THE SIMPLE GUIDE TO IMPROVING YOUR HEALTH
This e-book has been written for information purposes only. Every effort has been made to make this ebook as complete and accurate as possible. However, there may be mistakes in typography or content. Also, this ebook provides information only up to the publishing date. Therefore, this ebook should be used as a guide – not as the ultimate source.
The purpose of this ebook is to educate. The author and the publisher does not warrant that the information contained in this e-book is fully complete and shall not be responsible for any errors or omissions. The author and publisher shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by this ebook.
Table of Contents
Introduction – You Really Are What You Eat!……………………………………………………………………………………………… 6
Chapter 1: Understanding Diet and Your Health……………………………………………………………………………………….. 12
How to Lose Weight With Calorie Counting…………………………. 14
Chapter 2: The Problem With Ready Meals and Snacking…………………………………………………………………………………… 18
Chapter 3: Putting it all Together for Simple, Clean Eating……………………………………………………………………………………….. 30
Chapter 4: How to Cook Faster and Spend Less Time in the Kitchen 35
Chapter 5: Simple Breakfast Options to Start the Day Right…………………………………………………………………………………………. 41
Chapter 6: Simple Lunch Recipes Anyone Can Enjoy…………… 46
Chapter 7: Easy Dinner Recipes……………………………………………… 49
Chapter 8: Healthy Guilt-Free Dessert Recipes and Snacks…… 53
Chapter 9: Other Ways to Get Healthy Meals – Meal Deals and More 57
Chapter 10: Easy Ways to Reduce Your Calories and Junk Foods…. 60
Conclusion and Summary – Your Plan for Sticking to Healthy, Low Calorie Meals……………………………………………………………………. 62
Introduction – You Really Are What You Eat!
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
Have you ever heard the saying: ‘you are what you eat’?
On the face of it, this might seem like something of a meaningless statement. Sure, it sounds good…. But what does it actually mean?
While the saying might be cliched, the fact is that it is far more accurate than most people realize. You literally are what you eat; to the point where every last molecule in your body will have come from something you consumed (or your mother consumed if you’re still young!).
This is perhaps most apparent when you look at protein. When you consume protein, your body breaks it down into the constituent amino acids. These amino acids are then in turn recombined in order to form our muscles, our hormones, our bones and even our brains!
Meanwhile, we use acids from our foods to trigger reactions between the different nutrients in our diets and to allow them to combine and dissolve as necessary. Vitamins and minerals perform a range of other tasks, further aiding in the construction of various body parts, hormones, neurotransmitters, bones and more.
Your body simply recycles what you put into it and uses it to keep on building you.
At the same time, it is also our food that gives us the energy we need to function. Carbohydrates and fats fuel the process of constantly healing, growing and changing our bodies as well as being used for their nutrition as well.
And our bodies adapt to the amount of energy and the amount of sustenance they’re given. If we don’t get enough of what we need, then gradually our bodies change shape to do without. If we eat too many calories, we store them as fats. If we consume too much sugar, we become less sensitive to insulin…
So understand this: our bodies are constantly changing. The only question then is whether you want to be growing and improving, or deteriorating.
The biggest deciding factor in determining this outcome? That would be your diet!
Why Change Your Diet?
So why change your diet?
There are actually countless reasons to put in the effort here. As we’ve just learned; our bodies are literally made from what we eat. That means that the more good, clean food we eat, the more healthy and powerful we look! Of course that means more lean muscle but it also means better skin, hair and nails. And whiter eyes…
Moreover though, the more nutritious food you eat – and the less rubbish – the better everything will function. The biggest causes of death by far are preventable progressive diseases and many of these could be counteracted with the right diet. If you eat right, you’ll be less at risk of just about every serious health problem under the sun and your life expectancy will be significantly increased.
What’s more is that the food you eat will also contribute to the way you feel on a day-to-day basis. If you eat the right diet then you can expect to have higher energy levels, a better mood and even a higher IQ. You’ll have better energy efficiency and this will allow you to concentrate better, to see further, to think faster and to perform better in athletics.
In short, a good diet makes you better in every way. And when you’re better, you perform better and life gets better.
Still not convinced this is worth the time and effort? Then consider the impact it can have on your family. If you eat right, then this will help your family to improve their health too as they’ll likely eat what you eat.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding this becomes an even more important factor, as the food you consume will now directly be also consumed by your children.
And if you’re considering having food soon, then your diet can change your gene expression which means that what you eat now could affect the heath of your children years later…
The Good News
And here is the (more) good news. Eating well doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, eating well can be incredibly simple when you know how!
The problem is that there are so many different diets out there and there’s so much conflicting advice. One minute you’re being told that fats are bad for you, the next minute you’re being told to dump whole chunks of butter into your coffee! Some people tell you that the calories you consume are the only thing that matter for weight loss; while others say that different calories affect you differently.
Lots of new ideas and new research have been introduced over the years which have altered the way we look at dieting. While some of this has been very useful, it has also muddied the waters somewhat as people interested in getting started with nutrition often no longer know where to begin.
This research is often looking at new and exciting ways to burn fat faster, or the impacts of specific nutrients though. In some cases, it is looking at minute differences between different food groups or even times of eating.
In other words? This is advanced stuff. And it doesn’t actually need to worry you until you get to the point where you’re already in great shape and you’re looking to push your performance to the absolute max.
For the regular beginner, none of this information is necessary or relevant – it only complicates matters. We already know the basics. We know how to take any given person and help them build more muscle, burn more fat and feel healthier.
And actually, the way they go about this couldn’t be simpler. The best way to eat clean and improve your health across the board is something that should come incredibly intuitively and that seems incredibly obvious when you understand it.
In this book, you’ll learn what a healthy diet really should look like and precisely how this impacts on your body. What’s more though, is that you’ll also learn how to introduce that diet in a simple way that’s easy and enjoyable to stick to and that anyone can use!
And when you can do that, you will literally be rebuilding your entire biology from the ground up. Get ready to change!
What You Will Learn
To summarise, here’s what you will learn from this book:
- How to lose weight by cutting calories
- The role of carbohydrates and fats in your diet
- The importance of nutrient density
- The key nutrients that will improve your looks, your brain power and your lifespan!
- How different diets such as the Paleo Diet and Mediterranean Diet work (and where they go wrong)
- How to avoid hunger pangs and cravings
- How to cook/prepare delicious and healthy:
- How to save time in the kitchen and fit cooking into your lifestyle
- How to improve energy levels and have more time and enthusiasm for your food
- How to dine out without ruining your diet And MUCH more!
Chapter 1: Understanding Diet and Your Health
AND YOUR HEALTH
As we’ve already touched on in the introduction, there is a huge amount of conflicting and contradictory information available when it comes to losing weight and improving your health. Sometimes it feels that everyone has some agenda to push and it’s impossible to know where to start or even how to find objective advice.
The key to change is to understand what really matters and to find the easiest ways to to implement that. So what do you actually need to know when you cut the flack?
Calories and Energy
One of the first things to understand is how the body uses calories for energy.
Basically, the body can burn a number of different types of food in order to convert it into useable energy. To do this, it must break down the glucose and create ATP – Adenosine Triphosphate – which is in turn utilized by the mitochondria or energy centers in the cells.
Glucose is essentially a form of sugar (with fructose and lactose being other examples) and this is found primarily in carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are often considered the foods that taste sweet (like sweets, chocolates and sugary drinks) though they can also include pasta and bread among other things. The amount of energy available in each type of food is measured as calories.
Meanwhile though, glucose can also be found in fats, protein and just about any other food. In fact, fat contains slightly more sugar than carbs even – with 9 calories per gram versus 4 calories per gram.
This is where ‘counting calories’ comes into play and it’s why it’s useful to track the amount of calories you burn every day to learn how best to lose weight. To put it simply, the body stores excess calories as fats. And what’s more, is that the body will burn that stored fat when it doesn’t get enough in the diet.
And this all depends on how much energy you are using throughout the day. If you are someone who burns 2,700 calories a day but you only consume 2,500, then that means your body will be forced to burn fat stores in order to provide the extra 200 calories of energy (glucose and ATP).
Likewise though, if you burn 2,700 calories a day but you eat 3,000 calories a day, then you’ll likely store 300 calories as fat!
How to Lose Weight With Calorie Counting
With that in mind then, you need to know how many calories you burn in a day so that you can aim to consume less than that to lose weight.
To calculate this number, you need to look at your BMR and your AMR.
A BMR is a ‘basal metabolic rate’. This is the rate at which you burn calories on a day where you’re not doing anything else. Even if you aren’t moving, your body is still using calories and energy in order to allow you to breathe, blimp, digest and fight illness.
Conversely, the AMR is the ‘active metabolic rate’, which is the number of calories that you burn per day when you are engaging in your usual exercise and activities. For most people, this latter number is going to be much more useful.
To calculate your AMR, you can use the following information….
BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)
To turn this into your AMR, you then multiply that amount by:
- 2 if you’re sedentary (little or no exercise)
- 375 if you’re lightly active (you exercise 1 -3 times a week)
- 55 if you’re moderately active (you exercise or work about average)
- 725 if you’re very active (you train hard for 6-7 days a week)
- 9 if you’re highly active (you’re a physical laborer or a professional athlete)
With this number in mind, you can now seek to come in below a target every day, in order to ensure steady and consistent fat loss.
You can do this by counting all your calories, or you can do it in a much more convenient and easy manner – by calculating the calories of some of your most common meals and working around those. Try to keep your breakfast and lunch fairly consistent and then learn a few low calorie dinners.
Another pointer is that the average calorie burn is around 2,500 for men and 2,000 for women. If you are a fairly average build, then coming in under those targets should help you generally lose weight.
Carbs vs Fats
At this point, you might be wondering why carbs are considered the main source of glucose in the diet when fats actually contain considerably more calories…
The answer is that it comes down to how the body uses those calories. And this is one of the sources of complication and argument among the fitness industry.
You see, the body is actually able to extract energy from carbohydrates much more quickly than any food. This is especially true for the ‘simple carbs’ like sweets and white bread (complex carbs – including rye bread and sweet potato – act a little more like fats).
Thus, when you eat a large plate of carbohydrates, this is followed by an immediate spike in your blood sugar levels. This in turn causes the sudden release of high amounts of insulin, which trigger the body to start absorbing the glucose from the blood and potentially storing it as fat.
And in turn, that then leaves you with a low blood sugar level (and the corresponding low serotonin) which makes you feel tired, energy-less and hungry. In turn, this leads to snacking behaviour.
Fats on the other hand release their 9 grams of sugar much more slowly into the bloodstream, providing you with a steadier and longer-lasting supply of energy without the crash. Fats additionally sit in the stomach and leave you feeling fuller for longer.
They can actually slow the digestion of simple carbohydrates when consumed at the same time and they can enhance the absorption of nutrients. In fact, a lot of nutritional supplements actually instruct you to eat them alongside a source of saturated fat in order to aid absorption.
If you eat lutein for instance to improve your eyesight and your energy efficiency, you’ll be told to have it with some full-fat milk!
So this is where the dilemma and the dichotomy begins to come into play. ‘Diet’ foods that reduce the fat content can also greatly reduce their calorie content. A ‘diet’ tuna sandwich for instance might contain 50-100 calories less than a regular shop bought sandwich and thus you could lose weight by staying under your AMR this way.
But at the same time, removing the fat from diet foods actually means that the energy hits faster and harder and that you absorb fewer of the nutrients. This results in you still feeling hungry, possibly leading to snacking. What’s more, is that it can mean you’re getting less nutrition to build a strong, healthy body and mind.
And that’s before we even consider the health benefits that fat has directly. Fat is actually a key component in the structure of the brain for instance and is what the body uses to create testosterone (which increases your metabolism and aids muscle building).
Chapter 2: The Problem With Ready Meals and Snacking
THE PROBLEM WITH READY
MEALS AND SNACKING
There’s another problem with going the purely low-fat, low-calorie route too; which is that it encourages you to eat a less nutritious diet.
Think about it this way: if you are sticking purely to a low-calorie diet, then you could actually lose weight just by eating donuts. Seeing as an average donut contains about 195 calories and the average AMR is 2,000-2,500… that means you could eat 10-15 donuts a day and still lose weight as long as you didn’t eat anything else either!
The only problem? This is actually incredibly unhealthy. In fact, you may well diet after a while simply because you wouldn’t be getting any of the crucial vitamins and nutrients that your body needs.
And the same goes for ready meals and a lot of snacks – even ‘diet’ ones.
The Protein You Need
One component of the diet that we haven’t touched on yet is protein. Protein is what we get from meat and it’s where we get the ‘amino acids’ our bodies need. Amino acids are used when repairing skin and bone and for building muscle but they come in a range of different shapes and sizes.
To grow as much muscle as possible, the recommendation is that we get around 1 gram of protein for every one pound of bodyweight! Of course this advice is aimed at bodybuilders and athletes and wouldn’t apply to the Average Joe… but it shows what a key role protein plays in our body composition.
What’s also important to bear in mind is that there is more than one ‘type’ of amino acid. Actually, there are currently thought to be 20 amino acids, with nine of these only being available through the body. If you don’t get all of these amino acids from your diet, then certain important repair jobs around your body will not get carried out.
Seeing as most sources of protein only contain certain combinations of amino acids, it’s generally important to make sure your diet contains a variety of different types of plants, fish, dairy and meats. (One of the only ‘complete’ sources for amino acids is egg!)
And it gets more complicated than that too – as protein sources also vary in their ‘availability’. Depending on the ratio of essential to non-essential amino acids, the presence of branch-chained amino acids and other factors, certain proteins will be easier for the body to use than others.
With the best will in the world, animal sources are always superior to plant sources of protein. Why? Because animals are closer to us in structure. When you consume animal protein – like whey, egg, chicken or beef – you are consuming muscle and fat and skin and these are all things the body can use. Even soy protein is less effective and may also lower testosterone and increase oestrogen.
So you can lose weight by eating nothing but donuts. But if you were to do that, then your body would get barely any useful amino acids and you’d lose a lot of muscle while seeing damage to your skin, hair and bones.
To get the most from the protein in your diet then, you really need to think carefully about the types of protein you’re consuming, when you’re eating them and how you’re combining them.
But that’s just one part of the story…
Because what you also need to think about is the vitamins and minerals you’re getting and how you’re keeping them in your diet. Because vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients can do all kinds of incredible things for your health.
The best way to think about vitamins and minerals in your diet is as them being like power-ups in computer games. That is to say, that collecting these through what you eat can increase your strength, your speed, your stamina, your brain power and more…
In fact, many of the individual nutrients in our food are now sold as supplements for a variety of athletes. I could write entire chapters on the benefits of countless individual nutrients and each time I did, you’d be compelled to rush out the door and buy them in supplement form.
But the point is that getting these nutrients from the diet is much easier, cheaper and more effective. When you get fat soluble minerals and vitamins from avocado instead of a tablet for instance, you also get that allimportant saturated fat that helps you to absorb it. Meanwhile, getting iron from spinach versus a tablet means you’re less likely to suffer with stomach problems.
Moreover, it’s simply impossible to add all of the different vitamins and minerals in your diet manually. It might sound like a good idea to take three different supplements every day to try and boost your energy levels but ask yourself: are you going to do this every single day? For the rest of your life??
On the other hand though, if you can get all this nutrition from your diet, then simply by eating a very balanced selection of different foods, you’ll find that you’re able to get an incredible range of different benefits. And the variety itself will also provide further advantages. A lot of the nutrients you’ll get from a balanced diet are things we don’t even know about yet – so you couldn’t get them from supplementation even if you tried!
Let’s take a look at some examples of crucial nutrients that you do get from your diet and that you need to hunt down.
Choline: Choline is a crucial nutrient found in eggs. This is the precursor to a chemical used in the brain known as ‘acetylcholine’. Acetylcholine is the brains principle neurotransmitter used for communication between cells. The more acetylcholine you have in your brain, the more focused, alert and awake you are. Supplementing has been shown to boost memory, IQ and more!
Creatine: Creatine is a wonder-substance that is incredibly useful for a wide range of different purposes and which is popularly used among athletes. The main role of creatine is to help the cells recycle used ATP to provide you with a few seconds of extra energy. This allows you to run faster for longer and to live heavier items. Once again, it has also been shown to improve attention and concentration!
Omega 3 Fatty Acid: Omega 3 fatty acid is an antioxidant that can help to protect cells from damage by free radicals and oxidants. This means that it can help to fight the effects of ageing, while at the same time reducing the likelihood of cancer. At the same time, omega 3 fatty acid can also improve the communication between cells by improving ‘cell membrane permeability’. This can help to improve IQ. Omega 3 is also great for healthy skin and joints.
Lutein: A lesser known carotenoid that is found in the macula of the eye. This is a great micronutrient for reducing the likelihood of impaired vision as you reach older age and can also do a lot of other things. Lutein is linked with energy efficiency and in studies it has been shown to help rats lose weight and run further on their volition.
Casein: Casein is a great type of protein found in milk (as is whey). Unlike whey, casein releases slowly which makes it ideal to consume before bed. This way, you will be given a steady and constant supply of protein as you are in your most ‘anabolic’ state (during sleep).
Tryptophan: Found in numerous proteins and other foods, tryptophan is a natural precursor to serotonin – what we know as the ‘happiness hormone’. This can fight depression, boost your mood and even help you to sleep better at night (as it is converted to melatonin).
Shilajit: This is an awesome example of the kind of ‘powerup’ you can get from the wild if you know where to look and how to hunt it down. Shilajit is a ‘nutrient-rich biomas’ that can be found oozing from between rocks high in mountain crevasses throughout India. This stuff has been shown to boost cellular energy and provide antioxidant and energy benefits. In India it is often referred to as ‘the destroyer of weakness’.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D should be considered less a vitamin and more a ‘master hormone’. Among other things, vitamin D aids in the production of testosterone which helps boost muscle mass, weight loss, energy levels, libido and more! Vitamin D is mainly produced in the body in response to exposure to sunlight, though it can also be found in eggs. A recent study found that vitamin D is needed for the mitochondria in the cells to regenerate after exertion.
CoQ10: CoQ10 is another substance that can improve cellular energy by improving mitochondrial efficiency. Another is PQQ. These have been shown to improve not only athletic performance but also brain power.
Resveratrol: Resveratrol is one of the most powerful antioxidants we can get from the diet and is often thought of as being one of the most important aspects of the ‘Mediterranean Diet’. The Mediterranean Diet is a diet that consists of foods similar to hot European countries and the logic behind this is that these cultures statistically enjoy longer lifespans and lower incidences of heart disease (this was especially surprising back when we thought that saturated fats caused heart problems!).
Resveratrol is not only a potent antioxidant in its own right but also improves mitochondrial performance in a way that reduces the formation of free radicals in the first place. It has been shown to greatly extend the lifespan on of rats in laboratory settings in a manner similar to calorie restriction (which also increases lifespans).
Glutathione: Glutathione (GSH) is often described as the body’s ‘master antioxidant’. This molecule helps to detoxify the cells and combat free radicals and can unlock the full potential of all the other antioxidants in your system. In fact, without adequate levels of glutathione, your body cannot make full use of any other antioxidants from your diet. Vitamin C, fish, resveratrol and more all become much more potent when combined with a supply of GSH.
Calcium: Calcium is one of the minerals most responsible for strengthening the bones and connective tissue. It needs a good supply of magnesium and vitamin D for you to get the most of it.
Vitamin B: Vitamin B complex vitamins include B6, B12, thiamine, folate and riboflavin. These vitamins can be used for a number of things but are particularly powerful for converting protein and sugar into energy and producing red blood cells. In other words, adding vitamin B to your diet will improve energy metabolism and help you to wake up feeling refreshed!
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is well known for helping to fend off all manner of diseases too by strengthening the immune system. It also happens to help with the production of serotonin thereby boosting the mood.
Zinc: Zinc is implicated in neuroplasticity. That means that it makes it easier to learn new skills and abilities. What’s more is that it also helps to increase testosterone production and improves function of the central nervous system. Many people have a deficiency in zinc.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine: This is an amino acid that increases mitochondrial function and thereby enhances brain energy metabolism. It is often given to people suffering with chronic fatigue syndrome. That’s right – each of the 20 amino acids that we need also provides other crucial functions in the body!
Nitric Oxide: Nitric oxide helps to improve blood flow around the body by acting as a vasodilator. This means it helps the blood vessels to widen, allowing more blood to flow around the body at any given time. This can not only aid in pretty much every function but also has various important roles in the brain and can be used to help us wake up in the morning!
I could go on and on… But the point is that one of the main objectives for a healthy diet should always be to supply the body with all these kinds of crucial nutrients and minerals. If you do, then you will feel 100% better, live longer and find it easier to stick to a healthy diet for weight loss!
Empty Calories Are the Enemy!
When you look at your diet this way, it should start to become very apparent that our Western way of eating has a lot of problems.
The first issue is that we’re too focussed on short-term energy. We know we’re hungry because our serotonin levels are depleted and so we are motivated to increase that serotonin and our energy levels as quickly as possible. And the best way to do this? Eat a quick release, simple carbohydrate such as a chocolate bar.
Serotonin is often described as the ‘feel good hormone’ and is associated with feelings of well-being and happiness. Generally, we think of serotonin as being responsible for our pleasant moods and think of it as a neurotransmitter that has a role in a number of psychological conditions. Low serotonin for instance is correlated with depression.
What you may not have known though, is that serotonin is also crucial for our regulation of hunger and plays a key role in our satiety.
Like ghrelin, serotonin is a hormone that tells the brain that we’re full and that we don’t need to eat any more. This occurs partly through our consumption of carbohydrates, most of which (barring fruit) will contain some amount of tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid and is also found in protein but there’s only a small amount of it in most foods compared with other amino acids, which prevents it from having any major effect.
When you eat lots of carbohydrates then, you actually flood the blood stream with tryptophan and this then remains in the blood once the insulin kicks in and you start absorbing the nutrients and other nutrients.
This then leads to a surplus of tryptophan which reaches the brain and guess what happens then? It turns into serotonin! This happens because tryptophan is actually a precursor to serotonin and one of the key building blocks used to create it.
All this explains why you tend to feel in a very good mood when you’ve just eaten and why your mood can plummet when you start to get low in blood sugar. This is where ‘hangry’ comes from!
The good news is that this is actually just one of several mechanisms that the body uses to tell how full it is. Leptin for instance is another hormone that is produced in the gut and which tells the brain to stop eating too.
But it is also true that you’ll be missing out on at least one signal of fullness if you go overly low carb, so keep this in mind.
And more to the point: if you are eating a diet that consists mainly of modern ‘snacks’ then you’ll be flooding the body with sugar and then seeing it trough very quickly afterward. That then means you need to snack again. It also means that the body won’t use up the energy as quickly as it receives it, which leads to it being stored as fat.
It’s always better to use a complex carb diet rather than one that completely eradicates this whole food group from the diet and that means that you need to be eating things like rye bread, sweet potatoes and vegetables instead of things like crisps, white bread and pasta!
(There are actually some ways you can use this information strategically in order to stave off hunger pangs and better control your urge to raid the fridge. The trick is simply to eat a small amount of carbohydrates when you feel very hungry and to use this to tide yourself over. This way, a small starter can actually help you to feel much fuller!)
The bigger problem with eating things that give us a quick ‘kick’ is that they often don’t contain any of the crucial nutrients that we described above. And this is where the idea of ‘empty calories’ comes in.
The donuts we described earlier are a good example. As mentioned, you could lose weight by eating only donuts but if you were to do that, then you would be getting zero nutrition.
That means no protein to build muscles, no vitamins and minerals to help you think better or feel in a better mood and nothing else that the body needs. That doesn’t only apply to donuts either though – it also applies to ready meals, fast food and anything else ‘processed’.
When you buy a ready-made lasagne from the store, you actually get very low quality meat that will have been blended together with other meats and had lots of sugar added.
Despite getting a lot of mince, your body won’t actually be able to use many amino acids or other nutrients. The calories are increased by the nutritional benefits are drastically reduced.
This then means that you would not be as efficient at burning fat because your mitochondria would perform more poorly and because your metabolism would be slowed by impaired levels of testosterone.
(By the way, if you think that testosterone, thyroids and other hormones don’t have a big impact on weight loss then just ask someone who suffers with hypothyroidism or consider the difference between natural endomorphs and ectomorphs!)
And there are more problems too! When you don’t get the nutrients you need, your body actually makes you crave more food. The body knows what it needs and it sends signals that encourage you to want to eat those things.
That’s why you hear stories of people eating only the safe parts of fish when stranded on islands and it’s why pregnant women get cravings.
There’s even a condition called ‘pica’ where people start eating their hairs or even gravel because they have chronic nutrient deficiencies.
Our body uses the flavors of foods in order to know what we should eat but this creates more problems now there are so many artificial flavors available at any given grocery store. In other words – you eat empty calories which makes you crave vitamin C.
That makes you want something juicy like an orange, but instead you drink Coca-Cola which provides more calories and an energy surge but unfortunately doesn’t help protect your immune system and leaves you craving more.
Chapter 3: Putting it all Together for Simple, Clean Eating
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
I’ve thrown a lot of information at you at this point but don’t worry – things are going to get a lot simpler shortly as we start looking at how to actually implement all of this information in a healthy and easy-to-maintain diet.
So firstly, what do you need to take away from all this information? You may still be baffled as to whether you should be focussed on lowering calories or avoiding simple carbs!
The basic answer? Both! And while you’re at it, you also need to make sure that you’re getting plenty of nutrients from your diet and lots of protein.
Sounds hard? It doesn’t have to be at all! Just follow these steps:
Step #1 – Calorie Deficit
As mentioned, you can actually be pretty sure that you’re staying under your AMR simply by eating less than 2,000/2,500 calories. Another option is to work out your AMR using the instructions in chapter 1, or to wear a fitness tracker for a while.
Either way, you’ll get a number that you need to stay below and your first mission is to do that. This doesn’t mean you have to count calories – you can simply learn a few consistent meals for your breakfast and lunch that add up to less than 1,200 calories. As long as you don’t snack in-between and you eat a relatively healthy dinner (i.e. not ready-made pie with 200 fries) then you can safely assume you’ll normally be below your target. That is to say that most full meals shouldn’t exceed 800 calories.
You can’t exactly count your calories anyway (they vary, as does absorption into your blood) but if you just stay largely below target, you should be safe. And doing this with a consistent lunch and breakfast is a very good strategy seeing as we often tend to eat ‘socially’ in the evenings and we expect more elaborate and interesting meals after 7pm.
Step #2 – Cut Out All Junk Food
The next thing you need to do is to cut all the junk. We’ve seen how these are simply empty calories that make us hungrier – so just stop eating it!
The way ‘paleo’ dieters get around this is by avoiding anything that wouldn’t have been available during our evolution. There’s no reason to go that far because things like milk and bread are absolutely fine (yes they really are, if you look carefully at the science – though this may be different if you are based outside of the USA or Europe).
And if something is man-made but made well then it is fine. But by avoiding processed sweets, ready-meals and fast food you can generally get rid of the empty calories from your diet.
Likewise, you can take a leaf out of the ‘slow carb’ or ‘no carb’ guidebook. Don’t completely avoid carbohydrates (they provide a ton of benefits – and we need that energy!) but just make sure that you limit your intake of ‘simple’ carbs like white bread, white pasta or chocolate bars. Again, you can do this by sticking largely to a diet of naturally sourced carbohydrates.
I like to refer to this as an ‘agricultural diet’. Don’t avoid anything man-made or anything that post-dates our evolution in the wild. Rather, avoid things that couldn’t be made with the help of a little farming! And this makes sense from an evolutionary perspective too if you want to be pedantic – it’s thought that the ability Westerners have to digest milk (thanks to the enzyme lactase) is the most recent evolutionary development!
Step #3 – Seek Out Nutrient Dense Foods
The final step is to try and make sure that you feel great at all times. The best way to do that is to seek out foods that offer a source of powerful and beneficial nutrients.
A great example of this is something like an organ meat which is packed with incredible nutrients. Not only do you get all the amino acids that come from the meat but you also get high amounts of creatine, CoQ10, PQQ and fatty acids. This makes sense when you think about it again: these are the most crucial and complex parts of those animals and they’re made once again of similar things to the most complex and crucial parts of your own body!
It’s not as simple as ‘eating brain will give you a better brain’… but it almost is!
Likewise, consuming eggs, fish, tropical fruits and vegetables and sea plants will help to fuel your body with all kinds of crucial nutrients. Make sure to mix all this together with complex carbs or fibers to slow the absorption of the nutrients and make sure to add oil or consume another source of saturated fat in order to aid the absorption.
This is another reason that the Mediterranean Diet looks good on paper – because it involves lots of salads, lots of super foods, lots of fish and all topped off with plenty of oil for easy absorption. Likewise, Paleo dieters that eat lots of organ meats etc. also benefit from this.
By making the effort to do this, you’ll now have far better nutrition and will be fuelled with energy and protected from disease. At the same time, you’ll actually enjoy your meals and you won’t get hunger pangs or cravings!
Keeping it Super Simple
Eat fewer calories by tracking them and not counting them Get rid of empty carbs and processed foods Hunt out organ meats and other ‘proper’ food
It really is that simple! It takes the best bits of every diet (low carb, slow carb, low calorie, atkins, low fat, paleo, Mediterranean) and ignores the nonsense.
And really it just amounts to eating a good mix of healthy, natural foods in a way that you can enjoy them.
And in the next half of this book, we’ll be looking at how to do this much more simply and easily…
Chapter 4: How to Cook Faster and Spend Less Time in the Kitchen
COOK FASTER AND
SPEND LESS TIME
I’ve given a ton of complicated reasons as to why eating a simple, clean and healthy diet works wonders. But if the best diet is essentially the one we all know, why are so many people attracted to crazy things like juice fasts? Or diets that involve completely ignoring entire food groups?
The simple answer is that people want a ‘quick fix’. No one likes the idea that they have to work hard at a diet permanently, or that the results won’t come right away.
And no doubt many of you thinking this will now be worried that I’m basically telling you to cook a lot more and spend more time in the kitchen!
Some insane part of human psychology means you’d rather I’d told you to ‘never eat bread’ than telling you you need to ‘cook real meals’.
And this is a problem. Why? Because the most important part of any diet by far is adherence. There’s no point in me giving you the perfect diet if you can’t stick to it! If you aren’t going to cook regular meals, then there’s no point telling you to…
That’s why this chapter is actually one of the most important. Now I’m going to tell you how to go about making these kinds of healthy meals while spending less time in the kitchen!
Top Tricks to Spend Less Time Cooking
Make too Much
The first tip is simple: cook massive pots of everything! This might sound a little extreme but actually it’s one of the very best ways to spend less time cooking.
That’s because you can now take your massive pot and actually eat from it on multiple occasions. Cook a large stew for instance and you can then freeze or cool the remainder and eat it throughout the week.
This way you only cook once but you eat on several evenings! And reheating something you made during a free Sunday will actually be just as easy as cooking a microwave meal.
Get the Right Tools
It’s so annoying when a ’10 minute recipe’ includes lines like ‘take your chopped onion’. Sure, it might take 10 minutes to cook if you don’t count all the preparation – but that’s rather besides the point!
Thankfully, there are tools out there that can actually help you to reduce all that prep time. Look for food processors and other gadgets that will help you to chop, peel, dice and mash and you can save hours! A smoothie machine is a great investment.
Along with your new tools, you also need to think about the systems you use for cooking. In other words, how do these machines fit into your workflow and how will they save you time? Which other machines and appliances could help further?
And how can you arrange your kitchen to ensure you don’t spend ages rummaging?
For example, keeping all the appliances and tools you use most often in the nearest cupboard at the front will save you time immediately. Likewise, having a larger drying rack (or a dishwasher – another fantastic investment) will make sure you can wash up quicker and easier. So will a food processor.
Cleaning up as you go might sound like boring advice your parents used to give you – but it can really work!
Everyone works differently and everyone gets slowed down by different aspects of the cooking process. So take a look at your own routines and try to identify the parts that are slowing you down. Now decide how you’ll fix these time drains with new systems and appliances.
Think Outside the Box
We are greatly limited by our own routines, culture and expectations when it comes to what we eat.
For example, when you’re struggling to come up with a dinner you can make very easily and that will provide lots of nutrition, you might rule out the option of having a sandwich.
But if you make a healthy sandwich, this can be a fantastic quick option. So don’t think ‘sandwiches are for lunch not dinner’, think instead about what’s practical, tasty and healthy. Think outside the box a little!
Keep the Right Ingredients
Sometimes you’ll be limited by what you can do because you don’t have the ingredients around. And going out to the shops is a massive drain on your time and energy.
So to avoid yourself cheating on those days where you can’t squeeze in the trip to Tesco, make sure you have lots of items stored for rainy days. Not all tinned food is bad and it keeps for ages; for example beans are always a good fall back! Likewise, you should make sure to keep some tomato puree in the cupboards, along with long-life milk, eggs, brown rice, tins of tuna, brown pasta etc. This is like a ‘capsule cupboard’ that can be combined in a surprising number of healthy ways.
Learn Some Simple, Healthy Meals
Another tip is to learn some simple and easy recipes that you can fall back on. Have a ‘roster’ of fall back meals that you can rely on and that will help you get the maximum benefit with minimum time investment.
That’s going to follow in the next few chapters…
Time and Energy Management
Note as well that this comes down to time and energy management to a big extent. In order to make big healthy meals in the evening, you need to make sure that you have the time available.
What’s actually more important though is that you need to have the energy available as well. Even with all the time in the world, if you feel completely exhausted then you’re just going to want to rest in the evening – and might find yourself tempted to eat rubbishy snacks for a quick pick-me-up!
One BIG tip then when trying to change your diet is not to be too ambitious at first and not to be too hard on yourself. Take the ‘kaizen’ approach of making small, manageable changes to your routine that will slowly help you to improve your base of strength, energy and wellbeing.
Another tip is that you need to take a long look at your lifestyle and your routine. It may well be that there are a lot of things making you feel very tired stressed and that these are making it harder for you to fix what you eat!
For example, if you have a long 1 -hour commute home from work this is something you should strongly consider changing. And if you have too many social commitments, try to learn to say ‘no’ a little more.
To some extent, a successful lifestyle change is always going to mean deciding what you want to prioritize. Hopefully most people will agree that prioritizing their health is a good strategy!
Chapter 5: Simple Breakfast Options to Start the Day Right
SIMPLE BREAKFAST OPTIONS
So with all that said, it’s time to start learning some easy recipes and meals we can quickly knock together for maximum nutrient density and minimum carb influx!
Why not start with the beginning? With breakfast! Here are a few things you can have for breakfast that will help you start your day with 200-300 calories and will also fortify your body!
Having a grapefruit for breakfast is a popular move in the Mediterranean and is a great option if you’re losing weight. Grapefruits have very low calories and actually have the added benefit of increasing metabolism to burn more calories!
Despite this almost negative calorie status though, they still provide tons of nutrition in the form of potassium, lycopene, vitamin C and choline! They’re very good for your blood pressure too!
And cutting a grapefruit in half takes approximately 10 seconds…
The Nootropic Cereal
I call this the ‘nootropic cereal’ because it contains several ingredients that can give your brain an energy boost in the morning.
Grab some muesli and add a few grapes, some chopped banana and some sunflower seeds. Keep in a Tupperware and then add some milk. This will fill you up, rehydrate you and provide a steady release of energy throughout the day. It also happens to be very delicious and the texture that comes from the grapes and seeds is addictive.
Having oats for breakfast is one of the best and easiest ways to fill yourself with a complex carb for a steady release of energy throughout the day!
Ham and Cheese Croissant
Buy or bake yourself a croissant or two, slice it in half and then add in some ham and cheese. The combination of sweet and savory is incredibly satisfying and the protein will help to keep you feeling full.
Is this a healthy meal per say? Not entirely – the croissant for instance is covered in butter (healthy but high in calories) and is a simple carb.
But nevertheless, this is also a satisfying and tasty meal that provides some different and interesting nutrients. If you just have one, then your calorie count still won’t be much above 200 at this point.
And this is the point – it’s fine to bend the rules if you’re tracking your calories and getting your nutrition! Sometimes you’ll want a treat and this is a great way to get it.
Now here’s a meal that will absolutely pack in the nutrients and amino acids and that also tastes delicious. Simple cook up some toast (rye bread if you want to go slow carb) and then lay some salmon on top. Now add a poached egg and sprinkle on some seeds. If you’re happy to add a few extra calories, then just a smidge of hollandaise sauce goes a long way – but vinegar will do a similar trick.
This is a brilliant choice because it gives you the ’30 before 30’. That’s 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up, as recommended by Tim Ferriss. This is great for preventing hunger pangs and for increasing the metabolism.
And this meal will also give you a boat load of amino acids, fatty acids, choline, potassium and more!
Remove the salmon for plain old eggs benedict (still delicious!).
A simple and easy classic! Just fry some eggs in a pan mixed with a little milk and ensure you’ve greased the pan thoroughly with butter. The butter will increase the calorie count a little but the eggs are brilliant for providing nutrition and the meal will fill you up in a satisfying way!
Avocado is an excellent source of the best kinds of fats while containing barely any carbohydrates. They raise testosterone, improve the blood pressure and keep you feeling full. They’re also quick to create and crazy delicious.
For breakfast, try cutting one avocado in half and taking out the stone. Now hollow out a small section in the middle and add some tuna fish here, or perhaps some flavoured rice or even a scrambled egg! An avocado only contains 160 calories but half will keep you going!
A smoothie is a brilliant way to pack yourself with nutrients and freshen up with a good supply of sugar for the day. If you want to reduce the sugar hit though, you can make your smoothie with more vegetables (and avocado is again a good choice to make your drink creamy and smooth!).
The biggest problem with smoothies is that they involve a lot of washing up and preparation. A nutribullet though can go some way to solving that problem! As can just buying one on the way into work…
Like I said – paleo dieters go a little overboard with their avoidance of anything man-made! Some man made foods and drinks are actually great for you. This is a perfect example as a quick way to get all the amino acids you need quickly and often foritifed with creatine, branch-chained amino acids and more.
Chapter 6: Simple Lunch Recipes Anyone Can Enjoy
SIMPLE LUNCH RECIPES
When it comes to brain food, tuna is very much one of the kings thanks to its high omega 3 content. Pasta meanwhile is great as a source of complex carbs – especially when cold.
To make, simply mix some tuna fish chunks with a little mayonnaise and horseradish (this is crucial) and then add to a pot of cooked pasta and onion. You can boil the pasta in with the onion to save time.
Use brown pasta to make this a little healthier and consider adding sweetcorn.
If you choose the right bread then there’s no reason a sandwich can’t be perfectly healthy! Just choose some form of meat for your protein intake and add plenty of salad.
Not convinced? Then why not go carb-free on this one by ditching the bread entirely! You can use two big mushrooms to keep your filling in place for instance or wrap your sandwich in a large salad leaf! Either of these options will also pack your food with extra nutrition!
Ham, Cucumber, Olive and Tomato Skewers
The ingredients are already listed in the title so I won’t repeat myself here! But suffice to say that another great way to enjoy lots of fillings without the carb-hit of the bread is just to use a skewer and create a cocktail!
All this needs is some falafel, some salad, some chopped tomatoes and a little humus. Add to a wrap or a pita bread and you have a delicious and convenient meal that can be enjoyed in one hand while you shop or call a friend.
Chicken Caesar Salad
Salad might not always be the most exciting lunch but a good Caesar salad can be if you get it right and is certainly very healthy! Just grab some mixed leaves and some ready-cooked chicken breast (unless you have time to cook some at the start of the weak) then mix in a little Caesar dressing, some croutons and a cherry tomato or two.
This meal is packed with nutrients, it’s easy to make and it’s surprisingly delicious! Just remember to pack a fork…
A Greek salad is quite different from the classic Caesar salad and provides even more nutrition! Take some orange or yellow peppers, some cucumber and some tomatoes and chop them up before tossing in a bowl. Now add some oil and a small amount of feta cheese.
Often a good way to tell if a meal is nutrient dense is to look at the different colors. Here you have a ton of different colors which tells you that you’re getting a nicely varied meal!
Instead of a packet of crisps, enjoy your chosen sandwich or salad with two boiled eggs. This will give you some easy amino acids, choline for brain power and saturated fat for nutrient absorption and testosterone levels.
Try to stay fairly consistent with your lunches. Work out the calories of each of your favorite options and that way you’ll know what number you’re on by the time it gets to dinner and you won’t need to count calories!
Lunches and breakfasts are generally functional meals. While dinner is usually quality time with family or friends and a chance to unwind, these two meals simply serve a purpose. That makes them perfect for getting your diet off to a strong start every day.
Chapter 7: Easy Dinner Recipes
If you have used options from the last two chapters for your breakfast or lunch (or something similar) then you should be at around 600-800 calories by the end of the day.
This means you can enjoy all kinds of indulgent meals for dinner without worrying that you’ll exceed 2,000/2,500 calories!
As long as you eat generally ‘healthily’ – i.e. no ready meals – then there are tons of things you can enjoy that will be perfect for eating with your family. Here are some quick and easy ones…
One of my personal favorites, carbonara provides nutrients from egg, cheese and onion and is very satisfying without being too high in calories.
The jury is out on the bacon but you can swap that for ham if you’re concerned!
Simply take some chopped onion and bacon and fry to the point where they’re almost burned (adding oil). Meanwhile, boil some brown pasta. Once they have finished, drain the pasta and add to the frying pan. Now grate some cheese over the top and sir.
Next turn off the hob and add a single beaten egg and make sure to cover all the pasta thoroughly. Serve quickly.
One thing you may have noticed about this diet book is that it’s letting you get away with some of the meals you might previously have thought of as being forbidden or bad for you! But as long as you’re getting lots of nutrition and you’re not overindulging, a lot of these things are actually fine when you make them yourself.
Consider pizza for instance. Simply buy a pizza base and then add the toppings you want. This can include things like tomato, pepper, pineapple (rich in bromelain) and chicken. All very good for you!
Another very healthy pasta meal is Bolognese – and this is easy to make as well. Simply cook up some mince with onion and boil some brown pasta. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and heat til ready.
Beans on Toast
In a hurry? Then just whip up some beans on toast. Beans are a good source of protein and are packed with other nutrients. They’re also relatively low calorie and this is super easy to prepare.
Similarly easy is to bake a potato and add beans to that. While the potato is a simple carb (and not one of your five a day), it does contain some useful nutrients and the skin will help to slow absorption. You can top with a number of healthy options – ranging from mixed tuna fish, to egg or beans.
Squid, Chorizo and Haloumi Salad
This one is a bit more ambitious but it’s delicious! Take some salad leaves and mix up with some chopped red peppers and baked cherry tomatoes. Now fry up some chorizo, squid and thinly sliced halloumi and add to your concoction. Throw on a dressing made from vinegar and vegetable oil and enjoy!
Simply fry some vegetables and beans in a pan and then add a few strips of beef or chicken and some soy sauce.
Fish and Salad
Another really easy one. Just take some ready-cooked fish such as salmon or mackerel and then enjoy with a salad. This can leave you a little hungry – so try adding some avocado to the salad.
Steak and Salad
That’s right – steak is good for you! Really good in fact. It contains saturated fat but as we’ve seen, that’s no bad thing. You’ll also get creatine, amino acids, PQQ, CoQ10 and more.
Likewise, you can place other meats with salads for easy meals. How about some gammon? This is a great lean meat for keeping calories down! Pork chop is another option.
Steamed Rice and Chicken
If you want to go really clean and eat something that is low in calories, then steam some rice and vegetables and mix together (peas, broccoli and sweetcorn being good options). Toss and then place one or two boiled chicken breasts on top. Add a little paprika as well for extra flavor.
Chapter 8: Healthy Guilt-Free Dessert Recipes and Snacks
DESSERT RECIPES AND SNACKS
With the best will in the world, you will sometimes need to have a treat or a quick dose of sugar. After a hard day, when your motivation is feeling down or just to break up all that healthy eating – having the occasional desert is no crime!
If you want to try and stay as healthy as possible with it though, then there are also plenty of much healthier dessert options you can enjoy. For example…
Greek Salad and Blueberries
Just take some plain Greeks salad and sprinkle in some blueberries. This is also a brilliant option for breakfast and it’s much more satisfying than it sounds!
Sure, this might not sound like it would be all that satisfying… but it all depends on how you go about it!
Remember what I said a few chapters back about thinking outside of the box? Cereal is a good option for dessert because it normally comes in at under 250 calories for a portion and is super tasty!
Ice cream is actually not the worst dessert in the world when enjoyed in moderation. This is especially true if you look for a fruity sorbet like lemon sorbet (this is also highly refreshing).
I’m not cruel enough to suggest that you remove chocolate entirely from your diet! When you do have it though, try to gravitate more toward dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains less sugar and is also rich in numerous other beneficial ingredients. That includes theobromine, which can improve brain function and give you a kind of ‘relaxed’ energy boost.
How to Snack
Likewise, just as you sometimes need dessert, you will sometimes need to snack between meals to tide over those hunger pangs. Again, there are plenty of safe ways to do this.
More filling than they sound, these also provide you with various benefits such as potassium and zinc. Keep a bag by your desk for snacking at work.
You can buy these in a shop or try and make them yourself. Either way, these provide the crunchy and satisfying hit of salt that potato chips do… but they’re packed with much more nutrition in the form of vitamins and minerals.
Nuts are a little more calorific than sunflower seeds but offer many of the same benefits in terms of nutrients and are carb-free. They’re also a good source of omega 3 fatty acid.
If you need something sweet, then a bunch of raising will give you some resveratrol, a little sugar and a great pick-me-up.
The aforementioned whey protein shake is a great source of protein and often surprisingly delicious (they taste like milkshake!). Consume with water to keep the calories down and look for a low calorie option if you’re looking to lose weight.
Celery Dipped in Humus
This will add 10s of calories and nothing more to your total! Humus optional.
Raw carrot is packed with vitamin A and other nutrients. It’s easily convenient and very satisfying.
Chapter 9: Other Ways to Get Healthy Meals – Meal Deals and More
So far, we’ve strongly recommended cooking a little more and making more of your own meals. Why? Because that way you can avoid processed foods and ready meals and know precisely what’s going into your diet.
But this is really just to help make explaining matters easy. What really matters is not how you get the food but the end result in terms of calories and nutrition.
And there are lots of other ways you can eat just as healthily – which will often be more convenient and a significantly simpler.
For example, a lot of places have salad bars that let you help yourself to salad leaves, crudité, eggs, pasta and more for very cheap prices! If you can find one of these near where you work then this is often a great way to save time and get a cheap and very healthy lunch.
Similarly, meal deals can often be a great choice. These often include significant savings and if you are carefully to check the back of the packages, then you can eat very healthily for small prices. Maybe you pick a low-calorie tuna sandwich with some eggs and a bircher cup for example – all this can be under $5 if you find a good lunch deal!
You might also consider using a diet package that delivers. There are more and more of these springing up online and if you can afford them, they simplify the process of eating healthily and especially if you are a busy professional.
Essentially, these deals will bring freshly made meals to your door every day that will have been designed to be low in calories and high in nutrition! Some alternative versions bring the freshly prepared ingredients and leave you to do the final bit of mixing and cooking.
Eating out can also fall into this category. If you know where to go, eating out can sometimes be a great way to get a nutritional and low-calorie meal very cheaply!
Likewise though, eating out can also have the opposite impact on your diet and some people will find it difficult to stick within their goals if they are often being invited out by friends.
The trick is simply how you eat out and where you go. Obviously you can save yourself a lot of calories and get a lot more nutrition by choosing the meal wisely.
If it’s between a burger and a steak, then a steak will give you a lot more nutrition for your calorie buck. If it’s between a side of chips and a side of salad… then you know what to do (sweet potato chips make a good compromise here!).
Be warned though that even a ‘heathly’ salad will often be quite high in calories as a lot of oil and other flavorings will be added. If you’re worried, then try doing a little research before you head out by looking online. Or just ask the chef!
If your meal is going to be very calorific, then try to minimize the damage by having water instead of wine and by skipping or sharing the starter.
Desserts should almost always be avoided in restaurants but to make this less awkward, consider sharing or just having a coffee and a biscotti!
Chapter 10: Easy Ways to Reduce Your Calories and Junk Foods
REDUCE YOUR CALORIES
A good diet is not just about what you add but also what you remove.
Unfortunately, a lot of people forget to think about the smaller aspects of their routine and their diet when trying to manage and track their calories and their nutrients and this can skew their math!
This list provides you with some more tips that can help you to cut pesky empty calories that might be sneaking into your diet…
Have Americanos – If you’re currently starting each day with a frothy cappuccino then you’ll be piling on calories and sugar unnecessarily! In fact, an indulgent hot drink such as this can sometimes contain well in excess of 200 calories. Instead, have a plain black Americano and you’ll be adding 0 calories while boosting your metabolism.
Avoid Soda Drinks – Soda drinks like Coca-Cola are one of the biggest dangers to a good diet. These are packed with sugar and calories and provide zero benefits. Did you know that a glass of Coke has the same amount of sugar as two Cream Eggs? Swap this for some juice, water or milk!
Stop Adding Sugar – If you add sugar to your tea, then this is another way you’re unnecessarily adding to your overall sugar and calorie intake! Likewise though, you should also stop adding sugar to your cereal and your fruit. As an added bonus, this change will lessen your sweet tooth so you’ll actually crave sweet snacks less often!
Use Smaller Bowls – Struggling with portion control? Just replace your bowls and plates with smaller alternatives. You’ll find you’re forced to pile less on and that in turn will make you eat less in total.
Get Smaller Cutlery – Get yourself some small cutlery to go with that small bowl and plate! This will make you eat slower which makes you get fuller faster!
Drink Water – Drink a big glass of water before your next meal. You’ll absorb it better and you’ll be less hungry and so not stuff yourself as much.
Cut the Butter – Saturated fat like that which comes from butter is not bad for you. But it does add lots of calories. If you want to lose a bit more weight, simply stop adding butter to your sandwiches etc.
Conclusion and Summary – Your Plan for Sticking to Healthy, Low Calorie Meals
So throughout this book we have discussed the nature of diet in detail. We’ve cut through a lot of the jargon and nonsense that comes with modern diet advice and found the common themes that make a diet WORK.
A good diet should not only help you lose weight (and keep it off!) but should also build muscle, improve your energy levels and enhance your brain. And the best way to accomplish all that is to…
- Work out your personal AMR to know how many calories you’re burning every day
- Consume fewer calories than you burn in order to lose weight
- Estimate calories rather than strictly counting
- Reduce your intake of simple carbs
- Reduce your intake of ‘processed foods’
- But otherwise make sure to get a good mixture of everything you can and not to ignore any food groups
- Hunt out the most nutrient dense foods you can
- To make this work though, you need to use some tricks and strategies to get it to fit into your diet and your routine.
To do this, it pays to follow a number of tricks…
- Manage your time and energy levels in ways that priories your diet and health
- Use the morning and afternoon to fit in your boring, clean meals
- Consider using lunch deals, salad bars and other ways to get healthy food cheaply and conveniently
- Cook your evening meals fresh where possible and enjoy them! Eat slowly and eat combinations to aid absorption.
- Organize your kitchen and invest in the right appliances (such as smoothie makers)
- Cut calories and snacks in simple ways (avoiding soda drinks etc.)
- Learn some basic meals that you can fall back on when you’re pushed for time
- Keep some useful ingredients to hand in your cupboard
And to make all this a lot easier, we’ve supplied a ton of great and easy recipes in each chapter!
Finally though, remember that you’re only human! Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t manage this right away – it’s a LOT of change.
Instead, start with simple small steps and build these up over time. They’ll add up to some massive differences and soon you’ll feel better than you ever have done!