Here’s my take on the whole ‘5 foods to lose weight’ thing
List the 5 foods you know you have to eat for weight loss. They can be any combination of the daily things you eat that either A) support your weight loss efforts, or B) You need to eat in order to NOT feel like you are on some crazy restrictive diet that is slowly ruining your life and making you a miserable person to be around 😉
Here’s my list:
1- Protein – I like to have around 100 grams a day, and without supplements this takes a little practice
2 – Water – OK, not technically a food, but it helps keep my head clear and I can tell when I forget to drink enough.
3 – Espresso in the morning – Probably the only thing that keeps me from committing terrible crimes
4 – Guinness – Want to make me VERY aware that I am dieting? Then take this away from me. I don’t need a drink every night, but knowing I CAN have pint if I WANT TO goes a long way in making responsible eating manageable.
5 – Mint chocolate chip ice-cream – If I had to choose between having Ice-cream or abs, I would go buy bigger pants right now. The ice-cream would win. Luckily I don’t have to make that choice. I just have to keep the serving size realistic.
That’s my 5 foods. If I keep these all as priorities and acceptable options then weight loss and weight maintenance are much easier for me. If I don’t keep these in check, then weight loss becomes difficult and I become miserable, making me feel ‘restricted’ which usually ends with me breaking down after a week or two, since I miss eating the foods and having the drinks I like the most.
I’d like you to take some time and identify your 5 foods. They can be any combination of foods you feel you ‘need’ while losing weight (like my protein and water) and foods you ‘want’ in order to feel human (everything else on my list).
Once you have your list of 5 foods, here’s what you do next:
Tally up the Calories that come from your 5 foods. Feel free to round up.
For me this comes to:
1 – 100 grams of protein X 4 Calories per gram, plus a bunch of heavy rounding = 500 Calories
2 – Zero Calories
3 – Zero Calories
4 – 120 Calories, but I’ll round to 150 to be safe (Calories in Beer vary from country to country so don’t take this as gospel)
5 – 250 Calories, but I’ll round to 350 to be safe (Depends on the brand)
Next subtract these calories from your daily calorie goal.
So my ‘must haves’ come to 1,000 calories. This means I have anywhere from 800 to 1,400 calories every day for other food. And remember, it’s not like I have ice-cream and Guinness EVERY day, so sometimes this number is lower.
The bottom line is now I only have to worry about the ‘other foods’ I eat in a day. And it’s much easier to be good knowing that the foods I really want to have, I’m allowed to have. No feeling deprived.
Identifying your ‘must haves’ helps keep everything in perspective as you try to manage your weight.
Try it out.