Here's what you need to know...
- The first step is removing the obvious junk getting in your way.
- "Pretend health foods" make fat loss harder in spite of their health claims.
- The vast majority of people lose body fat when they remove wheat, milk and fruit juice from their diets and replace them with better choices.
- Losing fat and fueling hardcore workouts doesn't have to involve counting calories. Keep it simple and fine-tune as needed.
These steps can be used by anyone who needs to clean up and re-focus his or her diet:
Stage 1: Drop the obvious junk.
You don't need anyone to tell you that candy, cookies, sodas, junk food, fast food, and excess booze are wrecking your body or at least hampering your progress.
Every time an overweight person consumes what we'll classify here as "obvious junk" they're either taking a step backward or temporarily halting their progress. And since many of these foods have addictive properties, moderation goes into the trash faster than junk mail.
If your goal is to lose fat, keep it off for good, and boost performance, cheat foods have to be set aside. Yes, there are a lot of plans out there that encourage cheat foods, but those are people-pleasing plans.
Maybe it's time to grow up and stop feeling so entitled to a food reward every time you do your workout. Sure, a few skinny young dudes and heavy steroid users can get away with eating junk for a while, but try staying lean after the age of 30 or 40 when you eat like a spoiled chubby kid every weekend.
Like a good strength and conditioning coach, a diet coach must first fill the cracks in the foundation, then build up a stable structure. This is easy because usually the athlete knows when he's eating something he shouldn't be. And you do too!
Oddly, it's human nature to keep making those obvious mistakes until someone tells you to cut it out. So here it is: cut it out!!!
Stage 2: Get rid of the less obvious junk.
With the obvious junk removed, it's time to narrow things down. What is "less obvious junk?" These are foods often considered to be healthy that, well, really aren't. I call many of them pretend health foods. They proclaim their health benefits right on the package: low fat, fat-free, low carb, gluten free, high fiber, organic, whole grain, etc.
But low-carb foods can be calorically dense and filled with the worst type of dietary fats, and fat-free foods are often sugar bombs or brimming with processed flour. Sugar is gluten-free. Kid's breakfast cereal is "high fiber." And all of them will still make you fat.
But let's move beyond the not-so-common common sense stuff. Here's what I want athletes to remove: Wheat / Milk / Fruit juice
So, a simple guideline is to ditch wheat-containing foods or significantly reduce your intake. The health benefits of this particular grain are largely nonexistent, you don't need it, and it's probably doing you more harm than good, for whatever reason. The simple rule is: Does it contain wheat? Then don't put it in your mouth.
If your body fat is stubborn, or you feel out of control around food and you haven't eliminated wheat yet, give it a shot. Same for milk, same for fruit juice. It can take anywhere from 5 to 28 days to drop the "addiction" to these foods.
Stage 3: Replace all the above junk with better stuff.
Replace your bread, cereals, and pasta with rice, potatoes, quinoa, oatmeal, buckwheat, and starchy vegetables. Replace your milk with unsweetened almond, coconut, or cashew milk because you're not a newborn cow. Replace your juice with water because you're not 7 years old. Replace the pretend health foods with foods you cook yourself. You don't have to follow a strict Paleo diet but eat your meats, veggies, eggs, and coconut oil.
There's no calorie counting or macro micromanaging here. For most hard-training people, there doesn't need to be. Just follow the basic guidelines and you'll figure out how to fine-tune things as you go along.
DAY 20 OF OUR HOLIDAY BODY WEIGHT CHALLENGE - 40 BURPEES!!!
If you could invite 1 famous person to dinner, who would you choose?
200 M Run
10 Empty BB Press
10 KB Swings
10 Leg swings (each leg)
Every 2 minutes, for 16 minutes (8 sets) of:
Weighted Pull-ups x 8 reps
Metcon (No Measure)
Every minute, on the minute, for 15 minutes (5 sets each):
Minute 1 – 10 Box Jumps
Minute 2 – 12 Toes to Bar
Minute 3 – 15 Kettlebell Swings