When Did Eating Get so Complicated?

I just returned from a fantastic holiday in Greece (check out the hotel on my Facebook page if you want a great Vegan friendly hotel to visit) and one of the things that took me by surprise is the confusion and upset people still go through every day with their diet.

If you take a look at my profile pic on Facebook, this was taken a couple of weeks before holiday, I am by no means arrogant or think that my body is anything special, however I am realistic enough to know that having a lower body fat and a little bit of muscle does draw attention from some people and they would come and talk to me about what they eat. Ignoring the vegan lifestyle for now, which seemed to blow peoples minds that I had any muscle definition without eating meat, the biggest confusion appeared to be around the very basics of how to lose weight without wanting to bash your head against a brick wall!…so I wanted to just write this brief post to hopefully give you some peace of mind or take some of the stress away if you are someone that is struggling with a weight loss goal.

I believe that the biggest thing stopping you from losing weight is all the crap you are sold on a daily basis, it could be the latest diet trend on TV, sponsored ads on social media, the latest guru that lost weight eating just coconut oil all day or even your friends and family that swear by a certain diet that worked for them low carb, high fat, high carb, low fat, intermittent fasting etc etc it’s confusing AF!

We have to differentiate correlation and causation, just because your friend or the guru in the magazine lost weight not eating carbs does not mean that it was carbs that were the problem, by removing carbs likely restricted their food choices which meant that they ate less. Same with things like intermittent fasting, its not that you are intermittent fasting that magically makes you lose weight, its because you are spending less time eating and missing whole meals out that you eat less.

In the most simplistic form, the only factor you need to worry about if you are trying to lose weight is calories. I’m going to tell you exactly how you do it in just a few steps, however because media has shoved this and that diet down your throat for so long, complicating the shit out of everything you will think I am bonkers and that something this simple won’t work, here goes..

1) Tomorrow morning step on the scales and take note of your weight.

2) For 1 week don’t change anything you are doing with diet or activity, log all the foods you eat on a daily basis on an app like MyFitnessPal, its really easy and takes seconds to log food, you can even scan barcodes directly in the app to log all the calories.

3) At the end of 1 week step on the scales and then take a look in the app to see what your average daily calorie intake was for the last week.

If your weight has stayed the same or increased and your goal is to lose weight then we need to decrease the daily average calories you are consuming until you start to lose weight.

It’s important to not make any knee jerk reactions, we don’t want to cut 50% of your food, remove chocolate, cake, chips etc etc (if thats what you like eating), just small changes with your calories week on week until the scales start to move in your favour.

Let’s say that on average you are eating 2,500 kcal a day and in the week you put on 1lb. I would suggest that for the next week you drop your daily calories to 2,350 for a whole week and see where you end up in a weeks time. If in a week your weight doesn’t change then nudge it down again for the next week 2,200 a day until your weight starts to drop.

For the average person looking to lose just a few lbs, I recommend a weight loss of 0.5lbs a week. It doesn’t sound like much I know but in 14 weeks thats half a stone…whilst eating all the foods you do now, no restrictions on what you can eat, only on the amount of food.

All you need to do is stick to the calories you have set yourself every day and weigh in each week at the same day/time…and because its your daily average across the week that we want to control, if you go over by a couple of hundred calories one day for a wedding or social occasion, then just eat a couple of hundred calories less the next day.

When you reach a weight you are happy with then just do the same in reverse until you stop losing weight. Nudge your calories up each week until your weight stays the same and hey presto, you are no longer dieting, its a lifestyle where you eat what you want and don’t gain weight. Just stick to the numbers.

You might also be wondering about meal timings, for someone who just wants to lose a few lbs or maintain their weight it really makes no difference if you eat 2 meals a day or 8 meals a day, the most important thing is what you enjoy and gives you the less stress in your daily life. The myth about eating more often to increase metabolism has been well and truly busted time and time again, don’t buy into the B.S. Pick a meal timing that suits your lifestyle.

So there you have it, 2 very simple things you can do to lose weight.
1) Eat when you want
2) Eat what you want

All you need to do is stick to your calories.

Please note that the above is for a typical person who perhaps does a couple of cardio session or is fairly active and just wants to maintain a healthy body or lose a little weight, if your goal is specifically to build as much muscle as possible or “tone up” I put “tone up” in speech marks because toning up basically means adding or maintaining muscle whilst reducing body fat to leave you with a toned look, then it requires a very small amount of additional effort which I will cover in another article v soon.

Any questions or comments please post below or feel free to drop me a message

Thanks

Mark