28 November 2022
Guest post by Max Roger
Thinking ahead to the festive season the big focus for people is often their diet. However, there are common mistakes that hamper progress there year after year. Read this; learn from it; avoid those mistakes.
Let’s start with looking at what a diet is. It’s often associated with things like juice cleanses, or not eating carbs – it’s a restrictive thing. What it actually is, is the daily intake through solids and liquids of nutrition.
It’s not necessarily about restricting things (I’ll get to that later).
So, the big mistakes?
1. Focusing too much on carbohydrates (carbs). There is a place for restricting your calories if your goal is fat loss. But just looking at your carbs is a mistake. Per gram of carb there are 4 calories. Restricting them means you’ll likely ignore what you’re doing with fats, or even add more to your meals to make them taste better now that there are less/no carbs in them. But per gram of fat there are 9 calories. You can see the problem, right? If you’re trying to restrict your calorie intake then the easiest first step is to cut back on some fats, rather than the carbs. Avoid adding extra oils to your meals and cutting some of the visible bits of fat off your meat are 2 quick steps to take here.
2. Being all about restriction. What will keep you fuller for longer, and so not want to snack on rubbish, is protein. So, instead of cutting back on everything try focusing on adding more protein into your diet. A good target: start your day right with a big portion of protein in your first meal. If that’s breakfast, then a bowl of cereal won’t cut it. Try eggs, or a bacon sandwich. Both those options are more satiating (ie. keep you feeling full). This means that you don’t reach for the biscuits as soon as you get to the office because you’re ‘feeling peckish’. Instead, you last through until lunchtime.
3. Not accounting for your overindulgences. There’ll be Christmas parties. Enjoy them. But you know they are coming so account for that in advance. For example, Friday night office Christmas Party? Then on Wednesday and Thursday why don’t you eat a little less each meal. That way the overindulgence at the party roughly balances out your calories for the week, so you avoid/minimise any fat gain.
A bonus point here: within every decision there’s always a slightly better option. Picture this: you’re at that Christmas party – do you have 3 mince pies, or 2? Do you have pints of beer, or bottles? Those are small changes, but they all add up to make a difference.
Enjoy your holidays when they come.