As you know, Survival Husband started a diet about six weeks ago. Although he has plateaued a bit and not lost any weight for the last few days, he plans to stay with it and being the techie I am, the plot line I forecast in Excel shows him crossing under the 170 pound benchmark by the end of the month.
So what is he doing? What is the diet? We all know about the bestseller book by Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman and for a lot of people, that might be a good start. But beans for breakfast? Just not our thing.
Today I will share with you 10 components of my own diet for life – a diet you can live with forever while still enjoying food and without feeling more than a teensy bit deprived.
This is the diet that S.H. is following and he is losing weight – about 8 pounds so far. And if I do say so myself, he looks terrific and is feeling great!
Survival Woman’s Diet for Life – 10 Tips for Staying Trim and Feeling Great
1. Do not eat processed food. Read labels. If you can not pronounce the ingredients, forget it. Think of it this way: if you put diet soda in your gas tank would your vehicle run? Same thing applies to your body. It may run but by gosh it is going to have to rid itself of the bad stuff. And getting rid of the bad stuff in your body will slow you down, make you tired, and worst case, give you migraines.
2. Cut down on sugars. If you are trying to lose weight, cut out sugar completely. This means more than trashing the bag of cookies. Out goes the ketchup, the jelly, the sweetened frosty flakes.
3. And while you are at it, eliminate all white stuff: white bread, white pasta, white potatoes and just about everything white except non-fat milk.
4. Eat jewel colored foods. Brightly colored fruits and veggies are your friend. This includes oranges, apples, red grapes, carrots, peppers, beets, broccoli and yes, even the lowly (but delicious) yams. Go for the dark green, yellow, orange, and red varieties.
5. Trans fats are evil. Did you know that the total amount of fat you eat, whether high or low, isn’t really linked with disease. What really matters is the type of fat you eat. The “bad” fats—saturated and trans fats—increase the risk for certain diseases. The “good” fats—monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats—lower disease risk. And what about weight control? A bit of fat in your diet will increase your satiety (ability to feel full) and will simply make things taste better. The key is moderation.
6. Ban the salt shaker. You want to taste, or shall I say savor your food. After a week or so, you won’t even miss the extra salt. Plus, water weight will disappear along with puffiness around the face and ankles. You will look better I promise.
7. Fiber is your friend. Eat whole fruits, not juice. Whole grains, not the bland white stuff. So you think you do not like brown rice? Start off mixing your rice half and half and you will find you are starting to enjoy rice for the taste and not just as a filler or a bed for your beef stew.
8. Have a glass of red wine and toast yourself for being heart healthy. Red wine is full of antioxidants that researchers (and my own doctor) say may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of “good” cholesterol and protecting against artery damage. Just remember, everything in moderation. Wine has calories so limit yourself to one glass a day.
9. Eat protein foods. Years ago (and I mean over 20 years ago) my friend George told me that when he had some serious thinking to do, he would load up on protein foods, especially fish. I don’t think we knew in those days about the value of Omega-3 fatty acids so George was once again ahead of the pack. To this day, when I have a big project to complete, I will load up on the protein. Same deal if I have a pound or two to loose. A couple of mega days of eating protein foods and the pounds are gone.
10. The most important rule of all: once a week throw the rules out the window and have a splurge. Have a dessert (sugar). Or have some white spaghetti with garlic bread. It won’t matter. My personal feeling – and Survival Husband is finding this to be a truism – is that after having days or weeks of healthy eating, your body simply can not handle the contraband. Being the efficient engine it is when it is not bogged down with an ongoing overload of junk food, the body will efficiently process your splurge and just might take an extra pound or two down with it.
(Now the 4-hour Body suggests that you should have an orgy of eating on a marathon one day splurge but that is simply crazy in my opinion.)
So there you have it. This is what I do and I have stayed pretty much the same weight for thirty years. Yes, I am human and love to cook and love to eat. But my health and yes, looking good override the temptation to eat junky food. As Survival Husband is discovering, eating this way can also cause the excess pounds to drop off. And that is a big YAY!
If you are interested in learning more about eating right, check out the Havard School of Public Health. Harvard has an excellent web site with lots of tips for selecting food for life.
Enjoy your next adventure, wherever it takes you!
From the Bargain Bin: Be prepared with a book and emergency supplies from Emergency Essentials®. You do have plenty of water, correct?