Monday, February 24, 2014

So you’ve started a diet; let’s talk

We’re nearing the end of February and I’m certain that some of you who are reading this made a commitment in January to do something about weight loss or blood sugar control.  I’m betting that some of you have already given up.  January is the month when gyms see the highest rise in memberships and sale of exercise equipment is also higher.  March is most likely the month when you can find said exercise equipment in yard sales…cheap, and if you were to run into the trainer from your new gym, they wouldn’t recognize you at all.  Not because you’re all buff, but because you rarely go to the gym. Am I right?  That is SO normal.  

I’ve read a lot about different diets and ideas for what’s the best way to lose weight.  I’ve also read a lot about the “best food to eat for weight loss” or what to eat to control your blood sugar.  I’ve noticed a trend and I thought I’d share that with you.  I’m not going to discuss the weight loss plans that sell you their food.  (I personally don’t feel that they are a good idea.)  I’m here to talk with you about low-carb, low-fat, high-protein, vegetarian, vegan, fruitarian etc.  Every one of these food plans push the idea of eating whole foods.  They may suggest that you shun carbs or meat.  They may encourage you to eat bacon at every meal (mmmm bacon).  They all have a different idea on what types of foods you should be eating, but they all encourage the consumption of whole foods…and tell you to avoid all processed foods.  That’s the key, regardless of the plan, they are all promoting the same idea that we need to get back to the basics and shun processed foods.

This idea of avoiding processed foods isn’t easy.  In fact, it requires lots of dedication and time.  It may require more money but I’m not necessarily convinced of that.  I feel that a healthy diet doesn’t always mean a more expensive diet.  Let’s face it: processed foods are easy.  They’re quick and convenient.  In our busy, hectic lives it’s so much easier to open a box or nuke a meal.  I get that.  I’m that person too, but we’re doing ourselves a huge injustice.  It takes longer to cook something from scratch but it is so worth the effort.    Planning meals in advance and spending one day a week cooking meals ahead is a great idea, one that takes dedication.

We have a chronic disease; one that requires us to pay attention daily to what we’re eating and how much we’re moving.  Heck, we’re already spending so much time thinking about this, why not spend some of that time preparing fresh, whole foods?  It’s not that hard.  Aren’t you worth it?

What I am promoting here is not a certain diet; that’s your decision.  Pick something that works for you, one that has foods you enjoy eating.  Follow the food plan that helps you control your blood glucose and, hopefully, allows you to shed some pounds, but remember to pick one that is sustainable!  Don’t try to become this other person overnight; that never works.  There isn’t “one food” that will make you healthier.  It requires a variety of whole foods to do the trick.  Whether you choose to eat low carb, or only veggies or bacon-wrapped everything, it doesn’t matter.  What matters is that you are taking the time to cook good foods that nourish your body.  Oh…and go for a walk!  In the immortal works of Adrian Monk, “You’ll thank me later”.


  1. I agree that it is 100% worth preparing fresh food for yourself and your family (if you have one). Our bodies require proper fuel to function at maximum capacity. I am thankful to have the time and resources to do this!

  2. I'm on the same page with this paleo thing. It's from a book called the 'Perfect Health Diet" (PHD). They advocate eating like our hunter/gatherer ancestors did. No processed foods, no wheat products etc. Get a balance of animal and plant foods but in the right ration to 1) have satiety, and 2) provide macro nutrient balance.

    I personally struggle with making sure I get enough fat. I think this is partly from the "don't eat fat" craze we've been told for years and my limited knowledge of how to eat good fats. But the concept of eating real food makes sense to me. So I'm going to roll with it.

    I tried Bernstein's approach but limiting certain veggies seem off to me; having to add supplements to me isn't the way to get nutritional content. So this paleo (PHD) path I go.


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