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I’m copying my client’s diet: the analysis! Part 3/3

6th day, Monday (click here to reread what I ate both days)

Coffee and two slices of toast around 10am. Coffee with a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Dinner around 7:30pm – lots of chips with cheese and 100g veg.

Issue(s) detected: although I got to eat three times that day, I still felt hungry and irritable throughout the day. As I had encountered some difficulties with my new flat and was irritated, my hunger made my mood worse. Luckily I got to have lunch just before I had to deal with the issues so my blood sugars normalised and I felt like a sane and sound person not a raging lunatic. 😄 Dinner was homemade cheesy chips just because I didn’t want to order takeaway (and those chips taste exactly the same or worse) and I felt stuffed quite quickly, yet when it was bedtime three hours later, I was starving. I was very tempted to order something big and eat it all because no one would know anyway.

The reason I was hungry shortly after my meals? A high carb content of my meals with little to no protein. White bread and potatoes are high GI foods and spike blood sugar unless they’re eaten with medium to low GI foods to balance out the glycaemic load and to deliver energy to your body throughout the hours following your meal. They’re great for post workout meals but on their own should be avoided when trying to lose weight. The energy received from refined sugars and simple carbs would be only brief and soon you would be back to feeling hungry and irritable. Always pair your carbs with protein to even out the GL of your meal. Also eat at least 1g protein per kg of bodyweight every day. When you start training more, increase it to 1,6-2g/kg bodyweight. On no training days, eat more fats to keep you going for longer. But remember to replace calories for calories not grams for grams. 90g of carbs in calories equals only 40g of fat. 😌

7th day, Tuesday

8:45am coffee for breakfast. Interestingly enough, I had a similar reaction to it as I had done on the first day. I was so full of energy and worked my morning client hard. Around noon I had to miss the apple with peanut butter that Tina had for a snack since I had no time to find peanut butter on my way to a client. 2:30pm I got to enjoy a scone with jam and cream due to my phone battery dying so I interpreted Tina’s term ‘coffee and something’ very loosely. 😇 To end the day and the experiment, Tina and I had dinner together – chicken fillet strips in a lemon and herb marinade with wedges and roasted veg (which we barely touched) plus a can of Fanta – heavenly. Once we agreed that the experiment was over I indulged in a bit of everything later that evening just to taste all kinds of different flavours again. I probably and quite likely overate but didn’t care at that point. I also enjoyed some great tasty meals the next day that I wouldn’t normally have but I felt like my body was craving for a Big Tasty so I gave it one. 😄

Issue(s) detected: Not much food that day, however due to moving I barely notice anymore as I’m so busy. I actually ended up eating more than Tina as I found out later that she had given the snack a miss for lunch whereas I indulged in a scone with jam and cream.

This was an eye opener for myself as I would have one every Saturday morning with Silver before clients and while it wouldn’t do me any harm, it was shocking to find out my ‘snack’ had close to 700kcal.

I don’t normally worry about calories much but always make sure I get my protein (come on, fats and carbs are easy haha) and somehow hit my daily target anyway. But I had never considered how rich that little treat was (well, obviously not so little after all). It was ironic because I always consider the macros or the nutritional value of any food before eating it yet I guess I never really cared to look how much cream and jam I was given with every scone. 40g of cream and 30g of scone – as soon as I saw these numbers I knew my meal’s calories would be double of what I thought I was consuming plus a very rich butter scone with close to 300kcal instead of 200.

This is a perfect example of how meals/snacks bought on the go can sabotage our diet as an item of food can have much higher calories than you bargained for.

If it’s a pastry and it’s flakier and/or softer than anywhere else – you can bet they’ve used a lot of butter. If it’s sweeter and bursting with flavour – butter and sugar. There’s a reason they taste so good. A classic example – compare a prepackaged storebought croissant to one from Nero or M&S bakery. They’re miles different. I know I could inhale two of the latter without blinking an eye just because they’re so tasty – but I would also consume almost twice as many calories than from a storebought pastry.

The truth is, if we’re not tracking then we’re just guessing and for both muscle building and weight loss, one has to be rather precise with their macronutrients.

I want to encourage everyone to think less of the calories of a food and more about how much protein you’re consuming with a meal. Try to find foods that you like – there are so many tasty foods that are wonderful for weight loss. Use herbs and spices when cooking to give your food flavour and to satisfy cravings. Pre plan your treats and ensure they too will fit your macros. You’re allowed 15% of your daily intake to be sugar. For an average person that’s around 70g – surely that’s enough? If you have three beautifully balanced veg and meat meals on your weight loss plan, you can squeeze in dessert with your lunch or dinner – have it when you feel you need it most. Don’t ever go ‘0 carb’, the cravings will kick in the same day and they’ll build up so much you won’t be able to ignore them and end up overeating the next time you sit down for a meal. 

To finish off this analysis – I spent about £135 that week on myself plus at least another £50 on Silver since I had to eat on the go a lot. Normally, I would spend about £4/day on veg, that’s £28 a week and if I have a tin of tuna every morning, that’s £35 altogether, and Silver has his cereal, that’s £38. Lunch and dinner wouldn’t cost me more than £7-£10/day because of shopping in advance and buying in bigger quantities. That’s £87-£108 and I’m being generous here. I don’t drink, we drink mainly water and milk and Silver is sometimes allowed squash and lemonade and McDonald’s or whatever he wishes. He’s a happy healthy child who eats broccoli and beans happily, he will even eat a few of mine when he’s having his cereal, who am I to stop him. He likes chicken kievs and sausages, cottage pie and lasagne, carbonara etc.

I feel like I have dissected this topic now more than enough. Life is all about balance, however if you have specific goals in mind then you will have to sacrifice something. Because if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get the same results as you’ve always gotten. Start now and change one thing per week. The change will come. ❤️

I’m copying my client’s diet: the analysis! Part 2

3rd day, Friday (click here to recap what I ate that day)

Coffee at 10:45 and then again at 2pm. I had just trained, I felt weak and lethargic. Afterwards a ham and cheese toastie – heavenly. These were my first carbs in three days. I noticed my cravings disappear almost immediately. Big dinner (small chicken shish plus chorizo and cheesy chips) at 7:30 plus a glass of wine.

Issue(s) detected: without any food for long periods of time, your body switches to famine mode and any food ingested from thereon would get stored as fat far more likely. I had just trained and created the need for glycogen in my muscles so some carbs would have been put to use. In an untrained individual/someone with less muscle mass they would quite likely be stored as fat as energy requirements would be lower and the body would need to hold onto the energy as it is unsure when the next meal arrives.
Dinner was too big (yet I still felt I could have eaten more). I had been hungry for so long that I couldn’t control my appetite. The hormones signalling my brain that the stomach was full weren’t being released yet. Also, with 2/3 of the days calories in one meal, it meant a huge strain on the digestive system. 3 hours later my stomach was still making noises. I felt bloated and full of air like a balloon.

When alcohol is consumed, fat burning is switched off as your body will always “attack” the worst offender first and in this case it’s the alcohol. While alcohol sugars are being burned, the meal eaten will just sit in your stomach and will be far more likely stored as fat.

4th day, Saturday (click here to recap what I ate that day)

Breakfast – slice of bacon, one toast, some baked beans and coffee. No food or drinks (other than water) for the rest of the day. Dinner at 7:30, chicken fajitas and two glasses of wine.

Issue(s) detected: Not perhaps the best choice of breakfast for weight loss as there were no vegetables, but I have to commend the choice as a medium to low GI meal. This way the body has a chance to work through the meal slowly (without a spike and drop in blood sugars) and use it for energy even hours after the dinner rather than store as fat. As soon as the gap between meals becomes too long, it will revert back to its old ways and start storing bodyfat. The gap between meals (9 hours) is unreasonably long and the meal and drinks cover 2/3 of the days calories. My body couldn’t cope with the amount of food and drink and the food just sat there even three hours later. This is a good example of how even the healthiest of meals can hinder weight loss as the conditions aren’t optimal. You can always expect to wake up feeling very ‘fluffy’ after an evening like this.

5th day, Sunday (click here to recap what I ate that day)

I was still feeling full upon waking but also uncomfortable, bloated and full of air. Coffee at 8, two slices of toast with two eggs for 11. Then no food until 8:30pm. A tea around 5pm. A big meal with two glasses of wine after 9,5 hours of no food. I was tempted to give up on the experiment that afternoon for being so hungry.

Issue(s) detected: As you can see, all three days are very similar. A breakfast, coffee or two, then no food until 8pm. Each day I had to fight off tiredness by preserving my energy as much as I could – by lying around not doing much. I had already learnt that my mood would become very unpredictable when hungry and tired so I was trying my hardest not to get snappy with Silver. When I had to go without food in the afternoon, I found myself wishing for Tina to have a coffee ‘just so I could have anything to keep me full’ – this showed how quickly drinking coffee had already become a habit for me. I even considered eating something (anything!!) from the fridge in the afternoon or to raid the cupboards and not tell anyone. No one would know anyway, right? Wrong, I would know, my body would know.

This is a perfect example of how people put on strict diets cannot ignore cravings for too long and they end up secretly eating yet denying any excess food intake. Because of the shame in front of their friends/family/trainer/themselves they ‘forget’ about it and pretend like it never happened. But as the quote says – we wear the calories in public that we eat in private. 

I encourage my clients to be honest about their slip ups. There will be no punishment but at least I will know how to approach the issue and come up with a solution. To everybody reading this: if you have a trainer and you’re hiding things from them, please don’t – being honest about what you eat and drink will help both you and them equally. ❤️

One last thing to remember: no food is inherently ‘bad’. It just could be unfit for your goal. I want you to make the decision (“I’m going to eat out tonight but then be good for the next two days”), eat the food and then be done with it. Carry on eating healthily, drink lots of water and don’t punish yourself, don’t restrict your calories the next day. You shouldn’t have to feel bad for eating or drinking anything because you can work everything into your ‘diet’ if you plan in advance. But the moment you feel guilty about eating something, you probably shouldn’t be having it. ❤️