I was in the line of the supermarket the other day. This magazine headline caught my eye..
The NO-diet Diet.
I rolled my eyes and thought “another bunch of crapola from a Woman’s mag“. I had a quick flick through whilst still in the queue (as you do) and to my surprise, the article actually looked pretty good. I bought the mag and wrote a quick Facebook post about it.
Well the post caused quite a stir. It had such a response that I thought I should write this complete blog post on it.
The Woman’s Day No-diet Diet
It involves a daily 1200 – 1400 per calorie plan.
Including one large 600 -800 calorie meal from a fast food outlet if desired. This meal should include protein.
Some of the suggested meals were…
- Big Mac and small fries = 748 cals
- KFC popcorn chicken with chips and corn = 784 cals
- Pie Face Quiche Lorraine, wedges and coleslaw = 743 cals
Of course the large meal doesn’t have to be from a fast food joint (and I would hope it wasn’t your every day choice), but it gives you the option to not feel so restricted all of the time. It gives you permission to NOT be perfect.
The other 2 meals should contain 400 calories and 210 calories.
You can choose your own meals, but they should contain protein and I would be a very happy coach if you could also include some vegetables in your daily plan too (just my 2 cents worth)
The timing and the order of the meals does not matter. Eat more at your hungry time of day and less when you are not as hungry.
** See also – 15 surprising things you don’t need to do to lose weight
I know this might sound crazy to some, but…
I kind of like this diet plan.
Now before you get too excited, let me just clarify the above statement
I like this diet plan… for some people… as a starting point.
I like this diet for people who are already regularly consuming foods from a fast food outlet. If you are not, there is no reason to start now. But if you are, then this diet might be a good starting point for you.
You will realise that weight loss is primarily about calories in vs calories out, making sure that you also consume adequate protein so that you don’t lose muscle.
After a while you might come to realise that you get to eat way more food for the same number of calories if you choose lots of veggies, a small serve of your favourite carb choice and a leaner source of protein.
- Big Mac + small fries (make sure you don’t include a drink that contains calories too) = 750 cals
- HUGE meal (and I mean huge) of chicken, vegetables and rice = 750 cals
- The 2nd option will keep you much fuller than the 1st option and provide you with more nutrients.
- But ultimately the choice is yours. Both can fit into a weight loss plan.
**Also see – How to eat MORE food and lose weight
I believe this knowledge will go a long way to stopping the ALL or NOTHING mindset that is a disaster for reaching any goal.
This diet reminds us that calories in vs calories out is the way that weight loss happens.
I like the fact that it meets some people where they are at and doesn’t preach that you have to be so perfect and live off organic lettuce leaves to get results.
In this day of social media we see clean foods, organic kale and green smoothies everywhere. I think some people have put ALL of the emphasis on the QUALITY of food. I believe that some have lost sight that QUANTITY is important too.
Weight loss works when we burn more calories than we consume.
- Sally burns 2000 ( You can calculate how many calories you burn each day HERE )
- Sally consumes 1400 calories
- Sally loses weight
- **This is how all weight loss works by the way
If Sally also consumes adequate protein in her 1400 cal plan, then she should lose the weight from excess body fat, not muscle.
Now the disadvantage of eating a meal from a fast food outlet is that it probably won’t keep Sally as full as a home cooked meal with lots of veggies. I have written about how you can eat MORE food, yet LESS calories HERE
- Big Mac + small fries = 750 cals
- HUGE meal of chicken, vegetables and rice = 750 cals
- The 2nd option will keep you much fuller than the 1st option.
The choice is yours.
It doesn’t mean the first option is wrong and the 2nd option is right. Both are fine and can fit into a weight loss plan as long as you know that the fullness factor will be different and you are happy to deal with that.
Question – Will Sally be “healthier” if she loses weight on this plan?
Great question. I think a look at THIS fantastic article from Nia Shanks sheds some light on this.
A teacher lost 56 pounds by eating nothing but McDonalds
He ended up much healthier for it. (Seriously)
He did it exactly the same way as the above No-diet Diet. He consumed less calories than he burned each day and he consumed adequate protein.
This was a very planned and thought out approach as you will see from the article. This was not simply a random guy pigging out on Macca’s each day.
His health markers were as follows
- Cholesterol: started at 249 and lowered to 170
- Triglycerides: from 156 to 80
- LDL: from 170 to 113
The numbers don’t lie. Clearly he was healthier after his McDonalds calorie and protein controlled eating plan.
Could he have been even healthier if he ate organic vegetables and lettuce leaves? Probably, but my guess is that he wouldn’t have stuck with it for any significant length of time.
That Nia Shanks article was my all time favourite of 2015. I really urge you to head over and read it.
Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
Last important note.
The calorie intake and calorie deficit should be adjusted for the individual (something the magazine article didn’t address)
- Bob (110kgs. very active brickies labourer) burns 4000 calories each day
- Bob consumes 1200 – 1400 cals per day (as per the magazine recommendations)
- Bob loses weight
- Bob is STARVING, low in energy and wants to rip peoples heads off. (Ok, he doesn’t actually rip anyone’s head off, but you get the idea)
- Is that healthy food making you fat?
- Work with me to reach your health, fitness and weight loss goals
With almost 20 years experience, Chriss Tinslay is one of Australia’s leading Personal Trainers.
Chriss helps people lose weight and get in shape by changing their habits.
Chriss believes that fitness and fat loss should fit into your fabulous life, NOT take over it.
You can connect with her on Facebook where she shares useful tips each and every day.