Throughout my life, and particularly in the last 8 years, my diet has evolved significantly. It’s evolved to improve my health and/or help me achieve a specific goal, whether that is to gain muscle, burn fat, improve my mental performance, or all three.
You might be able to relate. Do you eat exactly the same food now as you did 8 years ago? Probably not.
Maybe you stopped eating sugar-loaded cereal or you starting buying organic food or maybe you’ve picked up some bad habits and become addicted to processed food and unhealthy snacks. Whatever your current situation, I hope this article will shed some light on how you can improve your current position.
I’ve never counted calories, it’s just too much hassle. Sometimes it’s really hard to know if you’re getting it right. Recently however, I interviewed exercise scientist James Steele II who has started using My Fitness Pal to track his calorie consumption. James is not neurotic about meeting his caloric requirements; he’s just curious. Since the interview, I have decided to track mine, and I had an interesting realisation, which is that I can eat well below maintenance (meaning I will probably unintentionally lose weight over time) and still feel satiated. In other words, my maintenance calories are probably around 2-2.5k per day and I can currently eat less than 2k and still feel full. The reason I can eat a low number of calories and feel satiated is because of what I eat.
Skyler Tanner had it spot on when he said that you can get lean on a low calorie diet of skittles and cake, but only if you were locked in a dungeon for the rest of the time. Our hunger hormones simply don’t work right if we cut calories aggressively without eating the right food. We will inevitably fall off the wagon, and stuff our faces in an attempt to acquire our micro and macro nutrient needs.
So what food do I eat that allows me to eat so little and still feel full and thus remain lean and 10-12% body-fat year round? It’s not complicated; I eat real food. I eat plenty of healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado, and butter (not margarine), protein (eggs, meat, and fish), and tons of vegetables. The fat and protein in my diet provides my body with almost all the macro nutrients it needs to thrive, and I eat as many vegetables as I like because they are full of micronutrients and are very low in calories. It is because of my diet that my hunger hormones work correctly and manage my food consumption without the need for me to track calories.
Being lean is your birth right, and if you eat whole and high quality food, you will feel, look, and perform better. Here’s a snapshot of my average day:
3 or 4 boiled eggs and a tablespoon of coconut oil.
Lunch (eat out most days)
Burrito salad bowl: beef, black beans, guacamole, peppers, onions, and mixed greens.
Grass-fed organic burgers x 2, butter beans mash (1 can, boiled in water, and cooked with sea salt, pepper, rosemary, and parsley), vegetables (typically broccoli, celery, asparagus or spinach).
Filtered water and black coffee (max 2 cups and the best quality I can find).
Yes, that’s right, 6 out of 7 days a week, I don’t eat refined carbohydrate (bread, etc), processed food, or confectionary. I have minimal cravings and I feel great. I have a cheat day once per week when I indulge in as much of anything I like. If I want to drink 15 pints and eat a large pizza, I fucking will. Paradoxically, this cheat day helps to up regulate my metabolism, and assuming I return to my normal way of eating on the following day, will enable my body to burn more fat over the long term.
Right now, you can simply look at your diet, and spot those foods you eat that are low in nutrients and high in calories such as pasta, bread, other refined carbohydrate, processed food, and sugary snacks. You can replace these with more healthy sources of fat and protein and watch overtime as your cravings for simple carbohydrate wane, your appetite is reduced, and your waist line starts to shrink.
If you still don’t understand what you need to eat to make this adjustment, check out my eBook: How To Lose A Stone In Under 30 Days and Keep It Off.
In this eBook, I provide you with a whole fat loss strategy which includes:
- The Slow Carb Diet by Tim Ferriss; an exact blue print on what to eat with clear and simple rules to follow.
- A science-led exercise program designed to increase your metabolism and target body fat.
- Lifestyle hacks, like how to harness cold exposure, increase movement, and control stress to facilitate fat loss
Buy the book here: How To Lose A Stone In Under 30 Days and Keep It Off
James Steele says
Glad you found the tracking useful. I think modern technology makes it easy to form habits around these things without becoming too obsessed.
Couldn’t agree more!