Handy Diet Guide
Can't stomach counting calories?
Keep it simple. Start with your hands!
Can't stomach counting calories? Tired of perpetual contradicting food theories every year? Just want an idea where to start to know you are eating a healthy balanced diet in good proportions? Always remember, practice is what gets results. Not theory. So if you want to start seeing good results from the outset, start with a hands on approach from the outset ... and start with your hands.
Start with a solid base diet then adapt as required.
Once you have a solid base diet, you can then adjust your diet to suit your body and exercise, as you learn more of how your body adjusts to suit your exercise and diet over time. The Handy Diet Guide is a practical hands on approach that you can start straight away to help you get better results. It's simple, easy, effective, free and accessible. And that means it has a high chance of being sustainable. And sustainability is what gets results.
Results only come from sustainability.
As with exercise, a healthy diets results can only ever come from sustainability. As with exercise, a healthy diets sustainability can only come from accessibility. And as with exercise, with a healthy diet, 100% efficiency is 0% efficiency if it's not accessible to you. And like exercise, don't worry if you suffer the odd blip in efficiency with regards your diet, just refocus and get back to the hard work the next day. So long as the majority of your diet is clean and balanced, the odd minor blip won't destroy your efforts.
Creating a healthy diet that works and is accessible for you and your circumstance is the best diet to get results for you and your circumstance. Every time. Without exception. Why? Because it is the diet that is sustainable in your life circumstance.
A great place to start.
The Handy Diet Guide will show you where to start to start getting great results fast. You decide where it will end up. Combine this with 20 to 30 minutes of The 4 Minute Max Outs each night and results will come.
Using The Handy Diet Guide.
Mix n Match your foods to create your diet.
Mix and match the 4 corners, light carbohydrates, heavy carbohydrates, lean protein, and good fats, in the image above and you have a lot of variety in your diet with basic simple foods that are very easy to cook and find in your local supermarket. The more variety you have, the better it will be for you. You will be eating a healthy balanced diet that wont promote fat storage, provided you don't over eat as always.
Adjusting The Handy Diet Guide for your goal.
Imagine the portions in the image above as approximate maximum portion sizes. It might make up a typical dinner meal. Remember, this guide is assuming you are working out hard towards a goal which is why the protein content is high. Generally speaking, eating 3 to 5 meals like this a day with a few healthy snacks in between will have you eating around enough to sustain your body size or just under. You don't have to have the full portion size every meal either. It depends on your goal.
If your goal is to lose weight, you wouldn't want 5 fist sized portions of heavy carbohydrates a day. 5 small meals every 3 hours or so is a good target to stave off hunger and cravings by keeping energy levels topped up. In this scenario, you would be much better off heavily reducing or even removing the fist of heavy carbohydrate foods and completely filling the space on the plate with a mixture of light carbohydrate options. Minimise snacks but if you need them, make sure they're healthy. Have up to a full fist of heavy carbs only in your pre and post workout meals to both provide and then replenish energy levels before and after intensive exercise, and at your breakfast (oats or brown toast for example), to provide slow release energy throughout the day and fibre to prevent hunger. When reducing or removing the fist size, it's very important to remember to fill the remaining space on the plate with foods from the light carbohydrates group. Think food substitution rather than food exclusion. Low carb is not no carb and carbohydrates are the best source of energy for a high intensity workout. They will also importantly preserve your protein for when it is needed most, that is after your workout to rebuild and repair your muscles, as opposed to being used during it to provide energy due to the absence of carbohydrates in your diet.
But if you were looking to bulk up on the other hand, then you would happily have up to a fistful of heavy carbohydrates in each of your 5 to 6 meals a day.
Find your balance.
Whatever your goal, you'll be eating clean, away from processed foods high in saturated fat and added sugar, and getting a well balanced diet that covers all the food groups, and includes plenty of protein to equip you for both doing and maximizing the benefits received from high intensity exercise. Listen to your body's feedback to guage whether you are eating too much or too little. If you wanted to add bulk and you find you're not at all, have an extra meal like this and or more healthy snacks. If you wanted to lose weight, and you find you are not at all, eat smaller portions (lessen the fist size and added good fats) or eat one meal less and have less snacks. And although the image is on a plate, it could just as well all be in a sandwich for instance, or chopped and mixed in a bowl. Could this be better optimised for your size, height, and goal? Of course. Never be under the illusion that calories don't count or matter. They do. Will it need to be optimised? Not necessarily. That depends. Is it a good place to start to start getting results? Absolutely. From then on listen to your bodies feedback and adjust as required.
Find freedom in constraint.
With The Handy Diet Guide, variety remains your own choosing rather than trying to follow a prescribed diet that you no doubt never have all the ingredients, finances, or time to cook. With this guide you can basically jump straight in to hassle free easy to prepare healthy eating on your next trip to any regular supermarket.
Don't fall for trendily termed expensive 'health' foods. Simple and cheap is perfectly fine.
Just like you don't need an expensive gym membership to get healthy, you don't need fancy trendy ingredients or have to break the bank on expensive obscure ingredients to eat healthily either. Remember, accessibility and practice is always more important than theory and maximum efficiency. Accessibility is what creates sustainability, and sustainability is what creates results.
You don't need to be a walking food encyclopedia or a calorie counting computer to eat healthily.
The Handy Diet Guide is a simple, easy to remember guide, where all you need is your hand to give you a quick and easy rough idea of how much to eat, and of what, without any food theory at all, so that your diet doesn't let your exercise down. Although knowledge will always help you, you don't need to be a walking food encyclopedia or a calorie counting computer to eat healthily for great results. Although calories in your diet are important and really should be looked into at some point, if you are eating relatively clean, you just need to be aware whether you are under or above your caloric maintenance levels if you want to lose or gain weight.
A note on snacks and drinks.
Do allow yourself a sweet treat occasionally, just not too often or you will promote fat storage. Having the odd treat, and actually seeing it as a treat, can actually help you to keep your overall diet plan sustainable. Just keep it real and don't fool yourself. You know deep down that that kind of processed food does you no good at all. Ever. It just tastes nice and is easily accessible. The dieting guide goes more in depth into this and other dieting tips if you want to know more.
The same goes for water and drinks. Drink water as much as you can, but tea, or coffee, are absolutely fine low calorie options also. They are in fact mostly water anyway. Just be mindful that milky coffees like lattes or cappuccinos can have a lot of calories from the milk, and never add sugar. Weak squash is very low calorie and will do you much less harm than a glass of fruit juice which is both high calorie and one of the worst offenders for promoting fat storage. Water and a piece of fruit is the perfect and recommended option over either.
Be realistic about your circumstance.
In reality, without planning ahead slightly, most will find it hard to obtain that amount of protein throughout the day, whether it be due to work, lack of organisation, inconvenience, cost. Cooking meat or fish in bulk and storing it in the fridge for a couple of days ahead is a good simple way around this limitation. Drinking milk with meals will give a high protein boost as will sprinkling cottage cheese on food. Whey has the highest protein content, and with very little else if you get good whey, and is the most convenient to boost protein levels as you can either mix it with water and drink it at any time, or else mix it into or sprinkle it onto food.
Remember this is a guide.
There are loads of good foods that are not listed here and you don't have to eat 5 meals a day if you don't want to or are unable to do it that way. The traditional 3 meals with more healthy snacks in between is fine too if that's what suits you better. It is a handy guide to give you examples of what you can eat to help you to get great results, and roughly how much of it, without throwing percentages and calorie counts at you. Compared to eating a random diet that will no doubt be low in protein, high in processed, high fat, high added sugar, and high salt, foods, it will certainly help you to burn fat or gain weight by building muscle after exercise without promoting fat storage.
Always try to find out more.
It's always a good idea to optimise your food intake better as you learn more about your diet and how your body reacts to it. As with any eating plan - listen to you body's feedback and adjust accordingly. It's strongly recommended you read the dieting guide for tips on how to do this, and the metabolism and health section to help you understand when and why you might need to do this. The balanced diet section explains why all calories are not equal and why macro nutrients are important in the right balance.
Read the rest of the 'Eat Well' section if you want to find out more about protein, carbohydrates and fats, your metabolic rate, calories, food ratios, and the dieting guide for tips on sticking to a food plan, to help you better make your own choices about food and what and when to eat it.