Summer is well and truly upon us (even though if you live in the UK like we do it may not feel like it!). During the summer months, it is pretty much standard procedure for most to be on some sort of ‘diet’ or ‘shred’ to lose some body fat and show off those lovely muscles that have been built during the winter bulk, and get that ripped ‘beach bod’.
Unfortunately, most of those people also HATE dieting, as they believe it will consist purely of boring foods like, chicken breast, broccoli, plain rice, and long periods of starvation. In reality, it really doesn’t have to be that way. If you understand nutrition and how your body works, then you can easily enjoy your diet, and still achieve lose the amount of fat that you so desire!
Using these tips I actually did ENJOY my diet and still managed to get shredded as the picture shows. Proof that if I can do it then you can too!
Tip 1: Don’t Starve Yourself!
Firstly, we need to discuss the idea of starvation. Most people assume that by dieting they need to be starving hungry all the time, just staving off food for as long as possible in order to fast the body. The approach I like to take is that instead of starving yourself you should be actually eating as much as possible.
That’s right you should be eating as much as possible whilst still losing fat. That’s because you want to still be providing your body with all the vitamins and minerals it requires to stay healthy, and you also want to keep the metabolism high. When you do starve yourself your body shuts down and goes into starvation mode. The metabolism slows right down and hormone production of metabolic hormones slows.
Tip 2: Find Your Calorie ‘Sweet Spot’
This is all achieved by eating right up to the point where you are in a deficit enough to lose fat. This sweet spot of calories can be tricky to find, but with trial and error you will find it. You just want to be hitting a number of calories each day that allows you to be burning consistent, but not drastic amounts of fat/ weight every week. This tends to be around a 10-15% deficit.
As said before, if you are losing a large amount of weight straight away your body will go into starvation mode and slow down the metabolism so you’ll be burning fewer calories, thus actually making losing fat more difficult! Also at these levels, your body won’t be getting the adequate nutrients required, and it will almost certainly be eating away at that muscle that you’ve built up over the winter.
Tip 3: A Calorie is a Calorie… Whatever food it comes from!
Next then, you need to understand calories and food. Many people assume that they can’t have any of their favourite foods whilst cutting. Things like sugary sweets, chocolate, ice cream are usually the last thing someone taking a cut seriously will eat. Well, whilst they certainly aren’t foods that should be consumed often, there’s no reason to remove them completely from your nutrition.
This is because to your body a calorie is a calorie. It really doesn’t matter where it gets that calorie from, Whether it is from potatoes, chicken or chocolate, they all contain calories and are all the same to the body in terms of the energy balance. The only issue lies in the fact that sugary treats are very calorically dense and so eating a lot of them will eat in to your calorie count for the day. That doesn’t mean that in moderation they can’t be consumed, you just need to make sure that you are logging them in with the calories that you have for the day and that you aren’t going over your calorie targets.
Now obviously this can’t be taken to the extreme, you simply can’t get all your carbs from sugary snack as you won’t be getting all the vitamins and minerals that you can get from other carbohydrate sources such as sweet potatoes and whole wheat pasta. So, they should form the basis of your diet, but a treat here and there isn’t going to ruin your whole shred, as long as you are accounting for those calories properly.
Tip 4: The Need to Enjoy Your Life!
Enjoy Your Life! That idea that I’ve discussed there needs to be carried across into every part of your social life and not just your favourite snacks.
Like for example if you are asked to go out for a meal with a group of friends, you should never be put off going because of your diet. If you sacrifice your life for you diet then you are going to be miserable which will ultimately cau