Firstly, in order to see change in any aspect of your life, you must be ready to change. That means that factors in your lifestyle must align with your goals.
Secondly, there are numerous factors that can influence your diet and training. For the sake of simplicity, I’ve chosen these 3 factors because they are in YOUR control. You have the power and the influence to change these factors today, should you be ready to change, if you choose.
Make a habit of one of these 3 factors first. Once you can nail down one of these habits greater than 90% for 2 weeks or more, add another one. These 3 tips are simple but not necessarily easy. They also complement one another and will therefore reinforce one another.
So here are my top 3 tips to tackle your diet and training goals.
Tip #1 - Make the time
Sounds basic and simple, right? However, simple doesn’t mean easy. I purposely didn’t say to “take the time”, because sometimes we do have very busy schedules that restrict us from concentrating on our nutrition and exercise.
Make the time during the working week by making time from the weekend. Think about it as if you’re sending future self some time in the future that will help them toward their goal. For example, with nutrition, you batch cook your dinner for the week by spending an hour of your Sunday to do so. This will ensure you have meals ready during the week that will help you work towards your goal, as well as increase your time efficiency. It’s an absolute no brainer in my mind.
Likewise for your training, set aside an hour on days that are less busy. Treat this as if you’re attending an appointment or a meeting with the most important person you know, YOU! Because if you don’t look after yourself who will?
Using a 168-weekly planner on excel is a good tool for making time. There are 168 hours in the week, this form can be filled in with different colours to roughly represent where and what you’re allocating to that specific block of time for a given day. It should only take 20 minutes maximum to fill out, MAKE THE TIME!
Tip #2 - Volumetrics
The clue is in the word. When we are looking to lose some body fat we must be in a caloric deficit; i.e. we must expend more energy from the body (through daily movement and exercise) than we consume through food (calories). Typically, this involves eating less and exercising more. But who wants to eat less?
Ahhhh the beauty of volumetrics. Yes, in theory, we must eat less (energy), but in practice, this doesn’t mean we must eat less food per se. What is this lad on about? How is he making sense? Let me explain.
For example, you LOVE a chicken curry with basmati rice, however, this can be quite calorific. You’re unwilling to tamper with your beloved homemade curry sauce, but what about the rice?
If you usually eat the curry with 150g of basmati rice that can be upwards of 500 calories in the rice alone. But if you halved this portion to 75g of basmati rice and replace it with 75g of cauliflower rice, which is roughly 20 calories, there are 230 calories reduced from your favourite meal.
This is what’s referred to as volumetrics; replacing higher calorie foods with lower calorie options that have the same weight. The overall volume of the food isn’t reduced; however, the calories are drastically reduced.
This is a good method for increasing your non-starchy vegetable consumption. Eat your greens kids!
Here is the link to my Coconut Curry with Cauliflower Cous Cous recipe, if you want to give it a go for yourself.
Tip #3- Sleep.
You often hear of navy seals, such as Jocko Willink, or Hollywood actors, such as The Rock or Mark Wahlberg, getting up at 4am to get their workouts in to start that day. Whilst that is great for them as it suits their lifestyle, this old mantra of “Rise and Grind” is dead in my eyes. Instead what about “Sleep in and Win”.
Here are 2 simple reasons why your 8 hours of sleep is so important.
1. Food selection
- Being in a deprived sleep state leaves you lacking energy. This leaves the body craving highly processed fatty and sugar-filled foods. Eating these foods in excess can drive weight gain.
- Plain and simple. Sleep is a huge factor that will allow you to recover before your next exercise session. If you don’t get sufficient sleep quality or duration you will not recover and perform optimally. Lack of sleep will also reduce your motivation/desire to train. Here is a study linking sleep to performance and recovery .
Putting it all together.
Each of these tips are linked together.
We must make time to plan out our diet; chopping vegetables for bulking out our meals using volumetrics, or planning out our bed time routine, in which a good night’s sleep will allow us to make better choices with our diet. Get one right first and over the course of a few weeks/months the others will begin to fall into place.
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About the Author
Darragh's philosophy includes balancing hard work and enjoying the process, and what better way to do that than with delicious, healthy food.
Email Darragh at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find Darragh on Instagram at @darragh.henry