release from creating a goal as you do from achieving that goal), and because its Sunday that means you don't have to worry what you eat again today because you're not starting your diet until Monday morning!
And the process goes round and around, losing and gaining weight through each week of the year!
I've been there and always finished my week feeling down and depressed.
Thankfully through following the right educated "influencers" and studying multiple nutrition courses, i learnt how to get myself and my clients out of this vicious cycle. And today I'm going to show you.
The rules guidelines
I follow the 80/20 rule or sometimes known as the IIFYM (if it fits your macros) or flexible dieting rule.
This way of eating allows flexibility and consistency within a diet. By approaching the way you eat on a daily and weekly basis, to include foods you enjoy gives you the ability to stay on track all seven days of the week.
Probably the most important factor to this way of dieting it makes it a more enjoyable process.
Knowing you don't have to wait five days before eating yourself uncontrollably into a huge calorie surplus over the weekend, undoing any work you have done throughout the week, which was if you remember right, a huge struggle trying to stick to anyways. It also allows for social occasions not to be cancelled on, because it doesn't fit your diet or you're too worried there will be nothing on the menu you can order.
In today's world of more health-conscious people, the restaurant industry has had to adapt to the new needs of the people filling their tables. Which is great for us because it means the menus are more suit to low-calorie dishes, we can easily fit into our calorie allowance.
One thing to always remind yourself, is that you have chosen for a number of reasons to lose some weight which is great. So why then would you make the process of achieving that as hard as possible? This sets you up for short term disappointment. If you take one sentence away from this post, then this is it, if you can’t see yourself eating the way you are now in 12 months then your doing it wrong.
Down to the details
So let me break it down in more detail on how this works. It's straightforward and very effective when done correctly.
So you know your calorie allowance, and let us say for example this is 2000 calories per day. You are going to fill 80% of those calories through great tasting lean proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats and veggies or in the example in terms of calories that would be 1600 (2000 / 10 x 8 ).
You could break this into three meals of just over 500 calories each. The remaining 20% is then available for snacks or if you like to call them “treats” that you usually would avoid, because they can't be eaten when your dieting. Well, I'm telling you they most surely can.
Weight loss is all about calories, and it is the fundamentals of achieving this. So as long as your energy expenditure (calories burnt off) is higher than your energy income (calories eaten), you will lose weight.
So that remaining 20% allowance would equal 400 calories in this example, giving you plenty of room to fit in your favourite sweet treat or savoury snack on a daily basis, while knowing you're still moving forward to achieving any goals you have set.
I believe this method is the best approach you can have, not only when it comes to dieting but eating in general, the balance it gives you, covers for any occasion that will come up, so you will find yourself enjoying food again, especially the process of losing some of that unwanted body fat.
Dieting used to be a chore to myself, something I could not wait to be over, and that includes the daily and weekly battle I had with the foods I enjoyed rather than the foods I ate.
Do yourself a favour today, go unfollow nutritionally uneducated people over social media. Their income is usually derived from selling you unnecessary supplements, and their results are achieved from the cloth of an operating table. Not saying all of them but a good majority are.
I hope this post has opened up a different thought process on how you are going to approach your diet, and make this a great year both for your dieting mindset and achieving your results.
As always share this post to your friends or family you see struggling to obtain a healthy relationship with their diet.