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Getting Svelt (Like a Boss): Part II – Diet & Nutrition Ammunition

In the first part of this series we went through the wherefores of diet/exercise/becoming a goddess of awesomedom. Now for the hows – that’s right, the practical part. In this second installment we’ll be looking at diet management.
There are two ways you can go about this, and both work – one method might suit your psychology better, and like we said in part one your “buy in” will ultimately determine whether the plan will work.
One method is something Jim Wendler (powerlifter and all around badass dude) came up with called the “NOV” (north of vag – Jim is hilarious) method, and is a lot more practical if you have a busy lifestyle. The downside is that it’s not as accurate as….
The measured method! This one takes a lot more time investment as you have to track everything you eat in a food diary (such as www.mynetdiary.com or www.fitday.com). The upside is that you’ll always be 100% sure you’re eating exactly what you need to lose weight.
Both work incredibly well. If you’re like me and feel the need to excessively log everything you do and have a more flexible lifestyle the measured plan will pay dividends for that extra effort. If on the other hand the thought of keeping a food diary fills you with dread or because of work/kids is a logical impossibility then go with the NOV method.
Method #1 (NOV)
We’ll start with the NOV method. Basically this method focuses around having just three meals a day, but before each meal you have a protein shake and a serving of fruit. The protein, as we saw last time, is there to increase satiety (makes you more full) and the fruit is a way to get some fibre in, as well as some vitamins.
The shake need only be a scoop – depending on your brand this might vary but try and get 20-25g protein per shake, and pick a brand with minimal carbs and fat in it. Whey protein is a good bet. For the fruit just have a handful of fruit whether that’s an apple/banana or a handful of berries/grapes.
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The path to salvation.
After the shake and fruit have some sort of food protein and a small serving of carbs (we’ll cover a list of good sources for the three main macro-nutrients later). If the meal is directly before or after your workout (within an hour either way) the serving of carbs can be a little bigger because most of it will be used up as fuel or to restore lost muscle glycogen rather than stored as fat, and it’s actually a good idea to do this before a workout to get the most out of your training.
And that’s pretty much it! Follow that pattern for all three of your meals every day (no snacking!). An example day:
Breakfast (8:00AM)
  • Scoop Whey Protein
  • Banana
  • 2 Scrambled Eggs
  • 1 Piece Wholemeal Bread
Lunch (1:00PM)
  • Scoop Whey Protein
  • Apple
  • Chicken Breast (Shredded)
  • Salad Leaves
  • Chopped Carrot
  • Olive Oil Dressing
Dinner (Post-Workout, 19:00)
  • Scoop Whey Protein
  • Handful Grapes
  • 1 Sweet Potato (Mashed)
  • Mixed Vegetables
  • Fried Sea Bass Fillet
The good thing about this method is that you can be pretty flexible with your food choices so long as you stick to the fruit/shake, don’t go mad on the carbs, and have protein with every meal. Obviously, limit snacking and just because you’re “allowed” that flexibility doesn’t mean you should take advantage of it. If you’re full, you’re full, and high protein/high fibre diets are great at limiting the sheer volume of food you’re able to eat.
Method #2 (Measured)
The measured method is a little more in depth than the one we’ve just been through. In this one you’ll be tracking everything you eat in a food diary so you consume certain levels of protein, carbs, and fat every day. Same outcome, different method! The best way to do this is put everything into your food diary for the following day the night before and prepare your meals accordingly. You can do it on the fly but you’ll mess it up more often than not (I sure as hell did) so do yourself a favour and plan your food out.
I used www.mynetdiary.com for my food diary – it’s free for the basic functionality but it you want some extra bits you can buy a year’s subscription for fairly cheap and get more control over what the software can do. Try it out and see what you think.
The numbers of protein/carbs/fat you’ll aim to hit are different depending on if it’s a training day or a rest day, bearing in mind that it doesn’t have to be dead on. I don’t want you panicking at 11pm that you’re two grams under your dietary fat target and choking down a tablespoon of olive oil. Get as close as possible, a few grams here and there is fine.
Training Days:
– Carbs = 1.25g per pound of bodyweight to a max of 150g
– Protein = 1g per pound of bodyweight to a max of 175g
– Fat = 0.3g per pound of bodyweight to a max of 50g
Non-Training Days:
– Carbs = 0.75g per pound of bodyweight to a max of 125g
– Protein = 1g per pound of bodyweight to a max of 175g
– Fat = 0.4g per pound of bodyweight to a max of 75g
Did you get all that?
In terms of food choices they’ll literally be the same as the NOV method and we’ll cover them later on. Still include fruit and protein shakes in your diet if you want the benefits of the appetite suppressing properties of fibre and protein. In fact, combining both methods together is a great way to get the best of both worlds.
Get to it!!
The Cheat Meal
Once a week for one meal eschew your usual diet plan and go nuts and eat whatever you like. I like having this weekly cheat meal on a Saturday night since I train  Monday/Wednesday/Friday and like having a night off.
The cheat meal is important just to keep you mentally refreshed and give you a reward for all your hard work during the week. So long as you only have one treat a week this won’t negatively impact your progress at all. Keeping that strong foundation for 20 out of 21 meals per week gives your body enough stability to be able to shrug off a McDonalds with impunity! Enjoy it! The one caveat is that your cheat meal absolutely HAS to be a single sitting. Once you’re full, push back from the table.
This shouldn’t be turning me on, should it?
Good Food Sources
Okay, so you know HOW to eat but knowing WHAT to eat is just as important. For each of the main three macro-nutrients I’ve written a list of good food sources. While it’s not critical to have 100% of your diet coming from these foods 100% of the time they should be in a big majority. If you can kill it, pull it out of the ground, or pick it it’s generally a good bet!
Carbs:
– Fruit
– Vegetables
– Sweet Potato
– Oats
– Brown Rice
– Wholemeal Bread
– Beans
Protein:
– Chicken
– Turkey
– Fish
– Prawns
– Eggs
– Lean Beef + Pork
– Whey Protein Powder
Fat:
– Olives
– Olive Oil
– Avocados
– Avocado Oil
– Nuts/Nut Butters
– Coconut (Oil, Milk)
In terms of calcium and iron it’s not necessary to base your entire diet around them but one or two servings a day is probably okay. It’s a good idea when training hard to take a multi-vitamin tablet every day, especially when you’re losing weight and taking in less food. For calcium things like milk, yogurt, cheese (though not too much) are good, and for your iron red meat and green veg is a good bet.
That about wraps it up for this segment. One more to go when we’ll be taking a look at your epic new weightlifting program!
TTFN.
-Gaz
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