Friday, January 7, 2011

Food: The Drug You Can't Avoid

Thank you to all the people who sent kind words based on my last post “My Story”.  If it provided a bit of inspiration or ideas to use even better!  I have had a few requests for more detail about how I have made these lifestyle changes.   
Specifically, how did I change my diet?
This is very simple:  you want to lose weight? You want to feel better?  Want to get back to “your high school weight”?
Follow these two rules:
·         Never eat out, Never.
·         Only purchase foods at the grocery store your great-grandparents would recognize. 

That is it, thanks for checking back in and best of luck…(HA!!)

So as you can tell, these two rules work if you live in a fantasy world where Michael Jackson was normal (RIP) and the rivers flow of beer.  Unfortunately, we live in reality and the two rules are very, very tough to follow. So let’s look a bit deeper…

1. Never eat out, Never This has been a huge part of our lifestyle change and the hardest.  I love eating out, I love different types of food.  I once had a trainer tell me ‘Once you walk through the restaurant door, you have lost”

Remember this has been a 10 year journey for me.  I spent a long time justifying my eating out.  Oh, I just had the salad, I skipped the hashbrowns, drank water.  Any way you slice it you will inevitably have more calories and more options than you have at home.  Again, if you are like me and don’t have the most self control you have also walked into the restaurant thinking “I am getting the salad, I am getting the salad”…then you order the cheeseburger!  Sound familiar?   So where is the happy medium with this rule?

A few tips…

Be honest with yourself/Sacrifice this is tough with a bad habit but think twice; Are you really making a good choice going out? How many times do you eat out per week? Are you modeling good behavior for your family? Why are you going out?

30 Day Pledge Try to improve on this item with a 30 day pledge. The pledge may just be to track how many times you eat out for a month (be honest).  Or, cut back from 7 times a month to 4.  Whatever it is, make it attainable and reasonable.

If You Go Out Eat a salad beforehand, look up menu on line and order without looking at menu, drink water, split entrees, order items that don’t appear on the menu (One restaurant we go to I get 4 poached eggs and black coffee, nothing else!)…these are a few strategies to ensure the meal you have is not a full days worth of calories.

2. Only purchase foods at the grocery store your great-grandparents would recognize: Again, this has been a 10 year process and I still have a challenge with this…my cart 10 years ago was full of processed foods…soda, chips, little debbies, etc…you don’t get to 400 lbs eating arugula! I ate processed foods with little to no nutritional value.  Let’s be frank these items are awful for you and if you are like me and they are in your house you eat them, they taste good!  If your cart has vegetables and Doritos in it…tell me honestly what will you go for when you are tired? stressed? hungry?  I know my choice!

Had a trainer tell me to “Make your house a fortress”…if the bad food is there you will eat it!

I then started filling a cart where I bought “better” foods or at least tricked myself into thinking I was shopping healthy.  Let me know if you have said this “I am not sure why I am not losing weight?  I have replaced Doritos with Wheat Thins (Calcium fortified) and I no longer buy ice cream but I buy yogurt (enriched with Vit D).  My Little Debbie’s have been replaced with Nutri Grain cereal bars (low fat).”

Guess what?  You are still buying the same thing (in essence)!  If you really follow the "great-grand parents rule" your shopping cart should be a cart with fruits, vegetables, nuts, coffee, meat, items they would recognize 80-100 years ago.  Did Great Grandpa Albert know what a cereal bar is?  A wheat thin?  Not at all! Not to sound harsh don’t buy it.  Just don’t!     

A few tips:

·         Shop with a list and stick to it
·         Shop the perimeter (fresh foods)
·         Be honest (again)- what is in your pantry?  If an item has more than 5 ingredients, throw it out or quit buying it.  
·         Don’t shop hungry
·         Read Labels

So in closing, please don’t get discouraged, this is VERY hard…if it were easy people would be buying lettuce not ice cream.  But if you can try to remember a few tips and be honest with yourself hopefully you can make lifestyle changes that you will pass down for generations.

1 comment:

  1. Great tips!! I'm avoiding eating in restaurants as much as possible as I train for my April Marathon. It's definitely a challenge!