One of the most common question I get here is about my view on fitness and diets – which I believe is an extremely important question.
Do I promote Atkins, Paleo, LCHF, VLCD, GI, a vegetarian diet, spending four hours a day in the gym or what’s my view on healthy living?
Well, I love statistics and facts. Therefore I’ve spent countless of hours reading hundreds of scientific studies on everything from basic calories to testosterone. As a result, my view on fitness and diets is highly affected by what scientific studies actually says. Some might argue that science isn’t all and sometimes it “just works”. I don’t agree and often you’ll find that it’s just a stone in the soup, meaning you would have gotten the same results even if you didn’t do something, or it might be placebo.
Obviously you need some knowledge on how to read studies and how to put them in context. If not, you’ll just end up with amazing headlines like any other magazine copying a press release. I’ve actually posted a crash course in bad science which I recommend everyone to watch. It takes 14 minutes and afterwards you’ll basically be able to spot flaws in any amazing study published in popular magazines.
What does the science say then? Well, the foundation in every diet is calories. You can’t get around it. Sure, most popular diets trick people into eating less by reducing or limiting different kinds of food but if you consume more calories than your body use you’ll gain weight.
Please, do note that this doesn’t mean that you can eat whatever you want and get the same results. It’s not just about calories. If you end up eating nothing else than candy and drinking soda you’ll lose muscles and gain fat even though the scale says the same. Therefore it’s vital to focus on eating enough protein. Studies has shown that just by eating enough protein you’ll keep your muscles.
There’s no optimal amount yet but it’s recommended that you consume 1.5 times your body weight. In other words, if you weigh 70 kg it’s recommended that you consume at least 105 g protein each day.
Once you’ve eaten the minimal limit of protein you can divide the rest of your calories on more protein, carbohydrates and fat. It’s up to you how you want to divide it depending on what you enjoy eating and if you have a lot of hard work and thereby need more carbohydrates.
I don’t have any rules on what kind of food you should or shouldn’t eat. However, I do recommend that you try to limit the amount of convenience food you consume. These are the types of prepared dishes you get from the fridge and just heat in your owen or microwave. Unfortunately these often contains lots of sodium, sugar, e numbers and provide little to no nutritional value.
Try and cook as much food as you can at home. If you need inspiration I’ve got a category filled with healthy recipes which I’m sure will inspire you.
What about sweets? A lot of people believe we need a treat once in a while. I beg to differ. I wrote about it in my eBook (Overcome Sugar Addiction) and my point is that we learn to associate food with emotions at an early age. This is something that has to stop. You wouldn’t argue that we need a cigarette or some drugs once in a while – yet people look down on people trying to avoid unhealthy sweets. It’s madness!
I’m not saying that you shall never eat something tasty, I’m just saying that there’s better alternatives than drinking soda with high fructose which leads to non alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Contrary to popular belief you don’t have to, and probably shouldn’t, eat five meals a day. If your daily calorie taget is 1500 kcal, and you had five meals a day, then every meal would consist of 300 kcal which isn’t easy. If you, on the other hand, exercise a lot and have a daily calorie target of 3000 kcal, then you need to eat several times to be able to consume all the calories.
Think about your lifestyle, how often you want to eat and how much you need to feel satisfied. Personally I went a few weeks eating one big lunch and small dinner after my workout and it worked great for me.
Supplements is another debated topic. Much like everyone else I believe there’s no substitut for real food. I do, however, know that it can be difficult to get enough vitamins and protein if you’re trying to lose weight and limit your calories. This is why I recommend you to consider some kind of multivitamins. Just one each day is enough to cover what your body need.
The same goes for protein powder. It’s simple, cheap and you’ll be sure that you get enough protein every day. Please note that I don’t recommend replacing real food with protein powder. It’s just a supplement when you, for one reason or another, have problem coming up with your recommended intake.
I love working from home. Seriously. Love it. There’s no time spent on going to the gym, waiting for the right equipment and so on. I just wake up, step out of bed and begin my workout. Therefore, my main focus in this blog will be on how to exercise at home for a low cost. With a pair of dumbbells you can actually exercise your whole body.
With that said, I do enjoy working out in a gym with friends and recommend everyone to try it at least once. However, as I said, my main focus in this blog will be on how to exercise at home.
There’s a quote saying that if you work with what you love, you’ll never have to work another day in your life. I believe this to be spot on. Instead of taking a job in which you hate every minute, think about your lifestyle and reflect. Would it be possible to buy less useless things and thereby have the option to take job with less pay but a job which you truly love? There’s actually a great story on this which I’ll share with you later.
I highly recommend that you read the whole post to grasp the concepts but here’s the short version. Hopefully it will make you read the rest.
- You need to consume less calories than you use.
- Eat at least 1.5 times your body weight in protein.
- Divide the rest of your calories on protein, carbs and fat.
- We don’t need sweets once in a while.
- Try to limit convenience food.
- There’s no five meals a day-rule!
- Consider taking multivitamins and protein powder.
- Follow your passion.
I highly appreciate comments and I’m looking forward to yours.