I am naming my eating plan the 3D dirty diet. I can't guarantee results - I can only tell you that it is working for me - 7 DAYS WITHOUT A BINGE and no urge for one. The longest I have gone in the past two months (yes I was bingeing pre-comp but I didn't tell anyone).
Guidelines (no RULES)
1. Eat 5 meals a day 3-4 hours apart.
Work this out before hand and have an external reminder to eat. I have my alarm on my watch tell me when it is time for a meal. You might need to put lunch closer to morning tea to counteract the post sugar crash if your treat is very naughty.
When eating totally clean I eat at 8/11/2/5/8. Although I used to need my afternoon tea at 4pm rather than 5 because that is when I had a huge energy slump.
On this plan I eat 8/11/1/4/8 which lets me have lunch close to morning tea and a 4pm snack.
Don't skip your snacks or make them too small. After years of trying to lose the last 5 kilos, the only thing I didn't try was frequent meals. Once I did, the weight fell off. Don't worry too much if it means you are eating more overall calories. You probably need them. 1200 calories a day is starving your body especially if you train hard.
2. Figure out your calories and macros in advance
Decide what is going to be your average daily calorie allowance and your "PMT/I'm so hungry I could eat a horse/I want to eat in a restaurant tonight" maximum calorie allowance.
I have chosen 1800 a day as average, although I am happy if I go under. I think this is still weight loss for me but I am not sure yet. I have chosen 2,100 as my maximum which I suspect is approaching maintenance. In my brain it means that if I have a high calorie day I am not looking at undoing all the work I have done that week, I just stay where I am for 1 day. In my world, the extra 300 calories = an extra meal which is my emergency fund.
I always aim to get my protein in first at all costs. They recommend 1g per pound of lean body mass but I just go for 150g which I figure is 50kg (my approximate LBM) x 3. That accounts for 600 calories (150g x 4 calories) a day or about 1/3 of my allowance. I eat fish, chicken and no-fat dairy as my protein source. I don't often eat red meat because I don't fancy it that much and it is usually too fatty.
Which leads me to fat. I do not exceed 40g a day which is not low or no fat but moderate fat. I have 'bad' fats when I eat a Snickers bar or a Magnum icecream, but it does influence my choices of treat food. If I have a high fat treat then I can't have peanut butter, nuts or cheese that day because I end up with too much fat. I'm a sugar girl anyway - marshmellows have no fat at all!
Carbs come in three varieties for me. Simple carbs (processed flour/sugar/goodies) are only eaten at morning tea. Complex carbs (oats, brown rice, wholemeal bread, sweet potatoes) are eaten at every clean meal and Plant carbs (fruit and vegetables) at every clean meal. Now I know that fruit is technically a simple carb but I don't care. It's plant food for me.
Whatever is left after the protein and fat is taken care of is carbs. Only a few of those carbs are simple and are eaten early in the day.
3. Decide what simple carb foods you can replace with complex carbs without noticing.
This is a good trick. I love bread, rice, cereal and potatoes. But I am happy to give up white bread, white rice, cornflakes and potatoes and substitute the healthier more complex version without it making any difference at all.
So my diet now includes grainy wholemeal bread, brown rice, oats and sweet potatoes. They are clean foods I can eat at anytime and I don't need to waste my treat meal on them. You can stretch this concept to include low fat icecream, diet jelly, sugar free maple syrup and sugar free chocolate/lollies if you want (although I wouldn't eat them for every meal!). I don't miss the 'real' version at all so I just eat the substitute.
4. If you are hungry during the day - eat. Don't save up your calories.
Yesterday I was still hungry after I had eaten my afternoon tea. I went and got a chicken salad and ate it. I didn't wait until I got home for dinner. My bingeing is easiest to control if I don't get super hungry. As a result of my late afternoon snack, I only had a small dinner and didn't feel tempted by the hash browns my husband was cooking when I walked in the door.
So my typical meal plan looks something like this
B: complex carb, protein, plant carb
oats, protein powder, sugar free maple syrup, apple, no fat yogurt
egg whites, wholemeal toast, cottage cheese, pumpkin (left over vegetables)
Snickers bar or lowfat muffin or raisin toast with butter or Subway lowfat sub or McDonalds apple pie or plain croissant etc. etc.
wholemeal bread, tuna, salad, cheese
brown rice, chicken, vegetables
yoghurt, protein crunch, oats, apple
banana, peanut butter
wholemeal crackers, tuna, sprouts
chicken, vegetables, sweet potato
fish, brown rice, salad
egg, eggwhites, vegetables, bread