Diet is a key element of an active lifestyle.
It is just important as the exercise part of triathlon and can be the “4th discipline” if you’re into sports.
Anyone who is heavy and has been most of their life lie to themselves and others about food. The food industries lies to us too. There’s rampant misinformation, confusion and obscurification going on.
So let’s cut the crap people:
- You eat too much
- You eat the wrong foods
- You think you know what is “healthy” and what is “not healthy” (but yet, refer to #1 and #2)
- You eat too much food AT ONE TIME
- It is fixable
If you’re a fatman or fatwoman you know that you eat too much. You know you need to do something about it. I’m not dietician but I can tell you one thing from my journey of shedding ~150lbs of fat. You’re a liar. I’m a liar. We’re all a bunch of liars. So STOP LYING and you will start losing. Track your calories for a few days DO NOT LIE. Every single thing that touches your lips, RECORD IT. Measure it. If you are anything like me, you will realize you are a pathological liar about food. You “say” you had 1 serving… but you had 2. You “say” you eat a balanced diet…. but you don’t. And so on…
There are many sites for tracking your calories, I happen to like this one www.sparkpeople.com because it is BALANCED – they educate as well as allow you to track food, exercise, and there is just an AMAZING dictionary of foods already entered.
Let’s face it, entering your foods is a pain in the neck. Let that be your motivation to lose weight, so you can stop.
So what are the elements of healthy eating?
- Properly balanced nutrition
- Enough calories to support your body, your activity, and your weight goals
- Not freaking out when you screw up #1 and #2. Because you will. Get over it. Regroup, immediately, and start again. Not tomorrow. Now.
So how do I lose weight?
- Consume slightly less calories than you burn over a long period of time.
That’s it. There is nothing more too it. Everything else is rationalizations, excuses, and lies. At most, you should consume 500 calories LESS than you burn, each day. Anymore more and you run the risk of your body freaking out and getting some pack back on you. And less and it will take so long you’ll get frustrated and discouraged.
How many calories should I eat per day?
- You Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the amount of calories you burn at rest. Use a calculator to get an estimate. Mine, for example, is approximately 2100 calories per day. This is an estimate. Did I mention this is an estimate? For me, I round down a touch. So let’s say 2,000.
- Your Activity. What you DO during the day. Use a site like Sparkpeople to record the activity and use that ESTIMATE (again, round down is my suggestion – be conservative). So if I log a 1 hour bike ride at a decent pace could be 1080. Again, I’ll round down, so 1,000.
- BMR is 2000 + Activity is 1000 – 500 = 2500 calories
If you do NOTHING some day, then it might be 2000 + 0 – 500 = 1500.
Can I eat too much healthy food?
- Absolutely! The calories in calories out model is easy to understand, but simply not a complete picture. You need to think about what you eat AND WHEN. The simple version of this is if you eat more calories (of any kind) than your body can absorb, it will go to fat.
Don’t Drink your calories
- This is a simple rule which can help you shed unneeded calories. When you drink calories most of the time they are not filling, or not filling for long.
- Think of these situations that you probably recognize in your own life. How many calories do you think your body will use as fuel? Maybe 100. The rest goes to fat.
- Do not “reward” yourself with food for working out. EAT NORMALLY, just maybe slightly larger portions.
- If you’re full, don’t keep eating. It means you already blew it. You should never feel “full” that’s too late.
- Drink lots. 3 Liters a day (~100 ounces) is a good target if you’re active. Yes, you will be peeing all the time.. so what. You will be providing your body the tools it needs.
- Starvation diets don’t work long term. If you consistently eat 1000 calories but you need 2000 calories you will burn off some pounds, but you’re body is going to be PISSED and it will gain them back later. So cut that crap out and stop it.
- Diet pills don’t work long term. Same as starvation diets. It’s a short term band-aid to an infected wound (gross image right? GOOD!). They MAKE MORE MONEY IF YOU FAIL!
- PURGE diets… be careful here. This can have a purpose, but for most people, it’s a starvation diet in disguise. So my advice is most people need to stay away!
- DO NOT SKIP MEALS. BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD.
- If you can eat 6-7 meals/day it’s better than 3. SAME daily calories! Give me a break, it’s not convienent? Really. Is being fat convienent? Seriously. You need to find ways to stash good healthy food so you don’t eat the crap or (my problem) wait too long to eat and then over eat. I bought a picnic “bag” with fork/knife and I carry it with me most days to clients. I have a tiny fridge in my office. I have a drawer with food stashed at one of my regular clients. If I consultant who wanders all over can do it… so you can, especially if you have a 9-5 type job.
I plan to update this with more tips and suggestions, but I’d like to hear yours!! Please post comments below with your tips!