My goal is to try and teach people useful techniques that they can follow for life and not just for a few months to lose a stone… wondering why they put the stone back on, after going back to their cream cakes, fish and chips, kebabs and greasy pizzas – amazingly claiming that diets don't work. Of course they work, it's the cream cake, fish & chips, etc diet that doesn't work!
By learning to read nutritional labels, buying the right foods, choosing the right meals in restaurants and cooking in a healthier way, you'll be amazed at how many calories you can save every day…calories that will not be converting to excess fat around your stomach. With the techniques you'll learn today, you'll find you can eat the same foods, but with half the calories - creating the weight loss you desire and the ability to treat yourself to the odd ‘naughty’ food when you want and deserve it, like going out on the weekends, a birthday, etc…
Below is an example of the daily food consumption of a chubby 14 stone male (24% bodyfat, 39″ waist);
Wake up: 7am – 6 hours sleep*
Breakfast: Frosties and whole milk, two pieces of toast + butter + jam: 828 cals:
Mid morning snack: Coke and Mars bar: 420 cals
Lunch: 1 Mcdonalds cheeseburger, large fries, medium coke: 699 cals
Mid afternoon snack: Walkers crisps and Coke: 271 cals
Work snacks: 4 x chocolates being handed around at work: 141 cals
After work pub: 2 pints of beer, packet of crisps and handful of salted peanuts: 660 cals
Dinner: 12″ over ready pizza, pepperoni: 1584 cals
Watching TV snacks: 6 chocolate digestive biscuits: 438 cals
As you can see the total calories for the above is a whopping; 5041 calories.
For someone of 5' 10″ weighing around 90kg (14 stone - 24% bodyfat) and training 3 times a week (or jogging 30 mins per day), you would need around 3300 calories to neither gain muscle or lose fat.) By eating the above menu of nearly 5000 calories, that's 1700 calories too much per day, meaning you'll be putting on 2-3lbs per week. To lose fat and get those abs back into action, you'll need to cut calories down big time.
However, that doesn't mean eating celery and lettuce, it just means learning how to eat sensibly and what's high and low calories. With a little bit of effort it is possible to eat a similar amount of food by being aware of what is high calorie and cutting down on portion size, yet avoiding hunger by eating more high fibre and high protein foods that fill you up, leaving you less hungry and prone to sugary snacks.
Here's an example of how you can do that and lose weight…
Wake up: 7am – 8 hours sleep*
Breakfast: High protein shake (Promax)+ banana blended with water, 2 x pieces of toast + low sugar jam: 416 cals
Mid morning snack: Diet Coke + apple: 53 cals
Lunch: M&S chicken sandwich and carrot strip bag (2 carrots): 372 cals
Mid afternoon snack: Promax shake and small cake: 275 cals
Work snacks: 4 x chocolates being handed around at work: 140 cals
After work pub: 2 glasses of wine or (1 guiness/beer) + pack of crisps: 362 cals (or pre training meal)
Dinner: Grilled chicken breast, 2 fists of favourite vegetables + 3 scoops of mashed potato/rice + gravy: 375 cals
Watching TV snacks: 3 plain weight watchers low fat digestive biscuits: 164 cals
Total calories = 2157, that's a saving of 3542 calories from the 5000 total!
Amazingly you have eaten 8 small meals a day, every 2 hours, thereby avoiding hunger and cravings, yet only consumed 2157 calories and gone to the pub with your mates, so no one can accuse you of being boring. By following this menu plan or variations of it, you'll now be losing 2lbs of fat a week and within a few months your abs will be making an appearance again, maybe for the first time – how cool would that be?
Let me explain to you, why I chose the above food choices.
1. Always start the day with a protein shake (I use Promax from Maximuscle as it is instant mixing with water and still tastes great), as this provides valuable amino acids to your muscles. If you're going to the gym and lifting weights, you need extra protein to build and maintain muscle. Extra muscle burns fat and increases your metabolic rate. A whey protein shake also reduces appetite (i.e. increase satiety) by stimulating the production/release of Cholecystokinin (CCK). This is excellent for reducing cravings and snacks, keeping your 'diet' on track.
2. Try and cut down on very high calorie spreads like butter, use low sugar jams and marmite. I also don't recommend using margarines, as they contain trans-fatty acids. These are heavily processed fats that cause Insulin resistance, thus causing increased body fat storage, especially around your tummy.
3. Many people are bread junkies. Bread is high in calories and simple carbohydrates, which quickly pack on calories and fat, especially when you keep dolloping butter on. Did you know that each slice of white bread and dollop of butter is nearly 200 calories for each and every slice! It is important to make an effort to reduce eating bread with every meal. Ask for it not to be served at restaurants and where you normally have two slices, eat one. This will make a big difference
4. It is so simple to drink zero sugar versions of Coke and drinks like Red Bull. You'll be saving 139 calories on every can of Coke you drink. With just 3 cans a day that's a saving of 417 calories!
5. M&S make great sandwiches and they no do healthy versions with zero mayonnaise, which still taste great. To fill you up, try eating a high fibre snack such as their bags of carrot sticks (McDonalds also sell these) They're good to munch on and reduce cravings, due to the fibre making you feel full. If you don't have an M&S near you and your local café makes your sandwiches, just tell them to put no butter on and use normal sliced bread as opposed to thick oil laced Italian rolls. Don't fill it with pan fried breadcrumbed chicken breasts, use grilled chicken breasts with some tomato slices and ground pepper, as opposed to thick dollops of mayo and oil. You'll be saving hundreds of calories without any noticeable taste.
6. Control your greed. Yes, nothing is more frustrating when trying to stick to a diet when colleagues at work come round with chocolates, cake and crisps to celebrate someone leaving, joining or birthdays. Have the odd chocolate by all means, but not the whole tray. It's these little snacks that kill your diet and pack on the fat.
7. So you've had a stressful day at work and you want to chill down the pub. Fine, but start off with soft drinks and I don't mean juices, these are high in calories. Stick to tonic water, diet Red Bull, Diet Coke, fizzy water and then maybe if you're not driving home a glass of wine or lite beer. Did you know that each pint of beer is 182 calories, that means that your average 4 pint drinking session adds a whopping 728 calories to your waist.
8. When you get home, stick on a healthy meal. I chose grilled chicken breasts as they're easy to make and taste great when garnished with herbs. Remember that the high protein content increases fullness, so you'll need to eat less and you'll stay full for longer and want to eat less rubbish snacks in front of the TV later. Adding a good helping of vegetables, broccoli, parsnips, carrots, peas, (whatever you prefer) will add complex carbs to your meal, which provide sustained energy release, are less likely to convert to fat, whilst being high in fibre to keep you full for longer and of course they're packed with nutrients to keep you in peak health.
9. If you're like me, watching an hour of TV before bed, relaxes and de-stresses you. But avoid the trap that most people do and sit down with a packet of biscuits and cup of tea. Most people will quickly finish the entire pack of biscuits. Buy low fat biscuits – Weight Watchers makes some tasty ones and only take out of the actual biscuits you want to eat. Leave the rest back in the biscuit tin. Surround yourself with low fat snacks, my preference is pickles or gherkins, an entire jar or can is only 3 calories! And use skimmed milk for your tea and use sweetener, just doing this alone will save you another 30 calories and if you're like me and drink 4-5 cups a day, that's a saving of up to 114 calories.
10. Get enough sleep, you'll notice how I also recommend going to bed earlier (aim for 7-8 hours every night). This is very important. Lack of sleep increases Cortisol and reduces Testosterone. Not only does this dramatically curtail any results in the gym and reduce recovery from any sports you play, it increases fat storage and makes you hungry. It is a fact that people who sleep less are more hungry and snack more. If you find it hard to sleep, remember that high intakes of caffeine before bed keep you awake and alcohol reduces the quality of deep, relaxing sleep, which is why you rarely feel refreshed after a heavy drinking session the night before.
Here's my summary of losing fat without dieting;
• Reduce bread intake or cut it out
• Ask for bread and butter at your table in restaurants to be removed
• Replace butter or margarine with low fat jams or marmite
• Increase protein intake and use a protein shake (like Promax) to add protein to your diet to keep you feeling fuller for longer
• Avoid all fried food or frying and replace with grilled, boiled or steamed versions
• Replace chips with roast or boiled potatoes
• Replace pasta and rice with your favourite steamed vegetables
• Replace all normal fizzy drinks with zero sugar diet versions
• Reduce beer and wine intake and replace with diet drinks, water or lite beers or wines
• Start going to the gym, cardio work burns calories and weight training builds muscle which burns fat
For more detailed information on this area, visit www.musclebulletin.com/menuplan