Friday, January 7, 2022

Escaping the Diet Trap

I know this is not a food blog, and I realize that the subject of diet is a very loaded one, but as I worked out on the treadmill today, my thoughts about eating and exercising came together in a wonderful way.

Later on I wrote them down. FWIT, here they are. 

  • Eat as few processed and pre-cooked meals as possible.
  • Consume some protein with every meal (runners especially need plenty of protein for optimal health).
  • Eat lean meat, fowl, and fish. (Example: I've started buying only 3 percent fat ground beef). 
  • Drink water (mostly) when you are thirsty. Water is your most important nutrient. 
  • Eat a healthy breakfast every day. Every time you miss a meal your blood sugar drops and you increase your hunger and cravings. This leads to overeating later in the day. 
  • Stop eating after dinner time. 
  • Eliminate all sugary drinks.
  • Cut out fatty foods like cakes and cookies. 
  • Eat food, not pills.
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. 
  • Don't overeat.
  • Workout with weights regularly (for me that's twice a week). Muscle and strength loss can be reversed only with resistance training. 
  • Avoid going from lunch to a late-ish dinner without eating anything in between. (I tend to snack on bananas and avocados. Nuts are also fatty but not fattening.) 
  • Avoid eating by the clock. Eat when you're hungry. Remember: The less hungry you ensure you are, the more weight you are likely to lose
  • Slow down, slow down, slow down. Speed eating only leads to overeating. 
  • Chew thoroughly. I try and chew each mouthful about 20 times. Savor your food. 
  • Don't "eat for later." Aim to eat enough at each meal to be comfortably full. 
  • When grocery shopping, vote with your feet by avoiding crackers, chips, and processed foods in general. 

Remember: there is no one-size-fits-all nutrition/exercise plan that works for everybody. Also, I don't follow a strict diet in any significant sense of the word "strict." I do try to always cook from scratch. I'm far from perfect but I'm getting a lot better at it. And, although I am exercising regularly these days, I also recognize that the most vulnerable area in my effort to change my body and my health always seems to be diet. If I can win the eating battle, I can win the excess body fat battle. I know there are some "trigger" foods I will never get control over unless I totally eliminate them from my nutrition plan. (Doritos, are you listening???) 

In short, there's nothing magical about diet. Eat consciously. Eat quality. Eat regularly.