Harden Up. Stop Dieting & Lose Weight By Eating

A Guide to Eating Healthy

A love of food!

I love food! I love to cook and I love to cook for others. My Mum had me in the kitchen from a very young age, and as a result I learned to cook from a very young age. This is one of the gifts from my Mum I am most grateful for.

Unfortunately my love of food doesn’t discriminate; I love fine cuisine, I love fast-food, sweet food (I’m an absolute sucker for lamingtons and M&M’s), and food that probably shouldn’t even be classified as food!

Are you doing this food thing all wrong?

Maybe you’re like me and the doctor told you to lose weight.  Maybe you’re sick of your mates calling you ‘big fella’. Maybe you want to make sure you’re around long enough to see your kids grow up. Maybe you’re just sick of avoiding reflective surfaces.

Whatever the reason, you’re ready to make a change!

All over the world, thousands of people make the same decision every day.  To eat better and lose weight. But, every day, thousands of people set out just like I did, without a plan and no idea what they’re doing. Every day, thousands of people fail.

It’s hardly surprising. There are so many decisions to make and so much bad advice out there.

  •     Should I go on a diet? Which one?
  •     Surely I can trust the food pyramid, right? Wait, there’s more than one?!
  •     What about a juice diet?
  •     There’s a soup diet?! WTF!

Stop. Breathe, and read on.

Firstly, I think diets are crap! Mostly because I just don’t think they’re sustainable. Successfully changing your lifestyle, your habits and your eating habits is a process that happens one step at a time. Generally, diets ask you to make sweeping changes all at once. I tried that, I hated it and it was never going to last. We all have a limited amount of willpower. Every day you deprive yourself of the foods you really want and crave will be bloody awful!

Today, let’s look at the basics of healthy eating. Let’s start doing this food thing the right way.

Combine these food tips with the short walks we already talked about and you’ll start to see and feel the results in no time.

Note: Dietary advice can be a controversial topic. This information is based on my personal experience, research and the results I’ve achieved.

The 127kgs Food Philosophy

If I was to sum it up in just a few words, it would go something like this:

” One step at a time. Eat less sugar, eat more real food & find healthier snacks that you love.”

When you’re trying to lose weight, get healthy and boost your fitness, most of your success or failure will come down to what, and how much you eat. When I say most, I mean 80%!

I learned this the hard way! I spent ages busting-a-gut and pounding the pavement for very little return. Not that this was bad for me, but I didn’t lose any weight. It wasn’t until I took a hard look at what I was eating and paired those changes with the exercise I was doing that I started to see results.

Eat more actual food. Eat less crap.

Hardly a new concept but certainly easier said than done. You’ve probably tried before and for whatever reason it didn’t stick. In my opinion the secret to food and weight loss success is to make small incremental changes that slowly add up to big success.

Small permanent changes to your diet will put a beat down on crazy sweeping changes every time!

Where Do I Start?

There’s a few things that are helpful to know before getting started. Now this is the side of weight loss and food theory that I don’t really like, BUT once you get your head around it, it’ll start to guide some of your decision making. So stay with me here, coz I’m going to throw up some numbers (I’m sorry!).

  • 500 grams of fat = roughly 3500 calories

Ok that’s cool. But WTF does it mean?!

According to people much smarter than me. People with white lab coats, scientific calculators and years worth of data-  a healthy rate of weight loss is about 500 – 1000 grams per week. So let’s take that 3500 calories and divide it by 7 days. Thanks to my 3rd Form maths teacher (Mr Peterson, also known as Papa Smurf), I’m still able to figure out that 3500/7 = 500.

That means that if you want to lose 500 grams per week, you need to remove 500 calories per day from your daily food consumption, or burn 500 calories per day through exercise. Ideally you’d achieve this through a combination of increased exercise and decreased food consumption.

” That’s great Shane, but how? “

That my friend is a bloody good question. One that took me quite some time to figure out. What I’m about to recommend is another aspect of weight loss that I don’t really like, BUT it’ll prove to be an education in food that’ll stay with you for the rest of your life. Take a gander at this post and you’ll see what I mean- The weight loss discovery that changed my life.

I strongly encourage you to spend the next 2-3 weeks studying your calorie intake. Yup I said it. Counting calories. When I say studying your calorie intake, I mean track everything. EVERYTHING! The pineapple lump your workmate gave you, the glass of wine you had when you got home, the ice cream you ate after tea. E V E R Y T H I N G ! The point here is to build a profile of what you’re eating every day. Once you understand that, it’s a whole lot easier to see what’s going wrong and a whole lot easier to see where to start.

Counting calories sucks, but it’s made a whole lot easier with a great little phone app called MyFitnessPal. The database of foods is massive, you can scan bar-codes and the app calculates everything for you.

Do this for a few days, or for a more comprehensive picture, a couple of weeks, then take a look back and see what you’re average calorie intake is per day and where you can cut back. Look for the easy wins. Snacks will always be a good place to start. Either by cutting back on what you’re typically eating, or looking for healthier replacements. Snacks can be a calorie killer! They are easy to overlook because they’re not a dedicated meal, there’s frequently no experience associated with snacks. They are usually eaten out of convenience and are often consumed ‘on the run’ while you’re busy.

The starting point for me was the second sugar in the 6 coffees I was drinking every day. Taking that second sugar out of my coffee, plus the 10 minutes walking I was doing by getting off the bus early every day, cut my calorie intake by nearly 2000 calories every week!

Now remember, removing 500 calories from your diet every day will result in about 500 grams of weight loss every week. As I’m always saying on 127kgs ” start slow “. I’d suggest that cutting 250 calories from your diet every day is a good place to start. Remember this isn’t about sweeping changes, it’s about small incremental changes that become new habits.

So What Does 250 Calories Look Like?

What Does 250 Calories Look Like?

Each of the following is about 250 calories:

  • 1 Large Flat White with whole milk and 2 sugars
  • 600ml Classic Coke
  • 8 squares of chocolate

You might be tempted to dive straight in and attempt to drastically decrease your calorie intake but DON’T. You’re stomach is used to the amount of food you typically consume and you need to slowly train it to be happy with less. If you typically eat 3000+ calories every day and suddenly try and cut that to 2000, you’re going to feel like you’re starving all the time. Then it becomes a battle of willpower and you will lose. For now your strategy is to remove 250 calories at a time. Do it for a couple of weeks, make it a habit and then look for the next easy win.

This is the easiest way to start losing weight – this is how I got started with weight loss and you will see results! I strongly encourage you to couple this with some exercise, as outlined in the this article: Losing Weight. Getting Started & Not Looking Back. Or, if you’re ready for the next step up, add some strength training to your workouts with this Simple Exercise Plan to Lose Weight.

While this might be the easiest way to get started losing weight, remember it’s not your end game. Ultimately you want to transform what you’re eating, how you exercise and start building a healthier, stronger you.

Get Started Today.

Why not get started today? Start interrogating your food choices and pick a habit or two to change. Don’t worry if you stumble along the way, I stumbled plenty. Just keep getting back up until you find what works best for you.

Got a question? Hit me in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer.



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