- Diets are like putting a band-aide on a broken leg
- Yo-yo dieting is a result of less than stellar eating habits
- Practice your Nutritional Foundation and weight loss will be 100x easier
Every diet ever invented has one thing in common…
A calorie deficit.
How they achieve that is where the difference comes in.
Intermittent fasting 8/16 restricts your eating window to 8 hours which in turn puts you in a calorie deficit.
Keto eliminates just about all carbs and protein which in turn puts you in a calorie deficit.
Paleo eliminates all processed foods which in turn puts you in a calorie deficit.
It’s not magic, just a calorie deficit.
All of these work as long as you can eat what’s on their menu or abide by their time restriction.
The minute you eat normal you become a train running down the tracks without brakes.
And that’s when the yo-yo dieting comes in. The 20lbs you lost comes back with a vengeance with an extra 5.
I’m not shitting on these diets, hell I’ve tried most of these. But they don’t address the root cause of your weight gain… your Nutritional Foundation.
If you fix your foundation, you unchain yourself from these diets and relieve yourself of the binary paradigm these diets force you into.
In this article you’ll learn how to build your Nutritional Foundation to free yourself from the roller coaster of yo-yo dieting.
Why This Is Important
We all want to eat normal. Whatever the fuq that might mean for you.
You might want to have some pizza, go out to dinner, and enjoy a few drinks without feeling guilty or blowing up our progress.
On traditional diets that’s like clubbing a baby seal.
Which is why so many people yo-yo diet.
In the Aesthetic Physiques Online Coaching Program, I don’t want you to feel like this. It’s not a way to live.
The Nutritional Foundation I’m going to outline below will allow you to have your pizza, go out and knock back a few beers without the walk of shame guilt afterwards while still losing weight.
Your Nutritional Foundation
Setting Up A Meal
When you have a framework, it allows you to get creative within boundaries.
Without a framework you have endless possibilities and endless ways to make poor decisions.
Think about if basketball or football didn’t have sidelines or endlines. The players could literally be out in the parking lot to get around defenders. Adding sidelines creates a framework for coaches to come up with plays to score.
You are now the head coach of your meals. Let’s get creative.
Use the meal framework of 1 protein + 1 carb.
This ensures you get what you need (protein) but the foods you use to fill it out are completely up to you.
Protein powder + oatmeal
Chicken breast + pasta
Steak + potato
As long as you have 1 protein and 1 carb source you’re aces. Even if you are on vacation or coming down to a work deadline you know how to structure a proper meal that’ll help you get close to your goal.
This makes hitting your protein target 10x easier without eating hundreds of calories over your goal to get there.
Dealing with Hunger
What’s the quickest way to derail a good diet?
You could try to white knuckle it, but that’s not going to end well.
A better strategy is eating satiating foods.
When it comes to feeling full, our bodies know one thing, how much space is taken up in our stomachs.
Little space left, you won’t feel hungry.
All the space left, you’re hungry.
This is regardless of calories.
Having a way to reduce hunger while dieting is essential. And that’s where veggies and fruit come in.
There’s always certain times of day where you are more hungry than usual. For most people it’s in that 2-4pm range.
To combat that, eat something like a big ass salad with chicken (1 protein + 1 carb) or fruit with your lunch or as a snack.
The low calorie and high volume of the salad or fruit will stay in your stomach longer and help repent the demon that is hunger.
Processed foods like M&M’s, chips and cookies don’t have the volume to help you feel full.
The amount of these you would need would add hundreds if not thousands of calories to your day.
Setup Your Environment For Success
For the last few years, I’ve been buying two boxes of Samoas.
I hide one on the bottom shelf of a closet in the kitchen and the other I freeze.
This way I won’t eat both boxes as soon as they come in… which may or may not have happened multiple years in a row.
Cookies are one of my trigger foods.
If they are in eyesight or very close to eyesight, consider them eaten.
There’s prob a few foods that you feel the same way about.
This is where controlling your environment comes into play.
Set up your environment so that it makes your diet easier. This will limit the amount of willpower you need to stick to your goal.
- Hiding or removing trigger foods.
- Making healthy snacking options easier to get.
- Putting snacks where they aren’t easily accessible.
- Having things to cook and food scale easily accessible.
- Having leftovers or quick heat up options for dinners and lunch.
At any point in time if you look in my fridge or freezer you’ll find frozen veggies, leftover protein, leftover rice, fully cooked pre packaged ham or chicken, and protein powder.
In my most time crunched moment, I can create a protein meal faster than I can complete a Sudoku game on the toilet.
Having Self Awareness
We all hit plateaus.
It feels like you are doing everything right but yet the results are happening. It’s times like this where Self Awareness of the basics become invaluable to right the ship.
Assuming you’re doing everything right or there is some hidden force keeping you from losing weight is not what makes a successful dieter. It’s why people fail.
99% of the time what you need to work on to get the results rolling again is the basics.
Are you getting your steps in?
Are you snacking more than usual?
Are you eating more processed foods?
Are you tracking calories as accurately as you can?
This is where Self Awareness or metrics will come into handy. Taking a step back, removing the ego and looking at things objectively will allow you to see what’s not working, fix it, and get back on track.
To develop this Self Awareness it’s helpful to have the training wheels of tracking metrics. Simple metrics like logging your food into MyFitnessPal (MFP), taking your weight daily, tracking steps is all you need.
When you’re logging your food you can see the quality of food you’re eating as well as how many calories you’re getting and if it changed.
With tracking your weight, you can look at weekly averages to see if you are in a down trend or in a plateau.
And tracking your steps can show you how active you’ve been and if that dropped off.
Once you track these things for a while you can get a sense of what is off without tracking when the results stop.
Preplanning is the Apex Predator of dieting habits.
If you can preplan, you can enjoy the foods you like (i.e. beer, pizza) while still moving towards your goal.
No more avoiding these foods.
I always make sure I have some food I really enjoy each day while dieting.
Most of the time it’s candy after lunch to combat that mid afternoon slump and popcorn while I’m watching TV.
Here’s what to do:
- Figure out what you want by checking the menu before you go out. Use Google for this.
- Type the meal/food you want into MyFitnessPal.
- Paying attention to serving sizes take the top 3-4 options and go with the middle one based on calorie amount.
- Add that to your MFP.
- Fill in the rest of the foods for the rest of the day so you can hit your calorie/macro goal for the day.
PRO TIP: Start by focusing on protein then figure out carbs and fat. Odds are the meal/food you want is carb and fat heavy unless you’re getting a steak.
Yep, that’s it. ⠀
From there, it was all about executing a plan.
Keeping A Meal Schedule
My most successful clients eat around the same time everyday.
It’s too consistent for me to call it a coincidence.
When you eat at the same time, or roughly the same time, every day your body is better able to digest and use that food for energy.
If you skip meals frequently it messes with your circadian rhythm.
Yes, the same circadian rhythm that regulates your sleep-wake cycles. When that’s messed up, your hormones go outta whack and you’re making things harder on yourself.
Not to mention the practical side of this.
If you are constantly skipping meals you have to scramble at the end of the day to make up missed calories.
This leads to poor food choices, overeating, and possible indigestion when you are in bed.
Again, making shit harder on yourself.
To combat this, schedule out time during the day to eat and stick to those times. If you have a meeting during your meal time, eat before or after.
If you have a string of back-to-back meetings, make the first thing you do after the last one or in a break is to grab something quick.
Pre-planning rearing its beautiful head here.
Not Being A Victim
The final piece to your Nutritional Foundation is the mindset of not being a victim.
When you claim you’re the victim you give up all hope of solving your problem.
It’s not your age.
It’s not your genetics.
It’s not your busy schedule.
It’s not someone else’s fault.
It’s not your “broken metabolism”.
It’s you putting the food in your mouth. It’s your schedule.
The sooner you accept that responsibility the sooner you can stop yo-yo dieting. Build your Nutritional Foundation and dieting becomes simple.