Dieting can be tough for the layman. It's a time where you give up your favourite foods and start saying no to temptation.It's time where you have to rain in those Friday night takeaways and kinda become a social hermit to have any chance of succeeding in this new body adventure of yours... At least that's how it feels right?
Well dieting is subjective we all look at it differently. But on the grand scale, it's probably easier than you think and it's all to do with maintaining a balance and never taking on the extreme of anything.
We promote balance when dieting and never doing the extreme version of anything until perhaps you want to kick it up a notch a few weeks before a holiday, or when you're approaching competition. Other than this, unless you have a high standard of trying to maintain 10% body fat all year round - there's no reason to go nuts!
In your diet, you will discover foods which become a staple. Foods you enjoy, that hold the correct nutritional value and portion size for your diet. It's important to retain flavour when dieting. We associate flavour with fulfilment and the more 'real' food you feel you're eating, the less it feels like you're missing anything. Here's 5 of our top food alternatives to keep you sane on a diet:
Almond Protein Cookies
You bake these from almond flour, vanilla essence, a scoop of protein powder and a squeeze of agave nectar. On a taste level, you really get that sweet spot that you would with a cookie.
The agave nectar sweetens it up and binds it together so the texture is crunchy too. You could have raw cocoa or diabetic sugar free chocolate as chocolate chips to make it an official cookie. There is a variety of high protein cookie recipes available on the web. Ensure they contain natural ingredients only and that the protein will typically come from protein powder added in.
They fit well within a diet as they are easy to cook. They take around 15 minutes and you can eat them as a pre or post workout too. When you have been on a diet for a number of weeks you may decide to cook something that is high protein and low sugar. From the range of alternatives available, these cookies are especially easy to make. They can be repeated and split into a batch for as and when you needed them. But as always we recommend making a batch to share and having a few. Don't be tempted to eat the lot as it defeats the point.
Almond cookies are high protein low calorie, low sugar and taste great.
Total Yoghurt 0%
Total yoghurt packs 10 grams of protein per pot and contains zero fat in the 0% versions. These rich and creamy delights make an excellent breakfast and second as a versatile high protein day time snack too. The texture of total gives you a lot of fulfilment for a small pot of yoghurt and most of the time you don't need to finish it.
The taste is exceptional and there's room for plenty of toppings such as fruits and nuts. The portion of these pots are around 150 grams, so you can easily split this into two meals in the day.
Total contains next to zero sugar so it won't spike your energy unless you take the honey pot version. The protein on the other hand will keep you fuller and make it feel like you're having a treat. Total works best at breakfast for people on the go, but also at weekends when dieters feel they need something sweet too. Total takes the edge off your diet and tastes better than any other yoghurt out there. It's a high protein alternative that will keep your taste buds at bay.
Kale crisps are a secret diet trick we all need to experience!
How to cook them? Easy. 1, Buy your kale. 2, season your kale with cayan pepper, Himalayan pink salt (more on this below), or a number of healthy seasonings of your choice. 3, place in the oven for 15 minutes, and you will pull out a crunchy bite sized treat that bursts with flavour and feel like you're eating a packet of crisps!
Kale is surprisingly sweet, so when you've been dieting for 6 weeks, it really hits your taste buds. They give you the feeling of eating a packet of crisps, or something you can easily nibble on. The best way to serve them would be like a bowl of popcorn. Stack it high in a huge bowl and dive in. We'd recommend sharing and consuming no more than 50 grams at a time if you are doing it as treat.
The simpleness of kale crisps is that they work in practice. You place them in the oven and they are done in no time. They can be sat on sofa and be eaten while you're watching TV.
When dieting, it's this action we miss the most. Kicking back and enjoying food. Well with kale, you can take pleasure in knowing kale is one of the healthiest foods on the planet; in fact it's an all time super food. Kale contains an abundance of vitamins and packs 3 grams of protein per 100 grams. Kale will actually support your training program as well as being an almost zero calorie sugar free snack too.
We recommend making it once every couple of weeks, perhaps on a movie night. But you can also take them to work with you in the day. They taste best when seasoned with 'Himalayan pink salt' but you can also make them spicy too. The texture and taste takes the edge off when you've suddenly got the urge for a little something and they will stop you buying those high salted high sugar packets of crips. Go healthy, go kale.
Does baby bell really fall into a diet? Yes! Definitely. Have you heard about the latest craze of eating fats? Well fats are integral to training and support growth of muscle and balance of hormones. Baby bell contains almost 5 grams of fat and even better 5 grams of protein per serving. For a 60 calorie bite size snack the nutritional value of these are amazing.
Babybell can act as a pre and post workout, giving you an instant kick when you need it. But on the diet side, when you have been strict for a number of weeks; a familiar cheesy snack is all it takes to take the edge off.
You can have baby bells once or twice a week. We would recommend having them pre work out so your body can use some of this energy. Moderation is the key, never over indulge as the total amount will defeat the object of the nutritional and support to training they offer.
Himalayan Pink Salt
The best tasting salt in the world. Tried the pink stuff yet? It's that tall crystal like tub you will see at the super market, that you can't quite put your finger on. Well HPS contains good minerals and has shown to be a better alternative than traditional table salt. The appeal of HPS is the taste. It compliments a lot of the planer foods we eat on a diet. Eggs in the morning? Try HPS instead of pepper. Vegetables? Try HPS. Sweet potatoes, looking for something to bring it up to scratch and give it that punch? HPS.
The taste makes it beautifully seasoned for a change, opposed to the blandness some foods on a diet have. We recommend using this just a few times and just a sprinkle is needed on your meals. Avoid adding salt to everything, only use it partially to mix it up from traditional table salt.
Apply these 5 top foods into your diet. Keep your foods simple and repeat them to maximise the best results. Cooking is a great way to keep your mind occupied when dieting and you will quickly discover foods can taste a lot better than their bad versions, when made fresh. As your taste buds adapt, you crave health and less junk; it's the way your body works. Time served is a factor so get motivated, keep motivated and move your body to the next level in mindset and physically.
You can always be the best version of yourself; you just have to want it bad enough. Get in your zone, be humble be happy. Focus on yourself, get a little selfish sometimes and get the best results of your life.
David is a leading personal trainer from Prestige Fitness, one of world's leading personal training companies. For more workout plans, training tips and personal programs visit Prestige fitness. :)