Monday, 13 February 2017

What to do next...

In order to establish a baseline, for the last week you should have been recording your food and drink intake. If you didn't, go to the previous blog post "Where to start with your new nutrition plan..."

Everything from your morning tea/coffee to the 3rd helping of cake and 2 bottles of wine you drank!

The aim of this exercise is to figure out how much you're actually consuming so we have a starting point to base any dietary changes off.

Without knowing this, there's no way to tell if you need to eat more, less, the same amount, whether you need to exercise more or less, or what other changes you might need to make.

So our next step is to establish some consistency.

Get a bit of routine in your eating and exercise and again, track your data.

Right now we're still not changing anything, just establishing consistency.

So for the next week, all I want you to do is this:

Repeat the last week's food intake.

Whether it was "good" or "bad", you have in front of you a menu of foods and drinks, that you like and choose to eat, and that should be easy for you to repeat.

Again, all we're aiming to do here is establish some consistency and routine. This is the starting point from which changes can be made. The assessment needed to know what step to take next.

Without this, any changes are pure guesswork and the chances of success are a lottery. You can follow what worked for someone else (i.e. a mainstream "diet"), but really - has that worked for you in the past?

So you have the next week's menu in front of you. Foods you've likely already got in the house or know where to buy. Foods you know how to cook/prepare already and probably foods that are easy for you to make and that you enjoy.

This is a diet plan that even you can't fail at.

Once you've begun to establish this baseline, simple changes can be made to get things moving in the right direction.

You may even find you lose weight just from doing this! (I won't let on why just yet, but don't be shocked if you see the scales some down a couple of notches!)

So unless there was a blowout of epic proportions on last week's food diary, simply repeat exactly what you ate/drank last week and see how you do.

Until next time...

Where to start with your new nutrition plan...

Most people try to jump right in with a complicated nutrition plan with no regard for where they're starting from.

What if you've been eating 1,000 calories a day and your weight loss plan tells you to eat 1,200? Has it accounted for your current nutritional habits? No.

Does your lean meal recipe adjust portion sizes dependent on your size, gender, goals (weight loss or weight gain), activity levels that day, or whether you've just worked out or had a rest day? No.

So why the hell would you think that this plan will work for you?!
...because the advertising tells you it will and there are some pictures of people who've lost weight on the front cover?!

Even your intricately :p calculated weight loss plan that asked for your weight, goals and activity levels can't accurately guess your energy/calorie needs.

You can find an online calorie calculator that will give you this "information" (if you can call it that) but in actuality it can't possibly get it right because we're not as simple as the calories in/calories out equation.

Whether calories get used for energy or stored depends on hormonal profiles, which energy systems are most efficient in your body, and a host of other things (not to mention that not all calories are equal - 100 calories from some avocado is NOT the same as 100 calories of biscuits!)

So your starting point should be this:

Establish a calorie baseline

Quite simply, record what you're eating and drinking (every single morsel of food and drink that passes your lips) and establish how much you're actually eating.

You won't be eating the same amount every day, and your weekly totals probably won't be too similar either.

It's natural, normal, and healthy to have fluctuations in calorie intake, but if you're fluctuating too much (i.e. starving yourself during the week and binging at the weekends) then you have no baseline to work off. No starting point for your "diet".

So your starting point, and homework for this next week is to simply record your food/drink intake in a food diary. Find out how much you're actually eating now (it's probably nowhere near what you think you're consuming!) and establish whether you're currently gaining weight, losing weight, or maintaining weight.

That's it. Don't change anything yet, don't worry about macros (protein/carbs/fat), don't worry about meal timings or meal frequency, just record and collect information. You don't have to do anything with it yet.

Take up this challenge and I'll be in touch again in a week to tell you what to do next.

If you're serious about making healthy changes to your diet, ditching the fads and gimmick diets, and getting control of your eating habits and weight once and for all, DO THIS.

Don't skip the easiest and most fundamental stage because you're impatient! A week or two establishing your starting point so you get it right is not time wasted!

Get things ready and start first thing in the morning. Log it on your phone, write it down, use an app - whatever suits you, but get it done.

In a week I'll tell you what to do next...

If you want help with your nutrition/diet, please get in touch or check out the Nutrition section of my website