Create Your Best Ever January Diet – That’s Not A Diet!
Design your simplest ever fat loss diet with these nutrition rules
Most of us want to shed a few pounds in January, but nobody relishes the idea of a diet! What if we told you that you don’t actually have to “diet” at all? By learning the fundamental basics of a healthy eating plan – and why your body is craving them – you can design your own way of eating. Beats any diet out there!
Taking control of your weight is actually pretty simple. It might not always be easy, but it is simple. It all comes down to a few undeniable rules of nature, including thermodynamics (the relation between energy input and output).
You already take care of your healthy by running, stretching, drinking water, and trying to get enough sleep. Why is it that we can know so much about how to get from 0-5K, but still feel flummoxed about how to eat?
Once you get to grips with the basic rules of nutrition, you can create a hierarchy of diet rules. This will help you – every day, every year, for the rest of your life. As long as you get the first one right, you’ll lose weight. Add the second most important, and you’ll stay leaner and be a better runner. Tick off the third and fourth and you’ll have more energy, recover better, and be able to manage your diet more easily.
Diet Success – In Order Of Importance
To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. So work out your BMR (you can Google this), and then your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure – the amount of energy you expend every day). Then track your food so you know whether you’re eating in a deficit or excess. You can do this via an app like myfitnesspal, or a food log. You dob’t have to do it forever, just until you get to grips with how many calories you are actually eating. Energy balance is the number 1 fundamental of dieting for body recomposition.
Once you’ve got calories sorted, you must focus on protein. Protein is the only macronutrient we absolutely need (the other two – carbohydrates and fats are negotiable – because our bodies can work around them). Protein is made of amino acids, some of which our bodies can not make. So we must get these proteins from food. Have a serving of protein (about 30g-40g if you eat 4-6 times per day) with every meal and snack. Protein isn’t just for muscles. It’s also for energy, for recovery, and even for fullness. Protein keeps you fuller than any other kind of food – important if you are trying to eat a little less to lose weight.
#3 Carbohydrates and/or fats
After meeting your protein intake target, you can split your remaining calories across carbohydrates, fats, or both. It’s really up to you. They are both a source of energy. Carbs are 4 calories per gram. Fats are 9 calories per gram. Eat to your preference – which macro fills you up better and tastes best to you? Some people like to eat things like pasta, fruit, bread, cereal, and potatoes. If that’s you, then give more of your calories to carbohydrates (but eat less fat to make up for it). If you like cheese, eggs, oily fish, bacon, and creamy sauces then you need to give more of your calories to fats – but you’ll need to dial back on the carbohydrates to balance things out.
#4 Food Types
Now you’ve got calorie intake and your best macronutrient split sorted, you can look at what foods you’ll eat. The reason most diets fail you is that they dictate what foods you should eat, or they split foods into good vs bad categories. But this is about finding a healthy way of eating for life. So please eat foods you enjoy, and don’t force yourself to eat foods you hate. Dieting shouldn’t be miserable. You can eat whatever you want, as long as it fits that calorie goal and gives you enough protein. Obviously lower calorie, higher volume foods will give you more bang for your buck. And you should ensure adequate nutrition (fibre, vitamins, minerals, anti oxidants). But a healthy diet absolutely can contain a bit of anything (and yes you can still lose weight!) If in doubt, go back to tier #1 of the hierarchy!
#5 Meal Timing
The final element – the lowest priority in the hierarchy – is meal timing. By all means eat lots of mini meals in a day if you want to. But you could also eat 3 times a day. Or just once. You could fast, or eat every 2-3 hours. It doesn’t matter. Eat in a way that suits your lifestyle, and makes you feel energised. If it makes you feel tired, sluggish, too full, or too hungry then it’s not right for you. Don’t try to force a meal timing structure on your family, routine, or work schedule. Make it work for you.
However, none of this matters unless we take human behaviour into account! You’re an individual (not a robot!) with food preferences and emotions, memories of food from your upbringing, food associations, and personal preferences. There’s no perfect diet. Only the best diet for you.
Bonus 5 Rules Of An Easy Weight Loss Diet
1 Drink water at every meal (start before you eat)
2 Eat a decent serving of vegetables or salad leaves at every meal
3 Put your knife and fork down often during your meal
4 Eat mindfully, without distractions, and savour your food
5 Think about what you’re eating and how it makes you feel