I do not diet. I am a healthy BMI. Traditionally, dieting was not within my vocabulary even when considered overweight. My body is not forgiving. I do not possess a naturally high metabolism. My body type is the pear, weight accumulates and gathers around my hips. My sweet tooth whispers sweet melodies of cookies, candies and cake. Yet, even through this with regular exercise, I stay within a healthy weight without ever uttering, diet.
I do not mean this as a slap in the face to active dieters. I get it. Losing weight is hard. I’ve lost 40lbs over many years and kept it off. I’ve yo’yo’d between sizes and weights. Weight is a hot topic within any circle. The goal is health. Christy Burlington Burns(yes, the supermodel) said it best during her “I Run” article in Runner’s World, your health is your greatest wealth.
Health is not a privileged for the wealthy. It infuriated me when Paula Deen claimed her overly buttered fatty foods were designed that way so “average” people could afford to make meals. See the link here. Butter is over $4 here and I live within an hour of the dairy state. Processed foods are easily accessed and available everywhere. However, none of this means that you cannot afford to eat non processed, healthy foods on a regular basis. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it takes planning but it also has huge benefits. You get more energy. You discover what real food TASTES like. The blending of flavors that melt together and satisfies you.
If your noticing that your meals are mostly white, start adding color. If you are eating meat at every meal, stop. Start cooking more meals from scratch, not just opening a box or a bag. When you start cleaning up your meals, you’ll notice that you don’t need to diet. Eat when you are hungry, not bored. Don’t reward yourself with food, you are not a dog. Listen to your body, it will tell you when it’s full or hungry.
Here are my tips.
1. Only shop the perimeter of a grocery store. Fresh foods are found here along with bulk grain items. Foods in aisles are usually processed meaning avoid it.
2. Try new fruits, grains and vegetables to prevent boredom. I bought parsnip and wheat berries this week. I may hate them, but I may love them.
3. Try new recipes and experiment. Use the rice cooker or crockpot to help shorten meal prep.
4. Meat is not the only source of protein. Try beans, nuts and legumes.
5. Everything in moderation. You never hear someone say “Man, I feel so bad about eating those 12 apples yesterday”. Why, because it’s usually “guilty” foods that we restrict and then binge on, which leads to guilt. If you don’t make it off limits, you don’t make it tempting.
Remember, it’s calories in and calories out. Food is fuel. If you notice that you are gaining weight and want to stop it. Go find out your base metabolic rate, then figure out where you are on a daily basis within that. Your body may be telling you something is wrong, or maybe it’s just telling you to get moving again. Keep your diet clean, keep moving and your health will be your greatest wealth.