Live Free and Diet HARD – How to create your own Diet Mission Statement and develop a tailored meal plan that’s right for you…
Thomas Gabriel (Who???)
As part of a tribute to those who have inspired me to change my own body shape over the years, I am bringing you a series of posts based on my own knowledge and experience on the subject
They cover the tips and techniques that I have adopted in making that change in my own life and may help you make that change in yours too.
The first series will concentrate on food since this is 85% of the issue. I will come back to resistance training at another point in time, perhaps when I’m more knowledgeable in the subject.
So I’ve broken down this food series into five separate articles,
- The Simple Science to weight loss
- The reasons why you’re not losing weight and understanding the key issues in tackling weight loss
- The basics of today’s most popular meal plans
- How to create your own diet mission statement and develop a tailored meal plan that’s right for you
- My own personal experience, tips and views on weight loss..
Each themed by a different Die Hard movie. As you may have guessed, I’ve appropriately named the entire series
Some of it is informative
Some of it is entertaining
Some of it is motivating
I hope the majority of it is reassuring and may just help a few of you (or people you know) with your personal struggles with becoming healthier version of yourselves.
Most of all, I hope you enjoy,
Here is part 4 below.
Which meal plan is the best for weight loss?
So in my last post, I talked about the ins and outs of various meal plans available, to give you some insight, into what might fit suit you best.
I’m sure many of you would have just found this a tease and most will simply want to know which one is the best.
Here is a beautiful thing people won’t tell ya.
All proper weight loss meal plans have the ability to yield the same result
So no one’s plan is better than the other. Anyone that tells you otherwise is lying to you in order to sell you something.
They can all
- Help you achieve a caloric deficit so you end up using your glycogen reserves and start burning fat at a steady rate
- Be set up specifically based on your calorie intake and macronutrient requirements
- Be set up for your specific dietary restrictions if you so have any.
So if all them are capable of achieving the same results, why should I advocate one over another?
In theory if you had a bunch of identical people all following a different meal plan set up to create the same deficit, they should all see the same amount of weight loss over a a given period of time.
However, depending on their personalities and lifestyles, the people may not all feel the same way about the journey, especially if their plans don’t match them.
This is one of the reasons people will fall off the wagon because someone will claim their way is so000 much better than the others and when attempted, you find the endorser would be half right, it’s so much better for them but it might not be for you.
The super super key most important factor here is you and how this fits you as an individual. That will always be the key driver in determining which one is the best at getting the results you want.
So I’m not going to preach one method over the other like a lot of people on the internet do. It makes no difference to me or anyone else what decision you take, as long as it gets you to where you need to be in a safe manner.
I will though provide a modular approach and allow you to make an informed choice yourselves.
How do I create a tailor made meal plan?
So in this section, I’m going to teach you how to create your own tailored meal plan based on the current trends out there at the moment.
So if you’ve been reading through the series, you now should be able to calculate the following. You will need them all available for the next section.
- Your maintenance calorie levels
- Your macronutrient breakdown
- Your current bodyfat percentage value
- Your goal body fat percentage
- The difference in value
- A calculated approximate amount of fat in lbs you wish to lose
- Your desired daily calorific deficit
- Your estimated timescale in weeks of how long it will take you to achieve your desired weight loss based off your calorific deficit.
If you are missing any of these, go back and read this to help get all the relevant information together.
For me personally, I think it’s best to look at weight loss on a weekly basis. It’s a long enough time frame to see results, yet small enough to not lose sleep over, if it you don’t.
So, all my time frames cover a weekly cycle, that you just keep repeating, until you find your weight plateaus (for say two weeks straight).
When this happens, recalculate all the information above and a create a new deficit. Continue until you plateau again, and so on and so forth until you reach your goal.
When you plateau at your goal, you will then know exactly what you need to do in order to maintain that frame. You just keeping using those figures and bam, your life long body transformation begins right there.
Now on with the actual plan
Here comes the important Science bit
So I’ve been trying to decide for a while what would be the best way to share this information. SO I’ve come up with this.
I’ve decided to break the meal plan down to five sets of selections.
You simply start at the top and pick an option from each of the five parts to create your unique meal plan going forward. It’s just like a set menu at a restaurant, you can have any of the options of the starter, main and desert in order to fit your own preferences.
SO here they are below
1. You first have your Weight loss strategy
This where you decide, how you are going to create that desired deficit, in your weekly cycle.
This probably one of the most important of the five choices you’ll make so take your time to research them thoroughly.
Here you have options like
- Getting a structured meal plan from a coach
- A consistent daily deficit
- Carb Cycling (varied daily deficit)
- Periodic daily fasting
- Adopting a food point system
- Portion manipulation by eye
- Consistent weekly deficit with a cheat meal surplus at weekend
- Paleo diet (is this the same as the one below)
- Ketogenic diet
- Low or no carb diets
- Excessive training
2. Then you have your Daily meal frequencies
This is where you decide for each day, how many meals you will need to eat, in order to meet your calorie and macronutrient requirements for that day.
So for meal frequencies, you have options like the ones below, but it’s really infinite
- Provided in a coach’s structure plan
- 3 square meals
- 1-2 larger meals
- 6-12 smaller meals
- As many as you deem necessary
3. Then you have your Daily meal times
This is when you decide for each day, when in that 24 hour period, you are going to consume those meals
So for meal times, you have options like the ones below but again, it’s really infinite.
- Provided in a coach’s structured plan
- Typical breakfast, lunch, dinner set up
- Intermittent fasting eating window
- Equally spaced out meals throughout day
- Varied meals times depending on your life/training/commitment schedule
- Whenever you deem necessary
4. Then you have your Daily Macronutrient and Calorie distribution
This is where you decide, for each meal during the day, how you are going to breakdown your daily required macronutrients.
So again you have plenty of options, like the one below
- Provided in a coach’s structured plan
- Equally distributed in each meal
- Protein heavy breakfast, carb heavy lunch, moderate dinner
- Protein and starchy Carbs separate for each meal
- However you desire
5. Then you have your Food choice options
You then have the wonderful choice, of finding recipes you like, that cater to each meal in your day.
This is based on your macronutrient and calorific requirement you set up in Step 5.
This alongside the first option is probably going to be one of the most important set of choices you make in your plan.
Below you have the option to treat each meal in the light of the following
- Provided by a coach’s structured plan
- Clean meal
- Dirty meal
- Cheat meal
- Eating In
- Eating out
- Balanced ‘normal’ looking diet
- If it fits your macros (IIFYM)
- Meal replacement shakes
- Whatever you decide
and there you have it..It’s that simple
Mix and Match
Some options will naturally link up with one another, but that doesn’t mean all combinations are not possible, they just might be a little less practical.
Still, one of the odd ones may jump out, at some unorthodox folk and finally be what clicks for them.
Remember, these choices are mostly going to have a psychological affect on you, sometimes a mental boost, at other times they can get you down. So it’s important to be honest with yourself, and pick those which work to your strengths, and compliment your weaknesses.
I can’t stress enough the importance of matching it to you, especially your needs (rather than your wants). I know alot of people may love to be able to eat whatever, whenever, and still lose weight, but the reality is most need ‘some’ form of structure, at least in the beginning, to avoid temptation.
Just start having a play around with them and see what happens.
Have it your way
You may find some initial difficulty when first choosing your meal plan, and this usually comes down to finding one that suits your personality and lifestyle.
Let’s face it, alot of us are horrible at making choices, we shop for hours before eventually going back into the first shop we went into, only to return the item the next weekend.
In the same light , alot of people may end up choosing something based on what they expect a diet to feel like, which is odd, considering that’s the exact reason they end up ditching it.
I would say be honest with yourself and find a balance between what you want and what you need.
- If you just want to get on with it and are willing to give credit to a specific scheme, buy a structured approach
- If you need to take control, take all the credit, take an IIFYM type approach
- If need to complete your diet in a short period of time, take a restrictive approach
- If you want to maintain your weight indefinitely, take a visual portion control type approach
Most people should sit somewhere in the middle of all of these and it’s important to understand that it is perfectly acceptable to switch and match between methods.
Again, nothing wrong with being regimented during the week and taking an IIFYM throughout the weekend. OR if you are normally a meal replacement shake person but are going on holiday and are worried about gaining weight, go low carbs for the duration of your time away.
What method you do choose also depends on you and your relationship with food and exercise
- If you can’t trust yourself to self monitor every meal and stick to it, don’t do it
- If you don’t want to run 6 miles every night for the rest of your days, don’t do it
- If you can’t deal with the long periods of time without food with intermittent fasting, don’t do it.
- If you can’t be bothered to cook and package 50 odd meals a week into tiny tuppawear containers, then don’t do it.
- If you don’t want to eat normally for six days a week and fast for a single day, then don’t do it.
They key here is being true to yourself while also being true to your goals. Weight manipulation shouldn’t feel like a life sentence.
Once you achieve the following
- Have Control of all of the variables,
- Acknowledge the realistic time it will take,
- Are Happy being patient,
- Remain Consistent
then it’s a relatively painless exercise to get through.
But know this, you will have to do something. The weight isn’t going to get itself off so you will have to make some changes to your life and if that means adopting the lesser of a bunch of evils, then so be it. Just make sure it’s your choice and it’s an informed one.
Create your own Diet Mission Statement
When I was younger, I was told by a career adviser that the very best thing I could do before applying for any job was to write out a short mission statement for myself. Just a couple of hundred words that would clarify what I am and what I want in the foreseeable future
They said once I understood that, it would make searching for jobs that bit easier as I would be driven to find a job that matched my goals.
They were right.
I believe the same is plausible here. I think it’s important once you’ve decided on diet strategy, you need to put it down somewhere as some form of mission statement. Somewhere you can regularly see it and embody it.
- Screen saver at work
- Daily reminder on your phone
- Facebook status
- On your fridge door
- Next to a mirror
- Leave it on the seat of the car and read it every morning
- Opposite the toilet so you can read it during your daily poop.
Again, what ever works best for you.
While writing a mission statement for your goals is relatively easy (see below)..
I wanna reduce my body fat percentage from 40 percent to 17% percent,
I will lose approximately 170 lbs of weight in roughly 45 weeks weeks
I will maintain a weekly calorific deficit of 7,000 calories
Meal plan orientated ones can be more difficult and are arguably more important.
A mission statement for a goal is great but one for the structure, to get you there, is far far more likely to get you to your finish line.
Examples of Mission Statements for Diet Plans
So here are three meal plan mission statements, based around three hypothetical people I’ve created off the cuff.
They should also give you an indication of how you should go through your five stage selection process.
Here’s the first one
I’m going to periodically fast for 1 day a week to create my weekly deficit of 2200 calories.
For the rest of the week I will eat 6 meals a day at maintenance calories, every three hours with 3 high carb meals and 3 low carb meals rotated through one another.
All other macros will be equally distributed.
I will use meal replacement shakes for the low carb meals and eat normally for the others.
I’ll prepare all my meals at home the night before and take one cooked meal and my shakes into work with me.
oooh, this is fun. Numero Dos
I’m going to carb cycle for the whole week to create my deficit of 10,000 calories.
I’m going to eat 3 square meals a day at the usual breakfast, lunch and dinner intervals.
I’m going to consume 40% of my protein and fats for breakfast and lunch and the remaining 20% for my dinner.
I will have all my daily carb allowance for lunch.
I will eat clean for all my weekly meals except on my high carb day for lunch, I will eat dirty.
I’ll prepare most of my weekly meals in advance on the weekends
This is like being Dr Frankenstein and creating life. Finally…
I’m going to create a consistent calorie deficit of 600 calories through the week for six days and maintain for one day.
I’m going to eat 2 meals a day and I’m going to use an intermittent fasting approach with a 8 hour eating window between 11am and 7pm.
I’ll split out the macronutrients as required because one meal will be a Dirty meal and the other will be a IIFYM style meal in order to make sure I hit my daily numbers.
I’ll eat out for all my dirty meals but to compensate for it, I’ll keep macro rich foods around for me IIFYM meals.
I will also have a cheat type meal on my maintenance day but plan to exercise excessively on the same day in order to compensate for this.
The cheat meal is going to be home made and the portion size controlled by eye to make sure I don’t over do it.
A few things here
Firstly, do you see how easy it is to work through the tailored meal plan to create something that is truly unique to you and fits around you?
The examples clearly indicate people from different walks of life, and how unique their missions statements need to be, in order to work for them.
In alot of cases, these wouldn’t work for anyone else and it’s that laser focus attention to detail that makes it so powerful.
Bespoke tailoring also allows far more versatility than pretty much anything a coach or diet group will provide you. This is because honestly, they just don’t have the time to treat you like an individual, and may leave you with something generic. This will have a 35% success rate, which is fine if you happen to be that lucky 35% but why take the risk?
Also, I would always say don’t fully restrict yourself unless you want to. Otherwise you are preparing for failure and disappointment. Build something you can work with and try to get it right first time. A 100% tailored success rate is surely better than a 35% generic one non?
Lastly, even though these aren’t real people, and the options were picked from random, I got emotionally pumped up to try some of these, while I was writing them out. If that’s how I feel about putting an imaginary one together, Imagine how you will feel building one of your own and solidifying it in writing.
This is far better than going,
‘Tomorrow, I’m going to start a diet…hmmmm…. actually better make it Monday’
which leaves you with so much room for failure
So there you have it
That should be everything you need to know about losing fat in a structured manner.
I hope it helps you on the first step on your body transformation journey. It certainly would have helped me when I started mine.
Got any tips to help me on my way?
And with that, this is another perfect opportunity to close this post out and I’ll share tips that I have come across in my own personal experience that may help you with yours in this one right here
Thanks for reading, let me know what you think… and remember..