June 25, 2010

How to Lose Weight Fast 101: Part Five: The Diet

So here you go, your diet that you'll undertake for (at least) the next few weeks to shed those pounds. But I noticed that most diet plans available online or on books are not flexible. And people just don't follow it because they don't wake up early enough for 10 egg whites at 7am as directed in the diet plan or they can't find '2% fat cottage cheese' in our Asian supermarkets.

What I'm going to do instead is to give you the amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fats you should eat at each meal and give you choices of food to satisfy those macronutrient needs.


I'm creating a one-for-all diet, and because each of us are genetically different, this diet may have too little calories for some and too much for others. How can you tell? If it's too much, you won't lose any weight (provided if you follow the training programme too). If so, reduce the portions of everything by 10%. And ahem, that means taking smaller portions at each meal, not MISS a meal. If it's too little, you'll feel lethargic, you'll suffer from brain fog, and you'll get hunger pangs. And a hunger pang is when you want food. Don't confuse this with cravings, that is when you want that double-chocolate chip ice cream topped with melted thick chocolate! If so, increase the portions of food by 10%.

Each meal should be separated by two to four hours. Any longer, your body will go into a hunger state, which will signal it to lower your metabolism, and that is a bad thing. Timing? Well, that's up to you guys. Start by having meal one as soon as you wake up and space out your meal according to your work/study schedule and have the last meal an hour before you sleep.

One thing you might notice about this post is that parts of it are highlighted in red. What you should do RIGHT AFTER reading this post is to write down the highlighted sections on A4 sized papers and stick it on your kitchen shelf or write it down somewhere you could easily view anytime. For example, I write it down on my Nokia N95's Notes and my girlfriend writes it down on her training log.

Fabodylous Weight Loss Diet

Meal One - 35g protein, 40g carbs, 10g fat

Meal Two - 35g protein, 10g fat

Meal Three - 35g protein, 10g fat

Meal Four (pre-workout) - 35g protein, 40g carbs

Post-Workout Drink - 35g protein

Meal Five - 35g protein, 20g fat

Total: 210g protein, 80g carbs, 50g fat, 1510 calories

As you can see, I have written down every meal in grammes of macronutrients, instead of fixed meals. That's because now, I'm going to list down foods that will give you 35g protein, 40g carbs or 10g of fat. Then you can mix and match which food to take to fit into each meal to satisfy your macronutrient needs. Here are some food that will give you..

All food are measured dry/raw.
35g protein
-10 egg whites
-8 eggs whites, 2 egg yolks (also 10g of fat)
-7 slices of low-fat cheese (also 10g of fat)
-175g beef (eye of round) (also 15g of fat)
-150g chicken breast (without skin and visible fat)
-175g salmon (also 5g of fat)
-175g red snapper
-1 can of tuna
-175g pork (leg/ham) (also 10g of fat)
-200g sandwich ham (also 20g of fat)
-1.5 scoops of protein powder

40g carbohydrates
-65g oatmeal (dry weight)
-50g brown rice
-4 slices of wholemeal bread
-75g pasta
-260g/2 medium-sized apples
-340g/2.5 medium-sized oranges
-55g corn
-60g french beans (also 10g of protein)
-200g broccoli (only 10g of carbs actually, but just to get some veggies in your diet)
-100g carrot (same case as broccoli)
10g fat
-20g/16 almonds
-22g/30 pistachios
-22g/14 cashews
-20g sunflower seeds
-10g/2 teaspoon olive oil
So, for example, with this diet plan, I could mix and match the food above so that my meal plan for a day looks like this.

Meal One - 8 egg whites, 2 egg yolks, 65g oatmeal

Meal Two - 175g salmon, 8 almonds

Meal Three - 150g chicken breast, cooked with 2 teaspoon of olive oil

Meal Four - 1 can of tuna, 40g brown rice, 80g carrots

Post-Workout Drink - 1.5 scoops of protein powder

Meal Five - 175g beef, cooked with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 80g broccoli (there's no carbs in this meal, but beef is tough on the intestines, so you would wanna have it with some veggies)

Sounds simple, right? If you have a kitchen scale, that is. So go get one!

Here's an additional diet tactic for you guys who are always busy and just can't find time to cook. It makes your diet quite boring in the long run. But that was what I did for three months while preparing for Mr Kuala Lumpur 2010. And it saved me lots of time and the diet still worked!

The tactic is to reduce variety. So, for example, your meal plan for the day could be like this.

Meal One - 8 egg whites, 2 egg yolks, 4 slices of wholemeal bread

Meal Two - 150g chicken breast, 16 almonds, 70g broccoli

Meal Three - 150g chicken breast, 16 almonds, 70g broccoli

Meal Four - 150g chicken breast, 55g corn

Post-Workout Drink - 1.5 scoops of protein powder

Meal Five - 7 slices of low-fat cheese, 8 almonds.

As you can see, by reducing variety, you can consolidate your cooking sessions. With this particular meal plan, you have to only cook twice. Once for the egg whites and the other time for the chicken, broccoli and corn. The next day, perhaps you can switch the chicken with red snapper instead and the almonds for pistachios.

Yes, I know this matters to you guys. However, when preparing diet-worthy food, you'll have to limit your flavouring choices to herbs and spices, which will not ruin your diet. Garlic goes well with most food. Onions and pepper too. Salt does not contribute any calories but you'll have to limit it for health reasons. DON'T use any sauce that has sugar in it. Remember, sugar is the enemy. And if you're an Indian, oh well, there's no use for me teaching you how to spice up your food. :D

After a long period of low-carb dieting, your body will reduce the release of the mother of all fat-burning hormones, leptin. Low levels of leptin will cause cravings and reduced metabolism. However, it has been shown scientifically and from experience that just a one day refeed can increase leptin levels back to baseline.

Refeeding involves taking a slight above average amount of carbs. To refeed, choose one day of the week (probably Saturday or Sunday so you could chill with your friends a lil) and on this day, instead of your usual ratios, consume

140g protein, 350g carbs, 50g fat, 2410kcal.

Yes, I do notice that 2410kcal is probably an excess to most of you. But if you've been in a calorie deficit of around 500kcal per day (and that's not including calories from exercise) for the other six days, an excess of 400kcal wouldn't set you back at all.

On your refeeding day (aka Cheat Day), continue to consume carbs from the list above. However, for ONE meal, sure, go out with your friends and eat something you craved for the whole week. Remember, control the portion. Don't order more than one plate of pasta, two slices of pizza or one six-inch sub/burger.
Craving (punny punny me) for more? Here's Part Six: Supplements!


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