Oh the joys of having your kitchen flood… As I’m sitting home waiting for it to get fixed today, I figured I’d do a different kind of “work.” I spend so much time at my day job and on my hobbies, that I end up neglecting my health… So my self-imposed work assignment for today is to come up with a plan to be more healthy. Since the gym at work is having a fitness challenge for the next 8 weeks, I figure why not clean up my eating habits at the same time…
Over the years, I spent a lot of time reading up on all kinds of diets (and trying a good many of them!), and I’m coming to realize that they really are totally personal choices. I’m not contesting the results because I saw loads of testimonials and know lots of people who have experience with them working. However, I really struggle with the thoughts behind a lot of them,especially factoring in that I am vegetarian. I started mentally bucketing the types of diets as I went through trying to figure out what could work for me.
- The first group focuses on eliminating/minimizing specific food groups. I have a hard time connecting with these for 2 main reasons. First, I feel like it leaves a nutrient void. Second (and more realistically), if I “can’t” have something, that’s pretty much a guarantee that I’ll be thinking about it all day.
- The second group feels like they have too many rules. I get so confused trying to understand them and what I am/am not allowed, that there is no way I will stay compliant.
- The third groups suggests lowering the daily calorie intake a lot. I understand this from the general idea that “in” should be less that “out” to lose weight. However, I tried to do the math for what you should have in a day based on the USDA recommendations and I just couldn’t get it to work. I feel like I’d be undernourished, which I personally think is equally bad.
Finally, in general, I feel like a lot of diets are short-term fixes. I don’t know how I’d be able to sustain it. For me, it’s so much easier to follow and commit to something when I understand what I’m doing and it find it reasonable. That being said, my “work” today is to plan out menus I can follow with a few main concepts in mind.
- Hit all the food groups!
- Avoid white sugar, white flour, white rice (and things that they are hidden in)
- Decrease bad fats, increase good fats (I feel like fats drew the short straw historically….)
- Minimize processed food (Note: not eliminate – it’s just not practical for my lifestyle to make everything from scratch)
- Eat smaller meals more frequently