I need my carbs!
Often the great difficulty when deciding you mean serious six-pack business is transitioning from carbohydrate based meals and snacks all day, to significantly limiting this.
Giving this up can leave you feeling a little empty, a little unsatisfied, and wondering what on earth you're going to eat.
The thing is though, if you want your body to change, to look fundamentally better, you simply have to change what you're eating. You need to eat fundamentally better.
So I suggest, just tell yourself:
This is the price, and the results will be worth it.
You will adjust.
This is nothing your body didn't evolve to cope with.
You're not starving.
Remind yourself: on this plan you'll most likely be eating more healthy food than you were before.
It's only difficult while you're adjusting.
Going forwards, you can still eat all the foods you like, but just less frequently and in a more organised way.
Warning: MAKE SURE YOU'RE GETTING ENOUGH CALORIES
Eat the right amount of calories, not as few as possible.
You might feel a bit empty when you switch to this way of eating, but you shouldn't feel awful and struggle to function.
Make sure you eat enough protein.
When people switch to this plan, one of the most common mistakes is to underestimate how much protein they need to eat, often thinking less is better, so, when they have cut everything else out, they end up having far too few calories.
So drill it into your brain: eat the optimal amount of food to look amazing. Work it out properly...don't starve yourself.
Starving people aren't healthy and don't look it...eat the optimal amount.
We want to look good, we want you to perform great, and we want you to get lean and toned. That's not about starvation.
Is this healthy?
Of course it is, and as discussed above, whether you just minimise or eliminate certain foods is up to you, so this needn't be the place for any debate.
Now, you could optimise this plan to be healthier, I'm sure. You could get ten experts round a table to argue various points. But we haven't got time for that here, we want action.
This is about simple, clearly defined fat-loss for a 28 day experiment. I would suggest this will be a healthier diet than >95% of people eat anyway. Base every meal on the best piece of meat or fish you can lay your hands on, add plenty of green vegetables, some healthy fat and continually strategise to get variety into it.
You might suffer a bit of withdrawal, you might feel a little empty, you might have to deal with The Extinction Burst, but if you do this, you'll be on for game changing results.
Make decisions quickly to get your challenge started, then continually work to optimise for health and consider the pros and cons of different foods for the long-term afterwards.
What about travel and work dinners?
Just because you have travel and work dinners, it doesn't mean you can't stay on track.
It certainly can make it harder though.
You have to decide, how can you handle it and what is your priority? Picture your end result and decide how much it matters.
It's easy to order mostly meat and veg in a restaurant, you can have two glasses of red wine and plan that as your carb intake, and you can be organised and fast until the meal if you want to.
These things won't stop you if you're organised, you just need the knowledge, the plan, the strategy and the decision to execute.
IF IT'S NOT WORKING
It's going to work.
For the vast majority of people who do this well. Look how different it is to what most people do (eating the right amount -- not too much, not too little, more higher quality protein more often, sensible planned fasting, no junk, less alcohol). It's not defining it that's difficult after all -- it's executing it.
If it doesn't work, first prove it, second consider your options.
I've never seen anyone NOT get significantly leaner when they actually do this nutrition plan properly. But simple isn't easy, and having clearly defined logistics is everything.
But it is possible of course.
If you're spectacularly sedentary and unfortunate, you may need to eat less than we've outlined here, although, if you can honestly say you've followed this plan to the letter and it hasn't worked -- highly unlikely -- you still have plenty of options. I ask you first shelve your biases and concentrate on planning and tracking this plan -- follow it to the letter for 12 straight weeks, then and only then are you ready to consider other options. Until then, it's just excuse making and looking at the minor before the major, the finer before the fundamentals, the 20% before the 80%.
But then, you still have plenty of options
Once you've proved you can stick to this, if it doesn't shift a lot of fat from you, you must persevere. You can try and raise your calories burned (daily activity levels or cardio -- it does have a place, just isn't the priority or a fundamental for fat-loss and absolutely shouldn't be part of the fat-loss plan unless it is absolutely necessary), and you can fine tune your diet more. If this were me, I'd recommend a nutritionists help before you do this, but if this is the case then you can still reduce calories further, fiddle with the macro-nutrients and experiment with supplements etc etc. BUT NOT BEFORE YOU'VE PERFECTED THE FUNDAMENTALS.