azbackpackr wrote:I keep hearing about the 5 meals thing. I just am not that organized.
This and this alone is the #1 item that takes the most discipline. Going to the gym takes discipline but messing with your eating habits seems to take a lot more. I've done it, it wasn't easy but if you stick with it then it will become habit. I'll tell you how I did it.
Discipline Paradigm Shift - I don't eat, I put ingredients in my body.
Over a year ago I turned 49 and had 37% body fat at 265lbs. Both of my grandfathers lived into their 90's and I knew my quality of life would be miserable so I set out to lose the weight. At 50 I hit 212 and 18% body fat. It took diet and exercise. Very little cardio, mostly weights. For the diet I pre-calculated what I should take in and balanced it 40% carbohydrates, 40% protein and 20% fat. The key here is that I already know the maximum number of calories I need to take in to maintain my lean body mass and I take that in the proportions above. The carbs are complex. Only brown rice, legumes, vegies, etc. Protein is lean meat of multiple sorts. It's all divided into 6 meals. I only have to pre-make 4 of them and I do that all on the weekend (usually Sunday afternoon) for the week ahead.
I've been doing this for so long now that I feel weird if I don't do it. The key is that I take in less calories than I burn if I want to lose fat (no more than 10% though.) I meter the carbohydrates by making sure they are complex and broken up into 6 meals. This levels the insulin spikes. When your insulin spikes (like because of a candy bar or white bread) the unused energy is stored as fat for later use. Sunday for me is a day off. I eat normally and whatever I feel like but don't pig out. Also, I eat most of my calories in solid food (as opposed to meal replacement or protein drinks, etc.) because my body has to work harder at getting those calories. This further increases my metabolism.
The key to sticking with it and not having insane cravings is making sure you eat carbohydrates. When you don't get enough of those your brain will have your body breaking down walls to get at them. Fat is also a necessary ingredient. I try to stay away from fatty red meat and get omega 3 from fish etc. Apparently, from my investigation into it, we have a more difficult time losing fat if we cut all fat from our diets.
Keep it balanced with protein, carbs & fat.
Take in less calories than you burn.
Stay away from concentrated quick release calories.
Try to reduce insulin spikes by breaking it up into 5 or more meals.
Hike your ass off all the time. It uses large muscle groups.
BTW when I look at the scale and see it creep up a few pounds because I've been falling off the wagon I realize that each pound of fat is something like a stack of 36 pancakes with butter and syrup that I will have to burn off with great effort. It helps to focus that slight change on the scale into what it really is.
One final note. When I started this I knew I would have to live this way for the rest of my life. This also helped. It's not a diet, it's a change in the way I eat forever. So far it seems to work well for me.