What I know:
Fat - There are good and bad fats. Bad - saturated (animal) fat e.g. cream, lard, fatty meats, etc. Good - omega 3 (salmon, etc.), avocado, nuts, etc.
Carbohydrates - essential part of a diet, but white flour and white rice do not have to be part of that. Cutting down on bread (especially white bread) and eating more whole foods such as quinoa, brown rice, whole-wheat tortillas (good bread substitute) and beans is much healthier and helps keep you fuller for longer.
Sugar is bad and should be eliminated whenever possible - eating fruit is ok, but must be considered as part of sugar intake.
Protein - It is important to eat enough (lean) protein when trying to build muscle. Good sources of protein are: lean turkey, lean mince meat, eggs, Greek yoghurt, low fat diary, beans, peas, lentils, etc.
What works well:
- Creating a list of meal ideas full of meals I like and will look forward to.
- Having short challenges - I have previously completed the Whole30 without cheating.
- Having some rules/guidelines.
- Making time to prepare meals.
- Making time to buy healthy food
- Limiting my options/exposure to unhealthy foods (i.e. it is very easy for me to walk to Tesco and buy exactly what I fancy e.g. frozen pizza, chocolate, cake etc.)
- Dieting with someone.
- Getting quick weight-loss results (I don't want to eat junk, as the weight-loss is exciting).
- Having treats I am allowed (e.g. buying one bar of 70%+ chocolate which has to last me for the week).
- Not drinking sugar in my tea (I have stopped entirely now!)
- Not drinking sugary drinks (cola, etc.) - easy to give up!
What does not work well:
- Restricting any type of food entirely that I really like (once I cave I wont stop overindulging on it for at least a month!)
- Having a strict meal plan, I like to eat what I fancy.
- Having strict rules/guidelines that make it difficult to eat socially (e.g. going to a restaurant, eating at a friends, etc.)
- Complex food weighing/cooking (e.g. weighing out exact protein, carbs and fat).
What I can do:
- Buy one bar (100g) of 70% (or higher) dark chocolate on Sunday, which has to last me until the following Sunday. No other chocolate treats.
- Create a list of food inspiration ideas, based on eating as much fruit and veg as possible, but still a list of things I would look forward to eating (e.g. chicken fajitas).
- Drink at least 1.5 litres of water a day.
- No sugary drinks (cordial, cola, etc.)
- No/very little white flour and white rice.
Have you ever done anything similar? Would you add or change anything for your own list?