You will always get different points of view on what a healthy week looks like in terms of food and drink. That’s fine. This is my point of view and it is based on 30 years of life experience in eating and exercising and 20 years of teaching in the health industry.
Two things I have learned over a period of time are:
- Pretty much every diet will work if you stick to it for long enough.
- Diets almost NEVER work in the long run. They are too prescriptive and too restrictive.
So, it’s pretty clear to me that you will do well to create some rules and apply them, with consistency, rather than buying into the latest fad diet. So with that in mind, here are some ideas to apply to your life and stick to them 6 days out of 7 and you will feel more energised, and more easily able to control your weight and that includes being able to lose fat consistently, if you want to.
The first thing you will need to learn and accept is that the older you get, the more sacrifices you will have to make to manage your weight. Get over it!! The second thing you need to accept is that the less you exercise, the less you can eat. Make your choice!!
ACCEPT THIS WITH FOOD
You can either eat whatever and whenever you want and look and feel unhealthy, or you can restrict what you eat and look and feel amazing. YOUR CHOICE.
I’m going to define a healthy eating week for you.
A healthy week consists of eating foods and meals which are known to be healthy and that are repeated several times. These meals are planned, contain a good balance of nutrients and are eaten almost automatically and give you energy, without adding body fat. Only a few meals fall outside of this pattern and these other meals provide you with enough variety to make the week repeatable again and again and again. Consistency first, variety second.
Let me give you some examples.
I eat and ham a cheese omelette or porridge and milk every weekday morning. On weeks when I feel I need to lose weight, it’s the omelette every week day. If I’m within my weight range, I alternate. I do this on auto-pilot and its pretty easy and part of my pattern. On weekends I kind of eat whatever I feel like, but often, it’s omelette or porridge on one of the weekend days because I’m so used to eating them. The other day its a variation of bacon, eggs, avocado, bread or anything I feel like. Every now and again its chocolate cake!!!!
I’m not hugely organised and I often forget my lunch, so this is the meal that I have to often quick buy for. We do our best to make an evening meal with enough left overs for me to eat the next day. Actually, my wife should take all the credit here; she keeps me somewhat organised as I really don’t plan too much nutritionally at all. I used to, but now I know how to apply my rules without too much fuss.
If I remember left overs, it usually is something with some carbohydrates in, but it’s a left over portion and usually not too high in overall calories. If I remember a planned meal for lunch, it is a salad, or another meal with none of the white devils. So no bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, grains or pulses. On a day where I have eggs for breakfast and salad for lunch, my body is in prime fat burning mode all morning and all afternoon. This is enough fat burning for me to have an evening meal with carbohydrates if I want them.
Every day that I don’t have food prepared, I get the same quick buys. Its either a Chef’s Italian chicken salad, because it reduces decision fatigue and it keeps me burning fat in the afternoon, or it’s a M&S ready meal. I usually go for the chargrilled chicken and courgetti spaghetti or the Tikka Chicken and cauliflower rice because they are low in carbs and keep me burning fat during the day.
I tend to split evening meals between a balanced plate of protein, carbs and fats or another low carb option. If I have 3 low carb meals in a day, I know I will lose fat pretty quickly.
I eat whatever I want 1 day per week in the evening, but again, I’ve accepted the fact that healthy food tastes healthy and I like it, so I love a good steak for example.
I must admit to not going out to eat that much (once or twice a month), so when I go out, I eat whatever I want. If I went out 3 times per week, I would apply my rules to all but one occasion and pick a low carb option like a steak with loads of salad or vegetables.
I don’t snack much in the week anymore. I used to think that if I ate 6 meals a day, my metabolism would be higher, but that’s actually a load of rubbish. I’ll eat some slices of ham or cured meat if I get home hungry but I don’t eat crisps or chocolate or have fizzy drinks at all in the day. Forget that rubbish exists and you’ll be happier in the long run.
If you find yourself hungry (not bored, not stressed, hungry), think of a snack as an oil change for the car. Necessary, but not much fun. Eat to nourish here, use a handful of nuts, a boiled egg. I must confess to a scotch egg or two at some point in the week and some chocolate too. I try to eat dark chocolate at night after my last meal.
I love ice cream and I love sweets and I love chocolate. My body fat hovers between 8-12%. I eat sweet foods as often as I can get away with it. But if you want to adopt this approach I suggest you learn how to abstain totally and then add some sweet foods back in. Its good to find the discipline required to abstain. If you are asking, “why is any chocolate or ice cream healthy? My answer is this: If I don’t eat any sweet food in the week, I am totally miserable and that’s not healthy. If I eat too much I feel sick and guilty and overweight and that’s not healthy either!!
LEARN TO SAY NO. AND MEAN IT…..
Remember what I said you needed to accept about food?
You can either eat what you want and look and feel unhealthy or you can restrict what you eat and look and feel amazing. YOUR CHOICE.
This goes double for alcohol.
You can either drink when you want and feel and look like shit, or you can limit alcohol, so you look and feel amazing. The more you limit alcohol, the better you will look and feel.
I often quit drinking for periods of anywhere between 1-3 months. I promise you every time that the longer I give up the booze, the better I feel and the easier I find it to be really fit and really lean. I also have periods where I drink too much. It hurts me physically and mentally!!!!!!!
If you plan to eat really well 2 out of every 3 meals every day and plan to eat moderately well all other times, you wont go wrong. Then, somewhere between once a week to once a month, eat and drink whatever you want. Reset your motivation and will power and get back on the healthy train.
15 Good Meals and 6 Variables, Plus Snacks
If you think of a week a multiply it by 3 meals a day, you are going to eat 21 meals plus snacks, if you need them. If you have 15 meals that you always eat and find 6 variable meals, your chances of success in the long run are going to be much higher than if you have to constantly plan new meals which fit your goals. You really don’t have to be perfect, you just need consistency and the sooner you get 15 or more meals that you know match your goals, the easier they will be to achieve.
- I am not female and I will never go through a menopause. The rules may be different for you during and after. You’ll probably have to be more strict.
- I am not female and I will never have a menstrual cycle. The rules may be different for you during and after.
- It’s easier to be a man, but all the women in the world already know that men have it easy and are generally weaker. Don’t let that be an excuse for any of you.
- Somatotypes are different in all of us.
- Metabolism varies in all of us
- It seems impossible until it’s done. Take it one day at a time and build positive momentum.
- Stop judging yourself on whether you can stick to someone else’s diet.
- Find rules and nutritional beliefs that you really believe in and stick to them.
- Accept that healthy food tastes healthy. If healthy is what you’re after, bloody well enjoy eating healthy food, or just don’t bother.
- Spicy food speeds your metabolism.
- Brush your teeth after your evening meal to prevent further eating.
- Eat carbohydrates after exercise and limit the white devils.
- Don’t buy junk food and don’t’ have unhealthy food at home. Save it for when you go out.
- The best snacks are fruit, but not if you want to lose weight.
- Eat food that makes you happy in the long run, not food that immediately satisfies your every mood.
- Eat healthy foods you can stick to eating week after week as much as possible.