Today I wanted to share my simple thoughts on diets and food, my conclusions, sharing my personal practice of getting into my best shape ever for my 30s birthday coming up in 4 weeks.
What’s a better gift to myself, than feeling and looking better than I’ve ever had?
What is the wisdom, that I’ve learned from so many books, so many self-experiments, from working with so many people all over the world?
Weight loss wisdom, that I practice.
Calories matter and they don’t.
Quality of food you eat matters much more for your body than calories. Quality of food is the difference between feeling and looking amazing, enjoying food, providing yourself with the best nutrients while losing weight, and feeling and looking kind of crappy, barely living, even though losing weight still. If you don’t believe me — try eating half a junky chocolate bar and 300 calories worth of salad with a whole bunch of nutritious greens and vegetables, see how full and satiated you feel and for how long, how your mood is, how your energy is.
Of course, even if you eat too much of good stuff — too many nuts and seeds for example (guilty of eating not one bag of cashews at one sitting!), or too much of oils and butters in everything (even though fats are good, there are still more than twice amount of calories per gram compared to protein and carbs), too much starchy vegetables, or too many beans and grains, too many fruits, too much of animal products — if you are on a journey of weight loss, you got to have an idea how many calories you eat, how much of food is a good amount to still feel good but manage to lose weight at the same time. Eating always to fullness, when losing weight, is a losing strategy indeed. Only not the one registered on the scales…
When you eat matter and it doesn’t.
Being crazy about timing, eating on a schedule, eating every 2–3 hours, eating only before 5 or 6 pm — well, you don’t have to go that crazy, as long as you eat good amount of food to support your weight loss (that needs to be defined through experiments), you don’t need to time your food, human body thrives on variety and never was designed to eat on a schedule.
But, if you goal is to maximize your weight loss, than things like eating when your digestion is at its peak (midday), eating several hours before bed, while Sun is out, eating in a restricted time window (let’s say 8 hours, intermittent fasting), eating most of your calories and especially carbs after your workout, training on an empty stomach — it all adds up, allowing you to lose weight more comfortably and faster, eating more food.
Losing weight is simple and it’s not.
Simple, because by eating entirely and only low/moderate carbs whole foods, and what you can cook out of them, you’ll lose weight without counting anything, especially if you stick to my fitness model body food list below. How much weight? At the end of the day it still counts how much you actually eat and what you eat.
It gets trickier, the more complex and processed foods you include in your menu. Especially when you start adding carbohydrate rich foods like grains of any kind (not to mention toxicity and inflammatory properties of most grains), beans, starchy vegetables like potatoes, baked products, anything with sugar. It gets trickier, when you start adding processed foods, like all the processed meats and dairy, sweeteners (even all natural), oils and fats, not to mention all the junk like food products, all the sauces, condiments, sweet drinks. It gets tricky and complicated. The more “complex” food is on your daily menu, the more difficult and complicated your weight loss will be. It’s a murky road, trying to find some balance, adding so many foods of questionable quality, never really knowing how it affects you, your metabolism and hormones. THEN you really got to count everything, making sure you are not eating too much, considering all the hidden calories in all the processed foods and all the foods cooked for you ANYWHERE — you never know how any of those foods affect your health and your weight loss.
I know, eating most of the time from very simple foods might sound boring, but boring is actually a great way to hack your brain to stop overeating (according to neuroscience research), plus variety of foods and amount of dishes y can cook from simple foods is abundant. Eating “boring” healthy foods most of the time simplifies your life and keeps you lean without you seemingly making any substantial efforts. Boring and simple doesn’t mean “no taste”. Organic, local, seasonal simple foods are bursting with natural flavors! Once you train your over-stimulated-by-modern-junk-food-like-products taste buds to enjoy those more subtle flavors of natural foods (It takes approximately 10 days for your old taste buds to die, being completely replaced by new, more sensitive ones).
How do I lose weight effortlessly staying in whatever weight range/leanness I need to be?
- Eating from Fitness Model Body Food List only.
- Adjusting the amount of fat-rich foods (fatty fish, nuts and seeds, whole eggs, dark chocolate, avocados, fatty cuts of meats, cheeses) as needed for desired leanness.
Fitness Model Body Food List
Stick to the list, buy whole unprocessed foods only, cook them with some salt, herbs and spices (be careful with spices as they stimulate your appetite), MINIMUM oil, if any.
- Amaranth or Chinese spinach
- Artichoke hearts
- Baby corn
- Bamboo shoots
- Beans (green, wax, Italian)
- Bean sprouts
- Brussels sprouts
- Cabbage (green, bok choy, Chinese)
- Coleslaw (packaged, no dressing)
- Greens (collard, kale, mustard, turnip)
- Hearts of palm
- Pea pods
- Salad greens (chicory, endive, escarole, lettuce, romaine, spinach, arugula, radicchio, watercress)
- Squash (cushaw, summer, crookneck, spaghetti, zucchini)
- Sugar snap peas
- Swiss chard
- Water chestnuts
- Yard-long beans
Measure, increase or decrease the amount based on satiety and desired weight loss/leanness progress.
Fatty fish (sardines, salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, the fattier and smaller the better)
Other wild fish and sea food of good quality
Fattier cuts of meat and organ meats
Other grass-fed meats and wild game
Limited and carefully measured:
Snacking portions, it’s not meal-sized foods
Dark chocolate — 30 g a day max
Nuts and seeds — 1–2 handfuls max
Cheese — no more than 200 calories worth, the harder the cheese, the fatties it is, the more calories it has
Avocado — 1 a day
This is really all you need to know about weight loss and lean, fitness model body diet.
You don’t get healthy and stay healthy.
HEALTH is a DAILY PRACTICE. One bite at a time.
Daily Bite of Health
KEEP FOOD SIMPLE TO LOSE WEIGHT SIMPLY.