Aims & ObjectivesWhen I started on this journey in January 2012, my only goal was to lose weight and lots of it fast! However, as I have started to achieve my goals the emphasis has changed - my main goals now are;
- To be fit, happy and healthy
- To maintain a low body fat percentage
- To have a cover model body! Hey no harm in aiming high and I live in hope that Calvin Klein will one day come knocking on my door when they release an older man range!
- To enjoy my food. I don't want to be on a diet, instead I want to eat good tasty food every single day and not at the detriment of my health. I call this and the way I achieve it, my food strategy - NOT a diet!
StrategyI'm told achieving and maintaining a healthy body is 70% diet and 30% exercise, that certainly reflects my own experience in terms of pure weight loss and although the primary focus of my blog is food I wouldn't want the 30% number to mislead anyone.
Exercise is important! It's more than 30% important too - getting fit is a great psychological tool, as you start to achieve more in your exercise you feel better about yourself and more committed to your overall plans. If you can see the physical benefits that your food strategy is helping to deliver, you will build a belief in your overall strategy and be less likely to slip back into your old bad ways!
To put it more simply..... the motivation for building a sports car is to have the opportunity to take it for a spin to see what it can do! If you don't take it out and put your foot down then the motivation to build it is going to be far less!
I talk more about my exercise approach on my fitness regime page but I better now move on to my food strategy.......
My Food StrategyMy food strategy is to follow some pretty basic principles about what to eat and when to eat it and that's pretty much all there is to it. Before I tell you about those principles, let's have a look at the things I don't do;
- I don't count calories or points!
- I don't name my days after colours to determine what I can and can't eat.
- I don't follow faddy diets that require me to eat just cabbage (or anything else for that matter) all day!
- I don't eat less!
- I don't eat three meals a day!
- I don't buy into misconceptions about what foods you should eat at what time of day!
|If your new diet plan is telling you to eat this and only this every day then something's wrong!|
- I eat 5 meals a day, spreading my meals out over the day to keep my metabolism fired up all day
- I avoid eating saturated fats as much as I can, but I do eat good fats like those found in nuts and oily fish
- I avoid eating high GI sugar based carbs and sweeteners including sweets and sugary drinks
- I eat high quality complex low GI carbs such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, beans and pulses and try and avoid low quality low GI carbs like potatoes, bread and white rice and pasta
- I always eat protein with every main meal, particularly breakfast rather than the traditional carb loaded cereals we have been programmed to eat that cause our insulin levels to spike a few hours after we have eaten them leaving us feeling hungry again
- I limit my dairy intake to one high quality protein packed portion per day such as low fat cottage cheese, low fat greek yoghurt or low fat feta cheese.
- I eat any lean meat
- I avoid eating wheat as much as I can
- I drink alot of water
- I avoid caffeine as much as possible
- I eat at least one practically carb free meal a day - ideally this would be my evening meal if possible but the reality of going out to work every day generally dictates that it is my lunch time meal that is carb free
- I generally avoid drinking alcohol
- I limit my supplements to whey protein and occasional creatine usage - everything else I need I get from my normal food (there will be those who argue that even these supplements are not necessary and there is some truth in that depending on your personal goals and aims)
- I try and get a minimum of 8 hours sleep a night, ideally 10 if life allows me to
- I try and eat 10 portions of fruit and veg a day on a 20/80 split - too much fruit is bad for you, it provides sugar based energy to your body which if you eat too much of, we don't burn and it turns to fat!
- Low Fat Greek Yoghurt with Agave Syrup and Strawberries
- Spinach Omelette
- Spinach and Fruit Salad with Chilli Nuts and Seeds
- Mango and mint salad with Almonds
Typical Snacks (Meals 2 and 4 every day mid-morning/mid-afternoon)
- A handful of mixed nuts
- A piece of fruit
- Low fat cottage cheese
- A low carb protein shake - I personally use myprotein.com 's Impact Diet Whey
Typical Practically Carb Free Lunches or Dinners
- Lime, Coriander and Chilli Chicken Breast Salad
- Bresaola Salad
- Chicken Breast with Roasted Mediterranean Veg
|Greek Salad with a single high quality dairy portion of low fat feta|
Typical Normal Lunches or Dinners
- Marinated Chicken with Brown Rice and Salad
- Lean Mince Beef Chilli with Brown Rice
- Homemade Lean Mince Burger (no bun!) with Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges
|Peri-Peri Turkey Steaks with Salad|
Salad Dressing and Cooking Oils
- Hemp Oil for cooking and salad dressing
- Coconut Oil for cooking
- Lemon and Lime juice for salad dressings
- Balsamic and other vinegars for salad dressings