A friend of mine recently told me that for the first time in his life he really wanted to lose weight. We talked about eating healthy for a while and it dawned on me that eating well is a very simple philosophy. The trick is the follow through. Below is my personal philosophy I have pieced together over the years:
#1 Know what you’re eating. You have to start paying attention to what you’re eating so you can see what needs to change. Write down everything you eat for two weeks. After a couple days you will be amazed at the junk and unhealthy meals you’re eating. Writing all this down may be trying, but I put is as #1 because I believe if you only do this step alone, you’ll instinctively start eating better.
#2 Eat real food. There is a difference between things you can eat, a.k.a. edible, and things that are nutritious. Don’t eat fast food and don’t eat at a lot of chains like Chili’s, etc. Don’t eat out of the frozen food section. Avoid foods made up of nothing but chemicals or a bunch of things ending in -zine.
#3 Eat the right amount. Portion control is important. In fact, Weight Watchers is largely based on portion control. But the basics can be stated simply. Don’t eat just to be eating or because you’re bored. Only order as much food as you feel like eating. Don’t order the super combo just because it’s a good deal. Don’t feel like you have to finish your whole plate just because you paid for it. Eat only what you are hungry for and no more. At the same time, don’t skip meals because doing so leads you to make bad choices later. Always eat breakfast.
#4 Eat balanced meals. Remember to mix in the fruits and veggies. Meat is not a meal by itself. Be careful not to overdo the carbs. When planning a meal at home, swap out the carb side with a second vegetable side. You’ll get your carbs without really trying. Avoid a ton of soft drinks and beer because they are huge sources of hidden calories. Advanced: learn about foods with omega-3 and the other essential oils and try to incorporate these in your diet.
#5 Exercise. Do some cardio twice a week: running, jogging, riding a bike. This can be outdoors or at the gym, but it should be something that gets your heart rate up, above 100 bpm. Add in a workout if you have time, but the point is to get into the habit of doing something a couple times a week.
Do I do all these things all the time? Hell no, but this is the plan. If you are over-weight but consider yourself to have a good amount of self-control, you may just need an updated eating philosophy.