Diet Shmiet

I’ve searched my entire life for the perfect diet and tried just about every single one, from Atkins to Paleo, to the 4-Hour Body, to fasting. I’ve never been more than about five to ten pounds overweight at any given time, but the thought of letting it go beyond that scares the crap out of me, so I have become obsessive about diet and good nutrition.

I have a pair of brown corduroy cutoff shorts from when I was eighteen. Those shorts have become my guideline-my measuring tape, if you will. For the most part, I don’t go near those bad boys if I’m feeling fat. It’s only when I’m starting to feel skinny again that I pull them out. The big test is whether I can zip and button them-even if they’re tight.

I tend to lose weight when I’m depressed, like when I went through all three of my divorces. Each of those times, I probably weighed in at about 110 lbs. My sisters and my daughter would all yell at me about being “too skinny,” but I loved being that skinny, and I fit into all of my clothes-even the brown corduroy cutoffs. When I was that skinny, some of my “fat clothes” were so loose that I could pull them off without unbuttoning them (ahh, those were the days).

Ideally, I’d like to weigh 125 to 130, since I am only about 5 ft 3. I refuse to get on the scale, since I’m sure I can tell how much I weigh by how my clothes fit. I look at the dust-covered scale hidden under my bed with disdain, believing somehow that it holds the key to my happiness. Whenever I feel fat, I pretend all my jeans still fit because they have a touch of lycra in them so the stretchiness lies to me.

Most women can attest to the fact that buying jeans is one of the most stressful things in life. Who hasn’t tried on at least ten to twenty pairs before finding the only one that compliments your butt? I hated it when hip-hugger jeans came back into style. Whoever said those were flattering? Okay, so “Mom” jeans look goofy, but let’s face it, they flatter a womanly shape much more than hip huggers, which display “muffin tops” on anyone over thirty-five with hips or a butt. Nevertheless, I jumped on the hip-hugger bandwagon, but I found myself tugging the back of my jeans whenever I sat down, lest I reveal the dreaded “plumber’s crack” or my thong underwear (but don’t get me started on those).

“Someday I’ll be confident enough to get on it again,” I think to myself. But it has been years-I don’t even let my doctor weigh me. It’s my right, after all, to refuse, although they always make you feel that you have to step on the scale. I have this secret fear that there is a scale hidden under the examination table. And yes, I realize it’s probably just a table…

I know by how my clothes fit that I have not been below 130 lbs. since my last divorce, about seven years ago. And that was the last time I tried on those corduroy cutoffs.

It’s the little things, like when you throw on a pair of capris that have always fit comfortably and are now tight, or when your favorite sundress is hard to zip up the back, or when you notice you have bra overhang and back fat. BACK FAT! That’s a new one for me, and I’m having real trouble with it.

When those things happen, I throw on my sneakers and start running again, and I pick up the latest fad diet and go at it with gusto.

“Hmm, THE WHOLE30® PROGRAM. That looks new and interesting!” You only have to give up sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, and alcohol for 30 days. But wait, isn’t it just like the last one I tried? The new name intrigues me, and my daughter is doing it, so why not!

I am always dedicated to my diets, but, invariably, once I lose the weight, I go back to being relaxed and careless about what I shove into my mouth.

“Kale, schmale-are those Doritos you’re snacking on?” I say to my husband, as I lick my chops. Suddenly, the rules of healthy eating fly out the window as soon as I “feel skinny” again. And thus the wheel turns. It never stops. But I have realized that my carefree non-diet, if you will, is an indication of my happiness, so I think I will trade in my weight obsession for happiness-at least for today.

For those of you who have been on this roller coaster like me, try this: Stop obsessing! Eat simply, eat raw, cut out most carbs, reduce alcohol and sugar. There is balance in everything. Cut out some, indulge in others, but approach your eating with moderation. I have found that some combination of all, or a few, of my old diets work best. Above all, attitude is most important. Once you learn to think thin and healthy and adjust your attitude, you can achieve great results… Just believe in yourself, and believe that you are beautiful!

Paleo Guidelines: Everything You Need to Know About The Paleo Lifestyle

Without question, the Paleo Diet is sweeping the world of health and nutrition. Though this style of eating has been around for years, it is now receiving unprecedented popularity. As the popularity of this caveman inspired way of eating grows, it is easy for confusion and misconceptions to arise. In order to gain maximum health and wellness benefits from the paleo way of eating it is crucial to have a full understanding of what it entails. Thankfully, it is a simple way of eating with nourishment, not deprivation, as its chief goal. Read on to find out all the fundamental guidelines of the Paleo Diet.

What Is Paleo?

The first question that must be answered in the quest to understand the fundamental guidelines of the paleo diet is, ‘what exactly is the Paleo Diet?’ Paleo refers to a style of eating that mimics the way our ancestors did in the Paleolithic period, free of processed foods and full of what could be hunted and gathered. Health experts argue that agricultural practices have advanced far faster than people’s digestive systems have. This means our bodies are designed to function best with foods similar to what the cavemen ate rather than today’s standard dietary staples of sugar and refined grains.

Guideline Number One: What to Eat

The basic goal of the Paleo Diet is to choose foods that offer maximum nutritional benefit. Foods that are easy to digest and nutrient dense are the staples of the paleo way of eating. Vegetables, fruits, meat, seafood, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats comprise the foods included on the Paleo Diet.

Additionally, an emphasis is placed on choosing high-quality paleo approved foods. People are encouraged to choose organic, free range, pasture raised, grass fed, and/or biodynamic foods as applicable and available.

Guideline Number Two: What to Avoid

Foods that offer little to no nutritional value promote inflammation, and have other negative impacts on health are not part of the paleo lifestyle. For this reason dairy, sugar, processed foods, all grains, beans, and legumes are excluded from the paleo way of eating.

Guideline Number Three: The Rules

Unlike most conventional diets, there are no rules. Paleo is not about counting calories or carbs, nor is it about restricting portions. Instead, people just need to eat nutrient dense foods comprised of the paleo-approved foods until they feel full. Because the foods are nutritious and filling, overeating is naturally avoided. In fact, though weight loss is not the aim of the paleo diet, many people find that they lose excess weight once they begin following the paleo way of eating.

The Rewards

Following the guidelines of the Paleo Diet can lead to great rewards in terms of health and wellness. While each person’s experience on the paleo diet will vary slightly, some of the top reported benefits include decreased inflammation, greater energy levels, improved sleep, clearer skin, relief from migraines, fewer aches, and pains, and improved athletic performance. Additionally, patients with various autoimmune diseases often report significant symptom reversal when following a Paleo Diet.

Understanding The No Carb Diet

A no carb diet is different from a low carb diet. It is more intense because you’re allowed zero carbohydrate intake. There must be an alternative source of energy in your diet. Fat will be the main source, and protein is another backup. The bulk of your intake on a no carb diet will be cheese, fish, egg and meat.

The natural consequence of this is a ketogenic state as the fat consumed is converted into ketones. Oxidization of fat is not the regular setting of your metabolic processes which typically depend on carbohydrates. For this reason, a strict no carb diet should ideally be vetted by a physician, especially if you have any medical conditions which could make it dangerous to try.

To qualify for the category of zero carb diet, your total daily intake should not exceed 50 grams of carbohydrate. However, even when you eat more than that, there’s a chance that you’ll continue losing weight.

Preparing for a no carb diet

It’s hard to get started on such a strict dietary regimen without prior preparation. Give yourself time to prepare for it. Draw up a list of food items that are allowed. Don’t assume that because this is a tough diet, it won’t be delicious. There are many tasty items that can be eaten even on such a protocol.

Creativity is the key in enjoying your restricted diet. Be ready and willing to try out different new recipes and meal plans.

First, assess how many carb calories you are permitted to eat every day. This will depend on your weight loss goals and current body weight. You’ll quickly realize that eating fewer carbs changes and optimizes your body composition and proportion, leaving you in better metabolic health and with improved levels of health biomarkers.

The good news is that when you make sure your glucose and glycogen levels are enough to replenish cellular stores, you will not feel tired or weak even on a strictly carb restricted diet. Few dieters complain of fatigue, low energy or feeling dull mentally.

There is one caveat with very low carb diets. You cannot get enough calories if you’re an active person. Anyone who runs, jogs, skis or is active physically over prolonged durations can manage an adequate calorie intake without including carbs in the diet.

Under such circumstances, starving your body of carbohydrates can lead to tiredness, muscle aches, bone loss and reduced performance. That is not a desirable situation and your diet plan needs modification.