You might find this interesting to read if:
a) you've been good on your diet but fallen off the past few weeks/months
b) you suck at dieting and/or hate the process
My philosophy on diet is simple:
Don't call it a diet.
It's a lifestyle change, therefore it must be sustainable.
What I mean by that is, can you see yourself sticking to your current nutrition plan for 3 years + ?
If not, you'll fail.
You only have so many failures in you before you give up and accept that the beer belly ain't gonna go.
I'd hate for that to happen to you!
SO let's look at how to make nutrition a lifestyle change.
THERE ARE FOUR AREAS OF NUTRITION
You must focus on them all at some point, and you must do them in order.
You must fix your bad behaviours; under-eating then binging - not drinking enough water - undersleeping - eating too much sugar - drinking too much alcohol.
If you have good habits you will make progress and see a change in the mirror. You don't have to have perfect habits, nobody does (despite the polished instagram profiles of most fitness professionals).
Just aim to cover the bases.
You must know when you are going to eat. If not, you risk making a big mistake that'll slow/stop fat loss: UNDER EATING.
When you under eat you lose muscle (which actively burns calories), and your hormone balance worsens.
Meaning you'll find it harder and harder to lose weight as you get older if you carry on down this path (sound familiar?).
SO a good schedule keeps you on track AND stops you having ravenous hunger pains.....which leads to bad food choices and over eating (dominos pizza after work. When you're tired. Hmm.....).
A schedule is protection against failure.
It's scientfically proven without a shadow of a doubt, you must be in a calorie deficit to lose fat.
Many popular diets achieve this by cutting out an entire macronutrient, e.g. low carb diets.
Or the 80s low fat diet.
They only 'work' because people tend to eat less overall calories when they can't fill up on bread and pasta.
But let's go beyond that and find:
> what your daily calorie intake must be (requires calculations, search 'calorie calculator' online)
> what your current calorie intake is (keep a food diary or log your meals on the myfitnesspal app)
Once we know this we can accurately create a meal plan and keep you in a calorie deficit WITHOUT undereating (important to realise there is a distinction between these).
4) 'ICING ON THE CAKE' plans
Icing on the cake simply means, you are already sleeping well, training hard, tracking your calories and your schedule and habits are good (relating to food and health).
Then, and only then, will we bring in things like carb cycling, calorie cycling, or going into a deeper calorie deficit for a short period of time (e.g. before a bodybuilding competition or a holiday etc.)
^^^ here is the problem!!
Most people want to jump straight into the 'fun' stuff..... but they fail!
If you don't have habits > schedule > calorie targets NAILED - you have a high risk of failing on a more complex plan.
Get the basics down first.
I did a 25 minute presentation on this exact concept yesterday.
Raw Strength Gym