When you know more about what you eat and the impact it has on your body, you can start to make more informed choices.
However, there’s a new ‘expert’ endorsed miracle diet every other day. Every way you turn someone has the answer, yet everyone is telling you something different. High carb, low fat? High fat, low carb? Because carbs are evil, right? High fibre? Fibre is good isn’t it? Paleo, there’s lots of paleo evangelists out there, surely that’s the one! Or, maybe a high protein diet? Protein shakes seem to be popular with all those crazy fitness people in their stupidly tight lycra.
Who to trust, what to eat?
Well, straight-up common sense would suggest the best diet is the one you can stick to. That means you don’t hate it, you don’t resent it, it’s simply the way you go about your everyday life.
So, let’s start by changing our thinking;Diet is simply a word to describe what you eat. It’s not a strict set of rules about food. It’s not something you do for a while until you can’t stand the thought of doing it any longer.Click To Tweet
From this point on, when I use the word diet I’m simply referring to the choices you make about food.
My eating habits (diet) have changed significantly over time. That’s been the foundation of my weight loss. We all know what we eat is the biggest contributor to weight loss, or weight gain. I mean, you can kill yourself with exercise everyday but if your food choices are poor you’ll never lose weight.
I’m going to repeat that because it’s important:
You can kill yourself with exercise every day, but if you continue to eat poorly you’ll never lose weight.
While my eating habits have changed, my understanding of food and nutrition has also changed over time. I think this is important. When you know more about what you eat and the impact it has on your body, you can start to make more informed choices.
All food fits into three basic categories. Understanding the impact and the bullshit ideas attached to each of these will help you to make better choices about the stuff you eat.
Protein, carbohydrates and fat
These are the things that make up the food we eat, they are all necessary and do different things when they’re introduced to our body. They’re not good or bad, they’re just food. Please, let’s ditch the notion of good foods and bad foods. That’ll mess with your head till the end of time.
So, before we get into any practical advice and strategies for successfully and permanently losing weight, I want to take a deeper look at food. What it is, what it does and why you need it. I’d like to bust some of myths associated with certain food types and hopefully remove some of the fear that comes with this misinformation we’ve been sold for so long.
PROTEIN: WHAT IS IT? WHY DO I NEED IT?
Protein is a major player in the human body, it helps make up every single cell in your body. Protein plays a part in lots of bodily processes that keep you alive and kicking. That’s pretty important stuff, right? On top of that, it makes up roughly 25% of your muscle mass. That’s why there’s lots of advice out there telling you to eat plenty of protein.
So, what foods are high in protein?
The short answer is meat. Chicken, fish, beef, turkey, pork etc. There are other foods high in protein and they include stuff like, eggs, nuts, seeds and lentils.
- You have to eat protein before and after you exercise. Gym junkies love this one. So do the makers and marketers of protein shakes for that matter! But, it’s not true. Just do your best to fit the foods listed above into your regular diet in a way that works for you.
- Your body can only process a tiny amount of protein and the rest just makes you fat. Our good friend science has busted this myth. Turns out your body is really bloody good at digesting and absorbing protein.
Protein is good for you and does a really good job of keeping you feeling full for longer. Don’t stress about when you eat it, just try and fit it into as many meals as you can.
FAT: WHAT IS IT? WHY DO I NEED IT?
Fat gets a bad rap but it’s actually a major source of fuel for your body and it helps you absorb certain vitamins. That’s pretty cool, right? It does other cool stuff like regulates inflammation and hormone production but we don’t need to go there.
Just like protein, fat is an essential part of your diet. There are certain things your body can’t produce enough of on it’s own to keep you alive. So, you top that stuff up with fat in your food. Because fat gets such a raw deal I’m going to spell this out in big, bold words.
Y O U G O T T A E A T F A T !
Now, this is where things can get a little complicated. There are different kinds of fat. I know, WTF right? Let’s not overcomplicate things though.
Just do your best to avoid artificially produced trans-fats. You might’ve heard of them, it’s something that is pretty unnecessary and generally only added to food to extend the shelf life and make things fry better.
It’s mostly found in the following types of food: pastries, margarine, biscuits, donuts, sausage rolls, croissants, muffins, frozen pizzas, and sandwich spreads that are made with margarine or shortening.
Now I’m not here to suck the fun out of life, and, I still eat many of these foods. Just not nearly as often as I used to.
So, what foods are a good source of fat?
Avocados, cheese, nuts, eggs, fish, dark chocolate, coconut and full fat yoghurt.
- Fat will make you fat. Yeah, we’ve all heard it and it’s a myth that’s been going strong for over 30 years. But it’s not true. FAT DOES NOT MAKE YOU FAT!
- Saturated fat will give you heart disease. Not true. There is no link to saturated fat causing heart disease. In fact, scientists have found that eating saturated fat can actually benefit your health.
Fat is necessary and it probably should make up about 30% of what you eat. But again, don’t stress about it, just try and get a good dose of healthy fats from the foods listed above and do your best to cut down on stuff that has artificially produced trans-fats.
CARBOHYDRATES: WHAT ARE THEY? WHY DO I NEED THEM?
Carbs have become public enemy number one in recent times. They’ve become the focus of what people like to call the obesity epidemic. So, let’s cut through the hype and take a look at the facts.
Carbohydrates main role is to provide energy to the cells in your body. They’re interesting because they are not considered essential. What I mean by that is your body doesn’t technically need carbohydrates to stay alive. It has the ability to get the things it needs from the proteins and fats that you eat.
Now before you run off and declare war on carbs, there’s an important distinction to make between staying alive and living. Yes, your body can get the things it needs from proteins and fats to keep you breathing, but you’re gonna need carbohydrates if you expect to live a normal and active lifestyle. Remember, carbs give you energy. You’re gonna need that energy to go to work, walk, play sport, chase your kids etc. Not to mention some of the best sources of carbohydrates come from fruits and vegetables and they provide nutrients that protect you from disease.
Just like fat, not all carbohydrates are created equal. Yup again, WTF?! If you wanna get technical there’s two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. But, I think it’s easier to look at them as ‘whole’ and ‘refined’
Whole carbohydrates are unprocessed and contain all the fibre, vitamins and minerals that are found naturally in food. Refined carbohydrates have been processed and had the fibre and nearly all that other good stuff stripped out.
Whole carbs are basically real food, ya know, stuff that once grew in the ground.
Refined carbs tend to be things that humans have made, or changed. Stuff that’s made with white flour and sugar, like pastries, cakes, biscuits and fruit juice etc. Or, vegetables that have been turned into something else, like potato chips.
So, what foods are a good source of whole carbohydrates?
Vegetables, all of them! Also, whole fruits, legumes (lentils, beans etc) nuts, seeds, brown rice, oats etc. They’re real foods, stuff that grew in the ground, or fell off a tree.
- Carbs cause obesity. This statement is just way too general! Whole carbohydrates DO NOT cause obesity!
Learn the difference between whole carbs and refined carbs, because that shit will change your life.
Whole carbohydrates will give your body sustained energy and help prevent disease. So, if you’re getting the bulk of your carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains (whole carbohydrates) then you have nothing to fear from carbohydrates.
Do your best to cut back on refined carbohydrates. This is the stuff you know you should be eating less of anyway. But, if you’re eating healthy and maintaining even a modest amount of exercise, like regular walks, 10-15 percent of your total food intake can basically come from any food you want.
So, that was a sneak peak at what I’ve been working on for the past few months. It’s just a small glimpse into something I hope will be a massive resource for everyone looking to lose weight, get healthy and change their lives for the better. Some of you will have questions, so I’ll my best to answer them:
Shane, why are you writing a book? What about the blog?
With a book I can put everything you need to know about food and nutrition, motivation, habits, weight loss and exercise in one place, in a logical and helpful order. It’ll be available as an eBook and an audio book so you can have it available wherever and whenever you need it. Of course I’ll still continue to run this website in the same way I always have and it will continue to grow, but the book will be a resource that’s at your fingertips in a way that will be more helpful to you.
Will the book be free like all your other information?
Honestly, probably not. 127kgs and this website has grown more than I could ever have imagined. Thousands of people visit this site every month and that’s amazing. But, as a result I’ve had to make continuous behind the scenes upgrades to keep delivering free information to the ever increasing number of people that need it. Unfortunately these upgrades come with an ongoing cost.
I could offset some of this cost by allowing advertising on to the site but I hate websites with ads and it’s hard to control the ads that get displayed. I don’t want to endorse businesses selling supplements and ‘super foods’ you don’t need. I don’t want to provide another platform for fast food advertisements, gym memberships, or Russian brides for that matter.
What I will promise you is that the book will be priced so that it’s affordable to everyone. This isn’t about getting rich, it’s about providing you with the best information, in the most useful and accessible formats and helping as many people as I can lose weight, get fit and live a long, healthy life.
If I can continue to fund, develop and grow this website at the same time, then that’s a win for all of us.
What will the book cover?
The Fundamentals of Fitness, Fat Loss and Food is made up of 7 parts (so far).
- Part one: The fundamentals of food cuts through all the hype and propaganda that’s published about food and nutrition. It’s a simple breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates, and fat; why you need them, what they do and how your body uses them. You read some of this chapter in the blog post above.
- Part two: The great diet deception teaches you that the concept of dieting is flawed and that there is no single ‘right’ way to lose weight.
- Part three: The fundamentals of fat loss will show you how to get started with weight loss and put you on a path to creating permanent change.
- Part four: How weight loss really works shows you why so many people fail to lose weight and keep it off and it’ll teach you how your body reacts to weight loss. Knowledge is power, right? So, when you understand what’s going to happen you’re better prepared to deal with it.
- Part five: A few words on motivation teaches you that motivation and willpower are both hugely overrated and not a necessary part of overall success.
- Part six: Building healthy habits is everything you need to know about habit change, from breaking bad ones, to building new ones.
- Part seven: The fundamentals of fitness will take your weight loss mission to the next level. Weight loss is great but being fit and strong is amazing and it’s nothing like the magazine covers would have you believe.
When will the book be available?
So, right now I don’t have date for release.
Sales people and marketing gurus would tell me I’m crazy for opening up to you about a product that’s not yet available, let alone finished but…
- Most of you know how I feel about sales people, marketing gurus and the over-hyped products they pitch.
- We’ve always been on this mission together so why should this be any different?
I want to make sure this book is the best possible resource for you before I make it available for sale and I’m hoping you can help me with that.
How you can help
As I’ve said the book isn’t yet complete, so this is your opportunity to get on board and help shape the finished product. This your chance to have your say about what information is included in this resource I’m creating for you. At the end of the day, this is your book.
So, in the comments below, tell me:
- Are you interested in getting a copy of the book when it’s finished?
- What information you really want included in the book, what’s the stuff you’re most desperate to learn about?
- What format you’d prefer the book in: eBook, physical book, audio book, or something I haven’t thought of yet?