This is a guest post from one of our members – Tallyson Neves.
Tallyson is a competitive powerlifter in the 165, 181, and 198lb weight classes. He recently did a big weight cut, with an effort to lower his bodyfat % while maintaining strength.
Below are some of his best tips or advice/rules for people to follow when talking about weight loss or maintaining your physique. I wholeheartedly agree with his statement of “to achieve what is promoted in the main stream media (having a six pack), will take a great amount of commitment and sacrifice,” (sacrificing the foods you “want” for the ones you “need”, and staying committed to the goal you set for yourself).
- DO NOT drink your calories
- Liquid is not filling. Try to consume food items that are great in volume, low in calories and that required you to chew. These will leave you satisfied and full.
- I find Whey protein protein powder used in shakes to be an exception because in my experience it tends to bloat me and keep me feeling full.
- For things like cereal, coffee and tea, try to use low calorie milk and milk substitutes like skim milk, Unsweetened Almond Milk and Cashew Milk and etc.
- diet soda, water, tea and coffee are good to go since they are essentially 0 calories.
- Move MORE!
- Do more. Take the stairs. Walk. Bike. Just MOVE!
- Try to do some form of activity or cardio at home or at the park if the gym isn’t an option. Do Full-body home workouts. Go to a playground and do bodyweight exercises.
- Pick FAT or CARBS
- If you are going to eat a high carb diet that day, then lower you dietary fat. And vice versa.
- AVOID/MODERATE these foods
- Anything cooked in oil.
- Fried foods.
- Calorically dense foods that won’t leaving you feeling satiated (these are foods that are usually high in dietary fat)
- Calorically dense toppings/sauces – mayonnaise, ranch dressing, olive oil etc.,
- If you have to eat foods that are cooked in oil, then eat less of it. A bowl of salad can go from being less than 50 calories to being 500 calories from all the typical dressings that are typically used.
- If you are someone who likes to eat large meals, then consider fasting for long hours throughout the day to have those larger meals.
- Exceptions would be to have a bit of calories (carbohydrates) before, during or after your training for sustained energy
- Keep it Lean
- When going out to eat or enjoying a night out of drinking with friends, during the day leading up to the event, try to eat only lean cuts of proteins and salads. This way you would have consumed barely any carbohydrates and fats allowing you to not worry as much about over eating ad or drinking at the event.
- Try to avoid the drinks with added sugar in them as this will add to the caloric content. Stick to hard alcohols like, Vodka.
- Plate Size & First Picks
- Try to grab the smallest plate. That way there is less room for food. Resulting in less calories.
- For satiety purposes, make protein and vegetables the biggest visual component of your plate, as this will leave less room for other food items. Pick a lean protein depending on your macronutrient ratios. Eat the protein and the vegetables first, since both of these items are very filling.
- Drink/Chew More
- Try to consume water before your every meal as this will help with feeling full and portion control
- I find that if I drink coffee, it helps put off my hunger cravings
- Take the time to chew your food
- Prepare your food
- This one’s a little over the top, but it works. Prepare dishes that take longer to make as this will eat up hours in your day causing you to have less time to eat.
- Try to include food choices that give you more volume per caloric content or foods that take a long time to eat
- Oatmeal (the more water you add, the more filling it will be)
- Protein Fluff (whey protein, frozen fruit, Xantham gum)
- Fruits (Example: Strawberries)
- Vegetables (Example: Cauliflower, Spaghetti Squash, White Potato)
- Rice Cakes
- Beef Jerky
- Chicken Breast
- Always Over Estimate
- When you’re not used to eating what’s in front of you, aren’t familiar with the particular dish or can’t eye ball is caloric content, it’s always better to err on the safe side and overestimate.
- On that same note, underestimate the amount of activity you did in the day. If you can do more, DO MORE!
- Make It Up the Next Day
- If you just so happened to go over your calories throughout the day, don’t stress. Just make it up the following day(s). Just reduce the amount you went over that day from the next day or spread out over several days.
- Keep It Simple Stupid
- If you have to eat out, order foods that are simple and easy to keep track of
- Avoid dishes that are a mixture of foods, which will make it harder to eyeball everything
- Avoid dishes that are commonly cooked with oil and fatty sauces, or ask for them to be excluded
Some of the above methods above are a bit extreme, annoying, can be unhealthy both physically and mentally, and in some cases ingrain certain negative behavioural patterns, like obsessiveness.
For the general population who just want a change in lifestyle and achieve a healthy bodyweight the above points can be applied, mildly so to speak. However, what people need to understand, and often don’t, is that to achieve what is seen in the media (i.e. infamous six pack) it takes a certain level of sacrifice that not many people can comprehend.
Trying to diet down to low levels of body fat takes a lot of effort and therefore lends itself to weird, damaging, obsessive and exhausting tactics, but that’s just the nature of it. That being said, I have found these methods really help in not only adhering to one’s weight loss goal but in also helping maintain bodyweight after that weight loss goal has been reached.
For those who are experienced in weight loss, these methods are extremely useful for when one is taken out of their environment of having a food scale and foods they are familiar with. Think of these as tools to help you stick to a plan when things start to get tough, like a night out drinking with friends, going out for dinner or even going on an all-inclusive vacation at a resort or visiting family in another country where a bringing a food scale or counting calories just isn’t possible. Sometime you just have to wing it.