Yep that’s right, if you follow most of these tips I Guarantee you will lose weight. I’m going to stick my neck out and personally promise you that if you follow this guide for 4 weeks you will have lost weight, possibly even a significant amount of weight depending on your starting point.
Firstly, to allow me at least some chance of being right, there are a few rules here that you need to stick to.
- You MUST exercise. By that i mean at least twice a week you need to do some form of energetic exercise that gets you blowing hard and works your muscles. That could be running, a weight session in the Gym, some form of exercise class, or even just a vigorous home work out. The other 5 days you need to do at least 20 minutes of some form of activity that raises your pulse and brings on a mild sweat. That could be a brisk walk, a 20 minute home circuit as detailed in one of my previous posts here, or a quick session with some dumbbells in your garage.
- You MUST attempt to eat healthily and stick to the plan for a minimum of 4 days and ideally 5 days of each week. If you go to less than 4 full days you will negate all the positive effects and to be honest may as well not bother (I will cut you some slack if you have a lot of social activity but for one week only)
- You MUST be hardcore about cutting out the big evil in your kitchen…..SUGAR! That means on your good days, No biscuits, No chocolate, No fizzy drinks (or any other juice or sugary drinks) and if possible cut out or definitely cut back drastically on any alcohol from Monday through to at least Friday evening.
Got That? Gonna stick to it? Of course you are. So here we go…
Breakfast! We all know that old saying “The most important meal of the day”. Well i hate to break it to you but that ain’t necessarily true. Many people now believe that intermittent fasting (going for lengthy periods without food, or only eating at certain times) is the way forward. I have to say that i do believe it works but it’s probably a bit unfair to drop you newbies straight in at the deep end. So here are a few simple ideas for breakfast that will satisfy your overnight cravings but won’t break the Calorie bank.
A boiled egg, or two if you insist (No soldiers to dip in it), followed by a banana. Black coffee, no sugar.
A medium sized bowl of Greek yoghurt or Skyr yoghurt with a large helping of blueberries thrown in. Drizzle with some organic honey if you need a hit of sweetness.
A small bowl of oats and nuts with the same yoghurt as above, again with some honey to sweeten.
A small portion of scrambled eggs (2 eggs is fine) with some flakes of smoked salmon broken into it. Add pepper and you have a breakfast for kings.
One slice of wholegrain toast smeared with Nut butter/peanut butter and if it floats your boat also add sliced banana on top.
That’s it. 5 breakfasts and I’m sure you can conjure variations on these themes. The key is not having big volumes and avoiding crappy sugar filled cereals and loads of bread. So what about lunch?
Lunch to some degree depends how active you are. If you hit the gym in the morning or have an active job that involves physical exertion then you are allowed a little bit more. If not then be good and stick to the plan and remember it’s only for 4 to 5 days.
Crack 2 eggs into a small bowl, sprinkle some salt, add a fair bit of pepper and microwave for between a minute and minute 30 seconds. Get a spoon and eat. It’s surprisingly filling and has lots of protein and not many calories.
Get a ripe avocado, mash it up with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and some chopped chilli until you have a rough paste. Spread it on a piece of wholegrain toast or ryvita, drizzle with lemon. Job done.
If you are training hard and want something more substantial try this. I make a batch up on a Monday and it lasts me 3 days. Boil a decent amount of brown rice for 20/25 mins (until soft). In another pan fry (coconut oil) some chicken, onions, peppers, carrots, Garlic and a LOT of fresh chopped ginger. Mix the rice in with the chicken, give it a good stir and drizzle with some light soy sauce as you stir it. Let it cool down, put in some Tupperware and stick in the fridge. Microwave for 2 minutes when needed and easy to take to work with you.
How about a chicken drumstick – cooked or cold with a mix of salad leaves , drizzle of Olive Oil and some balsamic vinegar. Again just use your imagination, stick to meats, proteins, veg, eggs or maybe small portions of cheese and you’ll be fine. The idea of lunch is just to fill a hole and fulfil your nutritional needs, NOT fill you up!
Right, most people’s main meal….dinner. Here you have a new best friend….salads! “Whaaaat? Salad, that’s rabbit food”. Not true. You can supercharge salads and make them hugely enjoyable. Use the standard ingredients and then add the extra’s that add flavour. These include blue cheese, feta cheese, parmesan, walnuts, grapefruit (yep), basil, coriander, olives, chopped/sliced chilli, chopped/sliced ginger. Exciting dressings using lime/lemon juice, different types of vinegar, a drizzle of soy sauce. You can easily have a variety of salads 3 to 4 nights a week. Don’t panic though because alongside the salad you will have one of the following: Grilled or pan fried chicken with whatever spices and herbs you fancy, sweet chilli turkey breasts, a couple of lamb chops, grilled or pan fried salmon, mackerel or pretty much any fish you fancy.
Or if you don’t fancy a salad one night how about some chicken, turkey, fish or pork, a big serving of Brocolli and some sweet potato mash with added spices, olive oil and loads of pepper.
What about snacks? Well if possible try to avoid them but we all know that ain’t gonna happen. So have a bag of mixed nuts in the cupboard and grab a handful a couple of times a day. Always have banana’s on hand and peel one if you feel the need. A bag of carrots in the fridge and grab one (unpeeled) to munch on whenever you want. Of an evening 2 or 3 squares of genuine full cocoa dark chocolate won’t break the bank.
The other key as I’ve said is what you drink. Wherever possible it’s going to be water (add lemon, lime, mint, ginger if you need some flavour). Otherwise black coffee, a glass of milk a day is fine and if you really must a glass of red wine a couple of times a week is also fine of an evening.
Then what happens at the weekend. Well that comes down to you. It would be stupid to spend every weekend deliberately cramming bad things down your neck. Try to be good. Avoid the processed crap we have talked about, try to stick to good snacks and not bad ones, but otherwise reward yourself. If you want a few drinks, have them. If you are going for a meal, have what you want, fancy a good breakfast, have a healthy fry up. The key is to be sensible. If you go for a big curry and beers on Saturday night, why not skip breakfast on Sunday. You’re a grown up (hopefully) so just be sensible and stick to what you know is right. Enjoy your weekend and reward yourself for your sacrifice in the week, but unless its a big event keep thinking about the long term goals.
There will be a lot more recipe’s and details on food and eating patterns in the weeks to come. As always, any questions or comments please fire them at me, I’m ready and willing to answer.