As an experiment, during New Year’s resolutions in 2012 I decided to limit what I consumed as food and drink. The driving force for this was strictly as a way to try to improve my health- I was convinced that my weight was at my natural set point and it was comfortable for me. The last time I was at my ideal weight (by the standard tables) was twenty years ago and lost in the misty past.
I wanted to keep the rules short, simple, and easy to follow. Most resolutions don’t even last a month, and I wanted to make one that was practical. Here are the rules I made:
1) These are guidelines for days that don’t start with “S”. On days that start with “S” (Saturday, Sunday, and Special occasions) they don’t apply.
2) Don’t drink any calories. Water, tea, seltzer, and coffee are fine. The exception is that beer is allowed. Hey, it’s my set of rules. You make your own set.
3) Avoid all ground meat. No, not a vegetarian at all – just a choice to put high quality cuts in my diet.
4) Eliminate choosing sugar or bread when a choice is available. Would you like bread with your salad? No, thank you. Sugar with your coffee? No thanks.
5) Base meals around vegetables and legumes, using meat sparingly.
That’s it. My goal (as mentioned above) was just to improve my health a little bit. I was totally surprised to see the pounds keep falling off. My activity level didn’t increase intentionally – although I did end up doing more walking as my energy level increased. To my total surprise I ended up dropping 40 pounds and back at the weight I had twenty years ago. All without ever feeling hungry or deprived.
I’ll share some of my super simple recipes in future posts. But the important improvement was just trying to practice conscious consumption of food.