So, You’ve Decided to Get in Shape… Again (Part Three)

Check our Latest products!

[ad_1] black t shirt|

* I apologise in advance to my overseas visitors for some of the Australian-isms(!) in this post. Not only do we have words which are unique to our culture, but we also spell some words differently to our cousins in the US and Canada (apologise – apologize, fibre – fiber, realise – realize, organisation – organization) … so don’t just think I’m an uneducated bum who can’t spell.. we’re actually a little weird Down Under.

But then…maybe you are?

Finally; the home straight on the world’s longest post.

Here they are; my last ten food rules.

Sorry, suggestions.

If you have missed part one you can read it here… or if you haven’t read part two, you can take a peek right here.

RULE 9: Plan your meals to create the best outcome.

Don’t put yourself in situations where you can’t access your best nutritional options Many people are horribly disorganised when it comes to eating optimally. They wait until their blood sugar hits minus five, a wave of hunger has engulfed their entire body and then they eat thirteen potato cakes, a litre of sauce (ketchup), twenty four dimmos… and a diet coke (’cause they’re watching their weight). Being disciplined and organised doesn’t mean you’re obsessive; it just means you’re serious about creating real change. Going to an event (football, wedding, party, etc.) and saying “it’s all there was to eat”, doesn’t cut it when you’re committed to losing weight. If you’re in a situation where you can’t access any quality food, don’t eat. If the choice is junk or nothing, nothing is a healthier choice.

There’s a fair chance you won’t die from malnutrition before you get home. Many times I have gone to a function and not eaten because everything on offer was back-stroking in fat, sugar or salt… or all three. If you are in a work or school situation where you can’t eat for hours on end or you can’t access quality food, take some healthy food with you. Organisation and Tupperware are the keys! If people think you’re a freak because you take your food with you, tell them to get over it. If your friends criticise you or make fun of you because you’re serious about getting in shape, get some new friends.

RULE 10: Don’t reward yourself (or your kids) with food.

“I’ve been so good; I deserve this”. What… you deserve to be fat? You deserve to over-eat? So many of us see food as a prize for doing (or not doing) certain things. We even ‘save up for the weekend’ because we’ve been so good all week. I’m not suggesting that food can’t be an enjoyable part of our life… but I am saying that we can’t come home from work and consume two kilos (4.4lbs) of lasagne (lasagna) and thirty beers because we had a stressful day and we deserve some food therapy. As long as we use food as a reward for certain behaviours, we’re in trouble. We are a society which starts this pattern early by shoving food in our kids’ mouths to shut them up or reward them for being good. If your two-year-old is a Golden Retriever then food rewards are a great idea… otherwise, give them a miss.

RULE 11: Don’t under-eat or starve yourself.

Like over-eating, under-eating is also an unhealthy habit.

Our body needs a certain amount of micro and macro nutrients to function optimally and when we starve ourselves all we do is put our health at risk. Unfortunately there are many people who alternate between overeating and under-eating. These behaviours are typically associated with people who have eating disorders but the reality is there are a great number of people who might not technically be classified as having an eating disorder yet are constantly bingeing and starving. They over-eat and then eat nothing to compensate.

When we under-eat we slow our metabolism (the rate at which our body uses fuel), lose muscle mass, lose fluid and put our body in a state of distress. Invariably when people who have been starving themselves go back to eating ‘normally’ their bodies will over-compensate, pile on the weight and their ‘new’ slow metabolism will make it even harder for them to create their best body.

Remember, anything which is extreme is not going to work long term.

I am constantly talking to people who believe that if they eat way less they will get ‘skinnier’ faster. What they are often doing in reality is losing muscle and retaining (or even increasing) body-fat. Quite often your body will rid itself of muscle before it will shed any fat. So what we end up with is a lighter but fatter body.


RULE 12: Don’t be a social eater.

We looked at social eating in book one of this series but we are a society of social eaters so it’s worth going there again… let’s call it revision. Pay attention I’ll be asking questions.

Aussies are champions when it comes to social eating. We have a great capacity to eat way beyond our physical needs and justify it because of the situation or environment we are in. We even tell ourselves that we’re missing out if we don’t partake of everything on offer. We do it at Christmas, Easter, weddings, birthdays, work functions, parties, the footy, the pub, barbeques, on holidays and whenever we get the chance. We eat way more than we need to because… that’s just what we do. Besides, everyone else is doing it! At Christmas we even plan to overeat; we eat until we feel sick and then undo our pants to make room for dessert. By mid-afternoon Christmas day we vow we’ll never eat again and then about six hours later we can be found by the micro-wave, waiting for the left-overs to heat up.

Amazingly, our body’s energy needs don’t increase just because we’re at someone’s birthday function! If you have a tendency to overeat in social settings, try eating before you go out. By the way, it is possible to enjoy yourself socially without overeating or drinking alcohol. Some people struggle with this concept. Over the years I have had many people tell me that I don’t know what I am missing out on because I don’t drink alcohol. It’s funny because when I look at most of my friends who started drinking twenty years ago, I don’t feel too deprived.

Perspective is an interesting thing.

RULE 13: Drink one or two glasses of water twenty minutes before each meal.

I remember learning about this weight-loss gem when I was just a baby Trainer… an oldie, but a goodie; it works. I’ve used it with many clients over many years and it absolutely makes a considerable difference. Not only does it help you stay hydrated (many of us are regularly dehydrated) but it suppresses our appetite a little and stops us from over-eating.

RULE 14: Give empty calories a wide berth.

Some foods contain a whole lot of calories and not much else… we refer to these as empty calories. As we know foods are composed of macro-nutrients (carbs, protein and fat), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), water and fibre. Some foods have plenty of calories (often from fat and sugar) and very little in the way of health-promoting vitamins and minerals. These foods are low in nutritional value and will help you get (or remain) fat and hinder your efforts to become (or remain) healthy.

When we talk about ’empty calorie’ foods we are talking about things like fried chicken, potato cakes, alcohol, crumpets, fairy floss, lollies (sweets) and frozen ice drinks.

RULE 15. Eat out… carefully

The restaurant; the natural enemy of the weight-conscious.

We don’t need to avoid restaurants (although it might help if you did) but we need to choose very wisely when we’re living large. Here are my eating-out suggestions:

Eat a main course only – no bread, entree, soup or sweets (you want them, you don’t need them!)

No pasta dishes; even the ‘healthy’ options aren’t… (healthy)

No cream sauces at all

Drink two glasses of water before your meal

Don’t believe the waiter who tells you: “no, it’s pretty low in fat”. He’s a liar.

Go the protein (chicken, fish, beef, lamb, turkey) and salad option when you can.

If you order steamed vegetables make sure they’re not drowned in butter or oil (chef’s have a habit of doing that).

No alcohol; you might want it but you don’t need it! How much do you really want to lose that weight?

No all-milk coffees

Don’t sit there feeling sorry for yourself, or acting like a martyr while your friends eat themselves to oblivion. Don’t focus on what your missing out on (an opportunity to overeat like your buddies), focus on what you’re gaining; a body you’re happy to live in.

RULE 16. Don’t tell fibs about your diet.

For over twenty years I have listened to people lie to me, themselves and others about what they put in their mouth. I have met some of the world’s best liars. If there was an Olympics for fibbing, these guys would be gold medalists. Some of the lying is intentional deception because they are too lazy, too embarrassed or too proud to admit that they are struggling with their food, and some of it is by people who are delusional about their dietary habits. As tough as it may be to be completely honest about your food intake, it is crucial that you are ABSOLUTELY truthful and realistic about what you eat, when you eat, why you eat and how you eat. When I hear something like “I generally eat pretty well”, I know what they really mean is “I eat disgracefully but I’m embarrassed and I don’t want you to think I have no self-control”.

I’m not interested in embarrassing or humiliating anyone, I’m interested in truth and the truth is, if someone is obese and they’re telling me they have “pretty good eating habits”, they’re lying. Lying about eating habits serves no (beneficial) purpose, postpones the inevitable and means that people will stay fat for longer than they need to.

Tough and uncomfortable to hear, but in my experience, true.

RULE 17: Increase your fibre (fiber) intake.

Every second person I meet is constipated on at least a semi-regular basis. This is often because they have a diet which is high in processed foods and low in dietary fibre. When we increase the fibre and decrease the processed junk we usually see an improvement in er… bowel health. As a general rule, the more processed the food, the less there is in it for you in terms of quality nutrition. Increasing fibre intake also helps us lose weight because it helps fill us and take the edge off our appetite.

Depending on how much you weigh and which guidelines you follow, it is suggested that the average adult needs somewhere around 40 to 50 grams of fibre per day. Many of us have less than 10 grams of fibre per day!

To give you an idea of what 40 to 50 grams means; an apple with skin contains about 4 grams of fibre, a slice of white bread has about 0.6 grams, a slice of dark rye bread about 1.8 grams and most cereals are somewhere in the 1 to 5 grams of fibre per 100 grams, range. For example Special K (according to the label on the box) contains 2.5 grams of fibre for every 100 grams of cereal. So if you wanted to meet all your fibre needs through Special K you would need to consume about 2 kilograms of it per day. Even 100 grams of raw rolled oats (which you might think would be very high in fibre) only contains about 10 grams of fibre. My advice to you is don’t try and meet all your fibre needs in one hit (i.e. breakfast), spread it out evenly through the day. Eat plenty of fruit and vegies and if you really want to eat a low-fibre cereal for breakfast, at least put a couple of tablespoons of unprocessed bran on it.

RULE 18: Don’t get fat eating healthy foods.

Be aware of those foods which are loaded with nutritional goodies… and calories. You might just end up healthy… and fat. Although… being fat is unhealthy, so you probably won’t be healthy at all. Mmm, glad I cleared that up. Many people think that because certain foods are loaded with good stuff they can shovel in as much as they want. Wrong. Plenty of healthy foods are calorie dense and need to be used sparingly. Avocado, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, yoghurt, muesli bars, fruit juices and protein bars and drinks (some protein bars have more fat and calories than an equivalent sized chocolate bar) are all foods which may do you more harm than good if you don’t use them wisely. Yes, almonds are good for you… but not when you eat them by the kilo!

At nearly 600 calories for a measly one hundred grams of them, they’ll get ya fat in about eight minutes. Put a hundred grams of almonds on the palm of your hand and you’ll be surprised how insignificant it looks… sneaky little buggers.

Then you can compare a hundred grams of fresh apricot (35 calories) with the same weight of dried apricots (270 calories) and you begin to realise that it ain’t hard to chub up eating healthy foods. I probably shouldn’t tell you this but one hundred grams of caramel slice has the same amount of calories as one hundred grams of dried apricots (270). No, they don’t have the same nutritional value, and no, I’m not suggesting you go the caramel slice option but I am suggesting that you control your intake of calorie-dense ‘healthy foods’.

Okay, there you have it; no more excuses and no more going around in circles. Maybe now you can get off the weight-loss merry-go-round once and for all… have fun.

write by Barker


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *