We ate normally and with reasonable proportions.
Okay, let me clarify what I mean by normal. Below is quick list of what we did. I am not claiming that any one of these is a magic formula to losing weight, but together they have certainly helped my wife and me. One thing I would like you to take note of is that none of these requires a strict adherence to some set of rules. These are all flexible and can be adjusted to your own lifestyle. Just remember, like many things in life, what you get out of it depends on how much effort you put in.
- We began to adapt a “whole foods diet”. What is a “whole foods diet”? There are plenty of definitions floating around but to me it involves getting food that is as natural as possible. It means cutting out additives and avoiding artificial ingredients. When possible it means making food from scratch at home. Ideally, this means getting your food directly from the farmers and butchers, but of course that is not always possible. For us it was not and so we made adjustments by simply being aware of what we were buying in the store. Whole foods also means…
- Seeking out whole, natural fats while avoiding low fat, low calorie, and “health” food. This part is non-intuitive since we are told from day one that all fat is evil. The truth is that your body needs certain fats as long as it is in moderation. Low fat alternatives tend to cut out what you need and replace it with artificial junk, which is not healthy, and can even be harmful to your health. A good example is margarine, which was made in an attempt to create a “healthy” alternative to butter. In reality, they made something, which has actually turned out to be much worse for the body. My wife and I have chosen to actively avoid “low fat” anything and have increased our consumption of whole milk, eggs and real butter. We also stopped avoiding things like bacon and beef. Just remember that moderation is always important, we will talk more about that later.
- We significantly reduced how much we go out to eat. It is very easy to get caught up in the eating out trap. How often do you just not feel like making something at home so you run out and grab something? This applies to both fast food and sit down restaurants. In my opinion, this will require the largest amount of will power out of all the things listed here. Not that going out every once and in a while is bad. If you have a favorite place then go ahead and treat yourself once or twice a month. The point is not to be going every day. This of course will also save you a bit of money.
I hope this is of some help. I avoided too many details in order to keep it simple. In the future, we will be posting some of our actual experiences with different foods that we have tried. One thing I like about all of this is that it is not overly complicated and it is not an all or nothing experience. Eating does not have to be a zero-sum game. There are no strict rules to adhere too, no complicated diet to cheat or fail on. My wife and I are a perfect example. There is this local burger joint that we love and while we do go less than before still go more then we should. Despite that, however, we still have lost weight. I don’t feel particularly guilty ether. Food should never be your enemy.
I don’t usually like the Huffingtonpost but this article does a good job explaining eggs and cholesterol and some misconceptions regarding those two: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-berardi-phd/egss-and-health_b_3499583.html
The naughty truth about bacon? http://authoritynutrition.com/is-bacon-bad-or-good/
Another one on bacon: http://bacontoday.com/top-10-reasons-bacon-is-actually-healthy-for-you/
(Note on bacon: The above blogs tend to over report the health benefits of bacon. While it is not as bad as portrayed I would avoid downing a pound of it a day.)
This article talks about some of the supposed problems with bacon, I'll let you be the judge: http://nutrition.about.com/od/cardiovascular/f/Is-Bacon-Bad-For-Your-Health.htm
Good article about the history of "low fat" and the bad science Dr. Keys: http://authoritynutrition.com/modern-nutrition-policy-lies-bad-science/
Even better blog on the whole "low fat" Keys thing. It is a bit long and technical but does a good job of providing a balanced report of what happened: http://rawfoodsos.com/2011/12/22/the-truth-about-ancel-keys-weve-all-got-it-wrong/
Whole foods: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/the-whole-foods-diet
This is sort of a guideline for Wholefoods, good place to start although it is a bit stricter then I care for: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/real-food-defined-a-k-a-the-rules/
The 80/20 rule: http://www.stacymakescents.com/the-stacy-8020-principle
Probably one of the best sources on Whole Foods and natural living. I couldn’t decide on a particular article so I just linked to the home page, check it out: http://www.modernalternativemama.com/
Finally a good book for all this: Nourishing Traditions (2001 3rd ed) by Sally Fallon