If you have tried every diet known to man and you are still struggling to find something that works and that you can stick with, you might like this one I dreamed up myself.
This is the basic KatieP fat loss diet, the starting point for people who want to strip off a few kilos in the most pleasurable way possible. Once you are down to the hard bit where you want to get 'sick lean' the plan can be modified to accommodate.
1. Feed [the opposite of starve] - calories, protein, vitamins and frequency
- determine your daily calorie deficit (calories in less than calories out). 1500 calories is the minimum requirement for women who train. Anything less will result in unmanageable hunger, exhaustion and a desire to binge and/or chuck it all in. Feed yourself!
- everything you eat must be weighed and logged in a calorie counting program. This will make eating at restaurants and fast food outlets difficult so limit the times you go out to eat.
- eat adequate amounts of protein - 1g for every pound of body weight (kg x 2.2). Monitor this in your calorie counting program - there will be a protein column that displays this amount when you enter your food choices. Eat protein at every meal - try using protein powder instead of flour in pancakes, muffins, pizza bases etc.
- take vitamin supplements - especially Vitamin C, Magnesium, and Chromium (deficiencies lead to cravings)
- eat on time - determine your meal frequency preference and stick to it for a whole day - eat every 2 hours or eat 3 meals with snacks or eat one meal a day after fasting for 20 hours - decide what you are doing and stick to it. You can always try something else the next day.
- you can eat anything you want as long as it fits within your calorie and protein targets - how much fat and carbohydrates you eat is entirely up to you, as is how much 'clean' and 'dirty' food.
- substitute your favourite high calorie food items for the 'fake' version as much as possible. Sugar free icecream and chocolate, sugar free maple syrup, and protein bars taste just as good as their high calorie 'real' versions. Just remember to count them as part of your daily calorie intake (even the 10 calories for SF maple syrup!).
- if you are finding it hard to stick to your calorie limit or your fat loss seems to have stopped, have a day when you actually eat maintenance calories rather than a deficit. Add up to 500 calories to your normal limit. This won't make you put on fat, it will just pause the fat loss process for one day (calories in equals calories out) and make it easier to stick to the plan long term. It may even help you lose fat faster. Don't weigh yourself the next day after doing this though, because the extra volume of food and water it attracts will make the scales go up. It is not fat gain, I repeat, you have not gained any fat.
- Figure out what causes you to get derailed - too much sugar, not enough fat, too long between meals, too much cardio - analyze your feedback and make adjustments as you go.
- get some exercise and move for 30-60 minutes at least 6 days out of 7 - and make sure you do something you enjoy. If you are tired and don't feel like 'smashing yourself' just go for a walk.
- lift weights at least 3 days a week - trust me and just do it!
- something is better than nothing - 10 minutes on the cross trainer is better than 0 minutes. 1 set of 12 reps is better than 0 sets.
- change it up - change exercises, change from free weights to machines (or vice versa), change from cardio to weights (or vice versa), change from heavy lifting to light (or vice versa). Boredom and adaptation are the enemy of fat loss training.
That is how I got down to my 'dream' weight and have stayed there for the last 7 weeks. I did incorporate some structured calories/carb cycling to lean out for competing, but it is not necessary if you are just starting out and/or have a lot of fat to lose.
Take a risk
Love what you eat
Do it your way
Trust your instincts
Life is too short to be miserable because you are dieting to lose fat. Enjoy the journey, enjoy the results, and keep what you worked for.
If you would like me to help you, I offer private coaching for clients here.