I know, I know – I’ve kept you guys waiting on this one. But finally – I’ve finished the meal plan. Finally. It’s been a labour of love, but one that I hope you guys will find really helpful in getting healthy and happy – so I really hope you like it!
It’s designed to be used alongside the exercise programme that you can download here. The idea is that if you’re following the programme three or four times a week, this meal plan should help you to lose fat and build muscle – without feeling hungry or deprived.
It’s essential, though, to bear a few things in mind.
Firstly, as I’ve said time and time again – we’re not dieting here. If you’re expecting to lose 10lbs a week – like you might on, say, a low-carb diet, or some other crazy-ass fad – then you’ll be very disappointed indeed. It’s just not possible to lose that amount of weight and keep it off, unless you’re okay with the idea of still eating cabbage soup (or whatever your method is) twenty years from now.
Instead, we’re working on a lifestyle change.
You’ll notice that most of the food here is relatively unprocessed, and there’s a lot of cooking to be done. That’s not to say that there aren’t bits here and there that are processed – the sauces, for instance, are often shop-bought, but if you’re a hardcore ‘clean eater’ then you’ll probably want to substitute these for ones you’ve made yourself, or just leave them out completely.
However, we’re following the 80/20 rule here – so a good 80% of the food you’ll be eating is fresh and natural. But that’s not to say it isn’t delicious. We’ve got burgers, we’ve got a roast dinner, we’ve even got Chinese food – but the difference is in the way you cook them.
Not only that, in fact – but the fact that you are cooking, rather than buying it ready-made, will help you to burn calories by increasing our old friend NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). Increase that, and your body will be more efficient at burning calories all day long – meaning that we’re on to a winner on the weight loss front.
The thing is – and I swear to God this is true – the more you cook your own food, the more you’ll realise just what it is that you like to eat. For instance, a lot of processed food is either really sweet, or really salty… And that’s about it. After a little while, you’ll come to find yourself able to identify different herbs, spices and tastes that you like – and soon enough, you’ll be coming up with recipes of your own.
Recipes which, incidentally, I would love you to send me. Go on. Feel free.
This whole programme is about putting you back in control of your eating. It’s about understanding what you like, what you don’t, and, frankly, what’s got you here in the first place. We’ve all got different reasons for wanting to lose weight – but if you don’t know why you’ve gained it, you’ll find it considerably more difficult to lose.
That’s why each day, alongside the food I’m suggesting you chow down on, you’ll find something to think about. Something that should hopefully help you to identify why your relationship with food is what it is – as well as giving you something to contemplate during that long cardio workout you’ll be doing!
I can’t stress this enough – we’re looking at a long-term change here, because this whole programme is founded on the idea of a holistic approach to your health. Exercise is one part, and food is another – but it’s important to give yourself the opportunity to look at your whole life in every aspect, so that you can take control of it.
Now, you might notice a few of these recipes specify gluten-free ingredients – but if you don’t have a gluten intolerance, that’s not a requirement. That’s just because I’m coeliac – so I thought it’d be worth taking into account for anyone else who might be. In other words, if you can eat gluten, don’t feel like you shouldn’t because of the notes in this plan.
Also, the recipes for most of the meals will be uploaded on to the site over the next couple of days – so look out for posts that I’ve tagged as ‘Meal Plan‘ for cooking instructions!
So… Here it is. Click here to download your copy – and please, please let me know what you think!