75% of your weight loss will come from your diet, rather than your exercise routine.
You'd have to exercise at a strenuous intensity level for more than an hour every day, while not increasing your current food intake, before exercise alone has an impact.* Or, you could simply reduce your calories so you're eating less than your body uses each day, while still eating 3 full meals and a couple snacks per day.
* exact amount of time will vary depending on the number of calories you currently eat - it could be a lot more than an hour!
Of course, I recommend doing both - the benefits of exercise are tremendous, both mentally and physically. In addition, pairing movement (exercise) with fuel-intake (dieting / watching what you eat) will maximize your results.
Why a Daily Diet?
In a perfect world, you would have your own chef prepare all your meals to your exact specifications, using only the finest organic ingredients.
- You're getting ready for work; suddenly a perfect 300-calorie breakfast appears before you.
- You're hungry at the office; you eat a few bites of leftovers from last night's delicious dinner.
- Lunchtime; you go to the kitchen to find your gourmet soup and salad waiting for you...
Yeah, right. The world ain't that perfect. You wanted to lose weight, but you didn't sign up for these extra duties:
- Shopping at farmer's markets for fresh, organic ingredients. (especially for ingredients you've never bought before.)
- Packing a lunch the night before, as if you're not already exhausted every night.
- Spending extra money on meal plans from a diet system.
- Being limited in when or where you can eat.
If you have a busy life, or your job calls for "eating flexibility", pre-prepared meals may not be an option.
- You're in sales, and you're out and about all day. Lunch usually consists of whatever is available in-between appointments.
- You're in management, and you frequently eat lunch with bosses, executives, and colleagues.
- You entertain suppliers or customers on a regular basis.
- You travel for business.
- Your family is busy, and preparing a perfect dinner is less of a priority than getting the kids to practice on time.
Bottom line - you know you should be eating better (and fewer calories), but you don't have time to do the research, buy everything, prepare and cook all your meals, etc. It's simply not practical.
What is the Daily Diet?
The Daily Diet is a real-world example of what you can eat, using "regular food" that most people already have in their pantry, and actual lunch and dinner options from popular restaurants.
The Daily Diet is modeled after the eating plan Dan B used in his success story. Dan patiently and methodically reviewed the menus of the restaurants he frequented, along with adding up the calories he was eating at home (using calorieking.com), and built himself a menu of what he could eat at each place. This allowed him to travel for business, eat with bosses and colleagues, entertain clients, and keep up with his kids, without ever being fussy over which restaurant they went to, and managed to lose weight while doing it.
I realize that not everybody reading this will have the same daily calorie goal / allowance, so this will be a starting point. You're welcome to adjust this up or down to meet your personal needs.
Some additional thoughts on the Daily Diet and diet-nutrition in general:
- Frequency - it's called Daily Diet, but that refers more to what you can eat in a day rather than the frequency of publication. I'll most likely publish these diet ideas a couple times per week.
- Calorie Counting - your daily calorie-goal is a very personal number, based on how many calories your body needs to maintain weight, how fast you want to lose weight, and how much your commitment level will allow.
- Not sure where to start? Calculator.net has a calorie calculator which lets you select variables such as age, gender, height, weight, and general activity level, and it returns an estimated number of calories your body needs to maintain weight. (TIP - I find it's best to use the "Sedentary" activity level. I think the calculator grossly over-estimates the calories needed based on the levels of activity options.) Once you have your sedentary calories number, you'll want to eat 250-500 calories less than this each day.
- Adjust with time - give yourself time to see results (a month should be long enough), then you can make adjustments. You probably won't see results the first week (and you'll be frustrated and hungry), but push through. The second week you might see your body change a little bit, or your clothes might fit differently, but you still may be at the same weight. By the time a month goes by, though, you should know whether or not weight is coming off, and you can make adjustments.
- This is a perfect compliment to the Fit-20 program. We're talking moderate changes - nothing Earth-shattering, and let time be your ally. You'll see great results over time.
- 90 percent of weight loss is simple
- it's ok to just be healthy
- spiraling to the good
- should grains be part of a healthy diet?
- being healthy without being a gourmet chef
- diet is like a marathon
- pictures for inspiration - from ESPN's the body issue
- reader success story - Dan B (the Daily Diet series was developed based on Dan's experiences)
I hope you enjoy and find value from the Daily Diet series. Questions, comments or ideas? Please share.