The eat whatever you want diet

One of my daughters has a problem with routine.

Routine is tedious. It drags on. It’s boring. You get the idea.

She’s actually good with diets. BUT only so long as they’re not tedious, routine, boring, …. You know where this is going.

She does best with crash diets – well, responsible crash diets. The sort where she can put up with almost anything to lose the (maximum allowed) weight in the shortest period of time. She can stick to anything so long as she doesn’t have to stick to it for long. (The principle has been applied to lots of things in the past and I am truly amazed at the level she performs at, and the results she manages to achieve.)

My approach was at the opposite end. It’d be best described as “slow and steady wins the race.” It does. It did.

Clearly both paths lead to the same destination but perhaps there is some common ground in the middle that most people could follow instead. We’re calling it the “eat whatever you want diet” for something to call it.

The idea is pretty simple. You don’t want to embark on some drastic life-altering change that you can’t keep up. It has to be something that you can do, ideally something pretty close to what you’re doing now. You can do what you’re doing now. This isn’t something you have to slug out for a set number of rounds and then win, or lose.

You don’t have to eat the same thing every day or each week for what seems like forever. You don’t have to drastically reduce your food levels or exercise for 28 hours each day; “just for a little while”.

Think of it as the middle ground. You put yourself out a little but just a little and preferably too little to notice. You don’t have restrictions on what you eat (well, a little but not much). It doesn’t even “take a long time” mainly because you’re not doing anything to even count the time.

It only takes a small lifestyle change. If you don’t change something then you’re not going to change. Things will stay the same. It’s really simple and it isn’t hard to do.

It’s this: “A normal person requires 8700 KJ [2000 calories] per day. It you want to be a normal person with a normal size body and a normal weight, you just need to eat what a normal person does.”

Some will argue about medical conditions and activity levels and all sorts of things. That’s fine. I accept that there are situations where the maths really doesn’t hold true. I’m not arguing with those views.

I also know that you’re normal. I was too. I still am. The point is simply that “the government” or “nutritionists” or whoever have a figure for a “normal” calorie intake. It’s probably less that what most people eat. Of course most people are overweight too.

The idea is simply to use their figure as a starting point. Try to eat what they say a normal person eats and see if you don’t become normal. I did. My BMI came down.

My daughter would exercise like crazy and eat unbelievable combinations of things. Those things work. You burn an incredible number of calories and, despite the quantity of what you eat, you consume the bare minimum of calories. It mightn’t be what normal people would eat. It probably isn’t even as many calories as normal people would eat. It does work – but it rarely lasts because normal people can’t fit that much exercise into a normal day and can’t live on that little food every normal day. Aside from it becoming boring, tedious, and so on.

What do normal people eat?

Pretty much anything. What’s surprising is it is pretty much anything. We’re used to diets with specific foods at specific times under specific circumstances. It has to be all totally right. You mustn’t eat that or that. No such-and-such except on Tuesdays and so on. It isn’t like that for a “government endorsed”, “nutritionist approved” “normal” person. They can eat anything. They do. You’ve seen them.

So how do you lose weight by eating whatever you want? It hasn’t worked for us in the past. Why would it now?

There’s one tiny change. Just one. You have to eat as much as a “normal” person would, and no more. Look, it can be anything you like. Any combination you like. It you really feel like something, then have that. Just keep it within the daily limit. How much? 8700 KJ [2000 calories] each day. It’s on the labels or, for raw ingredients, on websites (eg see Tools on this site).

It isn’t really a diet. You’re more asking the question, “what will I have for dinner?” than dieting. However, as always, if you feel unwell during the “diet,” consult a doctor. Perhaps you’ll have eaten too much of something you like, not enough of something you don’t, or perhaps you’re allergic to something you didn’t know about.

I tend to work on about 2000KJ [500 calories] per breakfast, lunch and dinner. That leaves a bit over for snacks, morning tea, coffee and such. It’s simple. Don’t blow the days food on snacks between meals. You can snack on anything you like – just be aware of how much you can have of that before cutting into what you were going to have for dinner.

Picture by meaduva. CC-ND

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