Having a balanced diet (and when I say diet, I just mean, what you eat) came harder than I expected. Balance to me was not eating all day and then stuffing my face with cheese and burgers and chocolate and cake and crisps and... then, having some Special K the next day and detoxing by eating hummus and pita. Whenever I wanted to lose weight (which was always) I would eat about 1200 calories daily, and never really notice a difference. I have flucturated by about a stone over the last ten years. I go up I go down. Every six months. I never had consistency and my metabolic rate had no clue what to do with itself.
And then, I started working in a gym. 'What? Porridge isn't an ideal breakfast every day when I am being healthy?' 'Whaaaaaaaat? Cardio isn't the bee all and end all?' 'Shut the front door! I can eat butter and not get fat?'
I will delve into exactly what I eat and how I train in other posts, but the first, the most useful thing anyone told me were these simple rules.
1. Drink a shit load of water. Three litres at least. (This is the hardest thing for me)
2. Cut out fizzy drinks.
3. Eat 5-8 small meals a day every few hours.
4. Eat a palmful of protein with every meal.
5. Do not cut any food groups out. Eat carbs? YES!
6. Avoid the processed ones like cake, pasta, bread.
7. If you do eat the more processed carbs (earn them) and eat them right before or after a work out.
8. Eat healthy fats. (avocado, coconut oil, nuts)
9. Treat yourself. 80%/20% is the biggest rule I follow.
10. Be nice to you body. Nourish it. Care for it. Eat well, balanced, not to be skinny but because you deserve to treat it well.