Whilst it is a shocking affront to my delicate English sensibilities to post pictures of myself in my pants onto the net, in the circumstances, it seems like the right thing to do. For your reference, these series of photos were taken 3 months apart each, and so chart what’s possible over a 6 month period.
So if you’ve over indulged this Christmas, or are simply over weight and want to lose that beer belly or pot belly (or whatever it’s made of) I’m going to show you how I did it, step by step. You see many diet sites and books tell you what to eat and why, and give examples of stuff you could eat, but I took this a stage further by putting together a complete food diary that spans nearly 3 months:
- I carefully recorded everything I ate and drank.
- I took high resolution photos of every meal.
- I recorded every workout I did (not as many as you’d think).
- I weighed myself every day and compiled a detailed spreadsheet of stats.
It wasn’t the weight that I wasn’t happy with, it was how I looked
For reasons I won’t bore you with, I managed to pile on a load of weight in 2010 and ended the year weighing more than I had done in years and was not at all happy about it. However it wasn’t the weight that I wasn’t happy with, it was how I looked. Absolute weight for me is unimportant, but how you feel about yourself affects your personal confidence levels, which in turn affects every part of your life. Losing that belly had a big impact on my general feeling of well being and hence my outlook on life. What’s more, it’s not too hard, when you know how.
Now if you’ve been to this blog before, you’ll know I sporadically post about diet and exercise and have seen some major changes in my life. I could repeat all that here, but that would make this post ridiculously long so I’m not going to do that, instead I’m just going to highlight the salient points as I believe them, their explanations will have to wait for another day:
- Almost everything you’ve been told about main stream dieting is wrong.
- Fat is not the bad guy and for most people, calorie counting is an unsustainable answer.
- Control your carbohydrate intake and you’ll control your weight.
- The quality of your food is important.
- The macro-nutrient balance of your food is important (that’s protein, carbs and fat).
Given the above, I eat what could be described as a “90% Paleo diet, in Zone proportions, + Dairy”. If you know what Paleo and Zone mean, you’re on the right track. If you don’t, here’s a couple of quick definitions:
The Paleo Diet – don’t eat any food that was invented in the last 10,000 years!
The Zone Diet – balance your blood sugar levels (and hence your hormone levels like insulin) by eating a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat, at *every* meal.
Dairy – Liquid stuff that comes from cows, duh! ;) I include dairy here as many pure Paleo eaters don’t believe in dairy products, I’m not one of them. I believe we were made to drink nothing but milk for the first 6+ months of our life, so I see no problem with dairy products.
Or you could use the CrossFit’s Diet definition, which is: “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar.”
The most common question I get asked is: What do you eat for breakfast then?
When I qualify all that by telling people I don’t eat bread or pasta or cereal or potatoes or rice, or any other primarily starchy carbohydrate, the most common question I get asked is: What do you eat for breakfast then? This is what I wanted to show people by putting together a 3 month food diary. Exactly what you can eat and still lose weight at a respectable rate.
Note this is not some unsustainable crash diet. It’s not a “30 day challenge” or some similar typically unsustainable approach to weight loss. In fact my food diary includes a cheat day every 7 days, when I could and did eat what I wanted. How do you fancy things like:
- All butter popcorn
- Prawn crackers
- Piles of fruit and double cream
- Bags of cinema pick & mix sweets
- Chinese take aways
- Nandos platters
- Sticky toffee pudding
- … I could go on
I was very sceptical of the cheat day idea when I first came across it
I was very sceptical of the cheat day idea when I first came across it, but in fact there’s some credence to the argument that a sustained reduction of energy intake alters your base metabolism to compensate, so sporadic cheat days keeps your metabolism high. (I don’t like the word “metabolism” as I think it’s over used and regularly abused, but I’ll use it herefor the purposes of brevity.)
Certainly I found that it didn’t affect my weight loss when averaged over a week and it’s always nice to look forward to your cheat day as a reward for all your hard work in the week. It also gets over the psychological barrier of thinking: “What, you mean I can never eat XYZ food again?!?” if you can, at the next weekly cheat day. So in summary then I’m prepared to share:
- Nearly 3 months worth of food diary.
- Every single thing I ate and drank, every day.
- High resolution pictures of the meals.
- Full commentary on what and why I ate what I ate it
- How much weight was lost each day as a result.
- Details of every workout I did and what times I got and weights I used.
- How I completely removed my pot belly in just a few months
I’m going to be sending this out by email, so to get it you just need to pop your name and email address in below and day 1 will be sent to you in minutes: