This is a "no deprivation" plan because it includes all the treats that make my meals enjoyable - bread, berries, chocolate and wine, which makes it very sustainable over a long period of time. This is NOT for Paleo purists.
I use dairy products and I have wine and chocolate every day. I don't believe that getting in shape has to be a negative experience. By being careful I manage to enjoy a very liberal menu and have still lost 2 to 3 lbs every week for the last couple of months.
I'm sure that as I get closer to my goal I will need to cut down a bit more, but because I have started out with a very liberal menu, I will be able to do this easily without totally depriving myself of the foods I enjoy.
The key for me is in getting most of my protein from seafood and also from a protein shake so I can afford to have these little splurges, still eat a well balanced diet, and keep my calorie count and carbohydrate count low enough that I lose weight.
I'm not saying this will work for everyone because everyone is different, but it does work for me and possibly could also work for some of you as well, which is why I am sharing it today. Since these next two weeks I am giving you seafood menu plans, I think this is the right time to give you an example of how I make this work.
I base my diet plan on Mark's post here . He does stress that everyone's protein requirements are different and that you should work with your doctor to decide what is right for you. The example he uses is for a 155 lb moderately active woman who is trying to lose weight, and since that more or less fits my situation, that is what I am using as a guide as well.
His recommendations are that she get between 60 to 110 grams of protein, under 80 grams of carbs, and 100 grams of fat per day which will keep her calorie count between 1400 and 2200 per day. If she keeps to these numbers he says "her body composition will shift to lower body fat and more desirable lean mass."
If she does some moderate exercise - which he defines as "some walking, a few brief intense weight sessions and a sprint day " then that process "would accelerate greatly." I like the "accelerate greatly" part so I make sure I add the exercise component as well as keep my counts within his recommended range.
I try to keep my calories as low as possible, since this has been proven to be a good anti-aging strategy as well as a weightloss one. And because I practice IF (Intermittent Fasting) several times a week as Mark recommends (see his post here ) my calories do end up to be quite low, even though I get more than enough food as I will be showing you.
I add various dinners during the week, but I eat the same breakfast, lunch and snack each day. This makes it a lot easier for me and since my dinners give me a lot of variety I don't feel restricted at all.
Today I want to give you an example of the other meals I eat during the day and how the nutritional counts add up.
I use www.sparkpeople.com to calculate my values. I love this site. You can not only input all your food and exercise, but you also have a lot of leeway for adapting to your own specific requirements. I input the ingredients for my recipes to get the nutritional information per serving. You can also set your daily goals for various nutrients which I have set according to Mark's recommendations above. And the best thing of all is that it is completely free. Yes, you have to deal with the advertising, but I think it's a small price to pay for all the benefits.
So here is a basic plan I might follow during the week :
I like to start my morning with a cup of coffee and cream. I am usually not hungry until a few hours later when I take a break from working and make myself my big breakfast. I work from home and I am an early riser so my first cup of coffee is about 6 am and my breakfast is usually around 10 am.
I have a boiled egg with a slice of Paleo bread toast, butter, and some no-sugar jam and another cup of coffee. I don't always put jam on my toast, preferring to dip it into egg yolk as above, but it's nice know that I could have it if I wanted it.
If you work in an office you could start your day with a cup of coffee and a hard boiled egg, then take your bread and jam to have with coffee for your morning break. Munching on your Paleo toast you won't feel deprived when you see the others eating donuts and danishes, and you can be sure that the nutrition from the nuts in the bread will carry you a lot further than the sugar fix your co-workers are having.
For lunch I usually have the same salad every day because it's my favourite - a big bowl of mixed salad greens, 4 slices of chopped cooked bacon, one chopped hard-boiled egg, a chopped small tomato, and some orange vinaigrette (fresh orange juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper). The bacon gives crunch and the orange goes very well with this salad, and it keeps me full for ages.
Since I get up so early, by 3 or 4 pm I start feeling a bit tired but I usually work a 10 or 12 hour day, so to keep myself going I have a protein shake while I work. When I'm focusing on weight loss I have a raspberry shake because I think it gives me the most bang for my buck. I only need a quarter of a cup of raspberries because they have lots of flavour so I can still have a little fruit and stay on my plan. Adding a tablespoon of cream makes it rich and delicious, and adding crushed ice makes it thick and cold and very refreshing on a hot day.
If you work in an office you can make this shake ahead of time and take it in a thermos. I'd make it with less water and then add some extra ice cubes. By the time you're ready to drink it they will have melted and you will be left with a refreshing ice cold drink.
this leaves me for Dinner : 770-990 calories 40-50 g carbs 20-30g fat 40-60 protein
for a total of : 1700-1900 calories 70-80 g carbs 90-100 g fat 90-110 g protein
You will notice that the fat and protein are pretty equal. Once you reach your ideal weight then Mark suggests you can add more fat to make up for the fat that your body is taking from your fat stores.
This gives me a good range for my evening meal and I don't find it a problem to fit my recipes into this plan, as I will show you in the next couple of days.
During the day, when I am thirsty or want a warm drink I will have Perrier with some lemon or lime, herbal tea, or green tea. Tea of all kinds is calorie-free (as long as you don't add anything to it) as well as being very good for you, as I have written in my post here, so stocking your cupboard with a good variety and making it part of your daily diet is not just good for your weight but also for your health.
In part 2 I will get into the specifics of how my menu plan fits into my weightloss plan.
"Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food." - Hippocrates