Diet hacks for improved health and fat loss
I want to talk with you about some specific, real world strategies you can implement to make weight loss a less daunting and more attainable and rewarding process.
#1 Eat real food.
What do we mean when we use the terms ‘Non-processed foods’ or 'Real foods'?
Surely oats are processed?
What about steak, or butter? Those go through some sort of process before we eat them, right?
Of course there are perfectly healthy and beneficial foods that have to go through some sort of processing before they get to our supermarket shelves, but there are those that are so rigorously refined that they lose the majority of their nutritional value.
The further a food strays from how it looked when it was taken from the ground/tree/plant/animal the less nutritional value it is likely to hold. Simply by choosing foods that have undergone the bare minimal processing you stand to reap a far greater nutritional reward from the foods you consume. It is also a lot harder to over-consume whole, nutrient dense foods than it is to over-indulge on refined foods with minimal fibre and protein content.
# 2 Create a 95 / 5% split
The word diet is derived from the Latin for ‘A way of life’.
I can’t think of anything worse than living a life whereby I could only ever eat certain foods and not others, that doesn’t sound like living to me.
I want to enjoy my favourite foods from time to time, guilt free and with the knowledge that if for 95% of the time I am consuming whole, nutrient dense, healthy foods then I’m going to stay on track with regards my health and fitness goals...
And if 5% of my daily or weekly intake comes in the form of a tasty treat or two or condiments to accompany my food, I’m likely going to be a far happier person and far more likely to maintain this healthy style of ‘diet’ for much, much longer.
Here are some tips to help you implement these changes into your way of life...
# If you are the type of person with an iron will and you keep treats in the house (NOT ME!!!), keep them hidden away in a space that is not frequently trafficked-
In Brian Wansink’s brilliant book ‘Mindless eating’ he talks of an experiment conducted whereby subjects who kept a jar of cookies on their desk ate twice as many each day as those who kept their cookies in the desk drawer and three times as many as those whose cookies where kept six feet away in a cupboard. I guess what they say is true: Out of sight, out of mind.
# Take advantage of frozen vegetables-
For most, trying to keep a stock of fresh, organic vegetables in the fridge in unrealistic and if you’re anything like me you end up throwing some of it out because it has inevitably started rotting when life get’s in the way of you eating it. Having a stock of frozen veg in the freezer is a great tactic as it’s likely frozen while it's still fresh and it will stay that way in your freezer until you eat it, and if you don't? No problem it ain't gonna rot.
# Call it ‘Treat’ or ‘Free’ food, NOT ‘cheat’ food-
The word cheat carries with it so many negative connotations, we really shouldn’t be using it to describe a food that we like to consume from time to time. A cheat is what we call Lance Armstrong or Tiger Woods (or that one person everyone knows who is banned from acting as banker during a family game of Monopoly... Me again! Whoops!). We have to let go of the guilt associated with allowing ourselves a small indulgence.
# Avoid the ‘What the hell’ effect’-
Several studies whereby subjects divided into two groups are given the exact same piece of treat food to consume but told two separate calorie amounts (one large, one much smaller number) and then given free reign to consume a second treat food in any quantity they desired, showed the group that thought they had already consumed a large number of calories went on to consume vastly larger quantities of the second treat food than those who thought they had only consumed a small amount of calories in the first place. This is the result of thinking that if you’ve already ‘blown’ your diet, you may as well go all out- What the hell, right?
So there you have it folks, some easy to use diet hacks to help you have your cake and eat (some of it) too.