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.