Hey Lifehacker, I am a 6'2" 20 year old male university student and it is fair to say that my diet is appalling. It basically consists of frozen food (chips, pies, sausage rolls), pasta, bread, two-minute noodles, chocolate and fast food. As a result I have developed somewhat of a gut and man boobs.
By no means am I obese (I am currently 86kg) but my body is something I want looking good. I have started lifting weights at the gym and riding my bike to campus, but it is my diet that is letting me down. What should I be eating and what are some healthy meals that are quick, cheap and easy? Thanks, Moobs
Dude, you are totally asking the wrong person. My diet primarily consists of fast food, potato chips and energy drinks, all of which are consumed at random times of the day. It's pretty much the worst diet ever. Luckily, there are plenty of other Lifehacker writers who I can shamelessly crib from.
Instead of starving yourself and exercising like a maniac, you should concentrate on the return of investment (ROI) of everything you do. All activities — taking the stairs instead of the elevator, limiting your sodium intake, skipping a second serve at dinner — have a specific ROI for one’s health.
For example, let's say you cut sugar from your cereal, tea and coffee. If all other factors in your diet and exercise remain the same, you will begin to lose weight (albeit slowly). This article goes into further detail about using ROI to your advantage.
In terms of healthy eating choices, you obviously want to cut back on greasy takeaway and frozen fat-laden foods. A good place to start is the bottom of the food pyramid. According to a recent study, just 2 per cent of Australians eat the minimum daily fruit-and-veg intake recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). If you find it difficult to eat this stuff, you're probably doing to wrong: the trick is to avoid bland, boring recipes.
Our sister site POPSUGAR Health & Fitness has published a huge number of recipes that use fruit or vegetables as the chief ingredients. Many are specifically designed with quick, fuss-free preparation in mind. You also need to know which supposedly healthy foods to avoid -- this article lists some of the main offenders and suggests alternative options to use instead.
Add some fat and protein to the equation via lean meats and you should be golden. If any readers have their own healthy eating tips, let Moobs know in the comments below.
Have a question you want to put to Ask Lifehacker? Send it using our contact form.