The D Word.

11 Jul

So you’re on a diet. I get it – summers in full swing, you want to look all hot n’ stuff in the pool party bikini photos that your friends will almost certainly tag you in.  I’m way, way sympathetic to your photograph being forever immortalized on the Interweb, but all this diet talk is driving me a little bat$hit.

Can I just say something? I despise diets. Unless there is a real medical condition that requires a specific way of eating, I think that diets are just a huge waste of time. Not to mention an emotional rollercoaster if you can’t stick it out (most of us can’t, honestly).

I’m super clear on the fact that losing weight is a scientific formula. The Cliffs Notes version goes something like this: eat fewer calories than you burn. There are authors experts who give importance toward extra tricks of weight loss such food combining, ditching entire food groups, eating for one’s blood or body type and a billion other ideas which I assume are rooted in some validity, but in the most basic terms it pretty comes down to input vs output.

So like I mentioned, diets are sucky. I know ’cause I’ve tried every diet (crash, fad and legitimate diets all included) that’s ever  had it’s own book or website.   I struggled with yo-yo’ing weight throughout college and for several years afterward until I finally realized the diet thing wasn’t getting me anywhere. I drop-kicked the white flag and walked away.

skinny2

I know, now you’re all pissyface and wondering how to look good and get that flat stomach. Cheer up, I’m going to share something with you. After years and years of searching for the holy grail of weight loss, here’s what actually worked for me and stuck… it’s easier than you think.

I stopped subtracting food and started adding it. I remember the specific moment that this was all set into motion. It was around Christmas and I was driving my friend Ben to the airport.  We were chatting about our most recent reads (I’m a geek, what can I say). He mentioned that he was  really into this book about healing foods and for some unknown reason, it piqued my curiosity. I dropped him at LAX and drove straight to Barnes & Noble, where I bought the book (this was before ipads and such) started reading about the crazy benefits of eating food. Not only was I hooked on learning more, but my mindset did a 360. I went from telling myself  “You better get that huge burrito and a XXL DQ Blizzard in now because on Monday, you must stop eating (insert taboo food du jour here) for X amount of weeks,” to “I need to be eating garlic and peppers and spinach and tomatoes and berries- how do I get all of that in my meals? 

Dieting means subtracting food. Don’t do that. Really. Instead, start adding. I add huge handfuls of spinach and sauteed peppers to my eggs.  Chia seeds, walnuts, flax, or berries to my oatmeal. I love to make “superfood salads” and try to outdo myself by packing in everything I can that will help me to feel good. Baked yams, roasted veggies, I’ll add them to any meal.  As soon as you focus on adding goodness into your diet, you change your mindset from deprivation (negative) to abundance (positive), and before you know it the power foods will start replacing the useless foods.  I’ve been doing this for years and my relationship with food is something I’m very proud of. So not only will you look good physically and feel good mentally, you’ll also start feeling  energy that you never knew you had, and your skin and hair will shine! Woohoo!

superfoods

Oh, eat me.

It just so happens that I’m also a total foodie. How do I reconcile my passion for fueling my body and my passion for trying, well, anything I can get in my mouth (get your mind out of the gutter)? I practice the 80/20 rule. I eat nutritionally dense, antioxidant packed food about 80 percent of the time. The other 2o percent, I eat just about whatever I want. Nothings off limits.

Let’s talk about the 80%.

Listen up: if you read books or websites, you should know by now that processed foods are nutritionally void. Meaning aside from the plethora of bad things that happen to your body when you eat them, they don’t do anything good for your body.  Veggies (especially raw), fruit, lean protein, beans, whole grains, seeds, minerals – they do a body good. They help you function optimally from a cellular level. Adding them to your diet will make you feel good, give you energy, and fight disease. I assume that all sounds good to you.  Do your research on the foods that are highest in health benefits and start incorporating them into your diet. This 411 is  easily accessible on the internet, but if you need some help start here, compliments of the Mayo clinic.

And now my song and dance about the 20%.

Here’s whats awesome: once you start to become accustomed to the nutritionally dense stuff , the desire for the  junk goes away. The good stuff is really, really satisfying. I never (um, make that rarely) crave Taco Bell, Wheat Thins, or Chips Ahoy.  When I’m in 20% mode, I am totally down to eat a burger or a cupcake or crazy meal out somewhere amazing. I just make sure that as often as possible, what I eat is made from high quality ingredients.  And hell, sometimes I just really want a maple donut or pizza. Life is short and maple donuts and pizza are good , so I can’t speak for y’all but I’m  gonna have one every now and then.  And oh hey – a word of advice (I’m almost done with the advice. Really.) If you’re going to eat the donut, just eat that damn donut. Enjoy it. It’s probably delicious. What I’m saying is, stop feeling guilty. If you’re eating all this goodness 80+ percent of the time, there is really nothing to feel guilty about.

bikini girls

It’s easier to look good in your bikini than anyone wants you to think.

Let me yodel it from the mountaintops: Good health is all about mindset! Life is short people, don’t deprive yourself by only eating fat free cream cheese (barf) and bags of 100 calorie crackers (double barf)!  Treat your body like the temple it is and fuel it for a long and disease free life, but eat the pizza once in a while too if that’s what you love…just eat it with a big yummy powerfood packed salad. I promise that if you learn to add and stop subtracting, your health and happiness are going to skyrocket. Don’t take my word for it  – give it a whirl and see for yourself.

XO,

Meg

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3 Responses to “The D Word.”

  1. Mallory July 12, 2013 at 12:22 am #

    Awesome!!

  2. Erin July 15, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

    love this!!!

  3. Juliq July 19, 2013 at 12:14 am #

    You’re so right! Such a great read 🙂

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