Simplify Don’t Complicate

It seems to me that so many people are overcomplicating things when it comes to diet and exercise. The amount of people I talk to who are on these strange diets to lose weight or are following this strange routine to get fit/get bigger is crazy.

I’ve spoken to people who aren’t eating solid foods, who are only exercising on a fasted stomach, who are eating no carbs, eating 5 days whatever they want and then 2 days less than 600 calories (intermittent fasting can work), I could go on and on. I’m not saying that these strategies don’t work but I’m saying people try these without attempting to just change the basics.

I was talking to a girl the other day who was telling me that her diet at the moment consists of tuna, broccoli, green tea and … yeah that’s it! Who the hell is going to keep that up?

She had lost 9 pounds in a week, which in my opinion is a bit excessive and not sustainable but it’s no surprise when you consider that’s all she’s eating. Plus on top of that she said she was spending 2-3 hours in the gym 5 times a week! That is way too long, at least double what she should be spending in the gym.

Apparently her weight loss wasn’t fast enough as well, I’m sure by now she is no longer eating the broccoli and tuna and she has probably put on weight rather than lost some more. That’s the problem with these heavily restricted diets, no one can possibly keep it up and as they feel so restricted they will just want to eat anything and everything when they give up on the diet.

I get asked so many times.

‘How do you lose weight?’ and people often say to me ‘I just can’t lose weight’, yet the people who tell me this don’t exercise and have chips for dinner every single night.

Sadly there isn’t a magic pill to lose weight and get fit but I can tell you it’s not half as complicated as everyone thinks it is. It is hard work, it does take time, it does take a lot of will power but on paper it’s simple.

I don’t complicate things with my eating or my training and I’m the healthiest and fittest I’ve ever been.

My weekly training consists of:

  • 3 x spin classes
  • 3 x 30 minute superset weights sessions
  • 3 x 10 minute core sessions
  • 2 x 20 minute stretching and foam rolling
  • 1 x 20 minute easy run
  • 1-2 track/hill running session

It may seem like a lot but part of it I do with work and I often group together the weights, core and stretching sessions.

My diet on an average day:


Pre workout – Fruit and nuts

Post workout – Porridge with protein powder, dried fruit and nuts

Lunchtime – Baked sweet potato, cottage cheese and green vegetables

Dinner – Stir fry with lean meat and loads of veg

Snacks – More fruit and nuts

Nothing complicated about that really, a good mix of fats, carbs and protein. If I’ve eaten all of that and I’m still hungry (which I often am) I’ll eat again have some brown rice with some chicken or an omelette or something like that. I don’t restrict myself what so ever. I eat healthy foods with the occasional treat meals and it works.

There are some but not very many people who say to me they are trying to lose weight and I ask them how they are doing it.

They say it’s simple ‘Cut out the crap, eat more natural foods and exercise 3-5 times a week’.

The bottom line is that’s all there is to it for normal people. Elite athletes or people with health conditions may be different but at the end of the day for 90% of the people who want to lose weight and get healthy that’s all they have to do.

If you want to lose weight but feel as if you don’t know how then I can say to you,you do know.

Everyone knows fruit and vegetables are good and crisps and chocolate are bad

Everyone knows fish, chicken and steak is good and pizza and ice cream are bad.

Yes you will probably need help and more advice once you get passed a certain point but to begin with everyone knows the basics to losing weight by just cutting out the junk food.

One method that I adopt which makes life so much easier is planning my meals. I try to every Sunday evening make loads and loads of food and store them in the fridge in little containers so that sets me up for the first 3-4 days of the week so I don’t have to do any cooking. I spent one hour cooking last Sunday and the food lasted until Thursday. I made roasted sweet potatoes, boiled eggs, chicken, brown rice, asparagus and green beans and broccoli. Six containers full and it just made everything so much easier especially as I’m on the run like a lot of you a lot of the time.

Plan ahead, you don’t have to make that much if you don’t want just making the food in the evening for the following day will stop you making on the spot unhealthy food choices because you can’t think or you don’t have time to make anything good.

Don’t leave it to chance, planning and preparation are the key to nutritional success in my eyes.

You will be 100% in control of what you eat, you can make sure you can get the right quantities of foods in and make sure you are eating good foods from all the good food groups. This will narrow your focus and help you to achieve your goals. Plus the food is nice, I much prefer to eat well than not, I feel crap after eating junk.

The amount of diet and exercise choices in today’s world lead to:

  • People feeling overwhelmed
  • Then confused
  • They don’t know when or how to start
  • Then lack of results when they do
  • Leads to frustration and ultimately failure

Just focus on the basics.

Don’t overcomplicate things, simplify them.

I really this has helped you as I know so many good willed hard working people fall short because they believe that it is more complicated than it really is.

Plan, prepare, eat well, train well and you’ll do just fine!

Jamie ‘keeping it simple’ Stedman

PS If you want a free 7 day meal plan please enter your email address in the box on the right to get it. If you want to learn more about healthy eating and get a 21 day eating plan click here.


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