THIS won’t make me popular. But when George Osborne revealed plans to impose standard rate VAT on hot sausage rolls, pasties and all of the other junk sold on the High Street I thought it was a pretty good idea. But only because it might put you off buying some of the total rubbish they sell there.
The recommended daily calorie allowance a man should have per day according to the government is 2,500KCals. And the most common advice from calorie-counters is that by eating 500KCal fewer than the guidelines this will lead to 1lb of fat loss in seven days.
I think this is, frankly, nonsense. To debunk this myth, I put together a daily diet example from a popular High Street pasty shop menu, that proves it. I never intended to trial it – this isn’t Super Size Me – but I did ask our head of nutrition, Jason Camm, to explain some of the processes and effects of such a diet.
One croissant and carton of sugary squash (250 KCals & 215KCals = Total 465KCals)
A good start as it’s only 465KCals. But calories from what? Refined carbohydrate and sugar are empty calories with no nutrients. A sharp energy drop will follow a temporary boost, which is one of the worst things for long-term weight loss because it makes you want to eat more. Plus there’s the gluten in the croissants. Croissants are just a worse version of bread – total rubbish and not healthy. A better option here is organic egg and wild smoked salmon omelette with mushrooms or tomatoes.
A chicken and sweet corn sandwich with reduced fat mayonnaise on oatmeal and a carton of sugary squash. (310KCals for the former and 215KCals for the latter = 525KCals)
If you’ve managed not give in to the body’s natural reaction to 465KCals of empty calories from the croissant breakfast, then lunch is the next treat from your local sandwich shop. CHANGE THIS.
Working with busy people, I realise that bread is usually the easiest thing to grab. But it’s really not good – and it doesn’t matter if it’s wholegrain. We’ve also got reduced fat mayonnaise in there; but in order to make it low-fat, but still taste like the real thing, it will be crammed with chemicals and preservatives. The body will struggle to process these and they will be stored quite simply as fat.
A better option is chicken salad with avocado, tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil.
A meatball melt, more sugary squash and a lemon-drizzle doughnut. For dinner we’ve got 965KCals, which takes us up to the ‘magic’ 2,000KCals ‘guaranteed’ weight loss number.
The meatball melt will be made from highly processed, low grade, non-organic meat that plays havoc with the body. Non-organic animals are bred faster than organic ones. They are pumped with hormones and antibiotics, which speed up growth and keep them alive despite incredibly poor diets and living conditions. The end result is near-toxic meat. Just think about all that crap in there.
It won’t kill you, but your body has to work overtime to process the residual hormones and chemicals. While those that can’t be broken down again will be stored in the body.
As for the doughnut, this is just sugar, there are no nutrients. It’s 360 empty calories but that’s okay as we are still under 2,000, right?
Wrong. A better option would be organic beef stew with roast sweet potato chunks.
Calories aren’t the be all and end all. Food quality is fundamental for long-term weight loss. If you want to be healthy and lean follow a principle of our ‘Live Lean Method’ and eat real food. Eat when hungry but don’t gorge. And please, ditch the calorie counting.
Tim Drummond Personal Training is a weight loss specialist. Its ‘Live Lean Body Composition Methodology’ is a highly individualised and unique approach to optimum health and wellness. Studios in Belgravia and the City; 07823 697 605; timdrummondpt.com