You know the saying "Abs are made in the kitchen"? Well if your goal is to have a six or eight pack, this is definitely true.
If your main goal is fat loss you should definitely be focused first on cleaning up your diet. Nutrition is no. 1 for fat loss, creating a calorie deficit that is specific to you and prioritising quality protein at each main meal with high fibre vegetables and wholegrain carbohydrates specifically around your training times.
There is so much information about "the best diet" out there, it is pretty easy to become overwhelmed very quickly. The best diet, is the one that you can stick to long term- and that has to revolve around eating whole real foods....yes, not exciting, and no magic pills involved, sorry!
Here are some easy ways to start in the kitchen-
Have a pantry clean out- throw away cookies, chocolate, packaged cakes, crisps or any other sweet treat that you have (for the kids, of course, not you). If you see it and it's accessible to you, you are more likely to eat it. Out of sight, out of mind.
This follows point number one- don't buy it! Save on your weekly grocery bill by not buying all the junk food that you and your kids don't need.
Make a weekly plan of the meals you are going to make and eat, and cook in bulk. Research suggests people who write down their food plan and review it daily, are 50% more likely to achieve their weight loss goal. Keep your meals simple- like grandma, meat plus 3 different vegetables, and focus on your portion size. My clients work on getting their plate right, I make sure they have protein (1-2 palms), carbohydrates (1/2 - 1 cupped hand), 2-3 different vegetables or salad and 1 thumb of good fat (olive oil, avocado or seeds), at each main meal.
Start your day with a higher protein breakfast- for satiety, a lower insulin response and to help your brain focus. For example a vegetable frittata, a protein berry smoothie, an omelette with smoked salmon, cottage cheese and salad with wholegrain toast. People that have a higher protein breakfast tend to not need to snack mid morning.
Snack less, this could mean you need to eat better meals, especially at lunch. I really like how here in Israel, lunch is the main meal of the day instead of dinner.
Eat an earlier dinner (instead of the 5pm snack) and then have a "kitchen closed" time at night, or follow an intermittent fasting protocol.
Drink less alcohol, especially during the work week- the more you drink the looser you become with your decisions around food (and everything else). Alcohol also has 7kCal per gram, it adds up. From a health perspective it is good to give your liver a 5 day break each week from processing the toxins from alcohol.
Follow a plan from a nutritionist or dietician, or if you want to do it yourself, you can log your food with the app My Fitness Pal. People who follow a plan, stick to it and are accountable to someone, get results faster and are more likely to keep them.
Stop worrying about perfection- focus on consistency- hitting your protein, veges and calories daily and without going crazy over the weekend.
I can be your accountability coach with nutrition. It is actually challenging to do it consistently on your own. I use Precision Nutrition software, weekly self evaluation, monthly 1-1 check ins with measurements and food plan adjustments. I have also been using My Fitness Pal for the past 10 years, so if you are into weighing, measuring and tracking your food, I can show you the best way to do this.
LASTLY, food is meant to nourish and energize you. Stick to the basics- eat mainly whole natural foods, including adequate quality protein in each main meal, veges, a little healthy fat and complex carbohydrates and you are headed in the right direction.