#15 – Simple weight loss and diet tips for beginners

Hi I’m Jim From AudioFittest.com , the podcast your listening to now, jimshealthandmuscle.com and most recently YourFitnesssuccess.com.

If you are new to my work, first of all welcome! This podcast along with all of the health, lifestyle information on the websites, fitness books, guides, and audio books over on Amazon and Audible are all based on my formal fitness qualifications and more importantly on my experience of nearly 30 years in this game, training myself and clients.

In most recent years I’ve taken a big interest in the beginner to fitness. There is a lot of information out there about training and diet especially for weight loss or fat loss.

If you are a beginner these days, you would be forgiven for getting funnelled into a certain diet or training method as a result of a google search or you may be at the mercy of the social media algorithms sending you down a certain path.

Sometimes you will connect with these things and that’s great! But Like anything in life, having a solid foundation to build on is very important for long term success. Fitness, weight loss and body transformations are no exception!

So my aim is to give out solid, no gimmick advice that focuses on getting the basics right and doing these basics well. You see, with just a few fundamental basics in place and dialled in, you don’t need complicated diets, training plans and science to get great results.

Of course, the scientific part of body composition change is really helpful to understand and the more that you know about the human body, how it processes the food you give it and how the systems and hormonal processes in the body work, along with the mechanics of muscle function etc the more useful it is.

BUT these things are all a progression from the basics. As you advance in your fitness journey, you can pick up more information and start to put theories that you connect with into practice.

But before you start all of that, you should get the basics right first.

I want to share an extract of my upcoming “Home Workout 4 Beginners” video course with you that talks about just this. More specifically, we talk about the right approach for the beginner to weight loss and diet tips for beginners.

This course is aimed at the beginner to fitness and weight loss who’s goal is for real, visible results. We follow a progressive 6 week training program that has two main elements to it – Cardio and resistance. It’s designed so the beginner can just log in, click the next video and follow along.

During the cardio sessions, I talk about various things that will help further with fitness success. Here is the extract from the week 5 progression

Welcome to week 5 of the cardio upgrade! Really awesome that you have progressed this far and you are ready to take on another upgrade!

This week we have a bit of a step up in progression. There are two upgrades this week –

The first is that we will be doubling our distance travelled. This means that you will complete your set route twice. If it makes it any easier for you, you can plan another alternative route that is double the distance.

I do suggest that you aim for a route that’s 2 miles long but if you have been working with a health reason that restricts your distance and have been working at less than a mile anyway, I would advise that you double the route that you have been working at and confirm this is ok with your health advisors whether this is your doctor or physio.

We will also have more jogging sessions added this week. But lets get going! Go go go! Start walking, now, get going on your home cardio equipment or however you are following along with these sessions.

So now we’ve started, this is what will happen this week. We are already set to complete our circuit or distance travelled twice but as well as that we will be walking at our usual fast paced walk for the first 5 minutes and then we will hit a 30 second jog, followed by a 30 second walk, followed by a 30 second jog and so on until we have completed the original distance travelled.

The second time we complete our circuit we will do so at our steady state fast pace with no jogging.

As per the last few weeks, there will be a series of beeps and onscreen prompts to tell you when its time to jog and walk, so if you are following along, listen for these, if not remember to plan this out with your own timer or timer app.

In this session I want to talk about food and diet. Now this is a MASSIVE subject with a lot of noise, controversial and in many cases, theories and ideas that are totally contradictory.

For example – If you just want to lose weight, tone up and live a healthier life, who do you turn to? Do you go to the staunch Vegan dietician who will only ever eat and promote plant based foods as the best way to go? Or do you go to the paleo carnivore who has earned some really impressive results from this diet from eating in this way?

Or do you turn to intermittent fasting, juice diets or keto? Do you go low fat, high fat, high protein, low carb?

Confused? Well you are not the only one! I’ve been in the fitness game for a long time and diet and nutrition has always been an interesting part of the journey. I’ve learned so much from my experience and other people that Ive followed that goes far beyond what I was taught in my formal fitness qualifications.

When someone I know whether this is someone I have worked with in a non-fitness related environment, a family member or an acquaintance decides that they want to start a weight loss diet (And I suppose I have these conversations more than the average person because they know what I do and it’s a good talking point) they want to try it because they have been inspired by someone elese story or they know someone who has lost a bunch of weight from the X, Y or Z diet and if they can do it, “I want a piece of that!”

This is good for motivation and a great start in getting inspired, ready for the start of their own fitness and weight loss success story, but there is a lot more to consider than  – This person got awesome results from the “Super beach ready, let’s get totally ripped diet” so Im gonna do the same.

Now I’ll cut right to what I have learned when it comes to diet for weight loss, muscle gain and longevity to help clear all of this confusion. As I mentioned before, diet for “visible results” meaning fat loss, muscle building or any body composition change has been a real interest of mine and like most people who share this interest, I have listened to the views of others, other people who are really earning fantastic results.

I have also followed people in their journeys, in some cases, this has spanned over several years. I know of vegan athletes that are showing plant based diets are fuelling their superhuman energy, strength and seemingly eternal youth. These guys will really hate on meat eaters diets, saying that its poisoning their bodies, humans were never meant to eat a meat based diet and so on and so fourth.

And I personally know people that have earned some truly jaw dropping results, not only with fantastic visual body transformations, but have also built great strength, stamina and also seemingly eternal youth that fuel their success on meat products exclusively! These guys say the exact same thing as the Vegan athletes but form another perspective –  “Humans were never meant to eat plant based food, they were designed to eat meat, plant based food is a poison”.

I have also know people that have followed crash or deprivation diets that have earned fantastic results, but in most, if not all of these cases, the results have been temporary.

So all of this information makes it even more confusing right? Why do people with totally opposite views and practices have such different views but similar amazing results? Why do some people only get great results that are temporary?

I am not going to tell you that you should follow any one specific diet idea because there is a lot more to getting fitness and weight loss results than simply putting certain types of food into your body. Instead I am going to suggest an outlook that you can take with regards to diet and nutrition based on the long term success from all camps and give a simple set of rules for you to follow that gives you the chance to improve your knowledge on nutrition, will last a lifetime, will give you a really strong foundation to build on and most importantly give you great body composition change.

  • Lets start with one thing that you can’t argue with – Whole food is better than processed food! Whether this is animal based or plant based. A whole food is a food that has had minimal to zero processing done on it. So fresh fruit, veg, whole un flavoured nuts, fresh cuts of grass fed meat, brown rice and fresh fish are all examples of whole foods.

So simple diet rule number 1 –  whatever style of diet you are following or planning to follow, you should look to eat as many whole foods as you can whether it is plant based or animal based.

  • Portion size and the amount of food that you eat everyday does have a bearing on your results. I have heard contradictory ideas that challenge this, but if you look at it this way its hard to deny – If your body burns 2000 calories per day and you are eating 4000 calories of any food every day, you are likely to put on weight.

Some of this weight could be good weight in the form of lean muscle mass but this will depend on what type of calories you are putting in, are they in the form of processed and refine sugar calories or are they whole foods that are made up of useful calories?

If you ask anyone, even those who have no interest in weight loss, fitness or diet “How would you put on weight if you had to” They would probably tell you that they would eat more.

So it makes sense that if you want to lose weight or change your body composition, you should eat the right amount of food in order to get that result.

This is the argument of  – “Calories in vs calories out”, also know as a calorie deficit to lose weight  (You basically burn more calories than you put in).

An important point to note here is that generally speaking, whole nutritious foods and lean cuts of meat are lower in calories than processed foods so you need to eat a lot more of this type of food to get out of a calorie deficit. As mentioned, these foods and the calories that they give your body are “useful calories” meaning your body can process them better for repair and energy.

So let’s move on to simple diet rule number 2 – if you want to lose weight, you should cut down on your portion sizes. I find that a good way to work with portion size is to take a side plate instead of a full size dinner plate and fill this up each time you eat. Or take away 1/3 of your normal portion size per meal. Have a play with this idea as everyone will be different, but the simple fact is calories in vs calories out for fat loss and the opposite for weight gain.

Although you can totally do this, When you are starting out, I would not recommend that you go all out and start weighing your food at every meal and looking at the amount of calories you are consuming because there is a place for this later. You should first start with portion size and focusing on eating whole foods as per tip number one.

  • So at each meal, remember to control the amount that you eat along with making sure that you are eating useful whole foods. Remember – Be aware of refined sugars – Refined sugar falls into the category of “processed food” but its worth mentioning that its in most processed foods too, not just things like chocolate and cakes but you will find it in savoury foods too like ready meals, sauces, canned foods, breakfast cereal, drinks and the list goes on. Without getting too technical, refined sugar causes the body to spike its insulin and can go a long way in helping the body store fat. So as well as cutting down on all of the obvious refined sugar foods, you should be aware of the hidden sugar in other foods.

So this leads us onto tip number 3 – Cut down or cut out the cakes and chocolate but also look at the ingredients for ready meals, cereals, drinks and ready made, savory seasonings. Just by doing this you will start appreciate how much more beneficial non processed foods are.

  • The last thing I want to talk about is the consideration of your lifestyle. We have touched on this before but it is certainly worth mentioning again. When it comes to nutrition for body transformations, you should always plan for the long term. I think we have established that fitness results are not earned over night and it takes being consistent to get these results and you need to plan for the long term. So when choosing a nutrition path or a diet to follow you should’nt just look at how other people got there, you should also consider how you would fit this into your own lifestyle.

So tip number 4 – Plan for the long term. Choose a diet and nutrition path that you can do for the foreseeable future. For example; If you see the type of body transformation that you want from someone elses story that was based on a  Meat only diet and you want a piece of that, you should not try doing this diet if you hate meat or are a vegetarian, it is probably not the diet or lifestyle choice for you. And the same thing applies with diet methods such as fasting, if your lifestyle does not suit a fasting diet because of your work pattern and such, it will be a lot harder to follow. The truth is, there is more than one way to get a similar or in some cases exactly the same result from different diets and methods, but planning for the long term and staying consistent is always a constant.

So in summary if you start with these simple tips, you will see results.

  • Choose whole foods
  • Be aware of your portion size
  • Cut out refined sugar
  • Plan your diet for the long term and make sure it is sustainable with your lifestyle.

I will finish by saying again that getting the basics right and doing them well is really all you need to get amazing results, the tips already mentioned are a really solid start so if you do nothing else, follow these.

Its very common to overcomplicate things when it comes to diet as there’s a LOT of noise – As a beginner to healthy living, exercise, nutrition and body transformations. Heres an example of an approach that is totally overcomplicating it for a beginner – you could decide to hit the gym making use of a two day split, focusing on compound and isolation exercises that target each muscle group when it comes to resistance with a bigger focus on your weaknesses, whilst also focusing on an interval training based cardio program that utilises your fat burning heart rate zone along with spikes of your vigorous submaximal fat burning heart rate zone, whilst also making use of a fasted diet using thermogenic foods and looking at the glycaemic index table as a guide…

These last few sentences that I just said will sound like a foreign language to most beginners because a lot of that stuff is possible progressions that you could move onto later in your journey.

I’m not saying that using more in-depth methods of training and diet should not be looked into but what I really do advocate for anyone getting into this game whether your goal is to lose body fat and tone up, become a competing bodybuilder, a long distance runner or become a better sports specific athlete is that if you understand the basics and practice the fundamental tips mentioned here, not only in this session but this whole exercise program you will get great, solid results that can be built on and knowledge that can be further honed and tweaked so you do get continued progression far into the future.

So with all of that said, we have come to the end of the session! Take this onboard, it might also help you to make a food diary. To do this all you need is a notepad, digital or pen and paper. Just write down everything that you eat and drink in a single week. This will not only help you to understand if you are going wrong but it will help you to plan and establish a good plan for moving forward.

Anyway! Great job and I’ll see you next time!

Ok, that was the week 5 progression of the home workout for beginners. I hope that you found this useful and if you are interested in this course, please drop me an email and let me know on –

Jim@Jimshealthandmuscle.com

I will be running this at a special launch price for a limited time very soon. Let me know that you are interested and I’ll give you a shout when the offer starts.

Thanks again for listening, I hope it helps and as always I wish you every success in your fitness journey, whatever your goal!

All the best

Jim

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