Diet hacks

food!

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates.

Often overlooked and ignored, diet is the most powerful tool you can use to change your body. Whether you want to lose fat, gain muscle or improve cognitive performance.

Diet comes from a Latin word “diaeta” meaning way of life. This is exactly what your diet should be. It shouldn’t be a restrictive unsustainable nightmare. You should be enjoying your food guilt free. We can all achieve this by eating smart.

It all starts in the kitchen.

 Food basics

  • Eat good quality protein with each meal.
  • Eat fibrous carbs (vegetables) with each meal.
  • Eat healthy fats with each meal.
  • Eat complex carbs after exercise.
  • Stop eating when 80% full.

How much food should I eat?

This completely depends on your goals.

I want to lose weight?

Eat less!

I want to gain weight?

Eat more!

  • Men should eat 2 palm sizes of protein with each meal. This can be from lean meat, fish, poultry and eggs.
  • Females need one palm size.
  • Eat unlimited veggies with each meal but aim for 2+ cups
  • Get good quality fats from eggs, salmon, grass fed meat, fish oil, avocado, butter, coconut oil, nuts and seeds.

The next step to be conscious of is where and how you eat?

In his book “Mindless eating” Wansink found from conducting various studies that people will eat more if they are given more. The study focused on popcorn consumption.

Each moviegoer was given a free medium or large bowl of 5 day old popcorn!

This was to prove that food taste doesn’t matter when you are distracted. Even more interesting is that the people who were given the large popcorn bowls ate an average of 53% than the others.

The shocking thing about this is most people were unaware of how much they actually ate.

So if weight loss is your goal then smaller plate size will definitely help. The opposite is true for weight gain.

  • Avoid distractions when eating. Don’t read, don’t exercise and don’t watch TV.
  • Eat at the table or sit on the ground and eat ideally with friends and family.
  • Eat mindfully! You don’t have to get too deep here, just be aware that you are eating. Try to concentrate on chewing your food completely before swallowing.
  • Eat slowly! You should allow yourself 20 minutes to eat your meal. After each portion of food put your fork down and chew properly. Continue your conversation.
  • A good tip here is to chew your food 20 times before swallowing.

Learn to cook.

This is a basic human need. You are going to be eating for the rest of your life,  2-3 times a day. When you think about it like that, it is probably something you should learn to do.

If you cannot cook you will have a much harder time getting high quality food into your system.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a five star chef or not, just start practicing basic healthy cooking. The web site bbcgoodfood.co.uk is an excellent resource for recipes. Make sure you have the essentials such as a pot, pan, chopping board, good quality knife, and a wooden spoon. Buy basic ingredients you will use with each meal. Oil – coconut or olive oil, spices – salt, pepper, oregano, basil, spice mix.

 Shopping guidelines

supermarket layout

Do the majority of your shopping on the perimeter of the supermarket. This is where the fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and poultry are found.

Avoid the middle aisles for the majority of your items.

Again look for one-ingredient foods. If you have a choice between seasoned and unseasoned chicken go with the former. Seasoned products will generally have all sorts of nasty preservatives

Avoid packaging when possible

If your food says low fat or weight loss, avoid it.

Check out the sample day meal plan for a 75kg man.

Meal 1

5 egg omelet with ½ bell pepper, 1 cup of spinach, 1/4 cup of onion, and a tablespoon of sodium free organic butter cooked with coconut oil.

Bowl of lettuce dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

3 fish oil capsules.

Meal 2

Two chicken breasts, cup of broccoli, cup of mixed green beans, handful of almonds/walnuts.

 Meal 3

2 palms of salmon (ideally wild), Large salad – 1 cup of spinach, ¼ cup of grated carrot, ½ cup red bell pepper, ½ cup of tomatoes. Dressed with olive oil (1 tbsp), juice of ½ lemon, salt, pepper, oregano.

 So to recap:

  • Eat good quality protein with each meal.
  • Eat fibrous carbs (vegetables) with each meal.
  • Eat healthy fats with each meal.
  • Eat carbs around exercise.
  • Big plate = weight gain, small plate = weight loss.
  • Eat mindfully.
  • Shop in the perimeters.
  • Learn to cook.
  • Enjoy your food!

I would love to here your food experiences both difficulties and/or successes in the comments below!

Hack your health,

Conor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About The Author

Conor

I am a wellness coach from Ireland currently based in Melbourne Australia. I love teaching and learning about physical autonomy and sustainable lifestyle habits.

4 Comments

  • Camila

    Reply Reply 29 February, 2016

    Even though this is an old alcrtie, I stumbled across your site while using Yahoo. This was a cool alcrtie. I hope to see you remove the main point of this post and make another separate alcrtie, maybe embed a video in it, too? If so, it will be greatly appreciated.

  • Rachel

    Reply Reply 18 January, 2017

    Absolutely this a great article! well, yeah Camilla was ryt! it would be much better if you could put some videos in it. 🙂

    • Conor

      Reply Reply 19 January, 2017

      Hey rachel,

      I’m glad you like the article. When you say video do you mean a video of me summarising the main points?

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