The Diet

Basically a low fat balanced diet by the British Heart Foundation.

Links last checked 22 Nov 2013 large Print

(Update Nov 2013 A lot has changed in the 7 years I’ve been doing this blog and the BHF is one of them, I had trouble finding the diet. Site is full of charity shops and charity rides info, talk about loosing your way)

Based on portion sizes of the five food groups. No Calorie counting, easy to follow. I’d swear that this is the best thing since sliced bread, followed it religiously for the classes and have kept it up. If you’ve stumbled across this site and are interested in the diet this is the publication you need.

Look for “So you want to loose weight for good”, the link has changed recently.

There have been no great changes in what I’ve been eating just that I’ll only eat healthy food now and fatty foods have been eliminated. I’ll now have fruit during a break at work rather than something out of a vending machine. A working day starts with a bowl of Quaker Oat Granola or Tesco Strawberry Oat clusters topped with three fruits that is in season. Lunch at work is always a Tuna salad (no mayo) with a low fat dressing (I’ve now added a baked potato to the salad) that I take in.

So  fruit and veg consumption has gone up, I now have a cereal breakfast where I had none before. Before I was eating two main meals a day and this has been replaced with a breakfast, a salad for lunch and a meal in the evening. Snacking on rubbish food and sweets and  has been replaced with whatever fruit is available.

If you’ve come across this site and page from a Google search for “Diet” your probably a mouse click away from leaving the site. Its all in the publication above from the British Heart Foundation and you can now print a copy of the plan using the link to the Pdf file.(Please see bottom of page). For me I don’t see this as a diet anymore, this is just what I eat, the hard part now is fitting all the exercise into a drastically altered lifestyle.
If your going to the trouble of altering your diet and lifestyle seriously look at the exercise you are or aren’t doing at the moment as I haven’t lost all this weight on the diet alone.

16 APR 07 I’ve spoken to two women on the same day and both wanted more information on the diet. I’ll try my best to elaborate on the eating plan but I fear I’m wasting my time, the links above work if all else fails ring them up. I used to lend my copy of the plan out but had to ask for it back. When it comes back a couple of times unread I have to question peoples commitment, it’s all in their eyes.

I’m going to post a before picture, so you can get an idea of how large I was now I’ve got a bit more courage. I’ve had zero feedback comments about the diet so I haven’t bothered much about it. After all it’s what I eat everyday, probably for the rest of my natural born.

One last thing it’s far easier to regulate what you eat and eat healthy than it is to burn it off through exercise. The exercise section page has very little interest I may as well put closed due to lack of interest on the page but it’s the reason I’ve lost nearly 50 kg.

08 May 07 The British Heart foundation have redesigned their website so the old link brought you out onto a different page.
The good news is that the new link means you can now download the booklet as a pdf file.

The title you want is “So You Want to Loose Weight ……for Good”.

This link should do the trick, It’s what I have been following for over a year now and has worked really well. Feel free to ask any questions you want. There is no reason not to download the pdf file and see what it is all about.

31 May 07 Comments welcome. This has been running for a long  time now and I’m surprised by the lack of comments(Not one, I don’t publish names or any details that you don’t post to me. Feel free to ask anything about the eating plan. It doesn’t matter what sex you are post under anon if you are shy. )This is after all what we eat every day of the year. For women only the unit sizes are lower, the portion sizes are the same for both sexes. If you’ve downloaded the the booklet it  should be all apparent.

I’m not trying to teach anybody to suck eggs but I’ve browsed some forums where some of the women seem to be on a lettuce leaf and a cup of coffee diet and seem  happy to post the hardship of it.  I’m not into that at all, I’m now into healthy eating, I’m in control and that’s the way it is. This is not a criticism of women, far from it . I admire the way  women put themselves out. They are by far more clued up about  what it is all about. Probably part of my success was my ignorance, eat this, do this, loose weight. Sounds like a bloke thing, simple.

Before I finish, there was a definative moment when I decided to change things for the better, Feb17, 2006. That was the day I decided to do something with the rest of my life, not wallow in self pity. That decision needs to come from within, nobody else can make that decision for you.

The before picture is on the “Work” and the “About ” page. After pictures are a work in progress.

Edited 26June 07

Edited 29 June 08 It’s now a year on from when I last updated this page. It’s funny how how you loose track of time. Once I had finished the course I was on my own but after 12 months you had bought into it or you hadn’t. I’m within 2 Kg of my lowest weight so the “So you want to loose weight for Good” still rings true for me.
If you’re starting on a program like this please do not be distracted by  my ramblings about  current dilemma’s.
Don’t be afraid to ask as I answer ALL questions.  I know it’s a touchy subject but you should be doing this for yourself as the difference it makes to your life is truly amazing.

12 Mar 09 Thanks Lyndon for posting the new Link. I’ll be checking out others in the next few days .

28 Feb 2011 Link checked and changed. Was pointing to a jumprope publication!

22 Nov 2013 seem to have lost the pictures again.  Link to diet still good but hard to find on the BHF site.

27 thoughts on “The Diet”

  1. Hi there Frank,

    I just came across your site from a search I was doing for ‘Aldi cycling gloves’.

    Anyway, it made great reading and I’d just like to congratulate you on your riding so far. I edit a mountain bike magazine called Singletrack and although we work with bikes all the time, we don’t ride as much as people think. We went on an exercise programme over the winter and I managed to lose nearly a stone and know how hard it is to just do that – so keep up the good work, eh?

    Best wishes
    Chipps Chippendale
    Singletrack Magazine

  2. Hi Chipps,
    I’ve got a copy of Singletrack Magazine when I was looking about what to do next.(I did like the style) Cross country appealed to me at the time as I rode (motorcycle) Enduros in the 70’s. The sad fact was you don’t know what level you are at until you have a go. The other thing was I couln’t afford an injury. Once you get to a certain age these things start to play on the mind.
    When I was young I thought I was bulletproof but at around 21stone just getting off the ground is an effort nevermind hitting it.

    I get a couple of hundred visitors a month looking at Aldi cycling clothing or Crane Sports stuff such is the power of Google. When you do a Google search and there is only WeightWatchers and Mens Health Magazine above you, you know your on to something.

    To loose a stone through exercise alone is hard work, 10 pounds of fat equates to 35,000 calories. Mind you you’ll be a lot fitter for it.

    Sounds like a dream job you’ve got there. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Hi Frank I have just got onto your website today,my friend Barry Jones who is with the northend club,told me about your website and your return to cycling.I have just started cycling again myself I am 52 but have done some cycling before and trying to get back into it which is all thanks to my friend Barry lending me his turbo trainer, so I am doing about 30minutes a night in my garage,but I also need to loose weight about 2 stone. so I have printed the diet sheet off that is on your web page and hopefully this will work as well as my cycling.

  4. Thanks for the comment Ben. Good luck with the diet or eating plan. It’s simple enough, a 500 calorie deficit a day will loose you a pound a week. This doesn’t sound a lot but as long as you stick with it, it does work. By increasing your exercise you maybe burning 1000 calories a day more than you consume hence 2 lb a week.
    I’ve only used my Turbo about 3 times, it’s a spinning class or get out on a ride for me.
    The key change for me was cutting out alcohol and having a breakfast (Quaker Oat Granola with fruit) everyday.
    I didn’t have a target weight as when your the weight I was it doesn’t seem possible at the time.
    Bound to bump into you sometime, I’ll be in my Discovery Channel kit for a while yet. The Northend calling me Edmund Blackadder means that the die may have been cast.

  5. Hi, Stumbled across your site by accident looking to see if regular cycling will actually take off the weight. Reading your story I now have the answer and I will be looking to follow your example. Many thanks for the encouragement.

  6. Peter, thanks for the comment. A regular ride is about 50 miles now but at the beginning it was 30 minutes a day if I was working and 30 miles if I as off. The important thing is to make it regular and don’t miss a ride becuase of the weather etc.
    Good luck.

  7. Hi Frank, Congratulations on all your weight loss.

    Your statement: “That decision needs to come from within, nobody else can make that decision for you.” really rings true for me. I made a decision about 8 weeks ago now to increase the amount of exercise I do. I don’t do cycling, I used to just do the odd yoga based exercise at my local gym. And while this was good for my flexibility it wasn’t burning off any fat. Then 8 weeks ago I decided to go to an aerobics class at my gym. The class is called Body Attack. It took me ages to decide to go because I felt intimidated because every seemed so fit but I gave it a go and really surprised myself! I couldn’t do all of the moves but I was better than I thought I would be. I have lost 12lbs in 8 weeks and I feel fantastic and good about myself. I think sometimes people are put off exercising because they feel like they wont be able to do it but I say give it a go – anything is better than nothing.

  8. Thanks for the comment Janice, you just can’t tell people how good you feel when it all starts coming together. Like you say anything is better than nothing and I did nothing.

  9. Hi Frank,

    When I was 40 I was 18st and decided to do something about it. I managed to get down to 15.5st but have since yo-yo’d between 16 and 17.5st for the last 8 years. I have come to accept that ‘fad’ diets are not doing it for me and that a ‘healthy diet’ is the only way to reduce weight consistently over the long term. I did try cycling but to be honest I found the seat torture for a big lad like me. Do you have any suggestions?


  10. Hi Glyn, for a start you need a set of bibshorts with a pad. You can wear them under what you choose to ride in. I went through a couple of saddles before settling on what I use now. A lot of it is due to chaffing so try one of the baby nappy creams before you go out. Sudocrem was the one I used and still do for a big ride.

  11. Hi Frank,

    I can completely endorse your approach to weight loss. I first used it about 11 years ago and went from 17.5 st to 14 st. Sadly the weight crept back up resulting in a ‘topping out’ at over 17st in January this year, combined with high cholesterol and blood pressure I resolved to lose weight again, aged 47 it seemed sensible!

    Luckily my commute is about 10 miles each way with showers/drying/storage at work so it didn’t take too much effort to turn that into the exercise portion. Regarding food I have created a spreadsheet into which I enter all my intake and which produces cal/fat/saturated fat figures. I have now lost 2st!

    The faddy diets don’t work, it’s simple, if input is less than output you get weight loss! Thanks for a great site, the Garmin articles are v helpful too.


  12. Frank,
    Just found your site. Brilliant.
    I started cycling seriously again last September, having only used my MTB to go to the pub and back. I now have a road bike, and last October flew with my bike to Bergerac (France) and cycled to Rodez and back to visit some friends. Having this target trip was a great incentive to train, and build up the miles. In November I completed the Exmoor Beast, (100 k across Exmoor). I have subsequently kept the cycling going with a daily commute and other trips for fun. My main advice is to have a couple of target rides to complete, something to work for insures you ‘do the miles’. Could not agree more with you about the right clothing, particularly quality shorts, and as important make sure your bike is set up properly for your build and frame.
    By the way I am 57 this year with associated creaking joints and surplus weight.

  13. Thanks for the comments Nick and Andrew, it wasn’t until I was educated in the eating plan that things started to happen. I’d done few charity rides but nothing serious. This was before I started the blog. Joining the CTC meant I could get a good ride every time I went out, you don’t get dropped and you have a great time going to cafes.
    Andrew, the bones stopped creaking when the weight came off so it’s another benefit of loosing weight.

  14. Hi,
    I was given your link when trying to understand the vagaries of my new toy, a Garmin edge. It is great to read of success. I have since March lost 12kg (now 90kg) through cycling & low-fat diet. I didn’t have the BHF link so just cut out fat almost completely. Hit a bit of a plateau so glad to see the longer view weight continues comes off. I ride alone as I am not competitive by nature but seeing your reference to the CTC I will look up their website & thanks for your Garmin page very useful once I understand it 🙂

  15. Thanks Dennis,
    I’ve got to get back on track myself. If I’m going to tackle anything like the Etape again I’m going to have to be in top form and that means loosing the weight to be at my best.
    2009 was a mixed year for me, started off well but didn’t improve where others did.
    Etape was highlight of year if not a lifetime.
    Things to do before you are 50, ride a stage of the Tour De France, done.

  16. Stumbled upon your site a year or so ago but could remember the name, amazing progress I hope to emulate some of it. Will start with PDF. I have set up a website of my own (as a side project) an added some google docs in the 2010 fiteness section have a look see what you think they update straight to site when I update on google.

    Heres to a happy and healthy new year to yourself, your family and your followers

    Cheers Unfitguy

  17. Thanks frank for all your hard work regarding the edge 800 , now i might use it a lot more and more of its functions !!!
    you said many dont comment on the diet , so i thought i might ad a bit .
    we are all told to eat low gi foods , right !
    we should eat foods that help our body feel full ! so not to binge !
    we should eat foods that help regenerate our hormones !
    we should eat foods that together with protein help us burn fat and build muscle , right !!
    and we should eat foods as close to nature as possible !
    guess what , all the foods above contain one thing you seem not to eat
    and that my friend is Animal fat !!!
    i could go on and on and on about the positive effects of animal fat , most likely many ill-informed would critisize so i wont bother for now but if you have any questions frank or anyone else please ask .

  18. Hi Frank.. Im an overweight lady, i started Karate 16 weeks ago in order to up my exercise.. my diet is already underwork as im diabatic.. but i just ordered myself a bike today in order to to add cycling as well.. talk about good timing.. i found your BBC piece while looking for tips about cycling for weightloss.. well done and thank you for the inspration.

  19. structured in three phases , from Monday to Sunday, which must be repeated for four weeks. ‘Grosso modo’, these are the principles on which each of the stages is based:

    First phase (Monday and Tuesday): many carbohydrates and fruits.
    Second phase (Wednesday and Thursday): many proteins and vegetables.
    Third phase (Friday, Saturday and Sunday): all the above plus healthy fats and oils.

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