Tuesday, September 29, 2009

D-I-E-T

"Diet is a four-letter word." We've all heard that phrase right? Apart from it being literally true, it's come to represent everything nasty and tedious about losing weight. Experts are paid big money to weigh in (hardee-har-har) with their opinion on what diet works best. People by the millions spend money by the millions on books, magic pills and ridiculous schemes in order to shed the flab.
No one ever stops to consider the obvious: if there really were a one-size-fits-all magic method of losing weight, then why are people still overweight? Wouldn't it be great if there something like that? No more trudging through boring medical studies debating whether or not eggs are good for you, no more contradicting information (No, don't eat whole grains! Yes, DO eat whole grains!), no self-titled health gurus trying to hawk their methods and overpriced supplements because only their way really works. Hey, I can fantasize, can't I?

The reason not every method works is because we're all different and have different health needs. What works for you may not work for me, and vice versa. Duh? Well of course. The problem is, we don't want to do the research.....the boring mind work of reading how our anatomy actually functions and relates to nutrition. Why do that when you can grab the latest self-help book off the shelf and blindly follow its orders, or buy the latest Get Slim Quick pill as seen on TV? We want a quick fix. We don't care that it took years to shove those numbers on the scale up to where they currently reside, we want it all off NOW, dammitt!


(not me BTW)


Unfortunately, I fall into that category all too often. I get myself all hyped up to follow a certain eating plan, and when I don't see the numbers change in like.....2 days, I say "screw this" and give up. It's not rational, I know, but there it is. And that's why D-I-E-T-S usually fail: they're a short term way of drastically changing the way you eat in the hopes you'll lose a few pounds. But what about when the diet is finished?



A permanent lifestyle change is what needs to happen, not some 6-week fad. [gasp] What? You mean.....I have to change the way I live? And think? And behave? I can't go back to eating like I used to once I'm done?

I've found that in order to change bad habits, for me personally, changes must be implemented small and slow. In the past when I've tried to wade in with both guns blazing, I crash and burn very quickly. Too much change too soon does not mesh well with me. They say it takes 21 days of a repeated behavior for it to become a habit.....and it is SO true.

For example, I used to go through the drive-thru at McDonalds every morning to pick up breakfast on my way to work. I am a die-hard sausage and egg McMuffin and hashbrown junkie. Well, all of that starts to take a toll on the pocket book after awhile, and so back in January I vowed to stop getting fast food breakfasts and just make it at home. I forced myself to get up early enough to make my sausage/egg sandwiches and hashbrowns in my own kitchen. After a month, it seemed like old hat and I wondered why I'd never done it in the first place.

Then, I decided to try and make my breakfasts a little healthier by switching to turkey sausage, Egg Beaters, and 100% whole wheat toast instead of an english muffin. It took some getting used to....I'm a VERY picky eater....but again, after awhile, I got used to the slightly different taste and texture and it became normal.

A couple of months ago I thought it was time to kick it up a notch once again, so I switched to veggie sausage, and started adding chopped onion and yellow peppers to the hashbrown mix to get more veggies into my daily routine. Boy, the veggie sausage took a long time to get used to.....my first taste of it was NASTY......but now I'm used to it. Today, I added shredded zucchini to the peppers and onions, with satisfaction. My next step will be to start reducing the amount of hash browns used in the first place - potatoes and insulin resistance don't mesh well - to where it's non-existant, or switch to using sweet potatoes (very low on the glycemic index). I'm also slowly adding in more veggies and fruits in lieu of other food choices for the rest of the meals as well.

That's what I mean by I need to do this slowly, instead of just hopping on some drastic food plan. By mindfully making different food choices, and sticking with the change until it seems normal before introducing another change, I'll be making a permanent alteration to my eating habits that I can carry with me even after my health goals have been reached. I need to restablish how I think about food and pay more attention to how my choices affect my body and my behaviors.
So remember.....


6 comments:

  1. Sounds like you're on the right track. You go girl! I did the South Beach diet last summer/fall and it did actually work. I must admit though that I fell off the wagon again, only implementing one permanent change which was off of white bread/pasta and onto whole wheat. That's been a good thing for our family though and good for the kids. They actually prefer real whole wheat bread over white bread at this point which makes me jump for joy. Being pregnant again though...well, the hormones have placed me squarely in the junk food junkie category again. I need to adopt the gradual method like you're doing. It all makes sense and I understand the physiology of it; it's just the convincing myself to actually do it that's tough, especially when my psyche is screaming for chocolate and potato salad. LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey thanks for popping in over here! :)

    Yes, knowing something and actually doing it are two completely different ends of the spectrum. Trying to meet up somewhere in the middle, or even in the general vicinity, is quite the challenge!

    ReplyDelete
  3. So, so true. My mom (bless her infinte-wisdom) always said that the very concept of DIET would always fail, because in order to DIET, the assumption is that you'll STOP DIETING and then go back to bad eating habits.
    She was so wise.
    You really DO have to change the way you eat...permanently!
    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey Gingerella! Great post and wonderful wisdom. I could apply many of your tips to quitting smoking as well. I have to remind myself that I am not QUITTING... I have QUIT. Done. Finito. Forever. Same thing with changing your eating habits.

    I have never tried veggie sausage - though I do typically love trying new things and would probably like them. Your breakfast sounds delish to be honest - healthy does not equal boring!

    Keep up the great work!

    ReplyDelete

I love getting comments....c'mon, make my day! :)