I spent much of December preaching that if you want to lose body fat you need to create a calorie deficit. Then it occurred to me that’s fine as long as you know how to do that. I’ve pretty much always gone by the school of thought that people know what thy should do it’s just hard to actually do it. I have had lots of conversations recently however which have suggested that actually people are confused. There are so many different fads around, plus products advertised like Skinny Coffee, Fat Loss shots, magic fat busing pills, ideas that you should only eat fruit before 11 or not carbs after 6 that a lot of people are genuinely confused.
So I decided this month I’d cover some ways you can create a calorie deficit. So far I’ve covered Paleo and Intermittent Fasting.
Here’s what I see as the difference between a fad and these systems. A fad requires you do things like cut out food groups completely, eat them in silly combinations, supplement what you eat with products that really just tend to act as a laxative. They are plans that are not sustainable and are likely to cause binges at some point.
Paleo and Intermittent Fasting are simple systems of eating that help you control calories (obviously people have other reasons for doing them and they can have additional benefits on top of calorie control but for my purpose here I’m only thinking in terms of calorie deficits). They have rules, yes, and will not suit everyone, but they don’t require cutting out whole food groups, are safe and, if someone finds they suit their lifestyle, are perfectly sustainable long term. They can also be done part time (as I do Paleo just four days a week) and still help create a calorie deficit.
Esssentially, if you want to create a new lifestyle habit the easiest way to do this is create a system that allows you to implement this habit into your life.
Now so far I have covered quite specific methods. You can however create a calorie deficit with much more simple systems and today I want to cover ‘The Hand Job Diet’.
This method invented and named by a coach I’ve worked with a lot over recent years, Ricky Long. Ricky favours training and eating to live, not being overly restrictive and not being a slave to counting calories and tracking macros when you don’t have to.
He recommends to client’s a simple method of having three meals a day consisting of:
- One handful of protein
- Two handfuls of veg (at least two colours)
- Once a day add in one handful of a big carb such as rice, pasta, bread
- Add in some snacks each day as need
- If you feel hungry you need more food so consider adding in another meal
- If you feel tired you have eaten too much
This allows for no restriction, you could snack on low calorie foods such as fruit but also allow some snacks to be your favourite foods (cake, chocolate, crisps).
You can adjust depending on results – so if you aren’t getting the results you want you may need to be honest about how many snacks you are having and how many calories each one contains.
It could also stop you craving certain foods as no food is off limits, thus reducing the urge to binge.
If your diet is not brilliant at the moment, these small changes will probably create a big difference and easily create a calorie deficit.
If you like food though, such relaxed rules may be hard to follow. I’m the kind of person who needs some structure to my daily meals or I could just eat constantly for 8 hours each day, so again this won’t work for everyone but it is a way of creating a calorie deficit with minimal thinking or rules to follow.
I’ll repeat, the fundamental characteristic of all fat loss methods is creating a calorie deficit. The Hand Job Diet is another way to manage portion control thus help keep you within a calorie deficit (without actually counting calories).
I have to credit Ricky Long on this method – if you like the idea and want to have a look into some of his other fitness and nutrition advice check him out on instagram @Rickylong42, Facebook (Ricky Long) or at his website here