Determine the weight you want to be, keeping in mind your body type, what weight you feel good at, the weight that gives you the most energy, and makes you feel the most comfortable; what weight were you when you achieved peak performance. Make sure your goals are realistic and ensure you have adequate time to achieve your goals.
Aim to lose around 0.5 kg per week; to ensure you stay on track, set up a well-planned timeline. Ensure you give yourself adequate time to adjust and train prior to your predetermined goal date to avoid added physical and emotional stresses to reach your goal, which can hinder your health and performance.
Consider including smart cardio training into your routine to burn more calories. HIIT training can be a perfect addition, particularly if you are short on time (a quick 5-10 minutes at the end of a resistance training session 2-3 times a week can have profound effects). Seek advice from a medical professional if your diet and exercise regime are changing considerably.
Maintain a daily food diary to ensure all calories and macronutrients can be tracked and adjusted according to your progress. Consult a nutritionist/sports scientist for dietary advice to ensure you are getting a complete and balance diet.
Ensure you are consuming a calorie deficit (less calories in than out) but DO NOT consume fewer than 1200-1500 calories per day without professional advice.
DO NOT omit meals as a way to decrease calories as this can adversely affect your metabolism and lead to later health conditions.
Avoid alcohol and sugary foods including processed and fried items as these are empty calories and can affect your insulin levels leading to fat storage and nutrient deficiencies.
Focus on wholefoods that are nutrient and antioxidant dense to help nourish your body, aid muscle growth and tissue repair; think about consuming a great variety of colour and include turmeric, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, fresh chilli and other spices to flavour foods. These particular spices are also good for blood sugar regulation and to boost metabolism.
Make sure you have variety in your food choices to avoid getting bored. Very important for compliance!
Include a good amount of healthy fats from avocados, nuts and seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, Inca inchi oil, wild caught salmon and sardines to ensure your nervous and endocrine system function well and that your hormone balance, focus and brain health are maintained.
Maintain good hydration with filtered and mineralised water (minimum of 1ml per calorie intake). Consider natural isotonic drinks particularly when you train, such as coconut water and juiced watermelon.
Have a time where you can set aside meal planning and prep to ensure you have your daily dietary needs set out and aren’t tempted to stray from your plan and add foods that may hinder your progress.
Note down times that you find eating well and staying on track difficult. Awareness is key and finding a way to distract yourself and overcome these times begins when you acknowledge when they are and remind yourself of your goals.
Eat meals slowly, chew your food well and sit down to eat. This will help your digestion and your mind!
Consider this as a lifestyle change and not a ‘diet’ that will be over soon. The focus is to find the right intake for you to provide adequate calories and nutrition for your lifestyle and training load. It is not a period of starvation and misery!