Making "Dieting" Simple!
Dieting is does not have to be so difficult. So many of us overlook constructing a sensible and effective eating plan. Do you count calories, eat only for half the day, or measure your portions in your hand.
Whatever you choose to do and whatever your goals may be, there are some basic, fundamental guidelines to follow for an overall healthy eating plan. Once you adopt or in some cases revisit these guidelines, it will naturally adjust to your needs accordingly.
Below are 8 guidelines you should stick too, when approaching your food and nutritional needs. It might be time to end your fear of the daunting diet and shed some light on the realities of dieting.
#1 Protein, Protein, Protein
Including protein seems like a no-brainer, but you really need to take a look at your current eating plan and be honest about what you are eating? is it real food? Do you take too many protein supplements to fill in spaces throughout the day? and do you get ample amounts?
Action needed: First, know your daily count of 1.5 gram per KG of bodyweight to get started. Next, make sure that most, if not all, of your protein is coming from whole foods such as chicken, fish, lean meats, fish, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and low-fat milk.
Protein supplement use is great but should be reserved for bookending your training sessions and at times when you need a convenient, fast shot of protein with no real food in sight.
#2 Good Fats Before Carbs
Most people have adopted the old practice of eliminating as much fat from their diet as possible. They think that the less fat eaten translates into less body fat. If you’ve been under a rock for the past decade or so, you don’t know the positive power of fat and how it can fuel your energy, training better than carbs can.
Action Needed: With a host of benefits including hormone regulation, energy production, and inducing satiety, healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, nut butters, and mixed nuts will only help you reach your goals and even more body fat However, since one gram of fat contains over twice the calories of protein keep your intake on the moderate side. No matter what your weight never shoot over 1 gram per KG of body weight, saying this a good amount to lose body fat and have ample energy for your workout is about 30-50g.
#3 Be gentle with our friend "Carbs"
Carbs were once our friend. They gave us energy, nutrients, and satisfaction. Ah, those were the good old days. Now, things seem to have taken a negative turn. Carbs are the scourge of dieters everywhere. We can no longer enjoy a bite of bread without feeling guilt or the need to double our efforts in the gym.
Action Needed: Carbs are our friends. They are our preferred energy source and, although they aren’t essential for survival, they are necessary in many ways for the high-level athlete or lifter. Start with 1.5 - 2 gram per KG of body weight for a period of about 4 weeks and then adjust as necessary according to your specific goals.
#4 Eat Regularly
Yes, there are more than several diet strategies out there touting their effectiveness as the only way to do things. Intermittent fasting and IIFYM are just a couple that come to mind that use extreme measures regarding marketing and promises. All types of so-called new and improved ways of eating seem to crop up every year, but to what success? What actually works best?
Action Needed: The rule is to follow a simple plan. One that isn’t a fad, trend, or the latest marketing campaign trying to sell books, programs, or special supplements. Eat balanced, small, nutritious meals spaced 2-3 hours throughout the day, eat enough protein, limit carbs, and eat fats that include all of your required daily nutrients without extreme measures or long periods of fasting or eating whatever you want.
#5 Eat Enough Food
Ask anyone trying to gain muscle and they will inevitably say that they eat a lot of food and can’t gain an ounce. Or anyone trying to lose weight will say they are not eating much and still cant lose weight.
Action Needed: If gaining muscular bodyweight is your goal, write down everything you eat for three days. Take a hard look at what you wrote and ask yourself if it was consistent, if it looks like enough to accomplish your goal, and if it includes all of the criteria listed above. If trying to lose body fat then take the same approach and be consistent with regular monitoring of macronutrients.
#6 Change Up Whats In Your Diet Regularly
Many diet plans will have you eating the same thing every single day without much variety. It is true that some meals are great to have every day— But varying your diet is still a good idea for better health since you get more complete nutrients by eating an array of foods.
Action Needed: Explore different types of fruit and vegetables that are low GI (Glycemic Index)— Also, switch up protein sources from meat to different varieties of fish. Go with different sources of nuts, oils, and fatty fish for essential fats. The more varied your diet, the more you’ll benefit from a wider array of nutrients.
#7 Don’t worry about the Numbers
Dieters can turn into accountants, counting every single calorie, and gram that goes into their mouths. They keep detailed files, spreadsheets, and utilise several apps in hopes to help close-in on their desired goal. Which can be very helpful if you have a specific goal and targets in mind but their mathematician ways seem to never be enough so they find even more ways to track their every act of eating.
Action Needed: Take a breath. It can be easy to get lost and lose sight of the big picture. Once you have an eating plan in place, set it into motion and give it ample time to have an effect. If you feel the need to track do so with a broad stroke. Don't get to caught up in the details to allow your plan to have a fighting chance.
#8 Its ok to mess up!
Many individuals seem to have an all or nothing attitude—they are either full throttle or at a standstill. These are the same people who start everything on a Monday. Don’t be one of “those people” focus on the best environment possible and eventual results will begin.
Action Needed: If you are about to embark on a new eating plan then just begin now. Why wait? Another strategy to adopt is whenever you fall off the horse and have a bad day of eating, just pick up where you left off. Don’t throw the entire day away and have a “start the whole thing over” mentality. Pick up the pieces and get back at it as dieting is a bout keeping it a lifestyle thats achievable, not a quick fix.
You'll Be Glad You Did It and be confident with your choices!
Creating a healthy eating plan for whatever reason shouldn’t be too complicated. Take simple and deliberate steps, set your plan in motion without overthinking the details. Use these principles to break free from the diet accountant mentality and enjoy the your dieting journey.