One common question we get asked is “can you write me a meal plan?” The answer to this question is simply no…. It’s not because we are being mean it’s because we are not qualified to give out this sort of advice. Yes we understand nutrition to a certain degree… but that doesn’t make us experts. We are learning all the time and we get advice about our own nutritional needs from a professional.
We would strongly urge anyone starting out to consult a nutritionist or a personal trainer who has knowledge and a strong background in nutritional advice. Being a working family we understand that the cost of such advice may not be something that everyone can afford, but that doesn’t mean you cannot reach your goals.
Have a look online at the concept of ‘clean eating’. This is the type of diet we currently follow. It basically involves eating ‘1 ingredient foods’ which means food that hasn’t been processed or had anything added to it. If you can’t kill it or grow it then it isn’t ‘clean’. That doesn’t mean that you can never ever eat anything processed but you want to keep it to a minimum. A typical clean diet consists of a lot of fresh fish and meat, fresh vegetables and fruit and not forgetting eggs, nuts and seeds.
We also consume a lot of plain water. Water is essential to life and most of us don’t drink enough of it. Aim to drink at least 3 litres of plain water a day and cut out fizzy drinks and squash that are full of sugar and sweeteners to improve hydration levels. A lot of the hunger cravings we have are actually signs of dehydration so drinking more water can aid fat loss by reducing the amount of ‘empty calories’ you consume by giving into cravings.
Treats and cheat meals are things that people often discuss at length. We think it’s important to have some balance in your life and unless you are training for a competition your diet can include the odd indulgence. However, keep it within reason… You are never going to reach your goals if you eat clean for 6 days but then binge on 2 weeks’ worth of junk food on day 7! Plan out 1 thing that you would like each week and work up to it, this may help you to stay focused on eating well all week so that you feel that you deserve the little treat for all your hard work. Alternatively look out for recipes that provide a clean take on your not so clean indulgences… there are lots of great tasty ideas out there that can satisfy a sweet tooth without sabotaging your goals.
Everyone has different needs and every person reacts differently to certain diets and foods so we are not going to start discussing calorie goals or macro nutrient optimisation here but if you eat healthy well balanced meals and ensure that your portions are big enough to COMFORTABLY fill you without making you feel stuffed you should soon see the benefits of eating this way. If you want to take it up a level and find the perfect meal plan then you will need professional advice.
There are lots of sources available online to help get started with clean eating.
This is a great source of information, the pop ups can get a little irritating but nonetheless it’s a good resource for anyone looking for meal ideas – http://www.cleaneatingmag.com/
You can also check out the recipes at – http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/clean-eating-recipes
Clean eating isn’t the only way to lose fat and get a healthier body. It was the best way for us to get lean and to build muscle and it is the way we will eat in preparation to compete in our upcoming fitness competitions, but it won’t suit everyone. Not everyone wants to compete or get super lean. Many just want to lose fat and feel healthier and more confident and there is certainly a place for slimming groups such as weight watchers and slimming world. These groups can give vital support and meal ideas which are based around the concept of healthy eating. We both joined one of these groups at the beginning of our journeys and lost a considerable amount of weight doing so. Without the group we wouldn’t be where we are today. It enabled us to make simple meals in a healthy way and once we had reach our weight loss goals we were ready to switch to clean eating to support the training we were doing to get lean and build muscle and take our bodies to the next level!
The only thing we wouldn’t support or advocate is any extreme diet where you starve the body of food and drink expensive shakes or juices in its place or limit yourself to extremely low calories. These methods may produce rapid weight loss but it will not be all fat. Some will be water and also vital lean muscle and you will rapidly gain any weight lost and more once you stop the diet….and you will because these diets are simply not sustainable (Mrs C has done most of them in the past and it always ended badly). These diets can cause metabolic damage and are bad for your overall health as you become depleted of vital nutrients, minerals and vitamins. We do not agree with diets of any kind… we advocate healthy eating for life. This way you will lose fat, get healthy and stay that way.
Mr & Mrs C