The diet below has been the most successful approach I’ve ever had to being happy with my body, full of energy, with glowing skin and a happy mind. Naomi also did this diet with great success. Why we ever abandoned it to undertake a ketosis experiment I will never know, since it worked so well and (in the end) was absolutely effortless.
I am not a dietitian, I just know this works. Try it on for size and stay committed. This diet is all about long term commitment for a completely retrained ‘you’. Don’t see this as a 4 month diet, see it as a 40 year diet. Long term consistency is where you will have success. All other diets are just trying to get your cash.
MONTH 1 – 4 weeks no wheat, no grain
Just focus on that – nothing else. It will force you to find good alternatives and then you probably won’t each much of it in the future as you will be retrained. Eat plenty of veggies and protein so you are not hungry. During this stage you can embrace full fat products (full fat cheese, full fat yogurt) – never low fat as they are usually high in sugar or artificial sweeteners.
MONTH 2 – 4 weeks no alcohol, no soda
That means even at a party or function you have to stick to the plan. Its all about becoming strong in the mind and releasing your alcohol demons. Sparkling water is your best friend to get through this tough time.
MONTH 3 – 4 weeks low (preferably no) sugar
Develop a ‘bitter palate’. That means 80% cacao chocolate to shut up sugar cravings (one piece is all you can usually eat without feeling sick). Get rid of milk (which contains lactose) and sugar from your coffee and develop a taste for long blacks, short blacks or espressos. Also only have plain yogurt, not flavoured.
MONTH 4 AND FOREVER – You are well trained now!
You can be indulgent on occasion but the next day it’s straight back to healthy, wholefood living. If you are making great choices you should not have to count calories. However if you believe you are well and truly in excess of your ideal range, then you can always use My Fitness Pal to track what you eat.
Are you serious to give it a try? Well, if so read on as have some more tips!
- Restaurant food is made to taste good. That means they add lots of hidden sugar to get a full flavour. You can’t beat cooking for yourself. If you have to buy food then go for food with minimal human interference. Go to the grocery store and buy a compilation of foods that can be thrown together. Wholefoods such as nuts, fruits and vegetables and good protein sources, preferably grass fed.
- Buy plain food. If its not simple food then its likely to have lots of things added. Plain food is easier to come by than you might think. In some ready-made salads you can easily see that nothing has been added other than the healthy ingredients (i.e. dressing is separate). Choose options such as this and take it easy on the dressing (which may be high in sugar).
- Add protein (nuts, cheese or lean meat) to ensure you are not hungry. Adding nuts to fruit can slow the absorption of fructose sugars. In general, adding protein will keep you satisfied longer so its a good strategy to employ.
- Beware the sauce! Many sauces contain sugar, fillers, trans fats or gluten. Instead use tomato passata (use organic), herbs, olive oil, coconut oil, tamari.
- Oil and fats are good. See Mark’s Daily Apple for the Definitive Guide to Fats.
- Repetition is good. Eating the same foods can help. Try minimising variety for a while until you get into a solid routine. For example, just two or three options for breakfast, lunch and dinner avoids the need for over analysing nutritional labels. It means you know exactly what macro nutrients are in the food you are consuming. Later when you are at your goal, you can relax and introduce some variety.
- Keep blood sugar low. When your blood sugar is high, you are creating insulin and you are storing fat. Bread, grain and juice all have the ability to send blood sugar soaring. Protein, vegetables and fat do not stimulate your insulin to the same degree and keep you satisfied longer.
- Gluten free does not mean its healthy! If it says gluten free it probably means its full of tapioca or potato starch. Do you realise these can send your blood sugar soaring also? Take it easy on grains in general – rice, corn, quinoa and rye may be more nutritious than some sources but they can all spike blood sugar, leading to increased fat.
- Eat full fat – products claiming to be low in fat are generally high in sugar. I’m not afraid of full fat, however I do recommend keeping it under 30% of macro nutrient intake (please don’t do anything silly like Keto).
- Regularly implement small tweaks and new disciplines. I like to think of wellness as a pursuit in continuous improvement. Commitment for the long term, along with continual modifications that work for you, can bring unexpected and marvelous results. For example, I once implemented a mantra of ‘leaving a tiny bit on the plate’. For me, there was something psychologically powerful about not being tied to the last mouthful. It gave me a stronger mind and more power over my natural tendency to gorge. Another mantra I tried with sweets was that ‘one bite tastes the same as twenty bites’. This helped me control how many sweets I would consume on an already full stomach if the temptation was put in front of me.
- Read read read. Knowledge is power. Take a personal interest in health topics. Nobody can be with you at every meal, helping you make every decision. It is up to you to understand how your body works and what particular foods do to your body. I will be posting a list of books worth reading soon. Stay tuned.
- Get a fitness buddy! In my opinion – this is absolutely key to long term, sustained commitment. This can take the form of one fitness buddy, several fitness buddies, team sports or appointments with your personal trainer. The key is the appointment, which you are less likely to shake off when lacking motivation. While I think diet is more important than exercise to attain weight related goals, exercise is a wonderful way to feel energized … not to mention keeping the wobbly bits less wobbly.
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