Saw your inspiring story on the blog here.
In the post, you mentioned calories in-calories out. Also, a lot of diary. Could you post a week’s log of your food intake? That would help me and others. Thanks a lot.
I am glad you found my story inspiring. Having a healthier life is imperative to enjoying a better life and I am glad my story helped you move a bit more in that direction.
With regards to your specific question, I am a big believer of the “calories-in and calories-out” school of thought. Namely, weight is lost when daily consumed calories are lower than the calories expended throughout a day, while weight gain occurs when the reverse happens: consumed calories are higher than expended calories. This is all a bit simplistic because I could talk for ages about calories and calorie expenditure but for the sake of answering your question, you need to consume LESS calories than those you expend to lose weight. For the purpose of this reply, when I refer to “weight loss” I am talking about aesthetic weight loss, that is, losing fat.
Having said all of the above, I am a big believer in a low carbohydrate (“low carb”) nutritional approach. While the jury is still out on whether low carbohydrate diets offer a further benefit than other sensible diets (e.g higher carbs & lower fat), I believe low carb diets have other benefits which make them great for losing weight (e.g greater satiating effect). Through the years, I have learnt that a low carb diet is best suited for me, in terms of health and convenience, and I used it to rapidly lose those 40lbs during my body transformation. I also am confident that this sort of diet suits anyone who is healthy and wants to look lean year-round.
I really didn’t have a weekly log in terms of planning my meals. Rather, I would eat as I felt like from these food groups:
– Red meat: steak and extra lean beef mince (5% fat). I would trim some of the fat from the steak although I would eat some of it as a steak without fat is not a steak! Some days I consumed 3 or 4 pounds of steak (about 2 kilos) solely with some vegetables and cheese.
– White meat: chicken and turkey. The leanest cuts.
– Fish: sardines, salmon and tuna. Tinned sardines in extra virgin olive oil are very tasty, especially with some squeezed lemon juice. I used canned tuna in brine for salads.
– Dairy: yoghurt, cheese and milk. I always consume some form of dairy with my meals as dairy has been shown in research to aid in the absorption of calcium. Easy with milk if your ancestors are not originally from northern latitude countries, stick to a pint of milk per sitting to avoid uncomfortable gas if you lack enough enzymes to break the lactose (those whose ancestors are not from the aforementioned world region).
– Wild berries: any berries or fruits of the forest. They are loaded with potent antioxidants which are not found on any other food sources. I also consumed most fruits save for the starchy fruits such as bananas or mangos. Think water dense fruits such as berries or oranges as they keep you fuller and have less carbohydrate content per weight.
– Whole eggs: a super food. If I didn’t eat meat on the day, I would then eat eggs. Packed with so many nutrients, throwing away the yolk should be punished with jail time. I ate anywhere from 4 to 12 whole eggs daily and my lipids profile was the best the doctor had ever seen. I, however, recommend you to consult your doctor if you are going to eat more than an egg a day.
– Vegetables: imperative to keep a healthy digestive tract, especially with the amount of meat I was consuming. There is some research associating increased colon cancer risk in those eating red meat but that is because those eating red meat tend to have very poor fiber intake. Anytime I ate meat, I had a big chunk of fibrous vegetables next to it. Go bonkers on green leafy vegetables and salad stuff such as tomatoes, cucumbers, sparagus, onions and garlic. Do avoid starchy vegetables such as beetroot or green beans.
– Nuts: go nuts! I primarily had walnuts or mixed them with almonds, Brazil nuts and pecan nuts. It is imperative to keep an eye on them though as they are very fat dense. I avoided peanuts because they have too much Omega-6 fatty acids, are a known allergen and can have high levels of aflatoxin, a known carcinogen. I have covered the topic of eating nuts in my article for speeding up fat loss.
– Supplements: I believe in sensible vitamin and mineral supplementation. I supplemented my diet with extra calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B & C and cod liver oil. I am a big believer in cod liver oil as it is a wicked source of omega-3 fatty acids and natural vitamin A and D. Do consult with your doctor before using any supplements, especially if you live in a country close to the Equator and want to take cod liver oil in the long-term: you can develop vitamin D hypervitaminosis which is not comfortable, to say the least.
I would eat these foods ONLY. No starches, no grains, no crap food (except specific planned occasions aka cheat meals). I initially didn’t watch my calories but I did create a small caloric deficit in the last 6 weeks to have the six pack shining out. As you can see, by eating solely these food, my diet already had a high protein, low carbohydrate and moderate fat intake. This is the best diet that suits me and I continue using it even after my body transformation. Moreover, I only ate once or twice a day, I don’t believe in eating small frequent meals throughout the day, nor for health nor for weight loss nor for fitness. Even when calorie counting and purposely creating a caloric deficit, eating just one or two meals per day allows me to instinctively moderate my calorie intake.
About the dairy, calcium has been associated with weight loss and preventing weight gain in research. While the mechanism of action is still speculative, it is purported that a low dietary calcium intake makes the brain increase hunger pans in an attempt to increase food consumption and obtain the desired optimal calcium intake. The mineral is so important to us humans that the brain will try to literally force you to ingest it. Couple that with its essential role in metabolism and bone remodelling, the latter occurring constantly in those engaging in weight training, and it is no wonder why I am so big on calcium. Aim for more than 2 grams of calcium per day (diet and supplements combined) and make sure you are also taking magnesium so as to avoid imbalances (magnesium intake should be 1/3 of the calcium intake).
In a nutshell, I based my diet with the aforementioned food groups, supplemented it with some minerals and vitamins to ensure an optimal micro nutrient intake, and made sure I had dairy and vegetables in all of my meals.
All the best,