This is my easy weight loss diet for blokes based on my own weight loss story. It is not scientifically proven, but has worked for me with a minimum of effort.
Like most blokes, I had the view that calorie counting diets were for women. Most men, including myself, do not want anything to do with Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, fancy shakes, or the latest fad-diets.
My approach is based on creating a healthy lifestyle based on a simple formula that is guaranteed to produce results:
energy in < energy out = weight loss
I did not think that I was overweight. When I took the Australian Government waist measurement test as a joke, I discovered I was in the obese category.
I did not do anything about it until one day I looked down and could not longer see my wedding tackle! I was 86 kg. I had put on 26 kg since leaving high school.
I took up running, but maintained a diet that included one or two chocolate bars a day, as well as McDonald’s two or three times a week. I figured I would prefer to exercise than change my diet.
When I did eat healthy, it was likely a Subway sandwich, but with the meal deal that included two cookies and a cup of Coke.
Despite getting custom orthotics and special shoes, running hurt my shins too much, so then I took up cycling after a 20 year break.
I managed to get down to around 80 kg, but still on my sugar, fat and salt laden diet.
I had increased my energy out through exercise, but was still consuming far too much energy in my food.
After taking a periodic cholesterol test at the doctor’s request, I was summonsed back to be told not to let myself go any further.
But I had already lost 6 kg! I thought I was doing well – apparently not. I was also facing another black tie dinner where I would not fit into my dinner suit (and I was too stingy to buy a new one).
I then turned to healthier eating options and being content to be slightly hungry. I have all but eliminated sugar, fat and salt from my diet with a minimum of effort, dramatically reducing my energy intake.
I am now 76 kg, heading steadily towards my goal weight of 70 kg. (Update: This weight loss was so easy that I am now below my goal weight at 69.6 kg, and still losing weight).
Following are some tips on how to easily increase energy out and decrease energy in.
Increase energy out
Take up some exercise that gives you pleasure. Walk the dog, cycle, run, take the stairs instead of the lift, walk to the local shops instead of driving, walk around to your workmate’s desk instead of emailing them. Whatever. Increase your level of physical activity.
It is not hard and should become part of your daily routine.
Decrease energy in
This is also easy. It is about making healthy choices.
If you have ever owned a lean pet, you will be amazed how little they need to eat to maintain their weight. Lean pets also tend to live much longer and have far fewer health problems. It is the same with people.
You do not need to gorge yourself at each meal to make it through to the next one. And you do not need all those sugar, fat and salt laden foods. Seriously!
So there are two elements to change to decrease your energy in:
1) Eliminate sugar, fat and salt from your diet.
Historically, sugar, fat and salt were in limited supply — think two hundred years ago. Your body is therefore programmed to crave them when they are available.
If you have a hit of sugar, fat, or salt laden food, your body digests it and then craves the next hit. It really is a drug that your body is addicted to!
If you eliminate sugar, fat and salt from your diet, your body will no longer crave it.
Some suggestions for eliminating sugar, fat and salt from your diet are:
- Do not buy sugar, fat and salt laden foods with your normal groceries. If they are not in your house, you can not eat them!
- If you have a sandwich, load it with salad, add a lean meat, choose the low fat dressing and do not add salt.
- Do not put sugar in your tea or coffee – for some, this may sound crazy, but good tea and coffee does not need two teaspoons of sugar to make it palatable!
- Replace sugary soft drinks (and even fruit juices) with water.
- Avoid fast food like the plague! McDonalds, Hungry Jacks, KFC, and pizzas are all laden with salt, fat and sugar.
- Eat fresh foods and avoid processed foods.
2) Reduce the volume of food that you consume.
In first world countries, food is in ample supply. It is too easy to gorge yourself at each meal. Your body does not need it!
Some suggestions to reduce your food intake are:
- Eat enough to be mildly content at meal time, and be happy to be slightly hungry leading up to your next meal.
- Do not skip meals. Eat a good breakfast and lunch; go light at your evening dinner. Eat fruit or a small, healthy snack for morning and afternoon tea — I like cheese and crackers or nuts, both of which tend to make you feel full.
- Drink lots of water.
- Listen to what your body is telling you. That over stuffed sensation is bad. Be happy when your body is telling you that you are slightly hungry; but make sure that you do not become ravenous because that is when you over eat to compensate.
- Eat at home as much as possible. It is much easier to make healthy choices with food that you prepare.
- If you do eat out regularly because of your work, then you do not need to eat a three course meal. Be content to choose a healthy main course and then enjoy it! Alternatively, only eat half of each course.
- Minimise alcohol consumption — a glass of wine or a beer once a week is okay.
What I have described above is based on my own weight loss experience and is not scientifically proven. Even so, it is very easy to do, so give it a go.
You need to get off the sugar, fat and salt addiction. You do not need massive will power; you just need to be happy to make healthy choices.
Do not be a total nutter trying to crash diet. Aim to lose weight gradually. You do not need to lose 5 kg in a week. But 5 kg in five weeks is very achievable. I have so far lost 16 kg!
Reward yourself once a week with a small treat. A small chocolate bar is my vice; other people may prefer a glass of wine.
Do not feel guilty treating yourself, but do not do not over over indulge either. Get back on the wagon immediately after the treat.
Good luck. Tell me your weight loss story below.