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The Offline ‘Diet’

At one point or another you’ve probably wondered why we still haven’t found THE diet to follow. Why hasn’t someone come up with something so all encompassing and bullet proof that everyone would hit their goals with it and that creator would be filthy rich. Well you already know the answer don’t you? Everyone is different. Just as training needs specificity, so does your nutrition. I don’t really want to call this a diet, but it’s already so stuck in our culture I might as well keep it that way since it’ll help people find this. Maybe I’ll call it anything else such as a “lifestyle” or “choice”, but I’m sure those are already overused as well.

The idea is nothing new, just another way to look at the plan. All endeavors are best approached with Principles over Methods and the principle I follow is trial and error. This is the most boring, time consuming, safe, and effective approach when it comes to nutrition. The methods that can stem from this are those such as: paleo, atkins, keto, etc, etc. I really don’t know much about the aforementioned diets other than that they work for some and not others. If you are committed to your health you might have already given those a shot. Notice I say committed, not interested. Too many of us are interested in everything and do nothing. So this article is for those who are self sufficient, who don’t need constant encouragement or motivation, they just need a plan, and they will execute without distractions. Questions are welcome as this will be a work in progress, but as I said, the principles are there enough that you can tweak as needed to suit you.

This approach is primarily focused on health, fat loss, and muscle growth, in that order. Typically if you aim for health first, the weight loss will result because we are naturally lean when healthy. You can modify the method to work for weight gain as well, just make sure you’re still feeling and being healthy while eating more. As usual, please consult your physician if necessary before beginning any diet and/or exercise program.

Preliminary Checklist:

You will need to log the following for a week before you even begin this program because you are going to have a starting point, and then slowly modify each factor until the results you want occur.

Body weight: ___________
Body fat% (calipers or machines, anything to measure change): __________
Inches in all areas of concern: ___________
Weekly hours of sleep: _______________
Number of times you poop a day: ______________
Water consumed per day (use a 16.9 oz bottle as your reference): _________________
Fruits eaten per day: ____________
Snacks per day: ____________
Meals per day: ______________
– Fists of protein per meal: ___________
– Fists of carbs per meal: __________
– Fists of veggies per meal: ___________
Cheat Meals/ Going out per week: ____________
Alcohol at home: ______________
Hours spent exercising per week (Anything more intense than walking): ____________

Once you have logged these numbers we can begin.

Things to note: You will need to measure food in your own way. I suggest the bottle for water and fists for food because that’s an easy way to eyeball things. If you prefer weighing or have your own method of measuring, do so. The most important part of this program is that you are honest and you keep track of your amount EXACTLY. This is best done through pictures with your fist near the food food reference. Assuming I didn’t force you to come read this, if you have read up to here, and think “Ah I see where this is going, I get the point” then close this page now. The POINT is for you to DO it, not confirm whatever knowledge you already have. The reason people fail or stay mediocre is because they think they know it all so they do little to nothing. Remember: “Knowledge without Action is useless, Action without Knowledge is dangerous”

Part One: Picking something to change

Here are factors you can control:
Protein/Fat: Fish, Chicken, Pork, Beef, Vegan options, etc

Carbs: Rice, Potato, Corn, Bread, etc

Fiber/Veggies: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Spinach, Kale, Beets, Asparagus, Brussel Sprouts, Choy, etc. I would suggest against lettuce, tomato, and cabbage as primary fiber choices, use them as filler, but not your primary source because they’re really just water, plus they are the products most often contaminated by things such as E coli and Salmonella.

Water:
Sleep:
Snacks/Fruits:
Exercise:
Cheats:

The factors are going to be the hard part to measure so think carefully of how you want to do it. You need to know exactly how much you had last week so that you can maintain it while changing something else. It could be doing the EXACT same thing as last week but just adding 1 more bottle of water each day to see if there is a good change. Yes, you’re beginning to see how tedious this can get, but the results are pretty much guaranteed if you silence the bitching and welcome the journey.

Here are health indicators you need to measure:
Pooping at least once a day:
Cravings:
Hunger:
Energy Level:
Bloating:
Moody:
Facial breakouts:
Acidity:

You can measure these in a binary fashion as in yes or no, high or low. But just put a 1 for a good result and 0 for a bad result. So if there are 6 indicators, your ideal score is to keep it at 6. If it drops each week, try to gain it back by adjusting one of the factors.

Part Two: Get started

That’s pretty much it. Now I’m going to use a quick flowchart summary for the visual people.

OFD3

Part Three: Did you actually get started?

See how far you’ve gone, give yourself feedback. Keep track and look back to see what changes are occurring. Remember to use a measuring tape because the inches usually come before the pounds. You’ll notice that I don’t mention anything about calories or micronutrients. I’m sure you’re already aware of these factors. The health indicators will usually tell you whether you are getting enough of each. This approach is designed to be flexible. I don’t care what you eat, because ultimately you will have to lean towards better choices once the results aren’t happening, and that’s the beauty of it. You take as much time as you want until you reach your goals. Even if I were to give people exact steps, they tend to either never get through them, or modify it themselves anyway. Some people will be able to make changes immediately and others may take months and years. Everyone should eventually arrive in the same spot and figure out how to still enjoy life while keeping healthy.

Protips:
Veggies veggies veggies!
Avoid/Reduce Flour (bread, chocolate, cookies, crackers, pastries)
Sleep more
Water, water, and water
Eat to get through your day, do not try to feel full.
Did I mention veggies?

Part Four: Results expected

If i was able to stay with a client all day and monitor their intake/habits it would be super easy to make progress because I wouldn’t let them screw up ever – I would also be broke if it isn’t some rich celeb. But the reason I say that is because I did that for my mother and here are her results:

Mom Weight Loss

This is about 3.5 months of just dieting, no exercise. She went from 164 to 149 lbs and she’s about 5′ 2″ @ 57 years of age. She’s still a bit tubby of course, but that’s where exercise can come in and being even stricter with her diet. My mother is a social butterfly who went through 10+ years of Adult/Night school in order to become a preschool teacher as an immigrant all while raising me and my brother. So she’s one of the few in her generation who’s pretty decent in English.

I don’t say this to show off, I say this to mean she gets visited by people left and right for help on taxes, bills, and anything English related, AND THAT MEANS THEY TAKE HER OUT AND FEED HER JUNK FOOD all the time. So I had to really hammer down on her habits to show her just how much crap she was eating. She gave up heavy snacking on cookies, crackers, bread, and cut down on her rice/noodle intake while eating a ton of veggies both from American/Chinese sources with mostly chicken, pork, or beef. First was getting her aware of how much she was eating, and then showing her how she could survive on less, MUCH less. She fought me hard for a month, telling me I’m depriving her of a good life. But soon the results followed. Month two she saw even more results and the cravings started to die down. By month three she already knew the drill and could eyeball her food portions and keep in mind how much she had snacked for the day. This was taken over a year ago and she’s still more or less maintaining this. Can she do even better? Yes, but she wants to continue enjoying her life. She’s back to eating some junk, but much less of it. She’s almost 60 so we’re happy with the results she’s gotten AND kept.

So I encourage you to give it a shot, if you are reading this in search of the next diet plan to try this approach to see what it does for you. If it’s no good, that’s fine, at least you actually tried. And hey, I didn’t charge for this (maybe I should’ve for more motivation. Find/make another program and march on. Good luck to you. And to those who are just casual readers, thanks for making it this far.

Again, this is a work in progress that took quite some time to conceptualize, and then even more time to actually sit down, write, edit, and publish. If you have questions or spot errors just let me know.

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