26 Jul

I was talking to a dear friend of mine today and she was telling me about a new diet she’s thinking of trying.  She’s pretty focused on healthy eating, also; so I’m always inclined to strongly consider her opinion when it comes to nutrition.

That said, as we were talking, it struck me how many diets boil down to counting.  I hate counting calories or carbs or fat grams.  It’s tiring and when it’s all said and done, it never seemed to make a big difference for me.  I’ve done it all – high carb/low fat (remember stopping the insanity?), low carb/high protein (named after a famous doctor), low calorie, high calorie (yes, they’re out there), food combining – you name it.  Nothing really “worked.”

And what is “working” anyway?  I think it’s all relative.  I think people should ask themselves what makes them feel good and what they can live with in a diet.  If it gets you to your goal and you’re healthy, I say it works.  For me, that was a diet that allowed for eating a large volume of food.

I could easily binge on food I love.  The trick for me was to allow myself to eat all I wanted of something I loved.  Of course, common sense told me that although I loved donuts, that wasn’t the best food to allow myself to pound down day after day.  But I also love fruits and vegetables, and you know what they say:  nobody ever got fat from eating too much kale.

What worked for me was keeping lots of food I could eat lots of; but it also meant keeping out the stuff I might be tempted to binge on – trigger foods.  Trigger food for me, in a nutshell, is bread.  Put anything bread-based in front of me and it’s all over.  I just can’t stop.  I blame mutant wheat – I’m convinced it contains some addictive additive that turns me into a raging gavone (if you’re not Sicilian, you’ll have to look it up).  For good measure, I also keep candy, cookies, chips and the like out of the house.  You’ll find no soda, puddings or pastries either.  Anything that even vaguely resembles baked goods are homemade, healthy and, according to my daughter and husband, not remotely binge-worthy on the palatability scale.

But this is just what “works” for me.  I believe many people – although I can’t say that I personally know any – do well on calorie or nutrient restrictive (which often translates into calorie restrictive) diets.  The structure is said to be helpful.  Not for me.  I actually gained weight on a certain popular diet program that rhymes with shmeight shmotchers.  I confess, it had nothing to do with the program and everything to do with my need to consume vast quantities of food.  I found the foods on the program that had the fewest or zero shboints associated with them and just pigged out.  Ten pounds later, I figured the program wasn’t going to “work” for me.  That’s when I got plant-strong (although not at all vegan yet).

Over the years, I’ve learned that just about all diets (some more easily than others) can be plant-based.  I feel better and look better when eating a plant-based, whole-foods diet.  While I acknowledge it’s not the right choice for everyone, it’s hard to deny the joy of eating to your heart’s content.  While I don’t consume pigs, I am certainly free to eat like one!


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