Getting to grasps with writing your own nutritional plan can have many benefits but it can also be challenging for a beginner. Log on to 5 of the top fitness and muscle sites and flick through 5 of the best magazines and you will probably find at least 5 conflicting theories in relation to diet. This isn’t to say they are wrong because I, like thousands of others have and do use very different diets to achieve the same results. However, you need to start somewhere and in my opinion and experience the best place to start is with balance. More extreme diets like the Keto diet can be learned once you have grasped the basics of a more realistic diet. After reading this the idea is that you should be able to go away, get a piece of paper and write down a diet for yourself or a family member which will enable you or them to burn body fat.
To maintain a consistent balance in nutrition it is vital you get enough protein, carbohydrates and fats. Sure you have heard this loads right? But which ones should you eat, when, why and how much? Calm down all will be explained in due course my friend!
Protein is an essential king pin of any fat loss diet! The first reason is because it helps retain lean muscle mass which causes a higher expenditure in calories therefore it is in your interests to hold on to muscle, even if you don’t want to be ‘muscley’! Protein also helps stabilise your blood sugar levels which is essential if you are going to burn any body fat because if there are constant fluctuations in your blood sugar levels your insulin sensitivity also changes making it near impossible for your body to shed any body fat! Finally, protein is essential for fat loss simply because protein sources such as chicken, fish, beef and eggs are relatively feeling yet their calorie content is virtually guilt free. Yes, some proteins such as red meats, oily fish and eggs contain fats but most of these are healthy and of course we limit the proteins with high levels of saturated fat.
Yes, I just said the ‘C’ word! Being a ‘carbophob’ even when you are looking to burn body fat isn’t necessary! Complex carbohydrates such as sweet potato, baked potato, brown rice and oats are normally the variety of carbohydrates which people avoid during their fat loss ordeal. What they fail to realise is these foods help keep your metabolism firing, they also help prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue and of course they help fuel your workouts. If you are not energised then your workouts are only ever going to be half arsed! Fibrous carbohydrates such as broccoli, cabbage and other greens are also essential because they help promote efficient digestion and they are also a great way to feel full!
You may be forgiven for thinking I am suffering from a temporary case of turrets because I was rude enough to mention the ‘C’ word and is that wasn’t enough I have gone and said the ‘F’ word. Don’t be offended because I mean what I say! Fats are essential if you want to burn body fat simply because they encourage your body to utilise your fat stores as an energy source! Fats are also very important to your health supporting healthy cardiac function and healthy joints.
Above I used the ‘F’ word in a ‘non-offensive’ context however I am half tempted to use it in another les gracious context here. Calorie counting is all we hear about and I simply do not get it! Am I missing something? I would argue not considering the fact I have personally helped tens of people change their physique without counting a single calorie! Instead I focus on nutrients and the quality of them. Surely if calorie counting is what you base your diet on you could eat a lot of crap and as long as the calorie content was under your BMR by 20% or so you will lose body fat? HELL NO! Yes, you would lose ‘weight’ because of the deficit but not fat! My calorie intake is consistently above my BMR even when I am burning body fat because I am eating 1.5 of protein per pound of body weight which equates to around 320g of protein. My carbohydrate intake is rarely lower than 0.75g per pound of body weight which equates to 150g per day and my fats about the same. Doing a quick calorie calculation I tot that up to 3,230 calories a day! This doesn’t come anywhere near under my BMR yet I burn body fat! Why? Well because my nutrient intake is good, I eat the right nutrients the right times of the day and I exercise correctly. This is why I never have and never will believe in calorie counting! If I ate below my BMR I think I would struggle to function as a normal human being and I would look like death and probably be skinnier than I was 5 years ago! Sure I haven’t taken into account with my BMR calculations my exercise but this vague demonstration makes a clear point! Before you think, ‘yes but your genetically lucky, you can burn fat like there is no tomorrow’ I would tell you not to be so daft! Look at my before pics on my transformation, do I look like an ectomorph to you? If I eat crap I get fat and genetically my body does not like to release body fat so I am certainly not gifted!
Well that was intense, I felt my temperature increase but that may just be the supplements and food I am eating bumping up by metabolism!
OK so now we can get down to business and discuss how you can translate this advice into writing your very own diet for fat loss!
Below are a set of rules which you need to adhere to when writing your plan for fat loss –
1 – Eat at least 1g of protein per pound of body weight and as much as 1.5g depending on your goals! For example, if you are a ‘bodybuilder’ physique or that is your goal opposed to a ‘fitness model’ look then eat 1.5g.
Key protein sources – protein powder, eggs, egg whites, chicken, oily fish, beef, turkey, lean pork and pulses.
2 – Eat between 0.75g and 1g of complex carbohydrates per pound of body weight depending on your goals and more importantly, body type. I would advise you eat the majority of your carbohydrates before your workout in the evening, divided into 3-4 meals. Post-workout I would personally also have some carbohydrates here to replenish muscle glycogen levels and kick-start my metabolism as well as prevent catabolism.DON'T COUNT FIBROUS GREENS AS PART OF YOUR CARBOHYDRATE INTAKE!
Key carbohydrate sources – sweet potato, baked potato, oats, brown pasta, brown rice and waxy maize starch.
3 – Eat between 0.5g and 0.75g of healthy fats to help sustain and promote fat metabolisation.
Key fat sources – whole eggs, almond butter, peanut butter, lean beef, nuts, oily fish, fish oils and Udo’s choice Oil.
4 – Eat your carbohydrate meals before your weight sessions! The only time you have complex carbohydrates after your weight sessions is immediately after your workout with some whey protein isolate.
5 – Limit fruit to breakfast times and post-workout to ensure the sugars are promoting fat loss and anabolism opposed to causing fat gains.
6 – Eat a lot of fibrous carbohydrates with your evening meals to help keep you full and to ensure your body is able to digest all the nutrients.
7 – Don’t eat the same source of protein or carbohydrates more than twice in the same day. This way you are getting a cross-section of amino acids, minerals and vitamins from your food.
8 – Eat at least 4 solid meals a day getting the rest of your nutrients from MRP powders.
9 – On non-training days only have carbohydrates with your first 3 meals of the day.
10 – Have one cheat meal a week including a dessert until you notice you are burning no more body fat.
11 – Don’t ever wait longer than three hours to eat. This ensures your blood sugar levels remain steady which promotes fat loss and suppresses the onset of cravings.
There are my basic rules for putting your own fat loss diet together. When you are writing out your own plan ensure you choose foods you LOVE and foods you can realistically prepare day in day out. There is no point ‘knocking something on the head’ because it is good for you if you would rather die than eat this food any other day of the year!!! Enjoying your so called diet is the key to maintaining your dream body because believe me, if you eat what you hate it is like a ticking time bomb! One day that mouth full of whatever it is will detonate the bomb within you and you will probably feel compelled to raid the local supermarket!
Now all that is left to do is get out your calculator and workout how many grams of each nutrient you need to eat and what you would like each meal to look like. Then head out to the supermarket and get yourself 7 days’ worth of food in your fridge/freezer! To help you along the way I am going to leave you with a few tips on which supplements should complement your fat loss goals! Good luck and who knows, you may be the next Neil Hill 10 years down the line!
Protein Powders -
Gaspari, PhD, CNP and Reflex all make awesome protein powders! To get your own whey isolate powder and multi-blend timed release powder I personally advise you use one of these brands. Below are some links to what I believe are the best products from each brand.
From personal experience I have found that Anabolic Designs, Grenade and NAR Red Heat are all market leading fat loss agents! As you guys know by now unless I feel a product is worth is jam I won't promote it!
Healthy fats -
Promoting fat loss is a hard game therefore you need everything possible to help you along the way! Use Udos Choice Oil Ultimate Blend to get your fat intake up. As explained before this will help you metabolise body fat more effectively as well as aid overall health and function!
To show my impartial side I am in fact promoting a product which we don't stock! Maybe you think I deserve to be shot but at the end of the day I feel very passionate about giving you the best uncensored truth! Therefore I think to ensure your egg whites are of the highest quality go to eggnation.co.uk to order your own Free Range egg whites!