Fad diets, hacks and other diet strategies that attempt to cut corners and give us miraculous results overnight are unfortunately all destined for failure. These types of diets will invariably result in disappointment and possibly even ill health. By this point, most of us have learned this the hard way.
You’ll be pleased to know then, that this advice is none of those things. Rather, this is a useful strategy you can use to instantly make sticking to a diet easier and to practically guarantee simple and rapid weight loss.
Or at least it has worked for me and a lot of others. We’re all different after all.
So what is this magic trick?
Simple: eat a consistent breakfast and lunch.
It sounds overly simplistic and of course that’s part of the charm. Read on and we’ll look at what precisely makes this such a good strategy.
The Trials of Dieting
While opinions vary on precisely what the best way to lose weight is, there’s near universal agreement that maintaining a calorie deficit will always lead to weight loss. It may be true that some calories never make it to the bloodstream due to things like the ‘thermogenic’ effect but the extent to which this is true is unclear. Either way, if the total number of calories you put into your body is lower than the number you burn, then the energy has to come from somewhere and that means burning fat stores.
The problem? Counting calories is absolutely mind numbing (not to mention largely inaccurate). If you’ve ever tried keeping a diary of everything you eat and including the calories for each item then you’ll know this takes a really long time.
It also isn’t much fun being really strict on yourself like this. And the worst bit – I’ve always found anyway – is being the stick in the mud who can’t enjoy a nice meal out, or who doesn’t want to open the box of chocolates with their other half in the evening. Sometimes you just want to forget about counting calories and be able to relax and have fun, especially when you’re socializing.
But these things are rarely a problem during breakfast and lunch. During work days, most of us will eat breakfast in a hurry while getting ready and then eat lunch from a Tupperware on our own. These are not fun or social meals – they’re functional.
And for the most part, these meals tend to be pretty consistent too. Most of us eat pretty much the same lunch and the same breakfast most days anyway.
So it’s not too much of a stretch to set a precise breakfast and lunch (or maybe a few different options) where you know the exact number of calories.
Perhaps for instance you have two slices of toast for breakfast and a black coffee, then for lunch you have a ham sandwich, an apple and three crackers. Not exciting? Doesn’t matter – you’re probably just going to be rushing them down anyway.
But if you can keep the calories low enough until 5pm and if you can avoid snacking on top of those meals, then you’ll be able to cut lose in the evening and still maintain a calorie deficit.
Making it Work
The average ‘active metabolic rate’ (total number of calories burned in a day) for an adult is around 2,000kcal. So if you can come up with a breakfast and lunch that will only be 6-700 calories total (which is very doable) that will then mean you can eat 1,250 calories for dinner and still be sure that you’re maintaining that calorie deficit.
Most days you should of course aim to eat a healthy and nutritious dinner still (this will help you to stick to your diet by providing you with more energy and preventing cravings) and that way you can treat yourself to a nice dessert and maybe a glass of wine and you’ll still be totalling around 1,700 calories. Even on days when you splash out and eat a pizza though, you’ll likely only be reaching 2,000 total.
If you work out on top of that? Then you’re golden!