My first diet and the importance of goals and inner motivation

As I have explained in my first blog post, in comparison with many other (fitness) bloggers I do have a somewhat different approach to writing, and that in several ways. For instance I do not write much about my personal life, and neither do I upload pictures and/or brief texts about what has happened during the last day(s) and things like that. And if I write about traveling, I might go back as far as, let’s say 2006, rather than to talk about last month’s excursions. Partly this is because I do not want to be caught up in the obsessions of the presence – that is also why I do not have Twitter or Instagram – even if I do of course understand its appeal among factual or potential readers. I am more of the essaistic kind in this respect.

Speaking of which, my first diet – in a very unstructured way, and hence not really a diet in the proper sense – was actually when I walked, walked and walked in California and to less extent also in Nevada, in 2006, and hence burned quite a lot of calories and thus also body fat during a three weeks long stay.

But this one does not really count and I do not even have any pictures left from back then. Instead I will reflect upon the winter and spring time of 2010 and what I accomplished during three-four months, and which has also affected my confidence as a nutritional coach and fitness practitioner. This can be considered as my first far-reaching and seriously planned diet.

Like for many other people, my shape has always fluctuated between unfixed categories such as ‘relatively thin’ and ‘normal’ on a body fat continuum, and that is also the case after I started with strength training in 2005. For instance I was quite slim in that year, but then I started to bulk up a little, and also in later periods it has been the other way around from time to time. However, it has never extremely distinct in any of these two directions, and the frequency of training has always been somewhere between four to five times per week (if I did not travel and skipped it all, and these days I work out almost every day).

In 2009 I focused a lot on the last-mentioned activity and therefore training became subordinated to my cosmopolitan adventures, particularly in Japan, but on the other hand I did soon got back on track again after I had come home in June. During the last quarter of the same year, though, I had gained some convenient fat – not the least after three weeks in Australia in November – and was obviously not too bothered with it. Or perhaps I was – my body weight was about 79 soft kilograms and I am only 5,7 – but I nevertheless thought that I should wait for to incorporate more drastic changes after the new year had begun and deal with it then.

So what I did, right at the beginning of January in 2010, was to apply some of the lean gains principles that I had learned the year before, but – most importantly – I drastically decreased the total calorie intake, while keeping the protein intake relatively high, and did so over the next three to four months. I skipped the details but had on the other hand a very steadfast nutritional structure that I followed diligently.

During the three winter months, I dwelled in a almost ascetic fashion and did not party any more than a few times and did not eat any junk food or candy at all. Instead I focused a lot on the idea of to come into good shape and optimize my physical appearance and look forward to going to Paris, where I was supposed to meet a French girl that had I met in South Korea the year before and who lived there. Hence I did to some extent visualize and concretize my own goals, although I did not have any exact ideals with regard to body fat percentage. But even somewhat blurry goals, without clear-cut demarcations, can be relevant.

My personal strengths – from my own subjective viewpoint, but there is probably some objective truth in there too – have always been my looks and a very high verbal IQ (but average in performance IQ, so I am not very good at subjects such as maths and physics, and to quickly figure out what to do in real-life situations, i.e. fluid intelligence), so having too much body fat was detrimental to my own internal feeling about myself and hence also on my outer appearance (or the other way around, since these two dimensions are intimately inter-related). There is – at least for me – always an interplay between the outward and inward and their linkages to confidence.

And how did it go a little bit more exactly? The result was a decrease of about 10,5 kilograms of body weight, and I felt happy when I eventually came to Paris in the middle of April. The two pictures below do not really catch the essence of neither my bad nor good shape – partly because I had not reached the maximum fat weight around the time when the photo from Australia was taken – but at the time for the the second one the abs had become quite visible and I had overall a very slim and, with general standards, appealing figure.

What I have learned from this is, most importantly, one: that I can do it, and that I have proved to be both consistent and effective with regard to diet plans; two, that I can help other people to do the same or something similar; and three, that one should always have goals – whether extremely concrete and measurable or of the less clearly-defined sort – as motivation and driving force.



På ett underhudsfettskontinuum har jag aldrig varit så kallat “tjock” utan alltid “normal” (om man ser till både midjemått och BMI), men vid årsskiftet 2009/2010 hade lagt på mig en så kallad trivselvikt – som jag inte trivdes med – omkring 79,5 kilo. Det var till och med lite mer än i samband med tidigare bulkfaser under 2006 och 2007. Då bestämde jag mig för att genomföra min första riktiga, sammanhållna diet. Och jag utgick från leans gains och periodisk fasta som jag hade lärt mig knappt ett år tidigare, genom att läsa texter av Martin Berkhan och Seth Ronland.

Eftersom jag hade planer på att åka till Paris under april månad, och alltid haft mitt utseende som en – åtminstone från mitt eget subjektiva synsätt – stark “egenskap” (det andra är hög verbal IQ), och skulle träffa en tjej som jag hade haft kontakt med sedan vi träffades i Sydkorea året innan, fick jag ett slags inre drivkraft. Det kanske var ytligt och trivialt men likväl behövs sådant för att få mer långsiktiga saker gjorda.

Sagt och gjort – jag följde en lågkalori- och högproteindiet under tre-fyra månader, och gick ner cirka 10,5 kilo under denna. Det framgår inte särskilt tydligt av bilderna – och den första, från Australien 2009, var innan jag hade nått fettviktspeaken vid det kommande årsskiftet – men jag var i riktigt bra form, om än inte tävlingsform, när jag väl anlände i den franska huvudstaden.

Det jag lärde mig av detta var framför allt, ett: att jag kan klara av att strukturera en diet och genomföra den; två: att jag kan hjälpa andra med samma eller liknande målsättningar, och tre: att det behövs mål – oavsett om de är väldigt konkreta och mätbara, eller något mer diffusa – för att ha inre motivation och driv till att få mer långsiktiga saker gjorda.

제가 오년 전 에서 처음 다이어트 를 했어요. 파리스 전 에서 쯤 열 킬로그램 을 줄였어요.

5 main diet tips

1. Count calories
As has been explained in an earlier guest post, it is crucial to estimate one’s required approximate calorie intake, which is not hard to accomplish.

If one knows what the proper intake is, then one does perhaps also realize that foodstuffs such as quark, cottage cheese, tuna, salmon, chicken filet, turkey, egg, fruit, vegetables and crisp bread should constitute the most of what one eats during a more extensive period of time, and that additonal sources of fat and carbohydrates should if anything be the exception to this general rule.

Additionally, if one has a more long-term perspective, and looks at the total calorie intake of that period of time, then one can consume some junk food every now and then and thus have a calorie surplus some day here and there while still lose weight.

2. Optimize your nutritional intake
This aspect is largely inter-related to the abovementioned advice about what and how to eat properly. It is about to optimize the calories that a person eats during both a particular day and throughout a more lengthy period of time. For instance, if a girl or woman are ‘allowed’ to eat only 1500 calories per day – on average – in order to lose weight long-term-wise, then it is important that this amount of energy is allocated into nutritious meals that makes one feel relatively satisfied and, of course, are healthy.

3. Eat three meals per day
And what about the meal frequency? For me it has been very fruitful to eat only three meals per day, and thus fast between 8 p.m. and 12 a.m., an idea that has been extensively explained by not the least Martin Berkhan as an important part of the so called Lean Gains concept. This has definitely a number of benefits, although the amount of meals as an isolated factor is much less important than both how much and what a person eats.

4. If necessary – do damage control cardio
I definitely do respect the fact that a lot of people do not have enough time to neither do extensive cardio nor some other kind of time-consuming workout during a normal week. This is definitely one of the main reasons why a proper nutritional approach is crucial.

However, some degree of cardio is reasonable and eligible, and not the least when one has ‘over-eaten’ and thus feels the urge to make some kind of ‘damage control’. From a more pshychological point of view, it may also be quite important since it makes a person feel that one is back on track again after an occasional sidestep in the wrong direction.

5. If you get the urge for junk food – consume diet products
To almost repeat myself, the long-term changes and modifications are of most importance when it comes to nutrition, and thus one has to stay on track almost every day. However, when a person is hungry or for some other reason yearns for junk food, it is a wiser choice to consume diet products – whether soda, soft drinks or chewing gums – instead of to eat or to drink high-energetic foodstuffs.

It is not like diet products are healthy in the strict sense, but they are unhesitatingly the much lesser evil compared to candy, cookies, chocolate and fast food. Particularly, if one considers the total amount of calories as the basis for every successful diet plan.

About 10 pounds of body fat away from my competition shape

1. Räkna kalorier
Att räkna ut sitt dagliga energibehov, mätt i kalorier, är inte särskilt svårt men väldigt förtjänstfullt på många sätt. Behöver man hjälp finns duktiga personer att anlita. Det innebar förhoppningsvis att man kommer börja inse hur energität men näringsfattig väldigt många livsmedel är och att man bör ha sådant som kvarg, keso, ägg, tonfisk, kycklingfilé, kalkon, torsk, lax, frukt, knäckebröd, grönsaker, samt mindre mängder nötter och mandlar som sin basföda, och endast i undantag lägger till extra fett- och kolhydratkällor eller raffinerade produkter. Men det innebär även att man ser det mer långsiktigt och att man inte bör bli hysterisk för att man ätit för många kalorier, till exempel i samband med fika eller middagar. Ju mer strikt ens diet är i vanliga fall, desto mer “normal” kan man rimligen vara i samband med högtider då man förväntas äta i större mängder.

2. Optimera din kosthållning ur näringssynpunkt
Detta går hand i hand med det ovanstående, men om man som tjej eller kvinna endast bör äta 1500 kalorier, i genomsnitt per dag för att gå ner i vikt, är det viktigt att dessa 1500 kalorier ger optimal näring och mättnad. Därför bör man primärt äta de ovanstående livsmedlen. Ett knep är att även dricka två glas vatten innan varje måltid för att fylla ut magsäcken.

3. Ät tre mål mat om dagen
Idén bakom detta har förklarats mer utförligt i ett tidigare gästinlägg, men är oavsett vilket något som jag har testat sedan 2009, med inspiration från Martin Berkhan och Seth Ronland. 2010 ledde det också fram till en mer sammanhållen diet som genererade kraftig viktminskning under tre månaders tid och är i grunden samma kostupplägg som jag har haft sedan dess, om än med pendlande energimängd beroende på vad jag har för delmål framför mig och befinner mig tidsmässigt i förhållande till detta.

Jag fastar därmed mellan cirka 20 på kvällen och 12 på förmiddagen. Tidsmässiga variationer har givetvis förekommit men i grunden är det samma upplägg – tre mål om dagen, vid cirka 12, 16 och 20. För människor med väldigt liten kroppsstorlek kan det rentav räcka med två, medan de med större kroppshydda i stället kan behöva lägga till ett extra mål, åtminstone om de siktar på att gå upp i vikt.

4. Om nödvändigt – gör damage control cardio
Jag respekterar verkligen det faktum att en stor mängd och andel människor inte har tid att genomföra cardio-pass eller träna särskilt mycket över huvud taget under en vanlig vecka. Det är därför en radikal men sund livsstilsförändring beträffande kost är så oerhört konstruktiv om man vill bli av med underhudsfett och/eller leva mer hälsosamt i största allmänhet.

Likväl kan cardioträning av olika slag vara relevant, och är särskilt bra för karaktären och målmedvetenheten om man har överätit under en eller flera dagar. Det gör nämligen att man snabbt är och/eller känner sig back on track igen. Exempelvis kan man ta en rask promenad i 60-90 minuter, oavsett när på dagen det sker.

5. Om man får sug efter onyttigheter och “måste” unna sig något – konsumera lightprodukter
Det mest väsentliga är förstås att man gör långsiktiga, distinkta förändringar och inte ger efter för begär efter onyttigheter eller “unnar sig” alltför ofta, eller allra helst ytterst sällan eller inte alls. Inte heller lightprodukter är nyttiga eller nödvändiga, men om valet står mellan kaloristinna onyttigheter och synnerligen energisnåla alternativ som lightläsk, lightsaft och sockerfria tuggummin är de sistnämnda helt klart ändå att föredra.