Diet, and why you’re finding it so hard
The word diet is one that is misunderstood a lot of the time. It should be in reference to what you eat but unfortunately it’s more synonymous these days with cutting your food intake back or restricting your food to a list of what you can choose from and hence has become negative.
In general, diets are bad in so far that they are short term, whether it be 21 days, 30 days or even 3 months. If you can't see yourself sticking to it past this amount of time then it's probably unsustainable. If you look at a 'diet' sheet and the first thing you think is, 'how long have I to do this for?' then it's not going to work.
I'm not a fan of diet sheets, I much prefer to educate people on healthy eating and allowing yourself little treats as this is much more doable. It will take you a bit longer to get to the weight/body-type that you want to be but you've a much better chance in staying there once you've reached it. Are you someone who religiously has a 12" triple cheese pizza every Friday in front of the TV? Would you rather I took this pleasure away from you totally or told you that you could have a 9" pizza with chicken and drop the triple cheese instead? Not so difficult now is it! You've cut back, without realising, about 950 calories. If you have 3 potatoes with your dinner every day, why not drop to 1 potato and put some more veg on instead? That's extra fiber in your diet (which the average person is ridiculously low in) and a reduction of about 140 calories in starchy, hard to digest carbs. Now you’re healthy eating!
Go for real foods over refined.
Say yes to:
Good oils and fats
hormone free meat
Low GI fruits
Nuts and seeds
Predominately say no to:
Dairy (can be difficult to digest)
Hydrogenated and processed fats (sunflower, canola)
Partially hydrogenated oils (margarine, alternative 'butter' spreads)
Refined and artificial sugars
These real foods will give you, among other benefits, clearer skin and healthier hair, nails and teeth. Fat loss and improved muscle tone, improved digestion, increased energy, reduced inflammation, reduced risk of illness and diseases and stabilised blood sugar.
Eating the bad stuff will lead to hormonal imbalance, heart related diseases and diabetes, anxiety, depression, weight and fat gain, most of the reasons that you join the gym in the first place!
So stop starving yourself, stop counting calories, engage in portion control, eat the real stuff and reap the benefits!